IFTD with Fins & Feathers’s Bozeman Fly Shop
Yesterday was the first official day of ICAST, which is the largest tradeshow for the fishing industry in the US. This is a “market” show where manufacturers come to announce and display their new products for the following season. IFTD is the fly-fishing show that is associated with ICAST and is where all of the fly-fishing industry, for the most part, announces their 2018 product launches. This show is held in Orlando, which presents many challenges for many of my peers in the fly fishing retail world as the timing is the timing of the even coincides with the busiest time of the year for our businesses back home. Still, I make the effort to attend every year as it is the easiest and most efficient way for our Bozeman fly shop to keep our customers connected with trends in conservation and product releases.
Day one of IFTD 2017 was one of the better “show days” for Fins & Feathers of Bozeman in many years. So many of the manufacturers we represent in our Bozeman fly shop are building higher quality products than ever before, lead by innovation rather than price. Here are a few of the Day 1 highlights from my week at IFTD to date.
- SAGE has a new, all-water fly rod called the FOUNDATION. This rod will hit the market in a few weeks as SAGE’s entry-level fly rod. Made in the USA, premium components, lifetime warranty, and built to fish like nothing else at this price point, the SAGE FOUNDATION retails for $325!
- Hatch reels are made in the USA, last forever, and never need any maintenance. The Hatch Finatic, Generation 2 is on its way to fly shops in early September 2017. More porting, a redesigned handle, and improvements to the drag seal have resulted in led to an even better reel than the already “best in class” Hatch Finatic. Aesthetically, the new Finatics are coming with a matte finish in Clear, Black, and Pewter along with the various standard and custom fill color options. Limited edition, special runs of full body anodized colors will be released quarterly as well in very small numbers and will be highly sought after by members of the Hatch Tribe around the world
- Orvis has several new products that look to be substantial improvements to their previous models while also helping them outpace most of the competition in those areas as well. You will be hearing a lot about the Helios 3 in the coming weeks and for good reasons as it casts as well as any fly rod you are going to find out there today. New waders fro men and women come in at under $300 and replace the Sonic-Weld line of Orvis Waders in early 2018.
- The Redington ID fly reel is similar to the Behemoth in design – but far from identical – so just understand that the drag system is overkill and the design is pretty unique. This price point reel has an MSRP of $89 and is comes with interchangeable graphics that can be swapped out or customized to give these reels a truly unique and personal look.
- Underwader insulation and bags for the lady angler from Fishe feature some of the coolest fish graphics that we’ve seen anywhere. These will be perfect for the lady angler that wants to flash some functional, fishy style on the water and around town. Expect these to hit our by late July, 2017!
I will be hitting the show hard today, hoping to get with most our partners by the end of the day! This is a HUGE show and it takes days just to walk around and see everything that is out there. As a retailer though, I honestly think that the products that I have seen so far this year are the BEST class of products new products that I have ever seen.
Better products and better pricing comes from our customers getting their voices hears and that is why we make the time to come to events like this. The truth is, if a fly shop doesn’t attend this show, their customers interests aren’t being found and the manufacturers aren’t hearing what the end user actually wants out of piece of fishing clothing, a fly line, a reel, etc. Thank you for sharing your opinions with us over the year and just know that we are trying our best to find what you are looking for in 2018!