Wednesday, July 18, 2018
River Glass rods come in either Glacier blue or Amber. There are six rods ranging from a 6'9" 2-weight (which was a joy to cast!) to an 8'6" 5-weight. The shorter rods come in 3-piece, the longer rods in 4-piece.
At ICAST, I asked the Echo representative whether the River Glass is made of e-glass or the more modern s-glass, which is lighter, stronger, and faster. He responded "it's s-glass". The weight of the 8'0" 4-weight is only 3.0 ounces, which leads me to believe this is correct. When casting the rods, they had a fairly fast action for glass and a high recovery rate, with the capability to make 60+ foot casts without much effort. MSRP is $249, which is on par with most s-glass rods.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 4:20 PM
In 2016, Echo introduced the Bad Ass Glass fiberglass series. Built from the same e-glass (electrical grade) fiberglass that your grandfather's rods were made from. But with high-tech resins that reduced weight and added strength. Even so, these 9-foot rods had a noticeable swing weight.
For 2019, Echo is replacing the BAG with the BAG Quickshot. Same glass, same resins. But at 8-feet long, there is a significant lessening of swing weight, faster action, and more precise casting. In fact, the BAG Quickshot was one of the ten best casting rods - out of four dozen - we tested at ICAST!
With so many makers going to ultralight, ultraslim saltwater blanks, it warms the heart to feel a rod that has enough power to horse a jack crevalle, musky, tarpon, or big bass and know it'll most likely survive any trauma.
BAGQ rods are a gorgeous translucent sky blue color, have anodized reel seats, and come with a matching sky blue case. It also features Echo's lifetime warranty. Models are all 8-foot, and range from 6-weight to 10-weight. MSRP is $279. For details, go to www.echoflyfishing.com.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 3:11 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Apparently, Sage agrees. All this high tech has been applied to their new DART series. These ultralight, ultrathin rods all are 7'6" in length (except for a 6'6" 3-weight) and range in weight sizes from 0 (yes, zero!) to 4-weight. Although designed exclusively for small water applications, the KonneticHD system used in these rods deliver quite a punch for their length. On the distance test, I was consistently putting out 60 feet of line using the 6'6" 3-weight!
While distance capable, that's not the purpose of the Sage DART. It loads with only a few feet of line outside the tip top, and makes highly accurate casts to close targets. Test casting the 3-weight and the 1-weight was more fun than the law allows! In the "bend test", the 1-weight displayed a solid moderate taper. Battling a half-pound bluegill on that rod would be a joy... just imagine hooking into a rainbow trout! Such high tech thrlls come at a premium price. MSRP is $700.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 12:11 PM
Since their comeback, industry praise has been universal. Their Exocett and Avantt series are two of the best rods made today. All of their offerings have been in the premium category - until now.
With the new Zone series, T&T hopes to reach out to a greater audience. These rods fall in our mid-priced category, from $495 in trout models to $525 in the saltwater models, and will compete against popular rods in that range such as the Orvis Recon and Sage Motive.
The blank is a gray finish and uses the same proprietary StratoTherm resin found in their Exocett and Avantt series. Reel seats and guide wraps are a stunning blue color. The freshwater models have single foot guides, while the saltwater versions use stainless snake guides.
Test casting the Zone rods, I felt the saltwater models were better than the freshwater models, when compared to their competition. The Zone 8-eight reminded me a lot of the old Horizon, except a tad lighter in weight. While not as slim in profile as the TFO Axiom II or Sage Foundation, that's not a bad thing. Having a slightly beefer butt section means this rod should have some good lifting power. Our "bend test" seemed to confirm that. Of the nearly two dozen mid-priced saltwater rods we tested, it was definitely in the top three!
Posted by Catch Cormier at 11:57 AM
For 2019, their multi-functional tubes (aka, gaitors) are expanded to new prints. Each feature a UPF rating of 50+ (blocks out 97.5% of UV rays), is breathable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight. It works to block harmful solar radiation, but also to keep face and neck warm in cold conditions, and prevent windburn. MSRP is $19.99. To learn more, go to www.bsbrand.com.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 10:36 AM
But thanks to the subject matter of his work, he's making giant waves in the fishing community. His collection of fish art includes original paintings, coffee mugs, boat and cooler wraps, clothing, drinking glasses, greeting cards, phone cases and more.
One of DeYoung's more popular items are phone cases, featuring his artwork as skins. He offers three lines of cases: the "Tough Case" (shockproof), the "Tough Extreme Case" (shockproof, water-resistant) and now the "Lifeproof Case" (shockproof, waterproof). While the cases are currently limited to iPhone and Samsung, Janell DeYoung tells us her husband may expand to the popular Motorola phones (we certainly hope so!). MSRP ranges from $20 to $45. To learn more, go to www.derekdeyoung.com.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 10:16 AM
The upper compartment still has beaucoup space for clothing, vests, etc. The molded bottom provides support as well as keeping the bag clean and dry from wet ground. Along with the Fishpond Rod and Reel Case, it's all you'll need for heading to your favorite destination. Just as important, it's environmental friendly... made from Fishpond's exclusive Cyclepond recycled nylon material. The 4200 ballistic fabric is abrasion-resistant . MSRP is $149.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 9:40 AM
Sunday, July 15, 2018
For 2018, they've adapted their Cyclepond material into several new submersible packs. The one probably of most interest to the broad range of coldwater, warmwater and kayak anglers is their Thunderhead Submersible Chest Pack. Made to protect your gear in the worst conditions, it features waterproof submersible zippers, 1680D TPU coated recycled nylon, integrated tippet holder and much more. MSRP was TBD, but expect it to be around $200.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 10:27 AM
The Groovy Grayling Sling Pack allows for all-day comfort, while providing beaucoup accomodation for fly boxes, tippet spools, tools and other necessities. A side bottle holder that fits medium-sized stainless canisters as well. MSPR is $89.
Posted by Catch Cormier at 9:48 AM