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.
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.
We have been attending the shows for several years now and have seen many items come and go; some good, some not so good.
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.
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.
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 hours casting many rods. (Hard work, but someone has to do it.) I was a bit torn between two and here is why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
~ J Castwell
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