Gearing up for the 2012 fly-fishing season

Every year, fly fishers pass the winter months tying flies, planning their next season’s excursions and eagerly awaiting the newest in fly-fishing gear, from rods, reels, lines, waders and numerous accessories.

And it seems every year, the companies come through with some eye-popping innovations that capture the eye of the fly-fishing fraternity.

Here are just a few of 2012’s best offerings.

St. Croix

High Stick Drifter

St. Croix has teamed up again with fly fishing innovator Kelly Galloup of Montana, this time with the High Stick Drifter rod designed for nymph fishing. The new series – a 10-foot, 4-weight, a 10-foot, 5-weight and a 9-6, 4-weight, all four-piece rods – features super-lightweight tips, thanks to high modulus/high strain SCV graphite with NSi resin (featuring 3M™’s nano Matrix Resin) and a carbon-matte scrim. That means reduced angler fatigue and improved strike detection. Drifters are the most technologically advanced fly rods St. Croix has ever produced. 

Sage ONE

Sage launched its new ONE rod series, sticks met with rave reviews and considered by many anglers to be the company’s best ever. The company’s groundbreaking Konnetic™ technology triggers incredible casting accuracy and also allows ONE rods to have a smaller diameter and are 25 percent lighter than comparable Sage rods. The ONE rods are more than one – they come in 22 models, from 3-10 weights in a new Black Ice color with a translucent finish and complemented by black guide wraps and bronze trim wraps.  

Redington Sonic-Pro

Redington added two new products to its popular Sonic-Pro collection this year: Women’s Sonic Pro Waders and the Sonic-Pro Jacket, the company’s premier waterproof jacket that uses sonic welding technology for outstanding durability. A DWR coated nylon exterior combines with the 4-layer construction, fully taped seams, and a waterproof front RiRi zipper to be 100 percent waterproof. Zippered chest pockets hold fly boxes or other essentials while the fleece-lined handwarmer pockets are perfect for cold days on the water.

RIOPowerflex Trout

RIO Products continues to raise the bar with its lineup of fly lines, leaders, tippet, and accessories, and 2012 is no exception, with the new Powerflex Trout leaders. Each leader has a carefully designed taper that features a long, powerful butt section to turn over heavy indicator rigs and handle tough winds, while the supple nature of the copolymers delivers tiny dry flies with the utmost in delicacy. A perfection loop in the butt end makes rigging quick and simple. RIO’s Powerflex Trout leaders come in 7.5-, 9-, 12- and 15-foot lengths ranging from 0x to 7x in the 7.5- and 9-foot lengths, and 3x to 7x in the 12- and 15-footers.

fishpond Nimbus

Known for its innovative design of packs, vests and other travel pieces, fishpond solidified that reputation in 2012 with its Nimbus Guide Pack. Featuring a new, lightweight, 100-percent recycled CYCLEPOND™ fabric and Air LTE lumbar support straps, the Nimbus makes long days on the water more comfortable. A large zippered main opening has two organization pockets internally, and a front access pocket allows for access to smaller items. Two exterior pockets accommodate two large water bottles and a cinch strap on the bottom is ideal for a rain jacket or second rod.

Costa Double Haul

Serious anglers will appreciate Costa’s signature vent system in Double Haul’s frame front to alleviate lens fog in extreme weather conditions, as well full eye coverage to allow full range of vision while on the water. Double Hauls features a large fitting frame with Hydrolite™ no-slip nose pads, sturdy integral hinges and durable co-injected molded temples for a comfortable “forget-they’re-on” fit. The new style is available in tortoise, black and the new translucent crystal frame colors. And anglers can customize Double Haul in Costa’s patented 580™ lenses in either glass or polycarbonate (580P). Costa’s 580 lens color options include gray, copper, amber, and blue, green and silver mirror.

Scott M Series

A product of Scott’s Custom Shop program, M Series rods feature components and craftsmanship most often found on the finest split bamboo rods. These heirloom-quality rods are appointed with blued nickel silver components like custom reel seats with amboyna wood spacers; handmade Snakebrand guides; real agate stripping guides in hand-soldered nickel silver frames; strap and ring hook keepers, and unique grips turned from the very best Flor grade cork. The four-piece rods are available in 3- through 10-weight.

Orvis Clearwater LA

Orvis proudly delivers a cast aluminum large arbor fly reel for the budget-conscious angler that’s lightweight enough to balance properly with your favorite fly rod. LA reels have the looks and the guts of a higher-priced version. Easily converted to either left- or right-hand retrieve, the Clearwater LA has a positive click drag knob for consistent settings. Models are available for line weights of 4-6 and 7-9.

Cortland Trout Boss

The Trout Boss is Cortland’s new ultra-premium trout line.  Built with a 65-foot front head with a color change to indicate the back of the taper, the line’s jacket (the plastic part) also boasts what Cortland is calling HDT – “Heat Dissipation Technology_ – to help resist guide friction and help the guide remain slick.

Chota ‘Hippies’

Sometimes you need a hip wader, sometimes you need a knee-high wading sock and at other times you need “something in between.” You can have all in one with the Chota “Hippies” convertible wading socks. The Hippies feature a 3mm neoprene stocking foot attached to a three-ply breathable laminate upper with an adjustable drawstring at the top for a secure fit at any height. The Hippies also have a built-in cinch strap just below the knee to help keep the socks in place and help prevent flooding just in case you go in a little too deep. Boots sold separately.

Royal Wulff Ambush

Immensely popular among the Spey casting crowd, Royal Wulff’s Ambush Triangle Taper Clear Tip Fly Line. The Ambush Clear Tip adds a new dimension to Ambush lines: stealth. Now a fly fisherman can enjoy all the roll casting, Spey, Skagit and Scandi style casting advantages of the Ambush floating fly line with the added benefit of a stealthier presentation in last 10 feet of the line – which is a clear, intermediate tip. Ambush Clear Tip is available is sizes 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, as well as 11- t0 14-weights for the two-handed steelhead chasers, with an incredibly slick J3 coating and welded front loops.

Winston Boron IIIx

Winston has applied its Boron III technology to the new 5-piece Boron IIIx travel rods, stunning 9-footers that pack down to 24 inches and easily pack into the overhead bin or slip into your bag. Available in 4, 5 and 6 weights, they offer the same versatility and smooth-casting fast action of their high-performance Boron IIIx rods. A high-grade reel seat, guides, and accents are no surprise, and these sticks are ideal for backcountry hike-ins or for the traveler who wants to slip away for an evening on the water at some point.


Loomis Pro4X

G.Loomis poured its research and development efforts into its 11-model Pro4X rod series, rods that are ideal for new fly fishers and intermediate anglers. These four-piece beauties are available from an 8-foot, 3-weight model all the way up to a 10-foot, 7-weight for bigger waters and bigger fish. There are also saltwater Pro4X rods in the mix. Manufactured in the USA, a lifetime warranty is included.


Simms Guide

Simms in 2012 brought back its classic, popular Guide waders, which were discontinued back in 2007 to the dismay of the many fishing guides who saw how they stood up to the day-in, day-out pounding they put them through. The Guide waders feature GORE-TEX® 3-layer fabric throughout the legs, with reinforced fabric in the front leg panel for increased durability. There’s a front-seam construction with an articulated knee to offer a generous fit; adjustable suspenders with YKK® non-locking buckles; a built-in, low-profile belt loop and nylon wading belt; and abrasion-resistant material for the durable gravel guards. And every pair is manufactured in Bozeman, Mont.


Patagonia Rio Azul

Known best for their high-tech, comfortable apparel, Patagonia is also on the cutting edge with its Rio Azul waders, lightweight, packable models designed for backcountry trekking and the traveling angler. Four-layer construction for durability, along with a waterproof inside pocket and an affordable price will make this a popular purchase this season.


Waterworks/Lamson Litespeed II Hard Alox

This season Litespeed reels will adopt the ergonomic and structural improvements introduced on the 2011 Anniversary Series Litespeed. The spool of the Litespeed II profile has been flattened slightly and the handle moved outboard to keep knuckles away from moving parts; the drag knob has been redesigned for better grip. As with the other premium reels, pocket milling the spool face and integrating the counterbalance increases strength and stiffness without adding weight. It’s available for lines of 1 through 11.


Montana Fly Company Madison II

Montana Fly Company’s new Madison II and Madison IIa reel series this season have a solid drag system, a super large arbor, and “V”-shaped spool floor for added backing capacity. The Madison II reel is indexed (meaning it has holes) for a lighter reel. It’s available in a number of line weights and also comes in the eye-catching MFC Artist Series and MFC River Camo artwork.


Ross RX

Ross is much more than a reel maker, as the new additions to the RX rod series attest. The four-piece models are now available in 9 through 12 weights, with a proprietary Rx™ graphite design for a fast-action taper that rivals the most expensive rods on the market today. Lightweight, perfectly balanced, powerful and precise, the RX dispels the myth that all premium fly rods come with a premium price.


Orvis Hydros Lines

The re-engineered Hydros lines use a proprietary coating – Wonderline Nexgen – for improved slickness and reduced friction. Also, a trio of textured fly lines have been introduced for fishing conditions where long casts are needed. Those new Orvis lines incorporate the Hydros 3D Micro-Texturing process, which traps air to provide superior shooting ability and floatation while eliminating line flash and vastly reducing friction.


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