Winter is the quietest time of year on the water but there’s plenty to get excited about with new gear releases. This year’s International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD) didn’t disappoint with a bevy of exciting new gear revealed. There were no real surprises with the industry product awards mostly going to the big brands including Simms and Fishpond. This year’s show was in Florida before it moves to a stand-alone show in Denver for 2019. It will also change from being a July show to October so we will be waiting longer for new product announcements next year. At least this winter we can beat the winter blues with a little retail therapy!
As always, we’ve rounded up the very best gear that is sure to get you thinking about the season ahead.
Simms River Camo Collection
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at the guy pictured above and thinking who on earth would go fishing looking like that! Whether you like the look of Simms new River Camo or not doesn’t matter because this isn’t just clothing, it’s full body covering in a pattern created by Simms in conjunction with Veil Camo designed to make you less detectable to fish. Veil dug deep into research and data surrounding various species of fish and their abilities to see and interpret the spectrum of colour, contrast, shape recognition and movement. The result is a pattern with a strong breakup of both large and small shape distortions that work to blend at any distance. The colour palette is tuned to most typical river environments, and the fishes ability to see and perceive colour. Fashion aside, Simms River Camo will get you closer to fish. Naturally, it works best if you cover yourself in River Camo from head to toe so they’ve introduced it to their most popular gear pictured below. Of course, it’s all on display and available at The Flyfisher.
Waterworks Lamson Reels Limited Edition Colours
It’s impossible to improve on perfection and so this season, Waterworks Lamson give us limited edition colours in a couple of their most popular reels. On the left is the Force model, their most high-spec freshwater offering and the lightest reel in the world with a drag system. Most rods will float with one of these strapped to them. To the right, the Guru is their workhorse freshwater reel that is light but also rugged in construction. Best of all, the Guru fits in a healthy price range. Both reels are only available in size 2 which fits a 5 or 6 weight fly line. Available now at The Flyfisher, Melbourne.
Primal Fly Rods
Manic Tackle Project is one of the most proactive flyfishing companies downunder and they represent some of the best brands in the trade. Realising a hole in the market for a premium mid-priced ($499.95) fly rod, they set about creating one. Primal isn’t their first foray into the rod market but they knew if they were going to create the best, they needed a new source to do it. After years of looking, testing and developing, they finally found a manufacturer that could build a rod to the high standard they set about achieving. The fact is, there are many European brands asking exorbitant prices for rods made in Asia. Despite the obvious lower production cost, the savings aren’t passed on to the consumer. Primal bucks that trend. Whether Primal is as good as the ultra-premium US made offering is for you to try and decide. But, compare this rod to ANY manufactured in China or South Korea, and you’ll be a Primal owner in a second. Available in line weights 4-8 (Primal Raw) and 8-12, excluding 11 (Primal Mega). Available September 1st at The Flyfisher, Melbourne.
Trout Hunter Evo Nylon
The team at Trout Hunter have improved on their existing range of nylon tippet with their new EVO Nylon Tippet. By applying a proprietary coating to the material they have increased abrasion resistance, flotation, and lifespan. Kinks often happen fishing and the Evo material is easy to repair with a straight pull and running the line through your fingers as displayed in the video above. For dry fly fishing, Evo tippet will get more fish to your net. Available now at The Flyfisher.
Sage Dart Fly Rods
Small stream rods are hugely popular in Australia, and Sage’s new Dart is sure to excite. All models come in a 7’6″ length except for the fun addition to the range in a 6’6″ 3 weight. The Dart introduces Sage’s Konnetic HD Technology to create a deadly accurate fly rod at close range. Paying attention to where the rod bends, Sage opted for a 3 piece construction which hasn’t been seen by them for more than a decade. Naturally, if you get lots of line out these rods are limited in their ability – but for close range casting with a single fly, they are a real joy to fish. Available now from 0 to 4 weight for $1039.95. Buy from The Flyfisher.
Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth
More recently, Scientific Anglers direction has been in textured fly lines and the Amplitude series (textured) released last year remains their most premium fly line. Still, lots of people prefer smooth lines and theirs were overdue for an upgrade. So they took AST Plus from their Amplitude lines and introduced it to a smooth line. AST Plus is unique and a big upgrade on any additive used before. Main benefits are a slicker line that stays slick for much longer (120% longer than closest competitor). Slickness reduces friction and by reducing friction you get longer casts and easier pick-ups off the water. Unlike competitors top-coat lubrications, AST Plus is in the plastic of the fly line and so even when it wears, it stays slick. Pictured above, the new Infinity taper is their most versatile freshwater taper, capable in throwing big streamers but also putting a small dry fly in front of sipping trout. You’ll find a taper in the Amplitude Smooth for every application. Available now at The Flyfisher $149.95.
Simms Flyweight Wading Boots
Wading boots often get compared to ski boots because of their rigid fit and heavy weight. Simms new Flyweight boot adds a bit of flex to the construction and focuses on reducing weight whilst maintaining durability. First look at the boot and you can see it’s more mid-shoe than boot. The material is revolutionary in that you can tell it’ll cope with abuse, yet is incredibly light. Naturally, you won’t get the same ankle protection as their other offerings but it does give options to the more adventurous and weight conscious boot buyer. Available November at The Flyfisher.