I’m en route to Reno, for the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show which kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday. This is the place where the fly fishing industry–manufacturers and dealers–get together to discuss the latest trends, pressing issues, and, of course, show off the new products that will be launched in 2013.
The interesting thing is that many companies have already spilled the beans on their new products. Orvis is launching a “Helios 2” fly rod that is really, really good. (I know, because I’ve been fishing a prototype for the past month; an in-depth review is coming soon). Far Bank (Sage) is launching some new rods (actually the company already launched them at the European trade show in June) named Circa (a slow action), Response and Approach. But the real news concerning Sage might be that they’re introducing the ONE Elite, which is tricked out with fine titanium guides and a reel seat for a record-breaking retail price of $1,295. (That’s not a typo).
We’re also going to be hearing a lot on the wader front regarding “sonic seams.” Orvis and Redington are both using this technology, which eliminates threads and stitch holes to help prevent leaks. Simms is sticking with its usual formula, offering G4Z waders made of five-layer GORE-TEX, retailing at just under $800. (Again, not a typo.)
While I expected a lot of bargain prices, the trend I see is premium product at premium prices. All of which gives me the distinct impression that either the fly fishing manufacturers think the economy is turning around, or else they’re content marketing to a demographic that isn’t feeling the effects of a soft economy.
Maybe I’ll be surprised. If you have specific questions, go ahead and comment below, and I will ask them to the people at the trade show, as I always do.