Innovative product designs and new technologies are helping today’s leading manufacturers bring the best product lineups has made for the most highly anticipated product release in the 18 years that I have been in the Bozeman fly fishing business.
- The Patagonia Middle Fork wader is a chest wader design that uses an integrated, seamless bootie instead of traditional neoprene. The bootie is similar in feel to latex, but is a proprietary material that is very difficult to puncture, stretches, and retains its shape. Overall, this is the lightest, most packable wader that Patagonia has brought to the fly fishing world. The wader will be available in early 2018 with an MSRP of $349
- Ross Reels has a few new things in queue for spring 2018 that were, honestly, just amazing in terms of aesthetics and machining. The Evolution R, new for 2017, is now available with a heavier drag setting in saltwater sizes. There will be a new Evolution model with improved drag and an attention to machining detail that is quickly separating Ross from the crowd in USA Made Reels. Also, the new Gunnison prototypes they had at IFTD were stunning in their classic perfection.
- Scott Fly Rods won the award for “Best Freshwater Fly Rod” with the releases of their new and improved G-Series. This classic line of medium action presentation rods has been modernized with internal ferrules and modern resins. The new G-Series will be shipping soon and has an MSRP near $800. Made in Montrose Colorado, the Scott G-Series is going to be the go-to spring creek rod for Southwest Montana.
- Lamson-Waterworks dropped a bombshell on the fly-fishing world with a couple of truly innovative entries into the fly-fishing world. The Cobalt reel is made in the USA and features a fully sealed drag system designed for big fish in both trout and saltwater sizes. Center Axis fly fishing systems were released nearly 20 years ago in ultra light line weights. Now there is a new version for a 5 weight from the Waterworks lab. It will take a little to get used to it at first for most folks, but the casting and presentation oriented anglers are going to flock to the store to demo one of these outfits.
- Korkers continues to lead the way in wading boot category with better traction systems and innovative boot designs. The new boot for the women angler looks to be the best women’s wading boot design for 2018 too.