Saltwater fly-fishing has never been easier or more accessible, and as an increasing number of anglers discover the challenge and fun, and push the frontiers of what is capable with fly tackle, manufacturers answer the multitude of needs with innovation, specialization, and unmatched technology and quality.
Here’s a lineup of new fly tackle for the coming season.
Reels: More than Jewelry
Long gone are the days when the reel was just a place to store line. As anglers increasingly hit the salt to attempt what was once thought impossible, the newest entries in the saltwater fly reel market incorporate the strength and quality construction to go head to head with the biggest fish in the ocean. Advanced engineering allows total control, and considerable drag pressures, once the province of conventional tackle.
The GTX from Nautilus Reels is built to be fished beyond IGFA regulations, with a maximum drag of 25 pounds. The 5-inch diameter reel carries a narrow 1.1-inch spool holding 500 yards of 60-pound braid. The Giga spool design maintains strength, and exceptional ventilation. The GTX brake features a pressure spring sandwiched between two aluminum discs that rotate in unison, which applies even pressure to the drag surfaces. The drag incorporates an oversized carbon-fiber disc for smoothness on one side and a cork/Kevlar/carbon-fiber hybrid on the other for stopping power. A Kevlar mid-layer provides rigidity to the drag surface and spreads pressure evenly. The GTX weighs in at 8.7 ounces, and is available in black or silver. $1,300. nautilusreels.com
The Behemoth reel from Redington incorporates die-cast construction coupled with a large-arbor spool and heavy duty carbon fiber drag, a natural recipe for putting the heat to tough fish. Easily convertible to right or left-hand retrieve, and includes a lifetime warranty. Sizes range from 5/6 to 11/12 weight lines. $98.99. Spools, $59.99-$69.99. redington.com
The SPECTRUM MAX, Sage’s top-of-the-line big game reel, with its cold-forged and tempered, aerospace-grade-aluminum frame construction with hard-anodized finish for superior corrosion protection, incorporates the One Revolution Drab Knob featuring 20 index numbers and 40 detents to fine-tune drag pressure and provide , reliable, consistent, and repeatable drag pressure. Available in 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12 in silver, Stealth, Cobalt and Squid Ink. $388. sageflyfish.com
Rods: Delivering the Goods
No matter how small your saltwater fly-fishing niche, there’s a rod designed for what you do. Ever-present wind and the necessity of delivering precise casts , with heavy or bulky flies quickly drive the design of this range of new rods, covering everything from picky species in the shallows to raging bluewater predators.
The 15 rods in the G. Loomis IMX-PRO series, built to the specifications of professional fishing guides, feature purpose-driven actions from 4-weight through 8-weight, including two one-piece streamer rods, and five , 3- through 7-weight ‘ShortSpey’ two-handed rods. All IMX-PRO fly rods include single-foot chrome guides and Fuji chrome stripper guides, along with G. Loomis-designed ported custom reel seats. $495 to $575. gloomis.com
Sage introduces the SALT HD fly rod using KonneticHD technology, offering more pulling authority and lifting power than standard fast action rods.
Oversized hard-chromed snake guides and tip-top ensure the passage of leader knots, and the heavy-duty anodized aluminum uplocking reel seat on a full-wells cork handle ensures stability. Available in 6- to 16-weight rating. The SALT HD comes with a custom rod bag, powder-coated aluminum rod tube, and a lifetime warranty. $1,570. sageflyfish.com
The all-new PREDATOR is dialed in for bulky flies, heavy lines, and aggressive fish, featuring a powerful fast action to pick up and deliver heavy lines and massive flies. The PREDATOR family encompasses models ranging from spooky-bonefish duty 5-weights to tarpon-ready 12 weights, $299-$349 www.redington.com
Lines: Carry the Weight
In saltwater fly fishing, presentation is often at the heart of success, and
a well-designed line provides the link between the angler and the fly. Precise tapers, designed for specific applications and tailored fly delivery typify the boggling variety available in fly-lines. The unsung heart of the game is the line, and the critical and varietal presentations demanded by salt water environments and species drives the development of specialized fly lines.
RIO’s DirectCore, saltwater fly line is designed for the demands of flats fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon. The proprietary low-memory, low-stretch monofilament core retains stiffness in tropical heat, yet lies straight on the water without memory. The core has 30 percent less stretch than regular tropical saltwater fly lines to ensure s solid strip-strikes and shortened fight times.
In addition, this line features RIO’s SureFire technology, a triple color, distance-marking design that takes the guesswork out of accuracy and distance control. Available in floating models and a StealthTip option that features a full-floating head with six feet of clear intermediate tip. DirectCore is offered in line weights from WF6F to WF12F in Aqua/Orange/Sand or Gray/Sand/Kelp : . T t he StealthTip line is available in WF8F/I to WF12F/I. $119.99. rioproducts.com
Designed to deliver bulky flies to big fish, the Super-DRI Redfish line from AirFlo offers the perfect blend of power and presentation for reds and speckled trout. Ridge design reduces the surface area in contact with the rod guides for longer, smoother casts. PTFE technology resists water absorption while maintaining low specific gravity. Formulation provides peak performance in summer heat yet retains low memory in cooler temperatures. Available in WF6 to WF10. $89.99. airflousa.com
Stylin’: Dress for protection and comfort
All-day comfort and protection from the elements combine to make a successful day on the water, and purpose built clothing answers the call.
The SolarFlex Armor shirt is quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and combines UPF 50 protection with Coolcore cooling technology. The fabric temperature of this shirt is up to 30 percent cooler when wet. Design includes an integrated hood and full-coverage gaiter. $129.95. simmsfishing.com