Wednesday, June 19, 2019

ICAST, IFTD, EFTTEX: The countdown to 2020 products begins now

We're a month away from the largest fishing trade show in the world.  But this year, it won't include most fly fishing products.

For the first time since 2012, the International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) show will not be merged with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST).  The American Fly Fishing Tackle Association (AFFTA), which hosts IFTD, made the decision last year to once again do it's own event. IFTD will be held in Denver on October 16-18. The decision to split was no surprise, but the date was. Before the merger, IFTD was traditionally held in August.

ICAST still has considerable relevancy to fly anglers. First, there are several companies that make both conventional and fly tackle, so it's likely we'll see new fly rods and reels from those companies.  Second, about two-thirds of the exhibitors at ICAST deal in products that span tackle choices. Those product lines include clothing, kayaks, waders, electronics, shoes, books, cutlery, artwork, coolers, sunglasses, and MANY more!

While we won't be attending ICAST (we will be at IFTD), we'll be monitoring the show highlights on various sites and Facebook and spotting the products we find most interesting to readers.

However, there's another show to consider and it's being held this week. The European Fishing Tackle Trade Assocation Expo (EFFTEX) is taking place in Brussels. Several fly companies are on hand revealing new products for 2020 (which will be available to retailers this Fall).

Temple Fork Outfitters will have an updated NXT outfit, featuring a new reel, new rod, and new (better) line. Also, a beefed-up version of the popular Axiom II rod, called the Axion II-X, offered in heavier line weights.  The BVK reels are being updated with a sealed drag system.

Sage looks to be replacing their BASS series fly rods. The new PAYLOAD rods are being promoted as capable of delivering big flies and heavy lines. It'll feature a powerful tip, transitioning to slower butt to allow a more relaxed casting stroke, and for more leverage when fishing fish. The sad news is that these rods will all be longer than the 8-foot lengths of the BASS series, even up to 9-feet, 2-inches!  Rod weights will range from 6 to 11. MSRP will be $550.

Sage is also introducing the Trout LL Series. This looks to be an updated version of the legendary Lightline Series of two decades ago. Newer KonneticHD technology matched with classic tapers.  The rods will feature a mahogany blank and the Sage Super Grip. Weights will range from 3 through 6, with lengths from 7'9" to 9'0". MSRP will be $800.

Rio has several new fly lines at EFTTEX, but the one that will interest readers the most is their new Technical Trout line. I say that because unlike some of the newer freshwater lines that have copied upon saltwater tapers (short, heavier heads) the Tech Trout lines will have a long head and back taper to improve loop stability and long range control. Think of fishing the Wall Hole at the Little Missouri River. MSRP will be $79.