Friday, August 7, 2015

IFTD 2015 - Some of the people behind the brands

Every year since 2001, Jon and I have joined other industry folk that gather at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show to get a first peek at what's going on in this industry. 

And every year, I am reminded / struck by the fact, that for an incredibly tiny industry, we are blessed with some of the most passionate, creative and inventive people that bring their passions and talents to work each day and create great gear. 

This year, there was a bigger buzz or energy than recent years past, and this was evident by a crop of new products - big and small.  Allow me to introduce you to a few people behind these new products.

You know their gear, and they have an incredible team of engineers and designers, but
Jerry Siem's DNA is embedded all over Sage Fly Rods.  He has designed as is responsible for some of the best known and best loved fly rods ever produced -including this year's "Best New Freshwater Rod" the MOD Series.  To boot, Jerry is a hell of a nice guy and incredible caster/angler.  Always great to catch up with him and Team Sage's new products - both rods and reels are going to be huge hits. The entire line-up of products is scheduled to arrive at ChiFly by late August.  Stay tuned...

It's no secret that we here at ChiFly are fans of Nautilus Reels.  Please meet Kristen Mustad, the man behind this brand.  Year in and year out, Kristen and his team develop game changing innovations and frankly reels that are awesome.  Congrats on their yet to be officially named  new reel that won "Best new Freshwater Reel" and "Best new Saltwater Reel" - The soon to be re-named "Nautilus X" Available late 2015/early 2106

Meet John Le Coq, one of the co-founders of Fishpond USA.  He is pictured here at their booth standing next to a picture of his father - the man who inspires John daily.  John and his partners the brothers Kurtz are innovative, conservation minded folks that bring beautiful products to life - and have a unique and original perspective on gear design.  This year, they will be introducing addition packs, bags and slings with waterproof zippers and materials that are made from recycled fishing nets.  Congrats on winning "Best of Show Eco Friendly Product" and "Best of Show Chest Pack/Vest" category!

Tough to introduce just one person from Team Simms - so here is a group shot of KC Walsh and his uber talented team.  This company has grown up so incredibly much in the past 15 years, and it's been a privilege and a ton of fun to grow along with them!   Congrats on  winning 7 Best of  Show Category awards!  As a Simms Platinum Dealer - you will see every single one of their award winners at ChiFly soon!

And last but not least, please meet Jim Bartschi, the chief rod designer at Scott Fly Rods showing off the Scott Meridian.  Congrats on winning not only the "Best Saltwater Fly Rod", but also the big daddy "Best of Show" overall award!  Jim has an uncanny ability to design rods with distinct personalities.  By that I mean, when you cast his Meridian or Radian - they have a feel that is so unique - and that my friends is Jim's DNA.  Great team over at Scott - and great to see Jim and Scott get their much deserved recognition!!!

There are so many more great individuals behind so many awesome products or brands - and look forward to other introductions soon. 

Tight Lines Soon - Andy K