Best New Fly Fishing Gear of 2017
It’s springtime here in the Rockies. Temperatures are rising and rivers are swelling with runoff. Soon, the waters will recede, insects will begin to hatch, and anglers from across the country will wade into Colorado’s many streams to fool a few fish.
We often think of spring as a time of rejuvenation, and so it should be with your tackle box.
Now is a good time to check your gear, get organized and, if needed, replace a few things.
Here are a few of our picks for some of this year’s best new fly fishing gear.
With all of the exciting new technology and materials going to into fly rod and reel production these days, it’s easy to forget about some of the less glamorous parts of your fishing kit.
Wading boots aren’t the flashiest things in the world. They spend most of their time on the river submerged, and personally, I tend to think of them as purely utilitarian. Give me something that fits, is light and gives me good traction on the riverbed, and I’ll be happy.
But, like most fly fishing gear, wading boots haven’t escaped the innovation bug over the last few years, and some manufacturers are adding some truly exciting features to their wading boot lines.
Korkers has consistently proved itself to be an innovator in wading boot manufacturing. Since becoming the first company to add both a BOA closure system and interchangeable soles to their wading boots, Korkers has continued to add new and exciting features to subsequent models.
One of the big head turners at last year’s International Fly Tackle Dealer show was the Hatchback boot, a revolutionary rear-entry boot featuring a BOA M2 closure system and Korkers’ OmniTrax interchangeable sole system.
Rear entry wading boots are sort of a no-brainer for any angler who’s struggled to get a pair of boots on or off.
Korkers new design makes getting in and out of the Hatchback a breeze. The boots are also very light and quick draining.
With the OmniTrax sole system, you can quickly switch out your soles to match the conditions and river.
Now, if only matching the hatch was that easy!
Sage is one of the storied brands of fly fishing. If you ask a non-angler to name just one fly-tackle retailer, there’s a good chance it will be Sage.
Their legacy is not without merit. The company has been an industry leader in high performance fly tackle for many years.
My first fly rod, a small Sage 3-weight, though a bit worn after twenty plus years of use, is still a tight-casting rod and my go to for smaller mountain streams.
Fly rods have come a long way since the days of my youth, but Sage is still at the top of the pack.
The new X series has generated a lot of buzz among anglers this year. Before I get into the specs, it’s important to note that fly rods are a lot like skis – they’re all different and they all do different things better than others. The best rod for one angler won’t be the best rod for everyone.
That said, I’ve never picked up a Sage that didn’t feel like something I’d enjoy fishing.
So, on to the X series.
The X rods feature a high-density fiber composite developed with Sage’s KonneticHD technology. That may sound a little arcane, so I’ll break it down.
Using proprietary construction techniques, Sage has been able to fine tune the graphite-to-resin ratio in its rods, resulting in a material that optimizes crucial characteristics like energy transfer and line control.
For fishermen, that means a crisper tip stop and tighter loops.
Sage’s KonneticHD construction and fast-action taper give the rods less lateral play and vibration, resulting in a more efficient cast.
The lighter weight rods feature a snub-nosed half wells cork handle, while heavier weights sport a full wells with composite fighting butt.
The X series includes freshwater, saltwater, Spey and two-handed rods.
For a tight -shooting, fast-action fly rod, you’d do well to get your hands on one of these.
Anglers are always looking for more places to store tackle and other gear.
It’s one of fly fishing’s greatest paradoxes – all of those pockets and compartments, yet we still can’t seem to find anything.
Regardless, it’s always nice to have a few extra spots to store some nippers or fly boxes.
Tackle retailer Umpqua has come up with some unique storage solutions over the years.
For the boat-bound angler, Umpqua’s Cooler Gater ZS Organizer provides a unique solution to the lack of available space on a watercraft.
Simply attach to any cooler for another tier of storage space.
The organizer features two nipper/accessory stations and a sheath for pliers or other tools.
You can fit a large Plano box or multiple small fly boxes in the main compartment.
The gater has four external mesh pockets, two insulated drink holders and a bottle opener.
The burly 600-denier nylon tool belt will fit around most any cooler, though the gater’s multiple attachment features make placement options practically endless.
Perfect for the organizationally challenged angler.
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