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Featured Article: Show Coverage

TackleTour's "Best of Show: Fly Fishing" products from ISE 2003

Date: 2/18/03
Location: San Mateo, CA
Event Dates: 1/29-2/2
Admission: Adults: 10 Dollars 
Kids 12 and under: Free
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: There were many new cool and innovative products to hit this yearís San Mateoís Sportsmenís Expo.  Some products took last yearís successes and made them a little better, while others took on a whole new look, style, and feel. Some of the best innovations could be seen in the Fly section of the expo.


This Year's Hot Picks: Steve Abel of Abel Reels has machined a fine quality reel in his new Large Arbor Super 7 Reel.  The Cork Drag system of the Super 7 was designed to ďStop a SubĒ, therefore the fish arenít going to like this one much.  Itís remarkable how this reels stopping power can be matched with a silky smooth retrieve.  With a capacity of 225 yards of backing when lined with WF 6, you wonít have to worry about getting spooled.  The "interchangABELity" with previous ABEL Big Game spools make the conversion factor a big plus!


Surprisingly ABELís innovations did not stop at their reels.  They also manufactured a new net that makes measuring and protecting your catch easier then ever.  Their new Measuring Net allows you to safely net and measure your fish all in one easy step.  Hats off to ABEL for not only finding a better way to catch fish, but a safer way to release them!



Custom Rods Anyone??: For those who are purists, it seems that the Fly-fishing industry has been flooded by high quality rods from only a few manufacturers.  If you are seeking to put more a customized look, feel, and signature on your fishing adventures, you will find it at Raptor Rod Works of Chico, CA.  Founded by Jim Clarkson, the company manufactures personal custom rods from name brand blanks and components. Choosing your own wraps, guides, and handles really puts a piece of equipment in your hand that is individualized, not mass produced in only a few colors like the Model T Ford.  Who wants to fish with the same rod everyone else has anyway?


Any problems with busted rods or restoration, and Raptor Rod works can assist you in fixing or designing any rod to your exact specifications.



What's new on the watercraft front?: Outcast makes the most diverse line of personal watercraft on the market.  Their boats, designs, and commitment to innovation have truly kept them the leader of the PAC in this category. The new PAC 9 was made to provide increased stability and higher maximum weight capacity.  These boats allow you to reach water that was previously out of reach.  With a whole line of accessories such as pumps, motor mounts, oars, and storage options, Outcast can help you customize your rig to your personal needs.



This yearís Boat of the Year goes to Hyde for their new 2003 Combination Series drift boat. They took the proís of quiet fiberglass design, and the durability of aluminum design, and made a boat that truly gives you the best of both worlds. The hybrid hull design will keep the boat stronger over time, and provides a very stable foundation for the rower.



As if a new improved design wasnít enough alone, the options and accessories on their combination package is second to none. With recessed rod holders, a water chambering system, and the new G4 bottom, this boat has set a new standard for drift boats on the market today.

Conclusion: There were many new and exciting fly related products to see at the Sportsmenís Expo. The products above were only a few of the great products to catch our eye. The popularity of fly fishing on the West Coast continues to gain momentum and the quality and frequency of new and improved products runs in parallel to the increase in demand. Whether you wade or ride in float and drift boats you can be sure that 2003 will yield plenty more exciting products like these. Stay tuned for plenty of in depth fly rod and reel reviews on TackleTour in the next few weeks.

Thanks for a wonderful show guys! 










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