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New and noteworthy gear from the 2018 Fly Fishing Show

Overview of The Fly Fishing Shows in New Jersey and Atlanta

Our editors and staff were able to attend The Fly Fishing Show at New Jersey and Atlanta. Both venues were packed with high energy excitement. What was noticeable at both shows was the enthusiasm for things new, exciting destinations, and innovative fly tying. Because so many wanted to get involved, the fly casting pools at both shows needed to be 10X the size provided – sort of like the Madison River itself. Vendors with rigged rods were in high demand. The impressive International Fly Fishing Film Festival played to a full house, as usual. Taking in an inciteful seminar was to enter as a HS sophomore and leave college Cum Laude. The workshops might have been the “Best of Show.” The fly tyers’ benches were under siege. Then there was the gear! So much gear!

Here’s a collection of some of the noteworthy items that caught our fancy at this year’s shows:

Rise Fishing- Green2 Series Freshwater Rods offer “extreme versatility at a price virtually everyone can afford”. These impressive four piece rods cast beautifully while retaining entry level pricing. Aesthetically, The Green Series looks striking with fresh fonts and lettering as well as killer bright green wraps that were perfect on close inspection. Anglers have just two model choices: a 9′ Five Weight or a 9′ six weight. $129.99-$134.99

Rise Green2 Series

Scott G Series – Scott has redesigned its ever popular G Series of rods, taking previous generations of engineering and improving on it to create what designer, Jim Bartchi, feels is the best G yet. Two innovations allow the rod to improve in a few areas. “We’ve reinvented the hollow internal ferrule to make it more flexible, stronger, and more than 20% lighter. We’ve also combined our cutting edge fiber and resin systems in the most advanced multi-modulus layups we’ve ever created.”  In doing so, they have created a rod that both “bends deeply and remains stable”. $845

Scott G Series

Cortland Tropic Plus Ghost Tip – Cortland is making some really impressive fly lines these days. We all know the peach colored 444 of the days of old and that is still available from Cortland. Most impressive to me is the number of saltwater lines they have to offer and the number of excellent guides and anglers that are choosing Cortland as their brand.  I love floting lines with intermediate tips and I appreciate the that and the relatively stiff core that the Tropic Plus Ghost Tip offers. Even in the Northeast, I prefer a somewhat stiff core to avoid knotting and jamming in the guides. I am looking forward to fishing the Ghost Tip 15′ this spring. $79.95

Sage Salt HD  The new Sage Salt HD borrows from the technology developed for the Sage X and it’s Konnetic HD technology. In doing so, Sage has created a lighter Sage Salt that dampens quickly. Sage staff touts the technology, “Konnetic HD creates amplified strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios as needed within the rod blank. Optimized fiber-to-fiber energy transfer along the length of the blank minimizes both lateral and medial vibrations” Personally, I have fished both the X and the Salt HD and can say they are the finest saltwater rods Sage has made to date. $950

Sage Salt HD

3-TAND VIKN – When designing the VIKN, the company wisely chose to create a very large arbor and striking new porting design. When fishing last Spring for tarpon in the Keys, the reel performed flawlessly on many adult silver kings. 3-TAND’s reputation for quality product at a medium price point is spreading throughout the industry. Owner Ron Poehailos’ vision for the company is one based on customer service, innovative design and quality manufacturing. $319.95-$489.95

3-TAND Vikn

Van Staal VF Series Fly Reels – Van Staal has just designed its 2nd line of fly reels. The VF series follows the success of the original C-Vex fly reels (year 2000). Offered in 6 sizes (3-12), these reels are the lightest in their class. Designer Craig Cantelmo explains that their goal of “engineering in strength while machining out weight” was achieved through innovation. “Unlike the C-Vex, we have chosen to machine the cartridge into the frame which in the end leads to greater rigidity when high drag settings create torque,” $259.95-$549.95

Van Staal VF Series

Orvis Helios 3D 909 -4 Fly Rod- Orvis struck gold with the Helios 2 and managed to do it  again with the Helios 3. Orvis created a mechanical angler and a series of tests to gather data that allowed them to measure a rods accuracy without the interference of human error factors. This allowed them  to create and design the Helios 3, the “most accurate fly rod on the market.”. I am not a robot but can tell you it is dreamy to cast. It is light, accurate, and powerful in the butt. $849-$898

Orvis Helios 3D

KastKing Exergy Fly Line with Bio-Spool – KastKing has created a spool for your fly line that is made of a plant derived plastic that bio-degrades in soil instead of lingering in landfills forever like normal plastic spools do. On top of that, they now manufacture fly lines at very low prices. Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Gahan, explained the bio-spool, “we developed this spool and considered patenting it but we really felt a responsibility to urge others to follow suit with the practice and go biodegradable as well.” $29.98

KastKing biodegradable spool.

Chota Waders, Hip Waders, Wading Boots – Chota is not Simms, but they too are very much into thinking of what makes life easier when canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and duck hunting. To most, clomping around in the water, staying comfy, and enjoying dry while doing it all is goal worth. If doing it inexpensively makes a pocketbook point with you, then Chota should be in your sights. Chota has “exactly” what you’re looking for if it’s stocking-foot hippers that are not stiff, heavy or require require a “clip-on” around the belt to stay up. A belt clip-on tends to rub your leg raw when stuffed into the boot while the hipper is rolled down and left hanging outside slap your boot annoyingly. The original “Hippies.” MSRP $130

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