The big week is behind us. The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show was held in Orlando, Florida last week, and The Venturing Angler traveled down to check out the latest and greatest gear that’ll be hitting fly shops in fall 2018 and spring 2019. This was a big year for footwear with several companies revealing perhaps their best boots to date. And of course, there were rods and other gear items that made a mark.
Here’s what stood out at IFTD 2018:
Thomas & Thomas Zone
Another year, and another strong showing for Thomas & Thomas. T&T designer Joe Goodspeed is nothing short of obsessed with rods (and musky for what it’s worth). This year, Goodspeed proudly showed off T&T’s new Zone rod series. Fast action and mid-priced, “the rod you will eventually own” is now more accessible to many more anglers (and it casts beautifully and feels great in hand).
To check out more from Thomas & Thomas, please click here.
Patagonia Foot Tractor and River Salt Wading Boots
Patagonia impressed many last year with the Middle Fork Packable Waders, and this year there was a great deal of buzz around their new Foot Tractor and River Salt Wading Boots. Collaborating with Danner, these union-made boots look tough as nails, feature a Vibram sole option, and are recraftable and repairable, making it possible for them to be boots for life.
To check out more from Patagonia, please click here.
YETI Panga Waterproof Backpack
The YETI Panga Waterproof Backpack has been on the scene for a couple of months, but it’s quite clear that YETI made another winner. Last year, YETI unveiled the Panga, and those waterproof duffels have since proven to be a go-to for travel, float trips, and more. And in the months since the announcement of their new backpack, these packs have already become a favorite for traveling anglers and those who carry important gear everywhere from big rivers to the surf. Waterproof and tough. A great combination of features.
To learn more about the YETI Panga Waterproof Backpack, please click here.
Orvis Pro Wading Boots
Both Patagonia and Orvis impressed anglers with boot collaborations this year. In the case of Orvis, Michelin was the company they joined forces with for their new Pro Wading Boots. These “self-cleaning” wading boots are designed to purge dirt from their tread, and Orvis claims these boots will offer grip that goes beyond what they have offered in the past.
To check out more from Orvis, please click here.
Sage IGNITER Rod
The Sage METHOD was the last from Sage’s top tier family of rods to not offer their newest generation of graphite. For many, this rod was a favorite for the wind, big flies, and heavy lines because of it’s famously fast action. For others, close range casts could be tricky because it was such a stiff rod. Now the new IGNITER rod replaces the METHOD and offers the same fast action with more feel. This rod will be easier for those close casts, and with the newest graphite, it’s safe to assume that you’ll be seeing these rods in many quivers.
To check out more from Sage, please click here.
Simms Flyweight Boots
Simms brought several new boots to the show, and the Flyweight Boots certainly stood out. Extremely lightweight yet tough-looking and having an athletic look and feel, these boots could be great for mountain rivers. And with a Vibram sole, we get that reliable grip.
To check out more from Simms, please click here.
Abel TR Reel
As they put it, this is the “return of a classic.” With a new look and a great price, these reels will certainly attract trout anglers. And it’s hard not to love that click!
To check out more from Abel, please click here.
Fishpond Switchback Belt System
Admittedly, it’s hard to get excited about a belt. But within minutes of getting the lowdown about the new Fishpond Switchback Belt System, it was clear that this product would make this exclusive list. Fishpond allows anglers to trick this belt out in numerous ways to make for the ultimate in convenience. Minimalists rejoice!
To check out more from Fishpond, please click here.
Grundéns Deck-Boss Boots
Wasn’t this on the list last year with a review a few months ago? Yup. Grundéns hit a home run last year with their Deck-Boss boots. And this year they added superior traction and increased toe protection. Frankly, it’s hard to believe improving the traction on these amazing boots was even possible. They did it. These boots are solid.
To check out more on these boots, please click here.
Orvis Clearwater Rod
A first rod for many anglers, the Orvis Clearwater has always been respected as a low-priced rod that is exceptionally good for the price. Orvis has now revamped the line, making numerous improvements, bringing in a sweet new look, and keeping a low price. Well done, Orvis.
To check out more from Orvis, please click here.
Cortland Bonefish Line
You know something big is coming when you hear a buzz leading up to the launch. The new Bonefish line from Cortland is such a product, as bonefish anglers have been raving about this new line. Add in some rebranding, and Cortland ought to be getting a lot more attention for their top tier lines very soon.
To check out more from Cortland, please click here.
Disclosure: These companies are in a professional relationship with The Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.