Make sure to check out PART 1 of our IFTD coverage- CLICK HERE
Yeti coolers is one of the fastest growing companies in the outdoor industry. I have one and honestly can say that they are worth their weight in gold. Durable and can keep ice for what feels like forever, they are a staple in boats/cars/ and jobsites all over with good reason… they are the best cooler you can buy.
Redington has really raised the bar over the past few years with both their rods and waders. The Sonic-seamed waders and jackets are awesome, and have proved to be a durable/non-leaking alternative to stitched seams. But this year they took that technology in a few different directions- a packable wader and a neoprene hybrid wader. They also had some great new rods with great performance but at a even better price point. And for people making their first steps into the fly world, and amazing starter kit and cool casting tool that will even entertain the most seasoned angler.
Ross had some really neat reels. They are offering custom colors that will be available at retailers in the near future.
Pro-tube had a super impressive pool of talented tiers showcasing the demystifying pro-tube product that takes all the confusion out of tying on tubes. No junction tubing or special vises, they take all the guess work out. They have a new junglecock substitute that is easily mistaken for the real deal.
Check out the pro-tube system http://www.prosportfisher.com/
Simms had a very strong show with an amazing amount of product. Their expansion is not just in facilities in Montana, but in their product offerings. There appeared to be more options for the salt angler
Rio showcased their new logo and packaging. But not everything was cosmetic; they have 3 new technologies in their fly lines. The new floating tip and a new core construction that eliminates stretch sound pretty interesting.
Check them out at http://www.rioproducts.com/
TFO had some interesting new rods, from a 1/2wt ultralightweight rod to a new “TFO custom rod shop” that will be launched soon. The 1/2wt is part of their finesse series, and was a blast to cast. Being only 5’ in length, the rod had a great full flex and light touch, small tight wild trout streams? Panfish? This is your rod.
For the past few years, under new ownership, Partridge has been investing serious time and resources to developing product with a more modern feel and marketed to the new generation of tiers. Each time I see Mark they have new and great improvements in hook designs and packaging that will help the consumer find what they need… and this year was no different.
Fishpond launched an all new line of waterproof products call the “Westwater” line. Large duffle bags all the way to a chest and waist packs; these are some great products with all the bells and whistles you get with Fishpond products.
See everything from Fishpond at http://www.fishpondusa.com/fishing.cfm
Freefly could possibly make the most comfortable shirt you can buy.
Made of Bamboo these lightweight and super breathable shirts make you forget you even have it on. The long-sleeved is light enough that even on a hot sunny day you are good to go, and have full protection form UV rays. They have a bamboo “sunmask” which blows away the competition. The fabric and construction make it cool, it will stay put, and won’t roll up at the ends or have a “pilly” feel.
Check out Freefly at http://www.freeflyapparel.com/
LL bean had a new 10 foot rod in their Silver Ghost line. They also had a really innovative belt system on their bootfoot waders. But these are your basic muck-boot foots, the BOA lacing system would fool anyone.
Cliff Boxes are not something you can miss. From the distinct Yellow boxes to the blue foam… you know Cliff on site and their quality products. They had a cool new box for keeping all those articulated, intruders, string leeches, or any other pattern that doesn’t like a normal box. Also some neat inserts to their large boat box that allow you to easily keep a few flies out of the closed box.
NRS had a TON of buzz around their new boat, a fully inflatable drift boat called the “Clearwater drifter”. Framed and pumped up like a raft, self-bailing like a raft, packable like a raft, but it’s a drift boat.
Scott Fly Rods had some really nice rods at the casting pond. But being a glass rod noob, I really wanted to see what all the recent re-birth of glass is all about… So why not try out the best? The F2 is a really beautiful casting rod… smooth slow and a joy to cast. I might be a convert… we’ll see. Either way, if you have a chance to cast/fish/buy this rod… do it.
Trouthunter was a new company for me, somehow I have mistakenly missed these guys over the past few years. They had some impressive stats showing their break strength against other manufactures… pretty impressive. They also had some great looking dubbing from their Rene Harrop signature line.
Spirit river came out with a full line of UV infused materials over the past few years. The year they were showcasing an even better UV2 on most of their products… very neat stuff to see under a UV light. There were also a few other product that caught my eye.
Orvis launched the new version of the famed Helios rod… the H2. There were also some nicely designed packs. A line of sonic welded water-proof bags, and some great options for female anglers