Showing posts with label IFTD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IFTD. Show all posts

July 16, 2018

Did You See This New Tacky Fly Box?

The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show was held in Orlando a few days ago, and if you're into learning about the "latest & greatest" in gear a few months before it hits the market, checking out many of the social media outlets last week would have been a great place to get that head start.

In the past, I've used this blog (believe it or not) to get "media" credentials for the show, but I wasn't able to attend this year. The timing just didn't work out with my real job, which is a shame because this is the last year the show will be in Orlando. (It's returning west to Denver in 2019).

Of all the videos I watched, pictures I looked at, and posts I read, the one item that really caught my interest was the new waterproof Tacky Flydrophobic SD fly box. See, I'm a Tacky fly box junkie. I supported their initial Kickstarter way back when, and have religiously used one of their products (if not multiples) on each and every one of my fishing trips since. For something generally so overlooked as a fly box from the "tech" standpoint, that silicone insert was really quite the innovation.

If the print in that image is a little too small to read what's going on, this video from Field & Stream's Joe Cermele probably does the best job in explaining it.

So that's a pretty slick concept that solves the "wet fly" problem in which other waterproof fly boxes suffer. Depending on your level of disposable income, it may be a bit pricey, but I will say that I've never been let down by a Tacky box in the past.

I'll probably snag one of these when they hit stores... because I'm a sucker for cool stuff like this. Especially when it has a brook trout pattern on the lid.  Ha!

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.

July 20, 2016

Wednesday Nibbles - IFTD Fishing Accessories Edition

A continuation of my 2016 ICAST/IFTD product email solicitation notes...

Figured I'd gather some of the accessory items into one post. A sort of Wednesday Nibbles of fishing accessories that you might find of interest...some good stuff here, if you're so inclined...


Because who doesn't like UV protection? This company is particularly appealing (to me) because they have a special series designed by Vaughn Cochran, who runs the Blackfly fly shop down here in Jacksonville. Check out their 2016 collection, including the Blackfly designs, HERE.

Rock Treads

Rock Treads sent quite a few emails challenging retailers & media to test out their slip-proof product vs. competing boot surfaces. As a person who uses screw in studs with my "sticky rubber" boots to combat those slippery rocks in the Smokies, these are definitely interesting. Check out a video with more information HERE.


Check out these fully sublimated hoodies! They also make them in boxers too. Seriously, these are pretty cool. The A.D. Maddox "Running Rainbow" and Hayden Hammond Redfish designs pictured above are new for 2016/17. Want to stand out in a crowd? The Fincognito website is HERE.

FishOn Energy

Talk about adding style to fly fishing apparel. Sure, this may skew toward a younger demographic, but what's wrong with that? I'd probably own most of it if I weren't so much of a tenkara angler. Something about having a reel in the logo really doesn't work for a tenkara guy...but it doesn't make it any less awesome. So much good stuff on their website, it's hard to choose a favorite.


Why pack a water bottle to the stream when you can just filter all of the water that's around you? While filters like the Lifestraw & Sawyer Mini have become popular with minimalistic anglers in recent years, Grayl looks like another good (slightly larger) option for water purification.

July 18, 2016

Souplefly: Fly Fishing Simplified

For the first time in the past few, I didn't get over to Orlando to check out ICAST/IFTD this year.

I registered with all intentions of attending, but the schedule associated with the real "paying" job I hold down had some conflicts, especially considering the fact I took off the prior week for vacation.

But fear not, as registered "media" (ha!), I did receive quite a few new product notifications via email that now that the show has taken place, I have no reservations sharing here. So keep an eye out this week, I'll drop a few on you, starting with gear from...

Souplefly: "Fly Fishing Simplified"

The Bug Visor

The Bug Visor Lite

The Sculpin Lanyard

These are all pretty cool.

Could definitely see the Bug Visor Lite or Sculpin Lanyard fitting into my streamlined "grab & go" fly fishing gear, be it in tandem with my 4-weight, or my tenkara rods. I really like the horizontal orientation of the lanyard from wader strap to wader strap.

Check out Souplefly HERE.

July 24, 2015

ICAST / IFTD 2015 - BesT! In Show

Okay, okay, okay...last post of the week...and hopefully I saved the best for last.

Now of all the products I saw at the show...aisle after aisle after aisle...after all was said and done...there were only three items that I could honestly look in the mirror and say "Mike, the odds are pretty strong you're going to buy one of these over the next year."

So much stuff to sort through...

Sure, you can talk (or write) about all the cool stuff ad nauseam (sort of like I did this week)...but a real vote of confidence only comes with your wallet. One of those items is most likely going to be the L.L. Bean River Tread Pro wading boots highlighted in Monday's post, however the other two items resided in the same I'm just going to name the booth the winner...

So I don't even know if all of the items I looked at in the Kast Gear booth were "new for 2016" or not, I actually don't think they are, because they're all available now...but you know how things's new to me, even though I've heard of the brand before.

See the story unfolds like this, you see this cool looking apparel brand online, never get to see or touch it in person at a retailer, so odds are you never buy anything...even though you like it. I mean who's going to buy a $200 jacket sight unseen, am I right?

Well, I finally got to see the Kast Gear line in person, and damn, I was impressed. Fabrics, construction, fit...the whole nine yards. Two items really stood out to me as being exceptional...and forgive me in this post as the pictures I took in person really didn't turn out so well, so I'm going to "liberate" photos of the items from the Kast website instead.


As odd as it sounds, this technical top is sort of what piqued my interest and got me in the booth in the first place. For those in colder climates, it serves as a layering piece, but I'd probably use it in Florida as a UPF+ rated sun shirt. Now what's got me so excited? Two things in particular.

First the zip pocket. It's tight and flush to the body. I can't tell you how many performance shirts like this I've purchased since I've moved South that have pockets where either the zipper weighs down the front, or the seams around it pucker or bunch up. This pocket stays true, non-conspicuous, and form fitting.  Bravo!

The second is the neckline. I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE it when you buy a sun shirt like this, try it on and the neck opening is super-wide. I bought 2 tops from a prominent retailer (that will go unnamed) earlier this year, and once I got them home noticed how wide the neck was. I don't wear those shirts any more. What's the point of a sun shirt if it leaves you exposed almost down to your collarbone. The opening should hug the bottom of your neck. No, not like a turtleneck or anything, but enough to know it's there. I'll wear this shirt, it's done right. MSRP $49.95

Which leads into the...


MSRP $199.95

Hands down, my favorite item of the show. I only wish I had this jacket when I lived in Pennsylvania. Heck, I'm probably going to buy this jacket for the one or two times a year I return I liked it so much, and donate all the other mid-weight jackets in my closet this Holiday season. Why?

You just have to feel it to understand, but I'll try to explain. It's a lightweight PrimaLoft Eco insulated body...basically, it's as if you almost as if you were wearing one of those nano-puff vests...which I did a ton in the Fall & early Winter when I went fishing up North. However the sleeves are made of a Polartech Powerstretch material that gives your arms a great range of motion, but still protect you from the elements. Oh, and those sleeves have thumb-holes, which you might think is a "chick" thing...well at least until you try them...

So take the benefits of a vest - a heated core and mobility, combine it with warm arms...without having to wear a bulky sweatshirt or hoody underneath...oh, and add pockets where they should be and a collar that isn't itchy or annoying and...

Job well done Colby & Kast Gear get the award for 2015 BesT! In Show!

This is the sixth and final product overview from last week's ICAST / IFTD event. If you'd like to see the other entries, please click HERE.

July 23, 2015

ICAST / IFTD 2015 - Rods, Reels, & Randomness tired of these yet...?
Don't worry, ICAST / IFTD week is almost over.

In today's installment, I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures of pretty much anything and everything I haven't posted yet. Things that caught my eye for one reason or another. Some of it will be fly (fishing), some of it will not. Welcome to Rods, Reels, & Randomness!


Kicking it off, that crazy Derek DeYoung went and painted a perfectly good tarpon to look like a brown trout. So not only has his art adorned fly boxes, reels, apparel, mugs, and rod tubes, but now it's on the fish themselves!!! Make a mental note, you'll see a lot of Derek's work in this post...


Diamondback rods are back. They had a few new models at the show, but I gotta be honest, nothing was quite as wild as these Clout models with the "LINK GRIP" cork handles which are supposed to improve sensitivity and reduce fatigue. What do you think about these??? MSRP $425


Every year, the Hardy booth stops me in my tracks. While they were really pushing the new Zephrus FWS rod ($649-$799) and Ultralite CA DD ($275-$419), a reel which Hardy claims is their finest large arbor model ever produced, (coming in Titanium...

...or black)...

...I just wanted to stop and look at the more timeless designs. There are few things sexier in the fly fishing word than a classic Hardy reel. I really just need to bite the bullet and pick one or three up one of these years...


Flymen Fishing Co. always seem to have something new and unique to offer. This year was no different. Starting with the Fish-Skull Captain Dubiel’s Pop-N-Fly, which is a foam popper you tie a few feet before your fly and chug along the surface to entice big reds!  MSRP $6.95...

The Fish Skull Black Sculpin Helmet...which is pretty self-explanatory if you're familiar with Fish Skulls...MSRP $6.80...

And last but not least, Fish Skull Chocklett's Body Tubing, used to create big heads, tapered bodies, and flare out materials on big game flies to give them the look of bulk, but maintain a light weight for ease of casting. MSRP $5.95...BOOM!


The Redington SKAGIT boot. Simply because I like to say Skagit.


Cheeky came to the party with 11 new reels...including a new opening price point reel, the Tyro. It essentially takes the same Rev Carbon drag system found in their mid-pricepoint Boost series, and drops it into a really tight, less expensive chassis coming in 3 sizes 2-4 all the way up to 7-8. MSRP $129-$149

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, they also dropped this beast of a spey reel on the industry called the...wait for it...Spey Series...which comes in a Mojo 425 & Thrash 475 flavor.

And to top it off, then they just got crazy and decided to get into the spinning reel business.  What the what? Yeah, 6 super smooth reels; 3 for freshwater fishermen called the FLOTR and 3 big salty sized reels called CYDRO. FLOTR is kinda a funny name...well, because my mind is always slanted toward potty humor, but the reels are phenomenal feeling in hand. CYDRO 3500 MSRP $129


Wetfly has a few accessories of note, like this water resistant, roll top Lotus Swing Pack ($129.99), and the Voyager "hydration vessel" ($34.99)...please don't call it a's like the YETI of Thermoses.

And a big freakin' reel too. The NitrogenXD Type III reel starts at a manageable 5-7 weight size, but then grows all the way up to a massive 11-14 weight size. Fully anodized and scratch resistant, this reel's also got a maintenance free, fully sealed drag...which is essential to go chasing oceanic giants. MSRP $499.99 - $609.99


Redington straight up went opposites when it comes to reel design.  First up, the BEHEMOTH giggles at any and all tenkara fishermen. Check out this freakin chunk of die-cast reel that claims the "strongest drag in it's class." In models from 5 weight up to 12 weight, this is one intimidating reel. I'll be honest, I'm scared of it. MSRP $109.95-129.95

And from the all capital BEHEMOTH, we shrink things down to the all lower case zero. zero is super light weight, you pick it up and at less than 3 ounces, it feels like nothing. The guts are nothing fancy, with a spring loaded, click drag, but you're not buying this to fight tarpon. This looks to be a nice ultralight reel at a very reasonable price. MSRP $89.95


As you might expect, Abel had a rainbow full of colorful reels. This Andrea Larko Edition Super 6N looked way better in person than in this crappy picture. They also have reels with Derek DeYoung or Eric Hornung graphics. Pretty baller. MSRP $1045

One of my longtime readers (George) wanted an update on the world of high end coolers. Holy moly there were a lot of them...


Kysek claims to be "The Ultimate Ice Chest." It's grizzly-proof, keeps ice for 10 days, and has integrated low profile wheels. A lot of neat bells and whistles, and I didn't even get to the electronics part yet...yes, I said electronics...

They also had this big screen at their booth, which I'm going to be honest, confused the snot out of a dullard like me. It was some sort of app called Code Blue that hooks up to a Bluetooth sensor inside the Kysek cooler and tells you statistics like internal temperature. Heck it will even send an alarm to your phone if you go over a certain temperature...cooler geeks rejoice!  Kysek coolers (without electronics) MSRP from $249 - $649.


Tempress also figured out a way to let you pimp out your cooler by developing cushions and wraps featuring America's foremost fishing artists such as DeYoung (yet again), Whitlock, Larko, and Estrada. Examples of Eric Estrada & Andrea Larko adorned coolers are below. MSRP $149.99 (cooler not included).


Pelican had some really big clunky ProGear Elite coolers with off-road wheels on them that let's face it, are probably functional as all get out, but nowhere near as sexy as a YETI...or a Grizzly...or a Kysek...


If wheels aren't your thing, the ORCA Pod backpack cooler might be the way for you to go...a soft-sided cooler, it holds 15 pounds of ice and 24-12 ounce cans, and will keep it all cold for days. That's a party on your back! Okay, it weighs almost 60 pounds full, but isn't all the the fun in lightening the load anyway? MSRP $329.99

Don't forget ORCA's line of premium hard sided coolers too...which happen to be proudly made in the USA.

OK, what's left?  A few other random things...almost done, I'll be quick...


Like this Bonefish floor mat from Realfish...

 Floating selfie sticks from SP Gadgets...

The Squiddies Flip Reel...bringing the Cuban yo-yo into the 21st century...

A pretty slick net, the EGO S2 Slider Guide Landing Net, that has a handle that adjusts from 29" to 60"...

The Costa Rooster won "Best Sunglasses in Show" at the ICAST New Product Showcase...

Currents water shoes from Simms did the same in the footwear category...

Last but not least...the No Tangler Fishing Rod from Steinhauser Tangle-Free Rods. It's telescopic, handles any spincast or baitcast reel, and the line actually feeds through the rod itself, not through the guides. It's pretty much fool proof fishing...which is something I think I need at this point, because I'm pretty wiped out from writing all of these recaps! MSRP $16.99 (kids licensed combo) all the way up to $39.99 (adult spincast combo)

As you've probably noticed, I've embedded links to each of the manufacturer websites within each write-up, so if you're looking for more information on any of these products, please click through and pay them a visit!

And with that, the ICAST / IFTD recaps are over for 2015!  At least until tomorrow, when I name my "BestT! in Show" award in the final if you've liked them so far, please make sure to come back and check that out.


This is the fifth of six new product overviews from last week's ICAST / IFTD event. If you'd like to see the other entries, please click HERE.