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The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show returned last week to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the first time since 2019. The American Fly Fishing Trade Association held the three-day event showcasing the top brands and new gear in fly fishing. After being postponed for two consecutive years, the show felt more like a family reunion, but once the greetings concluded, the new gear took the spotlight.
The Best Of awards were the focus of attention, and the new product showcase included 300 items and 33 categories. All the big brands had their new products on display, except for Patagonia, which showcased no gear, and gave their booth to the Utah Stream Access Coalition instead. Here are some of the winners from the Best Of categories.
- Best Men’s and Women’s Fishing Waders: Simms G3 Guide Stocking Foot Waders
- Best Men’s Outwear: Simms G3 Guide Jacket
- Best Freshwater Fly Rod: R.L. Winston Rod Co. – Air 2 9’ 5 Wt.
- Best Saltwater Fly Rod: Sage (Far Bank): R8 Core 990-4
- Best 2 Hand/Spey Rod: Sage (Far Bank): Trout Spey G5
- Best Saltwater Reel: Abel: ROVE
- Best Freshwater Reel: Redington (Far Bank): Tilt
- Best Freshwater Line: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Creek Trout
- Best Eco-Friendly Gear: Simms Fall Run Hoody
While the show’s Best Of winners went home with frosted glass awards, these next eight products go home with an approving nod from us. From the casting ponds to the tying tables, here’s what stuck out to Field & Stream at IFTD 2022.
Orvis Pro Wading Boot Hybrid
The new Orvis wading boot hybrid combines the best of both worlds when it comes to wading boot soles. The middle of the sole is felt and the edges are rubber. The quick-dry microfiber upper with rubber toe and heel construction provides a maximum strength-to-weight ratio. Add studs for even better traction.
Note: This boot still won’t be allowed in watersheds where felt is banned, including Yellowstone National Park.
Waterworks-Lamson Purist Fly Rod
The Lamson Purist is designed for technical fishing, especially where the trout are educated and wary. Designed on the famous Silver Creek, the Purist is perfect for long leaders, small flies, and finesse fishing. “All you feel is the fish,” says Nick Torres, Waterworks-Lamson community manager. “But this is not a rod for streamers.” You can pick up this two-piece rod in a 3wt, 4wt, or 5wt. You’ll feel the fish with the softer tip and your reel won’t wiggle due to its lockdown technology which includes rails along the reel seat.
Rio’s Feczko Cheeseburger
The Cheeseburger won Best Saltwater Fly Pattern at IFTD 2022. Jeffery Feczko created the pattern, and it is a best seller for Rio’s new Signature Tyer Series. Feczko of Ithaca, New York, is a self-taught fly fisher and fly tyer. He developed the Cheeseburger for triggerfish, but it also works well on bones and other saltwater fish.
“I started tying flies with my mom’s sewing equipment and whittling down wine corks to make poppers so I could spend more time harassing the creeks instead of mowing lawns for money to buy tackle,” says Feczko.
The heavy-gauge hook prevents it from straightening out, and the materials serve as a weedless set up to prevent snags while stripping in the fly.
NRS Slipstream 120 Fishing Raft Deluxe
There’s no need to debate whether to take the drift boat or raft based on conditions anymore. The NRS Slipstream 120 combines the advantages of a raft with the fishing abilities of a drift boat. It has a rower seat in the middle and casters fore and aft. The rod tubes on the side make for great organization and storage and help prevent anyone from stepping on a tip. It also has an encased anchor rope with a floor release for when you find a hot pool. The best part? The floor. No more wobblily casts while weaving like you’re trying to stand on a waterbed. The floor of this raft is similar to the stiffer surface of a paddleboard. Most rafts tolerate three pounds of pressure. The drop-stitch floor in the Slipstream tolerates 12 pounds of pressure. More pressure means a sturdier stance. To top it off, the NRS Slipstream won Best Boat/Personal Watercraft at IFTD 2022.
Artisan Angler Magnifly
Stop throwing bigger flies just because they have a bigger hook eye for threading tapered leader. Magnify what your weary eyes won’t see by clipping this magnetic magnifier on your chest pack or the brim of your hat. This accessory allows for 3X magnification and it rotates and swivels. Note: The magnification does not apply to the fish you land.
“My M.O. is helping you stay in the water fishing,” says Phil Montano, Artisan Angler owner. “It’s about saving everybody from losing time on the water.”
Catchflo Fly-Fishing-Themed Shoes
The pair pictured above is from Catchflo’s home water series, which features a watershed from a respective state. Catchflo also makes canvas laced and slip-on trout-themed shoes. These include dotted patterns of brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and many other species. They have a soft insole and breathable lining. Pick your state or favorite fish species and rep it with pride.
Karmik Outdoors Lost Gear Decal Pack
Welcome to the fly fishing lost and found. The Karmik QR code decals allow anglers to return lost gear to their rightful owner. If you find gear with a Karmik QR code decal, scan it. The owner will then be notified with your email and/or phone number. When the equipment is returned to its owner, Karmik gives you new gear through monthly and annual drawings.
“The universe provides the karma,” says Robert Gillingham, Karmik Outdoors owner. “We provide the opportunity to do the right thing, and returning gear is a karmic deed.”
Karmik is new to the product pool but has already reunited a GoPro, a fly box, and a paddle with their owners. None of the finders accepted a prize, so the gear giveaway pile continues to grow. Company stats show fly fishers return 90 percent of what they find. The outdoor industry as a whole has a lower return rate of 78 percent.
Fishe Mt. Cutty Dual Dopp Kit
This dual travel bag and fishing bag serves as a perfect place to store and carry your fly reels and fishing accessories. The Mt. Cutty Dual Dropp Kit can easily store up to 4 reels, plus other fishing essentials like leader, tippet, and fly boxes. The colorful and unique design makes this bag stand out, and when you don’t need it for fishing, it doubles as a travel bag for smaller items. It has a side handle for easy carrying and a rugged splash-proof design. It has 4.5 liters of storage and measures 11″ x 5″ x 4″.