Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fly Fishing Show Roundup - New Gear

    This past Friday I managed to get the time off of work to make the pilgrimage up to Winston Salem for the annual Fly Fishing Show.  It is a journey I try to make every year but unfortunately last year I was unable to get the time off.  This year however I planned out my time and took the three hour car trip from Greenville SC up 85 to the Southeasts premier fly fishing event.
    It was a little smaller of a show than I remember when it was held in Raleigh two years ago but it was still jam packed with enough gear and presenters to keep this angler busy.  It was also too big to jam it all in one post so I have split it up into a few posts.  For this one I'll showcase two new manufactures that really stood out.

The Gear
    First off, quite a few of us love these shows because the new gear we find there.  From waders to reels to a new fly tying setup, these companies wait all year for an opportunity like this show to present their products to people like me.
   This year a few new companies to me really stood out both in quality and usability.

Smith Fly
  First to catch my eye was gear manufacture - Smith Fly.  Specializing in packs and fly gear storage, this company represented by Ethan Smith showed real promise.  Not only are these companies products are manufactured in the US, ( A BIG deal in an age of global trade) they are quite possibly the most bullet proof gear storage kits I have ever found.  Not only do they share my love for simplicity in design (very little extra junk attached to a pack you will never use) but they use the same materials our military uses for their gear.  Fantastic looking gear and I will be keeping my eye on this company.

  Fairly new to the fly fishing world with just over ten years of manufacturing top quality reels, Hatch may still be a little known company but that will change.  They took the time to discuss their product with me including a little info on the process they use to create their quality products.  As advertised on their reels with a red blazed 'Made In USA', these guys are dedicated to bring the US back to the forefront of fly gear manufacturing.  In a market where there is a lot of quality reel companies, these guys are on the right track.  I of course took quite a bit of time clicking the drags on their reels and was impressed with the smoothness of action.  They definitely have the quality of a top manufacture and these are another company to keep an eye on.

There was of course quite a few other quality companies presenting their products but these two were the ones that stood out to this angler as both new and unique and guys you might not have heard of.


Bill Trussell said...

I'm really into those trade shows, and I always like to make it to troutfest each year in the Smokies. thanks for sharing

Swamp Yankee said...

the smith fly stuff looks wicked cool. I was impressed my a similar company from up here this year called vedavoo. hatch reels are really nice looking...

Mike Sepelak said...

Great seeing you there, Joel! And you are spot on with the SmithFly stuff. Ethan's got an incredible thing started there his gear is now an integral part of my setup every time I step onto the water.

Josh said...

Thanks for sharing info about Hatch and Smithfly. Hatch has some pretty nice reels don't they?

Mel said...

Thankd, Joel. I have had my eye Smithfly for awhile. Have not had the chance to see up close yet.

Feather Chucker said...

Mike told me you said hi. Next year I'll make sure we meet up.

cofisher said...

Thanks for posting this Joel. I missed seeing this at the Denver show.

Lance Milks said...

Hey Joel, It was great finally getting the chance to meet and chat with you.

Unknown said...

Bill - I've heard some great thing's about trout fest. I'll need to get there some day.

Swamp Yankee - Those Smith Fly packs are fantastic. Really a perfect setup for a guy like me that beats the brush to get to those sacred waters. And absolutely, those Hatch reels are sick. Beauty and function in motion.

Mike S - it was great to finally get to talk with you. It's not hard to see why you rely on the Smith Fly gear

Unknown said...

Riverwalker - thanks for the comment. They are greagreat products.

Mel - I'm a lot like you. Gotta have it in hand to really know what you're getting. It is well worth it. Quality stuff!

Kevin - why wait till next year. Give me a call when you decide to make it up my way for some fishing.

Howard - there's always next year. Until then you can live vicariously through this (and my next) post.

Lance - it was a great surprise to meet you there. I'll share the waters with you any day. Be sure to drop me a line when you make it down my way. First rounds on me.