This is a big time of the year for gear junkies, as fly fishing manufactures announce and unveil new products at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Orlando, Florida. The Venturing Angler traveled to Florida last week to see what’s new firsthand, and there is plenty for anglers to get excited about.
Here’s what stood out at IFTD 2017:
Patagonia Middle Fork Packable Waders
Without question, the Middle Fork Packable Waders from Patagonia were a big standout item at the show. At first glance, the Middle Fork Packable Waders are everything you’d expect in a pair of waders. However, upon closer inspection, it is clear that these waders are truly innovative. In fact, we will likely be looking back at the Middle Fork Waders one day as a piece that changed waders as we know it.
What makes them different? The most obvious departure from the norm is the booties. Made from a synthetic rubber, the folks at Patagonia have found that the material keeps anglers comfortable in a range of conditions while also helping with making the waders overall more packable. The entire wader fits into a 8″ by 13″ stuffsack and has a total weight of 26 ounces. What’s more — this is achievable with four layers of waterproof and breathable fabric in the wader construction. Incredible.
To check out more from Patagonia, please click here.
Nautilus Reels GTX
This reel is the real deal. Designed to take on the fastest and strongest saltwater fish on the globe, the GTX is ready for battle. Despite only weighing 8.7 ounces, the GTX is a five inch diameter reel that holds 500 yards of 60 pound braid. And with new technology going into the drag system, the GTX has anglers headed to the Seychelles in mind and is ready for giant trevally or even that Cosmoledo tuna.
To check out more from Nautilus Reels, please click here.
From running a panga through the Nicaragua surf to trekking through the rainforest of the Tongass National Forest, I reply on waterproof bags to carry a range of gear, often including expensive cameras and lenses. Admittedly, all of my favorite go-to bags have shortcomings, and it looks like the many years of research and development that went into the new YETI Panga duffel line has taken a range of needs into consideration.
This bag looks bulletproof. And from durable straps to a thick construction that will hold its shape, the Panga has it all. It can even sit upright, and when wearing it, it feels balanced, thereby ensuring hours of comfortable carrying.
To learn more about the YETI Panga, please click here.
Simms Dry Creek Backpack
I love rolltop backpacks for packing gear —especially during rainy steelhead season. Unlike most rolltops I’ve encountered, the new Simms Dry Creek backpack features side pockets (for drinks) as well as an exterior storage area. Generally, these kinds of bags are a free for all inside. Imagine looking for your lip balm! With this pack, gear is better separated and more accessible. Smart.
To check out more from Simms, please click here.
From nippers to pliers, Gerber is getting into the game. Their display had a great image of a fly angler on the water indicating they have the needs of the fly world in mind too. Gerber has a history of making intelligent and cutting edge gear. And with the price of their pliers coming in at only $85, they seem to be interested in keeping prices reasonable as well.
To check out more from Gerber, please click here.
Thomas & Thomas Lotic
Fast fiberglass. This is an oxymoron for some, but for others, this action allows more use of fiberglass on the water. The Thomas & Thomas Lotic is a very light rod that brings more feel despite its fast action. Great rod.
To check out more from Thomas & Thomas, please click here.
Orvis Ultralight Wading Boot
While I have yet to wear these on the water, I am very much looking forward to it. Looking more like hiking shoes than your standard wading boot, Orvis has designed a wading boot that is exceptionally light and looks far more comfortable than the norm. More on the Orvis Ultralight Wading Boot coming soon.
To check out more from Orvis, please click here.
Fishpond Grand Teton Rolling Luggage
Because the general focus of The Venturing Angler is travel, we often pay close attention to travel gear. The new Fishpond Grand Teton Rolling Luggage was certainly a standout item at the show. This tough-looking bag is also lightweight and has numerous attractive features. One of the most compelling features is its separate bottom compartment that holds numerous rod tubes or separates your boots, waders, and wet items from the rest of your clothing and gear.
To check out more from Fishpond, please click here.
Grundéns Deck-Boss Boots
The toughest anglers in the world love their Grundéns bibs and gear, and Grundéns should be on the radar of every fly angler. The new Grundéns Deck-Boss boots got a lot of attention on the conventional side of the show and for good reason. Ready to handle the elements, these boots have key features that make them superior to any rain or deck boot I’ve seen. From a silicone band to lock in pants for keeping dry to the most incredible three-point traction on the sole, these boots are going to be big for casual and deck wear.
To check out more on these boots, please click here.
Vedavoo Water Master
While many companies strive to innovate, for Scott Hunter at Vedavoo, thoughtful new products seem to come naturally. With the new Water Master pack, Vedavoo has all of the thoughtful design features that come standard with their products, but in this case, they go even farther as the packs are made from the excess material of Water Master rafts. Huge props to Vedavoo for such an eco-friendly product.
To check out more from Vedavoo, please click here.
Sage SALT HD
Those who follow The Venturing Angler know that the Sage SALT is one of my favorite rods of all time. Of course, every angler has their own preferences, but for me, the SALT is the end all be all. Sage has taken anglers’ love for the SALT and brought in their most advanced graphite technology (used in the X). The SALT HD generated a big buzz at the show, even earning the coveted Best of Show recognition.
To check out more from Sage, please click here.
Scientific Anglers Backing
Never thought backing would make this list, but sure enough, Scientific Anglers has backing that saltwater anglers will love. Their new backing is color-coded to mark various distances. As a bluewater angler that often has to guess how deep my fish is, the color-coding will be very helpful.
Redington i.D. Reels
Okay … Maybe Redington baited us on this one, but when you swing by the booth to see a Venturing Angler i.D. reel, it’s hard not to see that people are going to love these reels. We all love customization, and with these new reels, you can truly make your reel unique.
To check out more from Redington, please click here.
— Tim Harden