If you haven’t ever been to the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, you’re missing out. As the world’s largest fly fishing expo, there is so much to see, hear, and do. The sheer volume of tying materials, rods, and other outdoor miscellany can overwhelm the senses (and, if you’re not careful, the wallet).
In Somerset, all of the industry mainstays are present when it comes to gear. Orvis, Simms, Thomas & Thomas, Patagonia, Ross, Cortland… the list could go on and on. Additionally, some of the hottest brands from the last decade show up in NJ: Hatch, Vedavoo, TenkaraUSA, Rep Your Water, Blue Halo, and a handful of others.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some stories from a number of companies that were at the Fly Fishing Show. Today, I wanted to showcase three products that intrigued me. On their own, the items from Brook Fishing Equipment, RexFly, and Waterworks Lamson are impressive. However, the presentations made by the respective owners/reps really did a great job explaining the usefulness and niche of each product.
Read my two cents, then follow the links to check out these great fly fishing products for yourself.
Brook Fishing Equipment – Fly Storage
Can you ever have too many fly boxes? Historically, the answer was “no” in large part because you’d need to replace the ones that would break or wear out. Edges crack, hinges snap off, and foam gets absolutely shredded. Silicone has become the solution to the foam conundrum, and Brook Fishing Equipment uses silicone in a fly box in a new way. Their inserts have slits and low-memory strips, allowing you to just stab large or small flies in securely without degrading the material. The boxes are heavy duty, with a considerable hinge that isn’t going to pop loose or shatter. On top of that, I witnessed the whole fly box stay submerged for the better part of a minute with only a few droplets of water getting in (they were engineered to allow a small amount of moisture to escape). But as great as the boxes are, the big fly patches are a must-have for the angler who is constantly throwing flies in the back of their truck or boat.
RexFly – Casting System
If you’re on “fly fishing social media,” you’ve probably seen the RexFly in action. There are some pictures out there of amputee veterans with a reel attached to their chest. These photos aren’t necessarily meant to advertise, but they illustrate the importance of a product like this. The RexFly straps on the angler’s chest, and the rod/reel affixes to the harness. The rod and reel can be removed together or, by the use of the adapter that fits between any rod and reel, the rod can be detached while the reel stays on the harness. It isn’t just those with significant disabilities that can use the RexFly. Anyone suffering from tendinitis, arthritis, or other similar afflictions would benefit from not bearing the weight of casting with a reel all day. Additionally, regardless of your physical condition, being able to “go hands free” can be helpful on the water.
Waterworks Lamson – Center Axis Rod & Reel
If you recall, in the late 90’s Sage partnered with Waterworks Lamson to produce an affixed rod/reel combo. At an exorbitant price point, the “gimmick” didn’t catch on and it was phased out. Nearly 20 years later, Waterworks Lamson is attempting to reintroduce the concept. The “science” is simple: attaching the reel moves the center axis of the rod towards the handle and the angler’s hand. This results in less of a fulcrum effect from the reel and more sensitivity from the rod. All of the quality in components and workmanship one would expect from Waterworks Lamson are present in the reel, and the rods will demonstrate the same commitment. Although the Center Axis isn’t in production yet, the models will be priced reasonably – less than a moderately priced rod and reel would be combined if bought individually. Even though fly fishers are notorious for buying multiple rods and reels, many anglers do fish one “favorite” combo for the bulk of their fishing. A well executed idea like this has the possibility catch on.
Want to see products like these for yourself? Be sure to catch the remaining schedule of the Fly Fishing Show, or make plans to attend next year.