IFTD 2016 ORLANDO USA- by John Geils


IFTD 2016 ORLANDO USA- by John Geils

IFTD 2016- Orlando Florida

Sitting in the Orlando airport, waiting for my next flight, I’m trying to recall how many Fly Tackle Dealer shows I’ve attended since Xplorer started. It’s somewhere in the region of 17 or 18 shows since 1996. I was discussing all the destinations the show has been over the years with some good friends I’ve made through all the shows, Denver Colorado, Salt Lake City- Utah, Reno and Las Vegas Nevada, New Orleans and most recently Orlando Florida.

IFTD, The International fly tackle dealers show is the largest gathering of Fly fishing industry manufactures, dealers, guides and outfitters in the world. It’s organized by AFFTA- American fly fishing tackle association every year to show case new products and advancement in the fly fishing industry.

Three days to see all the new tackle, cast some rods and in the evening socialize at various industry parties.

This year was no different. Summer in Orlando is like Durban in February, sweltering hot and humid. Thank goodness for the Air-coned convention center.

Here are some of the highlights from this years show and new products from some of brands we work with.

It’s always great to catch up with Simon Gawesworth from RIO, aside from discussing the new innovations from RIO, he’s a real standup guy. Those of you who met him when we brought him out to SA a few years back, I’m sure would agree.

RIO Product, once again took top honors at this years show, winning FOUR IFTD 2016 `Best of show awards.

rio wward cup

Best New Saltwater fly Line- RIO Winter Redfish fly line

Best New Freshwater Fly line- InTouch Big Nasty fly line

Best new Tippet or Leader- Rio Salt water mono

Best New DVD- RIO Favorite Knots

Some other new lines from RIO, for saltwater, the Qucikshooter Coastal fly line- an intermediate sink fly line designed for rods from WF5i to WF8i with a short powerful front taper to turnover large flies. The Quick shooter Coastal XP(Extra Powerful) fly line is a heavier line with more wright at the front, designed to throw the largest of flies(this line won the best new Fly Line award at this years EFFTEX show in Amsterdam). These will be a great new lines for our coastal fly fishing as they are designed for water temps 10-27 degrees C and we will certainly add these to our range.

The InTouch Big nasty, just as it name suggests is for turning over big bulky flies. This floating fly line is designed on RIO’s Connect-Core-(no stretch core)- for a fresh water application. Should be a good for Largies or Tigerfish. Available in WF6F to WF10F.

Rio stand

Wayne From RIO was super excited to tell me about the new Saltwater Mono tippet. It’s a total redesign from all their other saltwater tippets, it’s perfect for anglrs that like ot build their own leaders for salt water speices. The material has great strength-to-diameter ratio, ample abrasion resistance and lacks memory and provides incredible knot-ability. It’s available from 8lb up to 60lb and all with 50yrds on the spool, regardless of the breaking strain. Should be a great new product for out various saltwater fishery.

The RIO Favorite Knots DVD is just that, a collection of all the You tube videos that RIO has made over the years of all the knots they use for various application, compiled onto one DVD so you don’t need to go on line search these knots.

All of these innovations and technology certainly puts RIO far ahead of their competitors. They are constantly developing and designing new fly lines, and it shows from the numerous awards they receive every year. These new lines should be available from September this year. Well done Simon and your team.

redington stand

Redington has introduced a new fly rod, the Vice and upgraded the Predator fly rods for 2017. They have improved their range of waders from the Crosswater up to the new HD sonically welded premium wader. The neoprene socks are more ergonomically designed to fit your feet better, plus some subtle soft touch redesigns through-out the waders from improved comfort.

vice rod

The New Redington VICE is a classically styled fast action rod, as explained by Josh …….. their brand manger. It get’s it’d name and cosmetic looks from a brand of Chewing tobacco in the USA, with a retro feel and look. It’s built on a multi-modulus carbon fibre blank that offers increased levels of recovery for greater accuracy and control.

I threw the 9’0” 5wt on the ponds at the show. The rod weighs 3.1 ounces, light in hand, the first thing I noticed. The reel was loaded with a Rio InTouch Gold WF5f.- the prefect match. I stripped some line off the reel and it instantly loaded the rod. Stripped some more line off and two to three false casts- the VICE effortlessly casts the length of the pond and more. This is going to be a a great mid range rod and welcome addition to the Redington line up.

redington reels

Redington has also redesigned the Rise fly reel. A total revamp, this new RISE is super light weight, as it’s has been extremely ported to an almost v shape design. Pushing a true large arbor design, the new RISE is light in hand, with a low start up inertia and a one way bearing, carbon disc drag system. Available 4 size from a 3/4wt to 9/10wt and in three colours, Silver Amber and black, all with a matt anodized finish. Should be another winner to the Redington line up.

Check out our facebook page in the coming weeks for more information on these new products or go to Redington.com.

There has been a small movement in the past year or two towards one pc or two pc rod. Clutch Rod company out of ….US introduced a one pc fly rod range 2 years back and was quite prominent around the casting pond this year. I was quite surprised to get an email from St Croix just before the show, introducing a new 2pc fly rod, called the Sole. It’s not the normal 2 pc fly rod.

st croix sole fly rod

“Leave it to the innovative design team at St. Croix to create the first 2-piece fly rod with its main ferrule reaching within 28 inches of the tip.

Every fiber in the SOLE’s longer lower section is arrow-straight, which allows the rod to cast further and more accurately like a 1-piece fly rod. Just remove the slightly over 2-plus-foot top and the rod is reduced to a shade over 6 ½ feet.

Having the lower two-thirds of the rod fashioned of a single, highly-engineered ferrule greatly improves how the blank deflects through the casting process, as well as while fighting powerful fish. Advanced ferrule design also produces clone-quality replacement tip sections if you happen to break one off. As a result, the SOLE will continue casting like the day it was born. No need to wait for shipping to get that new top.

Because the graphite fibers run so true, the rod casts like a cannon, and the accuracy of those long casts are spot on. Built with high-modulus/high-stain SCIV graphite with FRS for unparalleled strength and durability, nine models covering 4- to 12-weight blanks—also created with IPC, ART technologies—cover the full gamut for freshwater and saltwater tactics.” Extract from the St Croix press release.

I took the 9ft 9wt Sole to the casting pond for a throw. First impressions, I was quite amazed at how light in hand this rod was, next thing that stood out was the reels seats. They used a Fuji TVS up locking, anti corrosive reel seat, that gives it a funky retro look. The true test was in it’s casting ability. It effortlessly punched a full line across the pond, responsive, powerful and lightweight is certainly the best way to describe this rod. It turned quite a few heads on the ponds too. “What’s that rod?”, “Can I have a throw” came from guy each side of me, and they too were impressed. The St Croix Sole took best new Fly rod on the ICAST best of show awards, as the St Croix stand was part of the ICAST show, which IFTD shares the floor with. It certainly would have held its own if it was entered in the IFTD awards, purely from an innovative and performance point. The St Croix Sole fly rods carries a 15 year warranty. The new Sole will be available from Sept 2016, and we’ve already place our orders.

Hybrid Boot Felt Left Side

Chota Outdoor wasn’t at the show but I met with Richard from Chota at the show and he showed me their new CHOTA-14 wading boot. As the name suggests, this boot weight in at a super light 14 ounces, is available in felt or rubber sole. It is a mid ankle height, so it still offers support, with drainage screens on the side. It looks like a real winner, possibly for the saltwater flats as well. We’re anxious to get a few pairs in to test out, once they are available. We will do a review on the CHota-14 boot once we’ve had a chance to test them.

T&T looks to be making a strong comeback at this years show. Under the new ownership of US based South African Neville Orsmond, they have been developing some really nice new rods. They’ve been working with the guys at Alphonse group, testing and developing some new rods that were certainly well received at this years show. I threw the Exoccet 9wt saltwater rod. Super light in hands, ultra responsive, smarlty finished and throws a line with ease. It’s going to be a great addition to the Premium saltwater fly rod offering in S Africa once they become available.

Finally, every year The Drake magazine hosts an annual fly fishing film awards. A top selection of amazing fly fishing short films submitted over the year by extremely talented anglers/film makers. S African Fly Anglers were fortunate to have a sneak peak at this years film series when it was brought out to S Africa recently. This year winner of the best short film was Jaco Lukas for his Chanos Chanos flim- congratulations Jaco on an awesome film, we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

There were many other new products from various manufacturers that stood out at the show. These were just a few from our brands plus others that deserved a mention. We will certainly be stocking a range of these new products as and when they become available. Follow us on Facebook for all our new products as they arrive. www.facebook.com/xplorerflyfishing.