Congratulations Castwell you made it!      

September 20th, 1999

Salt Lake Show '99
By James Castwell

The Gorilla Guys This year as in the past, fall is the time when the fly-fishing manufacturers get together with the retailers of the sport. This takes place in the west, this year in Salt Lake City, UT. Last year there were two in the west, one in Denver, Colorado and one in Salt Lake, not this year; only one. Why do I mention it? Because this is the one time where retailers from all over the United States, and even abroad let the manufacturers know what they think they want and can sell. The manufacturers let them know what they can have and for how much.

Oasis Tying Benches

The manufacturers are looking for new dealers, and dealers are looking for new products. Many orders are placed at these shows, some due to the 'show-specials' which last often only during the length of the show itself.

Reel Display Lots of after-hours bargaining goes on, extended dinners, long luncheons, endless breakfasts; the thing ran nearly non-stop from seven am Thursday, September 16th through Saturday, the 18th. The official show hours were 9am to 5pm, but that is just for the main show hall (Salt Palace) in downtown Salt Lake City.

Retailer Ed Dayton and the Lady We have been attending the shows for several years now and have seen many items come and go; some good, some not so good.

FAOL was there We hit Salt Lake about noon on Wednesday, got our room, unpacked and went to the Salt Palace to start setting up our double corner booth. Lots of rods to put together, displays to arrange, lines to clean, details, details, details.


The next three days were spent in near abject confusion. If your Spanish is good you may know the translation for fly-fishing comes out 'Pesca con mosca.' That means 'Flies in the head!' Totally confused with all the buzzing going on in your head; I think you get the picture. From Thursday morning to Saturday late afternoon the pace was furious. Retailers (your fly shop owners) were canvassing the booths of the manufacturers looking for the latest and greatest products at the best prices for you. The manufacturers were vying with each other for the attention of the retailers. A three-ring-circus would have seemed tame in comparison..

One of four casting ponds I am pleased to let you know they both got the job done and you win. Most had new, or improved products for fly fishing which will soon appear in your area. Fly fishing is alive and well.

Thanks Mike Croft Now on to my major point of this column. Did I (FAOL) do a 'Pick-of-the-Show?' You bet; I do it every year. This year it was easier than ever, although I did have to examine a few things to make sure I had not overlooked any which should have been included in the award. It is a fly rod, and because of that I had to spend many Loop's international bunch hours casting many rods. (Hard work, but someone has to do it.) I was a bit torn between two and here is why.

Hugh and Spencer's Hackle One was a high-priced rod from a major manufacturer. They really have a new rod and it is a dandy. Ok, it's Sage, the XP. It is fine. I cast the heck out of it; I really like it, but it does not get my pick of the show though, and here is why.

Courtesy Redington This year I had a goal. It was to find (if it existed) a darn good fly rod selling for under a hundred bucks. A rod the beginner could save up for, not have to get in a big fight with the spouse about, be a rod which would actually cast a fly at all distances, strong enough to probably not break under normal use, have a good guarantee, and be of enough value to keep as a back-up rod when a new and probably more expensive fly rod is acquired.

Folks Casting on the pond I found it. It wins. I don't own one, and they are not a sponsor on here. You know me better than that, they don't have to be. It is the Red.Fly by Redington, retail price $75.

Red Fly Rod Congratulations and 'Thank You' from Fly Anglers On Line for producing the rod. You have made it possible for many to enter the sport. Job well done. Let's hope when the new fly-fishers move up to the next level of rod they remember who it was who took the time and effort to produce a fly rod at a price which they could afford.

The main goal of FAOL is to help with information on fly fishing. Redington has made it possible to enter the sport and not go broke in the process. The Red.Fly can also be purchased as a combination of rod, reel, line and case for about $149. If you need something like this, take a hard look at it; I did and from ten to one hundred feet it casts just fine. Thanks Redington.

You can reach Redington at (407) 223-1342, mailing address; 820 South Dixie Hwy., Stuart FL 34994, or via their website.
~ J Castwell

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

All Previous Castwell Articles
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice