New Fly Fishing Equipment: September 2023 | Hatch Magazine
The fall fishing season is right around the corner, and fishing tackle manufacturers are rolling out some new items worth checking out.
From a sling case to a new Scandi shooting head, a conscientiously designed cold-weather wading jacket to a new swivel hitch vise and some items in between, here’s a quick look at some of the most promising new items for September.
Sims Freestone Z Wader
The new Simms Freestone Z waders (pictured above) are Simms’ most affordable zip-front waders – they retail for a reasonable $479.95. This is the second iteration of the Freestones zip-front boot, Simms’ hugely popular entry-level wading line, but it’s the first time we’ve seen features typically reserved for higher-end Simms boots — like Simms front and back leg seams and neoprene gravel guards — arrive on Freestones . The waders feature two large zippered pockets on either side of the waterproof front zipper. They also have two front zippered pockets that are lined with fleece to warm cold hands and fingers. The shoes come in two models – the traditional sock foot model (anatomically designed) with neoprene cobble guards or the boot foot model compatible with Simms cleat or spike systems.
Waders are investments, and the new Freestone Z seems like a safe bet for anglers in the market for a good pair. Retail: $479.95.
Buy SIMMS FREESTONE Z WADERS
Photo: Al-Aqsa Bank projects.
RIO Elite Scandi launch head
As Spey and two-handed casting continue to evolve, RIO continues to produce products to meet demand. The company’s new RIO Elite Scandi Launch Head is claimed to be the ultimate head for casting and launching small flies with a float line.
According to the company, the Elite Scandi Launch shooting head adds more weight at the back end of the head, which adds weight to the D-ring. For the record, most Scandi heads are built this way, but RIO went a step further and added more weight to the back of the head. The gentle forward taper also allows for a more precise and accurate presentation – hence the appeal among anglers who like to fish smaller flies.
As the popularity of two-handed fly fishing continues to grow, look for line makers to continue research and development that meets the call of the growing market. RIO’s new series of casting heads are worth a look, and given their mission to cast smaller flies, there may be some ‘nosy’ trout anglers and smallmouth anglers eager to try a two-handed rod. Retail: $64.99.
BUY THE RIO ELITE SCANDI LAUNCH
Photo: Sims Fishing
Simms Bulkley insulated wading jacket
Simms’ new insulated wading jacket is designed for cold weather when “excellent warmth meets unwavering protection from wet and windy weather.” The jacket is made from two-layer Gore-Tex, and lined with a breathable polyester layer to help trap warmth. It has an adjustable three-panel hood, and five total pockets – four on the outside and one on the inside.
It’s also one of Simms’ latest efforts at creating waterproof outerwear that keeps customers warm without the long-chain, non-degrading PFAS chemicals found in waters around the world. That alone makes the jacket something special (and perhaps explains its price)… Definitely worth a look. Retail: $499.95.
BUY SIMMS BULKLEY JACKET
Photo: Outdoor Color.
Color Outdoor Flexistripper
At first glance, you might think that Loon’s new Flexistripper is the funniest (and perhaps ugliest) hat you’ve ever seen. Who has a head that big? Peyton Manning?
And then, of course, you realize it’s not a hat at all — it fits around your waist and features a “cap” filled with prickly, flexible pegs meant to catch fly line as you strip the line. This is for beach anglers and beach junkies, and is generally meant to be a lightweight alternative to the ubiquitous stripping basket.
Yes, it looks funny. But for anglers tired of sand-blasted fly line or just frustrated with the undulating action that pushes the line around your ankles, function is what matters. For serious surfers, this one is worth a look. Retail: $60.
Image: Nirvana on the fly.
Nirvana V2 rotary vise
The new Nirvana V2 rotary binding vise represents a higher level in the company’s binding hardware division. It seems to be a solid addition to the tying table, especially for experienced framers who like to shoot a few dozen flies each session.
The vise features an adjustable jaw for a variety of hook sizes, and features a swivel bearing system with adjustable tension. It has a heavy base plate and has plenty of room to work, which is a boon for frames with larger hands and fingers. The rotary handle is a nice feature – some rotary vices are built-in and the handle is small or non-existent.
If you’re in the market for a new vise, and don’t want to drop a lot of cash, consider this somewhat affordable alternative. It is only available through retailers or online.
Buy Nirvana Vise V2
Photo: Tenkara USA.
Tenkara USA flyweight jacket
No, you don’t often see a tenkara rod maker displaying clothing, but this indicates the growing acceptance of the tenkara fly fishing system. It has become a mainstream hunting method, and the company that introduced tenkara to North America is taking this hide and using it.
The new Tenkara USA Fly-Weight Jacket is made of tightly woven, breathable polyester, and weighs just 9 ounces. It is easy to carry and can fit into a medium sized pocket. The jacket is marketed as water and wind resistant, but for warmer hunting conditions, it features retractable vents near the armpits. The hood is adjustable, as is the hem. The garment should fit snugly – Tenkara USA recommends choosing a size larger than you would normally wear. The company backs the product with a lifetime warranty. Retail: $89.99.