July 24, 2016

The Rest of the IFTD/ICAST Stuff...Hardy, Hodgman, & Korkers

Sorry, meant to post these last week, but just getting to it now. These are the last few IFTD-related product press release emails I received that grabbed my attention. Perhaps there's something below that will catch yours too...

Pure Fishing

Pure Fishing is the company that owns many fishing brands - Hardy, Hodgman, Fenwick, & Pflueger (to name a few), and they had sent me an email calling out a slew of new products, starting with this new Hardy reel, the Ultralite ASR large arbor:

Now I'm not going to lie, I'm more of a "classic" Hardy guy, but this reel's got a lot going for it...check out what they had to say in their press release:

Anglers can become more versatile with the new Hardy® Ultralite® ASR (Assisted Spool Release) large arbor fly reel debuting July in the IFTD New Product Showcase. Now it is faster and easier than ever to adapt to changing conditions. The Ultralight ASR's spring-loaded cassette ejection system enables the angler to change fly line in seconds. The lightweight polycarbonate cassettes allow multiple lines to be carried on the water to adjust when the hatch tapers off and going deep is the only option. 
The heavily ported, lightweight reels are ideal for the challenges of multiple-situation fly fishing. The Model 4000 is rated for 4- and 5-weight line, measures 3.75 inches in diameter and weighs just 6.2 ounces. The body is constructed with 6061 bar stock aluminium for lightweight durability and the spool built from a high impact composite. 
The 340-degree disc drag includes a multi-pad system with color-coded reference for easy tracking of the drag setting. The drag setting can be identified with a simple glance as the red dots on the drag knob clearly indicate a stronger drag and lighter drag settings are indicated by green. The drag can be configured from zero to maximum in just one turn of the knob. 
Five models are offered from the 4000 to the 9000 rated for 9- to 11-weight line. In addition to multiple cartridges, the reel is packaged with a soft travel case. MSRP for the Ultralite ASR fly reel starts at 299.00.

The Hodgman division also had a lot of new products. Hodgman's been on a bit of a tear the last few years re-inventing themselves. It's been fun to see the new high-performance items they've added at each show. While I don't know much about this particular batch, the item pictured to the far right definitely catches your eye. An interchangable-soled wading boot...hmmm...

There is actually quite a bit of information on Hodgman's website regarding their 3 new models of H-Lock series boots (as well as much better pictures), so if you're so inclined, check it out HERE.


So how could I mention interchangeable soled wading boots without mentioning Korkers? Well, perhaps they heard that competition was coming, because they've clearly stepped up their game with the new HatchBack boots.

Exactly what it sounds like, the back of the HatchBack boot disengages for really fast entry or exit, and then cinches back up snug with a BOA closure. This innovation (perhaps borrowed from the ski industry) looks awesome and is a pleasant surprise. I'm certain anglers will love the convenience.

Here's the press release info from Korkers, with more info on the HatchBack, as well as an introduction to their other two new boot models, the DarkHorse & BuckSkin Mary.

Beginning with an industry first, Korkers’ new HatchBack™ ($239.99 MSRP) features a rear-entry BOA®assisted closure system that makes slipping into this boot incredibly smooth and easy. Korkers dynamic Flow Foam Fit System™ provides a positive fit that keeps your toes controlled but allows articulation and range of motion, while the 3 Ply Fit System adds security and support around the achilles tendon and ankle. The midsole incorporates Korkers’ hallmark Internal Drainage System™ for rapid drainage of excess water and weight, as well as a protective features such as TPU guards at the toe, calf, and shin. 
Understanding that female angler participation is on the rise, Korkers created a performance-packed boot made exclusively for women: the BuckSkin Mary™ ($139.99 MSRP). The new BuckSkin Mary™ boot is lightweight and athletic, yet rugged and durable. It comes in sizes 5-11 and is built on a slightly narrower last that better contours to the shape of a woman’s foot, providing better retention, fit, and supreme comfort. 
Last, but certainly not least, Korkers new DarkHorse™ ($179.99 MSRP) drafts off one of the brand’s most successful boots, the WhiteHorse, but offers several design enhancements aimed at durability, fit, and comfort. The DarkHorse™ is a lightweight, fast-mover, made for the angler who is looking for just the right balance between flexibility and durability. At 9 inches in height, the DarkHorse™ offers ample support. The combination of the BOA® M2 lacing system and Korkers proprietary 3 Ply Fit System™ lock the foot in place and provide supreme support around the ankle and heel. The DarkHorse™ offers an enhanced EVA Midsole & TPU toe cap for better durability, as well as Protected Stitching™ for better longevity.
If you want to look at Korkers' full 2017 product line, check out this cool e-catalog HERE.

That's about it for my IFTD/ICAST product plugs for this year. I received a few other emails, but nothing that really made me go "wow, that's super cool or unique." It was disappointing to not be able to make the show for the first time in 3 years. I'm hoping to actually get to Orlando again next year, even if I have to plan my PTO day way in advance. It's much more fun to bring you the real scoop from first hand experience and not have to rely on press releases. Either way, it's all good.

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