Jul 17, 2017

Greg's Top Picks from IFTD / ICAST 2017


As of this writing I am sitting in Orlando Airport waiting for my flight home. The show week went all to fast as usual. I only have a weekend and a couple of days before I head off on another adventure. I'm going to have to cut this years recap a little brief and limit it to the new stuff that really got my attention.

Sage Salt HD - Winner, "Best New Saltwater Fly Rod" and "Best of Show"


Sage really delivered in a big way with the new Salt HD. Light, fast, powerful but the best feeling from this rod is just how connected you feel to your cast. You never lose contact with your line. I can't tell you what makes that happen but I can tell you the difference is recognizable and real. I will have one as soon as I can get my hands on it!

G.Loomis IMX PRO - Winner , "I-Cast Best New Fly Rod"


I personally award this new rods series as "Best mid priced rod line ever." While I've been informed before the term "ever", should never be used but I think an exception needs to be made in this case in order to drive my point. The IMX PRO performs like a top class rod. Load feel, swing weight, power and speed all precisely match a PRO level caster preferences. This has been accomplished by putting the R&D in the material makeup and refinement of rod tapers. With a technology G Loomis refers to as Conduit Core Loomis is able to reduce material in key ares yet retain strength and efficiency. IMX PRO rods are referred to as guide tools because guides will rate their rods more on performance and less on how much titanium nano resin sauce is dripping from them. Besides standard four piece offerings the series also include two 1-piece streamer rods and a full series of Short Spey (not switch) rods.

RIO Flats Pro - Winner, "Best New Saltwater Fly Line"


Complementing the Salt HD is a new line from RIO called Flats Pro. I'll have to give you more detail later when I have the technology resources in front of me but the big deal about this line is in its ability to lay out in a perfect straight line, without wiggles and connect you directly to your fly. Even with my imperfect casting mechanics this line somehow finds the straight path every time. I've got my sample line and will be doing a full comprehensive review coming soon.

Nautilus GTX - Winner,  "Best New Saltwater Fly Reel"


Nautilus unveiled a new top level Saltwater Fly Reel. Nautilus is taking a different approach of creating the largest "Tarpon" size first and will engineer smaller sizes in the near future. Drawing from all Nautilus technologies and emphasis on reduced weight has come together to form this winning package.

Waterworks Lamson Cobalt Saltwater Reel


I'm highlighting this reel because this one could have caused an upset in the saltwater category. WWL spent two years in the development of this new reel. While some of it's uniqueness is apparent other features are subtle as trout sipping a caddis. It's light, strong, sealed and precision. I will do a future article on this one soon highlighting all the features.

Scott G Series  - Winner, "Best New Freshwater Fly Rod"


The revised G Series of rods once again advances it's long lived heritage as an incredible spring creek trout rod series. The uniqueness of this series is while light for spring creek use, the action is between moderate and fast with Scott calling it a medium action. Not too slow, not too fast, just right!

Simms G3 Wader - Winner, Best New Men's Wader"

While most are not going to notice the differences between past and future G3 waders they are in fact quite different. Feel, breath-ability and convenience features have all been stepped up to premium levels. Starting with material these new G3's feel much more supple to the touch. Much less rigid then previous models yet Simms Claims them to be more breath-able and more puncture resistant.
Belt, belt loops and pocket design and many other features also have been improved and upgraded. I'm in need of a new pair of waders and the G3's will make for a great test product review.

Korkers Women's Darkhorse - Winner, Best New Women's Wading Boot"


Built from the foundation of the hugely successful men's Darkhorse, the new Women's Darkhorse displays style and fit for a women in a premium wading boot package. You can review the Darkhorse features in an article I did this past spring.

Korkers Triple Threat Traction Soles


Traction is a huge concern for many anglers. I say without hesitation Korkers has shut the door in the extreme traction category. I'm going to let the picture tell the story and only add one detail that all three configurations are built upon the same sole.

Korkers Wraptr Wading Boot


The New Korkers Wraptr Boot utilizes a technology were a new highly abrasion reistant material is actually wrapped and molded to form the boot thereby eliminating the key wear component of stitching. Expect to hear more about this new advanced boot soon

Plan D Fly Boxes


My first Plan D Fly Box has revolutionize the storage of my stinger type flies. Because of this functioning storage system I overlooked its shortcomings of being thicker then necessary and not waterproof. Wait till you see Dylan's new line of boxes. Using the word upgraded doesn't do them enough justice. Slimmer, lighter, solid latching, waterproof and overall better constructed. Adding the line is a new tube fly solution. I acquired a sample of this one and look forward to providing a future review.

Great stuff coming! We'll be busy testing and reviewing every chance we get





Greg Darling 


"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

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