Shows & Conclaves
 
Fly-Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo 2005
By Elmer Meiler

 

I was able to make the six hour drive to Denver this year to attend the Fly-Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo for about a day and a half. This three and a half day annual event is just open to retailers, guest and the working media. Vendors display their merchandise in areas that are as simple as a table and backdrop to a larger area that will display their wares and may include several vintage aluminum campers. This is where flyfishing retailers come to see and test new products that are coming out in 2006 and they also place their orders and attend work shops. This year there were about 294 exhibitors, exhibiting everything from insect repellant to the latest rods, reels, clothing and gadgets. There were also three large casting ponds to try out the new rods, fly lines and to watch demonstrations.

This being my first time as working media, I was somewhat overwhelmed with the vastness of the area and vendors to be covered in my day and a half. My mission was to find the products that the warmwater fly fisher and tier might be interested in. There were new products and then there were products that I found may not have been new but I have not see them in the fly shop or in the catalogs.

 

The retailers that attend the event, vote for the "Best of Show", in the following categories; Soft Goods, Gear-Saltwater, Gear-Freshwater and Fly Tying. Below are their choices.

From Left to Right: Willam Joseph Fusion Vest, Rio 2006 Salt Water Lines, Winston Vapor Rods, Vosseler Pro Vise


Marc Petitjean from Switzerland had one product that I found interesting. The Magic Head brings your streamers to life. It is a clear flexible plastic cone that you can tie on to your hook. With cone forward, the fly will give the pattern a side to side action, with the cone backward the fly will act as a normal streamer. The only place that I am aware of that carries this product is Feather-Craft. Click on the Picture below for more information and pictures.

Tyger Leader. This leader material is a nylon coated braided stainless steel material that comes in a variety of sizes. It is designed for use with the toothy critters, in both freshwater and the salt water. The leader material is extremely supple which means that you can tie just about any knots we use with mono leaders. The neat thing is the ease with which loops can be fashioned. Those who use the method of twisting the strand of the Climax or American Fishing wire that is stainless-steel coat with nylon, together to form a loop and applying the flame of the lighter to fuse the twisted strands will find this material fantastic to work with. It will not kink. Click on the picture for more information and pictures.


Hobbes Fly-Fishing came out with a product called "Ulta Grizzly Marabou". Click on the picture for closeup of a Ultra Gizzly Marabou feather.

Rainy's Inc. added over 530 new fly patterns to their product line. One section of their product line that I found interesting was their Carp series. In this section , you have: Carp-enter Ants, Mad Chicken Leech, Punk-Head Leech, Carp-Tease, Carp Sculpin, Carp Hex, Baby Cray, Bread Crumb, Candy Corn Cluster, Carp Snack, Mulberry Prince, Mulberry, Mulberry Egg, Passion Fruit and more.

Wapsi had some great fly tying products on display. There must have been over 50 new products. There were a number of items that caught my eye. Egg Foo Yarn that is specially braided making it very user friendly. Chew Balls come in great buggy colors that will let you tie cool segmented nymph and stonefly bodies. Glow Fashabou that glow in the dark when charged with a light camera flash or black light. I was impressed with their barred rabbit fur. I talked to Joe Schmuecker about the product. He said that the process is different from some of the other competitors. What Wapsi does not do is ink the bars with a roller on to the rabbit fur but has a different process that gets the barred markings into the hairs. I think that this will be a winner. For pictures of some of their products that I was able to get, click on their logo .

 

St. Croix Rod redesigned their Avid Series fly rod. The improvement is ST. Croix Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tooling technology with a profile ferrules. There are 27 models ranging in price from $180 to $270. It is a moderately fast rod, but very sweet. I would say that this would be a great rod for the warm water fly fisher and at a great price.

Tom Whiting of Whiting Farms had new feathers coming out next year called Bird Fur. Bird Fur are chicken feathers that looks and tie like fur. See for yourself click on the Whitiing logo

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Dux Fin Company has developed a new way of doing fins for use in a float tube (U shape tube) or a kick boat. You are to be able to wade into knee deep water, sit in your device, raise and cross each leg above the opposite knee to mount Dux onto each boot heel. The fin part will be made from the same rubber compound as Force Fins.

For women, Loon Outdoors introduces the new Casting for the Cure Flypack. Designed especially for the fly fishing women, Loon Outdoors is donating 10% of sales of the Casting for the Cure Flypack to the Susan G, Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

SmartShield and Liquid Fence are two products for sun screening and insect repellant that I have not tested but it works. I will be great news for the warmwater fly fisher. I am going to try to get some more samples to give out for testing.

SmartShield has a combo product that stops the sun and bugs with serious sun protection (SPF 30) and all-natural insect protection. The all one protection comes in a spray and towellete. Just wipe or spray on for long-lasting sun and bug protection with no oily residue or greasy hands. They state that their exclusive Cedar and Lemongrass based formula is natural, chemical free and is proven to be as effective as DEET. The formula has been tested not to dissolve fly line or monofilaments.

Liquid Fence Company (produces all natural and environmentally safe products) introduces "The Ultimate Insect Repellant". It is designed to repel mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, no-see-ums and other biting insects. Made from oils of botanicals, the product is non greasy, has a pleasant scent and is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee from The Liquid Fence Co. Liquid Net was proven to provide 3 hour protection against mosquitoes bites in using EPA guidelines. For more information go to: www.liquidfence.com .

Epilog: I hope that this report provided you, as warmwater fly fisher, some useful information. I enjoyed meeting a number of old friends and making some new friends. Next year, I will be taking the full three and a half days to attend the event now that I know what to expect.

 

Some more pitcures of the Fly-Fishing Retailer Trade Expo