R.L. Winston took the cover off three new rod lines last year, so this season they have kept it simple, expanding the BIIIx into a line of five-piece models but otherwise leaving their lines unchanged. As always the boron-heritage lines from Winston are powerful lifting rods, but with the IIIx iteration they have also dialed in the tips, resulting in a smooth, hard-charging caster's rod. Both the 10- and 12-weights are especially excellent striped bass, large permit and tarpon sticks.
Scientific Anglers always has a slew of new lines, but this year we're seeing something slightly different. Many of the popular tapers in the Sharkskin series are switching over to the even more popular Mastery Textured lineup.
Fishpond carved a name for itself making great angling-specific bags and this year they've gone back to the well with three updated new designs.
The Nimbus Guide Pack is a monster hip bag with enough space to stash a jacket, fly box (and heck, probably even a sleeping bag!) Retailing for $109, it's intended for serious all-day angling in places where weather might change rapidly.
While most manufacturers tend to wait for the yearly trade show to unveil their new offerings, Sage took the covers off a little early this year with the new fast-action, ultralight "ONE" series of rods.
- By: Greg Thomas
Fly Rod & Reel Offers Live Coverage from IFTD New Orleans
It’s the end of Summer and that means one thing to the fly-fishing industry and the people who make and sell all the gear we love—it’s time for the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in New Orleans.
This trade-only show should perk the interest of every fly-fisher on the planet because this is where all the new gear for the upcoming season is first revealed… months before you’ll see it in a local fly shop. At IFTD, writers and photographers also get their first look at that product and have an opportunity to separate the great from the good and the good from the bad.
- By: Ted Leeson
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
If there’s another piece of fishing equipment that serves as useful a range of functions as sunglasses, I am unaware of it. Good glasses defend your eyes from careening hook points and the large-caliber metal ordnance increasingly found at the end of a leader these days. They shield your eyes from the ultraviolet (UV) rays linked to such delightful prospects as cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunglasses reduce eyestrain and increase comfort in retina-searing sunlight and enhance vision on hazy or overcast days. And they allow you to see things with greater definition—important things, such as your fly on the water, the structure of the bottom, fish. Throw in the ancillary coolness factor and you have a pretty advantageous package, particularly for something that sits, largely unnoticed, on your nose.
- By: Zach Matthews
FACT: Fly fishers love travel. Unfortunate fact: Travel is a lot more difficult than it was 10 years ago, thanks mostly to international terrorism. In fact, I’ll never forget the time I watched a gentleman heading out on a cast-and-blast trip trying to negotiate security at Miami International Airport. He had forgotten that he had recently worn his travel vest while doing some upland shooting. Thanks to a little gunpowder residue in his pockets, he was locked inside MIA’s shiny new “puffer” bomb-sniffing device, while red lights flashed and security sprinted into the area (to the great amusement of his fellow anglers).
- By: Buzz Bryson
- Photography by: Aaron Goodis
There are two primary considerations for any fly-tying vise: It must hold the hook snugly, and it must allow you to tie a fly easily, i.e., the vise can’t get in the way. The only practical reason to buy a travel vise is that it is smaller—lighter and more compact—than your primary vise, while maintaining an acceptable level of function. It’s that simple.
- By: David Hughes
Once you’ve booked that trip of a lifetime, you almost immediately bump into the twin set of questions: “What do I take?” and, “What’s the best thing to take it in?”
Trips rarely get ruined by any absence of gear; don’t worry about that, unless you have size 14 feet and forget your size 14 wading boots. If that happens your anatomical predisposition may prove troublesome; for most of us, lodges carry anything you may have left at home, within the range of averages for fitting and gear. Size 14 boots don’t fit the average.
Autumn New Gear
- By: Fly Rod and Reel
"The Force/MV1 is rated at 190 to 220 grains and the Force/MV3 at 350 to 400 grains. The rods feature an angled-forward stripping guide (to aid in shooting line), a handsome triangular reel seat and a super-aggressive rod taper..."