A Badass Outfit that’s also a Sweetheart
The new Scott Sector fly rod, combined with the new Lamson Speedster S reel and new Scientific Anglers Infinity Salt fly line. This outfit makes a killer 7, 8 or 9 weight that’s as versatile as they come. It’s a badass in that it’s got the power to punch wind and stop brutal runs. It’s a sweetheart in that it’s got the touch and feel to make dangerously accurate and delicate presentations. From flats to backcountry, beach to docklights – a sweet and salty outfit to do it all.
Tying Tools from the Fly Makers
Umpqua, one of the biggest names in fly design, has launched a series of tying tools that are top notch. We really like the cross-etched grip machined into each tool. The star of the show is the tying pick, for when a bodkin just isn’t sturdy enough to get the job done.
Umpqua Saltwater Hooks
Umpqua with another big move. The new XS series of hooks are awesome. Crazy sharp, crazy strong, and designed to cover all your needs as a saltwater tier. You’ve got the XS506H (the jig hook) for redfish, bonefish and permit shrimp patterns. The XS415, a great shape for baitfish patterns. The XS415H, same as the XS415 but heavier wire, great for worm patterns and most small patterns for large tarpon. The XS420 an all around flats design for longer shanked baitfish to crab and shrimp patterns.
Bars Make it Buggy
MFC’s new Fine Barred Marabou is some extremely buggy stuff. The barbs (or fibers) of the feather are super fine, long and supple offering absolutely incredible movement in the water. The fine bars are natural and unobtrusive. We’re loving this material for collars on snook and tarpon flies, but it also makes a great tail and wing material. MFC’s Barred Saddle Hackle and Barred Schlappen are not necessarily new products, but they’re new to the shop and they’re great natural materials at a great price.
2 New Tarpon Flies, a Permit Fly and a Redfish Fly
RIO launched two new patterns for the poon and those who hunt them. The RIO’s Dread Pirate – a sort of deer hair toad, this bug is going to track straight and ride high in the water column. It’s going to land softly and move seductively. We’ll use it for big tarpon and little ones, for backcountry sleepers and oceanside sliders. We all know how effective of a worm fly the Foam Palolo is, well RIO added hackle in between the foam for a perfectly straight wiggle effect. How didn’t we think of that? That’s RIO’s Palolo Slider. Fulling Mill’s Grand Slam Crab is a Keel Crab, an extremely effective merkin variation for Cuban permit and for Exmouth’s Indo-Pac permit. We brought in the Redfish Mariboo earlier this year from Jacksonville tier Jesse Lebrecht. We brought them in for flood tide and skinny water reds, he recently tied some heavy ones up for us for Louisiana and deeper water.
The Distance Kit
TFO’s new Axiom II – X is a bomber. The materials and the taper of this stick are constructed for high line speed and long distance tosses. A great 8 or 9 weight for the backcountry, the beach and the bass angler to have in their arsenal. In the above photo, that snook was busting bait around 75′ out from where we were stuck on a hump that didn’t have enough water for the skiff to cross yet. The A II – X made easy work of that distance. With their second appearance on this list you can tell we really like the new Lamson Speedster S and SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity Salt line for nearly all shallow water applications.
The Lamson Fleet
We’ve brought up the Speedster S a few times, it’s our favorite of the Lamson reels (aside from the Cobalt which is not on this list only because it doesn’t qualify as new for 2020). But the rest of the Lamson fleet underwent some pretty cool upgrades as well. They’re now some of the best looking reels on the water. Looks aside these renovations were performance orientated as well. The reels were made lighter. They were given better retrieval rates, better ergonomics and more strength/durability. All with the reliable sealed drag systems Lamson is known for.
All the Ingredients
Tying materials kits are all the materials you need to tie a specific fly. Most of the kits are good for as many flies as the included pack of hooks contains, and usually more once you re-up on hooks. All the materials kits are linked to video tutorials in the blog. We’ve added three new shrimp pattern kits this year: the Wooly Mantis, the Sad Flea and the Red Jig Slider.
To make travel preparations for fly fishing destinations a little easier we started putting together pre-made boxes of the flies you’ll need. The boxes include the guide/lodge suggested bugs for the targeted species as well some of our own picks based on experience and the experience of anglers like you. We started with a couple of the most popular destinations and we’ll be adding more throughout the year.
The Fishiest Fly Boxes on the Planet
Jorge Martinez’s passion for the ocean and its inhabitants knows no bounds. The like minded is exactly who he paints and draws for. He drew us up some new permit, bonefish and tarpon this year. The illustrations are protected and these boxes can be fished. But we find them better suited as a piece of art in your tying room, maybe put special flies in them (like the ones you caught your first bonefish, permit and tarpon on).
Good Clean Livin’
We love the simplicity of Flood Tide Co. Fly fishing is such a simple, euphoric experience. An intellectual and spiritual pursuit. The skiff illustration makes sense. But don’t ask us how raccoons and mullet resonate with that, somehow it just feels right.
Carry the Cargo
The Sage Bass II rods finally got their time to enter the age of Sage’s Konnetic Technology and the outcome is the Payload. A no nonsense big fly, heavy line throwing machine. Crisp, powerful and light, the Payload is the champ of double streamer rigs and big bass frogs. This is the rod to throw your heavy sink tip and full sinking lines. For the salt, if you want to dedicate a rod to docklights, surf and mangrove shorelines (especially from a kayak or paddle board) – this short power stick is the way to go.