2016’s best new fly tackle 

The year’s best new fly tackle blends innovation, tradition and value

With both exciting innovations and product reboots, anglers will have plenty to choose from when they head to the fly shop this year. Here’s my favourite new fly tackle of 2016.

Best Rod



Although today’s trend is toward faster rods, many anglers prefer a softer action. Developed using Sage’s Konnetic Technology, the Mod is a moderate-action rod providing accurate presentation with a delicate touch—perfect for small and medium-sized streams. The rods are nine feet long and are available in line weights 2 to 6. There are also two 13-foot Spey models for 6 and 7 weight lines.

Sage, 1-877-263-6141; www.sageflyfish.com

Best Line



Rio’s new LightLine ideally matches slower-action rods built from bamboo, fibreglass or classic graphite, as well as modern slow- and moderate-action rods. The short front taper, long body and extra-supple coating reduces coiling and yields a relaxed performance for shorter casts on smaller creeks. The rod is available in brown or ivory, and double-taper or weight-forward tapers, in weights 2 to 5.

Rio Products, 1-800-553-0838; www.rioproducts.com

Best Reel



For decades, the Pflueger Medalist was the most popular fly reel in North America, and its latest incarnation promises to continue the tradition. Featuring enhanced aluminum-machined construction and a technically advanced design, it’s available in sizes 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8, all with easy left- to right-handed conversion. The click-and-pawl drag makes that wonderful classic sound when a fish runs, and the amber polymer handle harkens back to the original Medalist.

Pflueger 1-800-554-4653; www.pfluegerfishing.com

Best Women’s Waders



Designed by women for women, these breathable waders are loaded with female-friendly features, including a comfortable and flattering fit and ergonomically cut neoprene booties. Willow River waders also easily convert from waist to chest height. For cold days, there’s a fleece-lined hand-warmer pocket, along with a zippered pocket for small items and a flip-out mesh pocket for extra necessities.

Redington, 1-800-253-2538; www.redington.com

Best Wading Boot



The inexpensive Greenback wading boots are loaded with features typically found on higher-end boots, including Korkers’ popular OmniTrax interchangeable outsole system for ensuring traction on various surfaces. The moulded EVA midsole is both cemented and sewn, providing durability, shock absorption, comfort and support, while the lightweight boots’ hydrophobic fabrics and internal drainage channels make for faster drying and less chance of spreading invasive species.

Korkers, (503) 723-7100; www.korkers.com