Monday, July 20, 2015

IFTD - New Glass For 2016

If someone would have told me seven years ago when I started writing The Fiberglass Manifesto that there would be a wave of contemporary glass rods from nearly all the fly rod companies in the coming years, my response would have likely been "Whatever..."  Fast forward to the now and it's almost weird if a fly rod company doesn't have a glass series in the line up.  With all of it has come a lot of new found interest in fiberglass fly rods with anglers from all over the world enjoying them.

When I walked onto the IFTD show floor last week I knew that there would be several new fiberglass fly rod releases but it was good to be surprised too.  Here's a quick run down of the new glass for 2016 with more information on each in the coming weeks and months.

If I wasn't going alphabetical in this post then this would be saved for last since this was the big surprise for me at IFTD.  I had no idea that Nate Dablock (formerly of Cortland) had purchased the Diamondback Rod Company and even less idea of his plans to bring back some of the "DiamondGlass" favorites in the form of the Meeker fly rods.

The E-glass Meeker line up includes four fly rods from the 6'6" two weight to 8' four weight and these fly rods had a wonderful feel to each of them along with sharp aesthetics on these builds.  The Diamondback Rod Co. logo on the black fiberglass tube tops it all off and a price point at $299 will make these really attractive to many.

Getting Diamondback Rod Company up and running is still a work in progress but the pieces are falling into place.  A website will go fully live soon but in the meantime follow along on the Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.

When Tim Rajeff first contacted me a couple years ago to start a conversation on "What if ECHO decided to do glass..." I didn't know that it would lead to an initial launch of trout weight fly rods, the addition of a full line up glass switch and spey rods, and now circling back to three more "Big Water Glass" rods to the ECHO Glass series.  

The Big Water Glass fly rods include an 8'6" four and five weight and then a 9' six weight.

Final tweeking of the tapers were still going on at IFTD with Tim and I casting the five weight with several different tips but these fly rods should be signed off on soon and available at your ECHO dealer early next year.

I already mentioned the Fenwick Fenglass launch the other day in the "3 First Looks" posts so not much more to share on that front but it was interesting to talk to many at the show and have them bring up how impressed they were with the fly rods. 

Hugh Hutson and his team at Pure Fishing did a really excellent job recreating this series and it's going to be a lot of fun seeing these in angler's hands on the water soon.

The Fenwick Fenglass will be available in early September.  Check out the website for more information.

Every time I meet with someone from The Orvis Company they mention how surprised that they have been with the interest in the Superfine Glass series.  In short, it surpassed expectations of sales and along the way there have been suggestions expanding the family with a couple more fly rods. 

Orvis did a good job at listening and there will soon be a 7'6" three weight and a 8'6" six weight (complete with fighting butt) to choose from rounding out the family to five fly rods in the Superfine Glass series.

I've played around with several prototypes of these two new fly rods and they are both excellent.  The three weight is feels like a stepped down version of the 7'6" four weight and the six weight is going to make big trout and warmwater anglers very happy.

If you do a search on T.F.M. then you'll find quite a few posts on the Superfine Glass series and they glow with accolades for these fly rods.  I'm not the only one that's been impressed and while at IFTD, Superfine Glass designer and all around "Glass Geek" Shawn Combs received an award from Gray's Sporting Journal for the Superfine Glass as a "Gray's Best 2015".  Congrats.

Look for these additions to the Superfine Glass family to show up on dealers racks (and online) in October.

Well, that's what is new in glass for the coming year.  There will be a follow up post on IFTD in a couple days with a baker's dozen of cool things that I saw at the show.

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