Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

September 27th, 1999

More on the Big Show

LadyFisher on one of the ponds
My feet are bending properly again, for a while I was walking like a duck and occasionally did an outloud 'quack'. My poor attempt at making a little humor out of an uncomfortable situation.

There were other things at this show that left an indelible mark in my memory. If you read the Castwell column last week, you know his 'Pick of the Show' was a really nice fly rod retailing for under $100 - The Redington Red.Fly.

Mustad Booth I was also on the same quest, and the one I found was not under $100, it is about $130. The maker? Loop! This is the rod Loop calls "the Black Rod." Which in itself is a new and interesting concept. The rods are color coded. The Yellow Rod was a little bright for my taste, but I do like the concept. The Black Rod is the entry level rod, and I think, casts a bit better than the Red.Fly! I tend to like a little faster rod, and for a person new to fly fishing, I think the combination of the Loop Black Rod, with the new Wulff line would be a world-beater! Not within Castwell's guidelines, but I sure like the way it cast.

One of the 4 casting ponds

New Wulff line? Yes! They came out with another new idea. The back of the triangle taper is 'stepped' the entire taper shortened to give more weight up front. That means the line will help load the rod better - and faster. Joan Wulff has been teaching the Wulff Casting School for years, and feels the secret to getting folks to understand loading the rod is very important. Hence a new line, especially for folks learning to cast. Look for the Joan Wulff Signature Fly Line. Great idea!

Tropic,  Jorge Cardillo from Argentina, and JC

Another remarkable thing we found is Gorilla Proof. You will also find them as a new Sponsor here. This product keeps stuff dry. Mamma Kate took a piece of paper towel, dipped it in the Gorilla Proof, let it dry and floated it in some water. A day later it was still floating. It comes as a liquid in a bottle and a small spray bottle. The folks who produce it also make other sealants products for fabrics and even concete! Remarkable to say the least. On top of that the folks are just nice people. That's a winner!

Keith showing his super reel Our friends from Reel-Easy Winder were there too. Both of the gents are older, and bring a nice touch to the hype of these shows. They are laid back, just doing their thing. We like their EZ-Winder, and another product which we haven't said much about. Time to fix that. They produce a line cleaner. JC and I have been using it for two years. 303 Protectant is just super stuff! It comes in a bottle as a spray which you can spray right into your reel, or little disposable packets with a thin piece of sponge. It cleans lines, doesn't make them 'gummy' seems to repel crud from becoming attached to your line, does nothing to degrade the line, and doesn't have to be burnished! I actually pulled a line in off the water at the show and cleaned it as I stripped it in. It was wet! I handed the rod to a potential buyer and he was amazed to be able to throw nearly the whole line. I sent him over the the EZ-Winder booth when he left us. It comes in packets with 8 of the little foil packets, retail price is $4.95. We gave away lots of them, hope they show up in a shop near you!

Extreme Elements

A very important introduction was at booth directly behind us. It is a real, water-resistant sun-screen. It soaks into your skin, not just a 'covering' on your skin. Flip Pallot is part of this organization, and being a tropic fisherman, he is very aware of the potential skin cancer problems caused by over-exposure to the sun. Flip was scheduled to be at the show in this booth, but the hurricane dropped too many trees in his yard. The product is called Extreme Elements and is a SP30 gel. We have used another product over the years, but it has become very difficult to find, and not as effective. We just switched.

Hard as Hull Head Cement Another product we did not have an opportunity to is try Hard as Hull, a head cement. It seemed to have an extreme hardness. Which should be super for 'toothy' fish especially. We'll try and get more info on it and let you know.

Peter gets a spey lesson

We found several booths with items for your home with 'fishy' themes, some really nice prints of fish and fishing scenes, sort of a way to keep in touch with that part of our soul. Visual reminders that there is another part of our lives besides the work-day stuff. We have a bit of that, and are running out of room - but there were so many attractive items!

Spencer's Hackle There were more booths at this show than we have seen at other similar shows, and they were doing serious business. To us that is an indication the fly fishing industry is alive and well - and maybe paying more attention to the needs and requests of their customers.

That is good for you and me - and fly fishing. ~ LadyFisher

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