The International Fly Tackle Dealer show kicks off today in Reno, with many questions soon to be answered. What will retailer attendance be? What will manufacturer/exhibitor attendance be? What is the new product vibe? And what is the state of our industry.
Actually, a lot of those questions are either already answered or soon will be. On the product front, a number of key manufacturers have either already introduced product, or at least spilled the beans enough for us to get a sense of what’s going down.
Sage, for example, unveiled CIRCA, its slow action rod at EFTTEX (the European trade show) back in June; Simms launched its entire product line at ICAST. A number of other manufacturers were at the recent Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City.
So what are the trends?
Premium products for premium prices. Whether you think the economy has turned for the better or not, many manufacturers do not seem afraid to market at the top end. Perhaps the most dramatic case in point will be Sage’s introduction of the ONE Elite, which is tricked out with premium titanium components like guides and reel seat, for a smooth $1295 retail. We’re also going to see $800 waders, $250 boots, and a revival of reels that retail north of the $500 mark.
That’s not to say that we don’t expect some bargain priced products (and we’ll be reporting on those), but the arrows are definitely pointing up.
We’re going to get a good fix on the state of the fly fishing industry later this morning when AFFTA releases the results of a Southwick study on fly fishing demographics and the market as a whole.
Stay tuned for more updates at anglingtrade.com.