Johnny’s IFTD Rundown: Fly Fishing Gear You’ll Love

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I just got home from IFTD and I’ll tell you one thing, fly fishermen are going to have some pretty sweet stuff to try out next year. Here is a brief overview of what I saw and what I liked.

Fly Lines

There were a ton of new fly lines from companies like Scientific Anglers, RIO and Airflow. There were a lot of innovative and specialty trout lines that should help you get more and more out of one fly rod. While I’m in the business of selling rods, its pretty cool to be able to switch out fly lines and make one rod much more versatile. I’m really excited to get some of these lines on the water for a real test and I’ll hold off on judgment until then.


I was very impressed with a few new rods at the show. One of my favorites was the Winston Nexus. The Nexus is a 100% American made rod that casts beautifully and only costs $475. For all of you who are familiar with Winston, this rod is a steal. I cast most of them, but my favorite was the 8’ 4wt, it was deadly accurate and I can’t wait to put it to a real test on the river and not in a casting pool.

I was happy to see Sage using their Konnetic Technology in their saltwater rods. The appropriately named “Salt” is a flats fishing beast. Its light in the tip, super accurate and has the backbone to really put the wood to our saltwater friends. This rod is a home run in my opinion and I can’t wait to put it to the test.


Hatch has expanded from reels into fly lines, tippet, shock tippet and leaders. Further testing needs to happen, but if their lines are anything like their reels, they will kick ass.

Packs and Bags

Fishpond continues to be an innovative force in the fly fishing world. Their new sling packs and waterproof bags look great and are both functional and environmentally friendly. It’s worth mentioning that the sling pack is made to hold a pistol. That’s different.

Vedavoo is a pretty kick ass company, specializing in high end, American made packs and bags. Their well thought out design fits like a glove and its customizable features give you the option to make any kind of sling pack, hip pack or chest pack perfect for you. Check them out. Its good livin.


I’m sure you all know this, but eye wear is important. Very important. I would rather sell someone a $250 pair of sunglasses and a $600 dollar rod then a $800 rod and a $50 dollar pair of glasses. Why? It is very hard to catch a fish that you can’t see, and if you’re fishing saltwater, it’s that much more important. Talk to any professional hunter– you know where they spend their money? Optics.

Companies like Smith and Costa Del Mar have done a ton to give all of us fishermen a big advantage. In my opinion there is no better glass on the market then the Costa 580G. While there was nothing very exciting from Costa at the show, they continue to produce the best glass lenses in a wide variety of frame styles.

On the other hand, Smith has taken their ChromaPop Lens to a whole new level. For those of you who do not like the weight of glass, ChromaPop is a perfect product. I would get into the science of it, but I’d basically be making stuff up, so what I’ll tell you is this, it makes colors “jump” at you. Reds, blues and greens all appear more vivid and if you’re standing in front of a rainbow trout, that red stripe really stands out. I’ve used these lenses for a year now and they are the real deal. Spend your money on sunglasses, it’s worth it.

Clothing, Waders

There weren’t too many things that really jumped out at me. Simms continues to make the very best, but most expensive products. If you want the highest quality, Simms sets the standard that everyone tries to follow. While it’s not easy on your wallet it will all last a damn long time and you will be happy you did it.

Howler Brothers continues to make clothing that is both functional and fashionable. You can wear your favorite fishing shirt straight from the river to the bar and no one will be the wiser. If that’s not a perfect shirt then I don’t know what is.

There will be more reviews to come, but first I have to get off this f**king computer and get on the water to try this stuff out!

Tight lines,

Johnny Spillane

Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Johnny’s IFTD Rundown: Fly Fishing Gear You’ll Love

  1. Really glad to hear about a sling that can carry a pistol. I will be checking that out when it comes out. You would be surprised how many people carry while out on the water, and I am not talking about people who fish in Alaska.

  2. What days are the best to go to IFTD? I’m wanting to go next year and trying to tie it into a bonefishing trip the same week in Abaco.

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