Sunday, August 13, 2017

IFTD Demo Day 2017

Evenin' Folks,
  I thought I'd start off the series of AFFTA IFTD 2017 posts with a recap of Demo Day.  IFTD Demo Day is an event where members of the media are invited to the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando before the opening of the IFTD Show and given the opportunity to talk with some manufacturers and use their new products on the water, under real conditions with a rep's (or in some cases, the designer's(!!!)) coaching and input.  It really is an incredible opportunity that I very much enjoy.  
  The setup was a little different this year in that all of the participating manufacturers were lined up along one long pond, which really made it easier to get to all the booths and make sure there was time to try all the new toys.  And, I don't want you to think that this was like casting into a 2-inch deep pool like the indoor casting ponds at various fly fishing events.  No, the water hazards of the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes golf course are trophy managed bass ponds.  Certainly not easy ponds to fish, but if you are lucky enough to hook up it's with a largemouth bass worthy of the latest and greatest products being tested.
  Unfortunately, I was skunked.  But, I was skunked using some of the most advanced fly fishing products to date.  And I had a hell of a time doing it and can't wait until Demo Day 2018!  Follow along with the photos below.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of them.  And be on the lookout for the next article in the IFTD 2017 series very soon.
  I hope you're all doing well,
Ritz Carlton Grade Lakes - IFTD Demo Day 2017
IFTD 2017 Demo Day 7am at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida
The J.W. Marriott Hotel at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Golf Course, Orlando, Florida

Hardy Fly Fishing Ultralight Series - IFTD 2017 Demo Day
Hardy Fly Fishing let me cast one of their new Zephrus Ultralight Series rods in 9' 5-weight with one of their classic Bougle reels.  This setup was designed for delicate presentations and was a pleasure to cast!

Sage Salt HD - IFTD Demo Day 2017
The new Salt HD from Sage Fly Fishing has a very soft, smooth cast and the KonneticHD technology helps put the power on for the quick casts that sight fishing saltwater fish requires.

Waterworks-Lamson Center Axis - IFTD Demo Day 2017
I had the opportunity to cast the new Waterworks-Lamson Center Axis rod and reel side-by-side with an identically outfitted conventional fly rod and reel and the difference was quite astounding! 

Orvis Helios 3 & Scientific Anglers Bonefish Line - IFTD Demo Day 2017
At the Scientific Anglers station I got to cast their new Bonefish line on an Orvis Helios 3 rod.  This combination made for near effortless casting of this 8 weight!  I'd really like to spend some more time fishing with this setup!

G Loomis IMX-PRO - IFTD Demo Day 2017
G. Loomis introduced their new IMX-PRO series of rods this year.  These rods take advantage of the IMX-PRO Matrix graphite that they've been using on their tournament bass rods.  This strong, lightweight rod was a pleasure to cast and with a price tag around $500 it's a high quality rod that's not totally out of reach.

Birds - IFTD Demo Day 2017
We weren't the only ones fishing at the Ritz-Carlton!

Simms Bus - IFTD Demo Day 2017
I spent some time talking with Nick (good name!) from Simms Fishing in front of the Simms Bus.  As a Large Outdoorsman myself, I was very happy to hear the Simms has starting increasing the sizes available on some of their more popular lines. 

Drift Boats - IFTD Demo Day 2017
The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes is a beautiful venue for the AFFTA IFTD Demo Day.  They hotel even provided drift boats and guides to help put attendees on fish!

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