The IFTD/ICAST down in Orlando has finished up. Around 30 different categories in the fly world were showcased. It was a great year as some incredible new improvements and updates to existing products along with all new items were available for everyone to see. Here is a short report of all the great brands we carry here at All Points - and really the gear that I think you guys are looking for...Boy do we carry some great stuff!
Simms usually go big at IFTD and this year was no different. They brought home 4 awards!
Simms G3 Stockingfoot Wader (Best Men's Waders) - The redone G3 Waders are now more breathable with a brand new Gore-Tex 4-layer fabric. I hear these are almost twice as breathable as the older model! With a brand new Gore-Tex material that Simms has been working on with Gore-Tex directly, this is sure to be a pretty big update to their current G3s.
Simms G3 Tactical Jacket (Best Men's Outerwear) - Building on the existing quality of their G3 Jackets, Simms has introduced the "tactical" variant of their G3 wading jackets. The idea behind these is simple: minimalism. With a streamlined design, the G3 Tacticals have little to no place for line to get caught, or any unnecessary bulk.
Simm's Solarflex Armor Shirt (Best Men's General Apparel) - This is Simms' new Solarflex shirt and not only does it have integrated hood and Sungaiter, but the material used helps to keep you cooler! A special fabric and stitching technique creates a cooling effect to help keep you comfortable and focused on fishing and not that bead of sweat falling down your face...
Simms Women's BiComp LS Shirt (Best Women's General Apparel) - Along the same lines as the Men's BiComp shirt, the Women's version is very similar including the knit sides and arm panels plus the knit/elastic cuffs.
Sage took home not only the Best Saltwater Rod but also the Best Of Show with their new Salt HD rod! Clearly a big hit! Sage took their popular Salt series and did some refinements to help improve their flagship saltwater series. It seems that overall they have softened up a few of the models including the 8-10wts. Geared more towards accuracy based flats fishing, the new Salt HD will be interesting to try out on the eastern coast for stripers, albies, and bluefish.
The saltwater fly fishing world has been wondering when WWL was going to release a new saltwater specific reel. Well, they did! The Cobalt is their first saltwater minded reel which has some very interesting specs..
- A super charged version of their conical drag system that creates 12+ pounds of line out torque from your starting point!
- A pre-set drag system that allows anglers to set their desired line pressure in half pound click stop increments.
- 100% sealed drag with a fixed spindle and IPX8 certified waterproof to a depth of 100 feet. Nothing will penetrate this drag system!
- Dual axis machined frame that increases strength to the most load bearing side.
- Micralox type III corrosion-proof finish.
- Ceramic roller bearings, Carbon composite cone, and Titanium fasteners!
Always improving and introducing super high quality lines, leaders, and tippet, Rio came away with three awards!
- Best Freshwater Fly Line - Rio InTouch Single-Handed Spey 3D -- This is the newest Single Handed Spey line from Rio and continues with a F/H/I improvement which allows the line to be a Floating/Hover/Intermediate sinking line which can give great advantage to fishing streamers and wet flies!
- Best Saltwater Fly Line - Rio Direct Core Flats Pro -- As the newest tropical offering from Rio, the Flats Pro line gives the angler better load at shorter distances plus, as they claim, get rid of line memory (if true will be huge!). According to reports, it appears to be a little heavier than traditional bonefish (presentation minded) lines. So if you are looking for the ultimate stealthy presentation line, this might not be it, but punching into the wind should not be a problem.
- Best Leader/Tippet - Rio Big Nasty -- Big flies, big fish, Big Nasty...
There are some people out there that wanted Hatch to drop a brand new reel with all new looks, etc. just to be "new." They were expecting an entirely new design that would replace the current Finatic...well, in my opinion Hatch did a serious (and better) power move! They improved/updated their Finatic reels to make then even better than they were. This is a very interesting move and we LOVE it! There were a couple of issues (all reels have them) that Hatch wanted to fix. Not content on machining just one of the best reels on the market, they wanted to strive for perfection, so here is what they did...
- Handle - they are now constructed with an enclosed shaft, which along with an Ultraflon sleeve, keeps the handle from sticking and spinning without fear of corrosion.
- Sealing - same drag system, only now a better seal. They have replaced the rubber o-ring with a new teflon lip seal. The same type that is used for underwater mechanical arms + joints and military grade robots/mechanics.
- Bearing - the ball bearings are now shielded - holding in the grease much better and keeping them running smoothly.
- Finish - they are now finished in a "mist" finish with new color options!
- Porting - the new Finatics weigh less. Hatch took out some material and added porting to help with weight (this is especially good for trout anglers).
Fishpond left IFTD with four awards. They have introduced some great new products and clearly the people agree..Fishpond also took home 4 awards!
- Best Eco-Friendly Product - Thunderhead Submersible Backpack - Continuing with their Thunderhead series, this is the zippered backpack version of their waterproof packs. Made from 100% recycled material with the bomb-proof TIZIP zipper.
- Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack - We have already had messages sent to us about this one! The same idea as the others in the Thunderhead series, but in a lumbar/hip pack configuration.