Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Somerset Fly Fishing Show

I drove up to Somerset, New Jersey today to check out the 2014 Fly Fishing Show. I got to say 'Hi" to my favorite Tenkara rod supplier - Chris Stewart. I was able to try out a couple of his new rods... oh so nice.... (Nissin Air Stage 290 oh boy...) At the Scott rod booth I got to swing the 6533 and 7033 Scott F2 Rods - real smooth. I have thought that I wanted the 6533, but I as I have been investing a lot of time casting (practice and fishing) the Barclay Glass 7'2" 3wt, I think the Barclay is a better rod. I'd need to cast these two (actually three - both of the Scotts and the Barclay) side by side to be sure, but this is my current opinion. On a side note, I have started using a RIO Perception WF3F line with the Barclay and it is an OUTSTANDING caster - I have actually had to learn/watch/improve my casting to fully realize just how well this rod puts fly line on target and how good it feels while doing it. This Perception line is supposed to have 30% less stretch - I could feel the sunnies kissing my flies last weekend and the full flex of a fiberglass rod really plays well with a line that can hold and pull cast energy more efficiently. I am really pleased with this rod/line combination - it is going to take a really good rod to knock this one off the top of my list (and with the recent exposure I've had to other rods, I don't think that rod exists right now - yes folks this is a very strong endorsement). Back to today - It's no secret I enjoy all forms of fishing - and this next company spans the range. Spending time at the St Croix rack confirmed one thing in my mind - the Triumph Ultralight weight and Light weight spinning rods I have are AWESOME. These rods are the one piece versions which are the pinnacle of impulse translation (I can feel the fish strikes really well) - now for the travel version... In an act of self-induced public humiliation, I drooled on myself while checking out the Abel display. The new hemostats are really nice - solves the problems associated with the common hemostat (lock on closure no matter if you got what you wanted or not. They are expensive though - shockingly so. It got the same initial reaction out of me that the nippers did when I first saw them - "dang these are expensive!!!!". But I tell you what - where a $10 nipper consistently failed me (rusting out and dulling in a very short time) the Abels laughed at the elements HA HA HA HA!!! Still - $50 was enough to stop me from committing - but I found a secret weapon to get mine at a very reasonable price (Orvis coupons) and I now enjoy their use any time I am fishing - fresh or salt, fly or spin - they are essential kit. I suspect these hemostats will produce the same response after they land in my hands and are used to pull bent wire out of angry fishy mouths... now I just need a really, really good coupon... I also spent time at the Vedavoo booth (and ordered a new sling pack - yes another, but to quote Scott from Vedavoo, "those other slings/packs are ebay fodder" - I'll post more about this in another post when I get the sling in, but streamlining/modularity/supporting small businesses in America made the difference - anybody want a good deal on a couple of sling packs???); I parked at the Hatch booth where I learned they will be releasing a 2 Plus in the very near future (and I drooled all over myself again), and one other spot that I will focus on in the next post. In closing - it was a long drive through snow and ice, but this trip answered a lot of questions that I had, increased my knowledge base, got me exposed to things I did not have ready access to and was plain fun on an otherwise dreary winters day. Time well spent (the show is on for one more day in Somerset and again in this area in March up at Lancaster - if you were iffy about going, go grab your jacket and car keys and get going)!

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