Shadow Fly Fishing's Warrior fly rod. Note the handle design.

Shadow Fly Fishing is a startup company out of northwestern Pennsylvania that feels that the prices customers are paying for high-end fly rods have traveled much too far from the manufacturers' costs in producing them. According to the company, the gap in these prices has growth much too large, leading most customers to the conclusion that they have to compromise in quality in order to be able to afford a new rod. Not so, says Shadow, and to prove it they've recently introduced what they call two of the world's lightest and highest quality fly rods at prices that are a fraction of the industry leading offerings.

In today's market, light and fast are the hallmarks of the most popular (and expensive) rods, and one Shadow Fly Fishing's initial offerings aims to offer both. Dubbed 'The Warrior', Shadow's fast-action offering weights in at 2.59 ounces and is initially available in two sizes, with a 5 and 7 weight available in 9 foot lengths. Shadow's medium-action offering, the Stalker, checks in at 2.58 ounces and is initially available in only one size, the universally popular 9 foot 5 weight.

A still from the new trailer.

Confluence Films, makers of the highly regarded fly fishing documentaries Connect, Rise and Drift, have released a new trailer for their upcoming film, Waypoints. Waypoints takes viewers to exotic, world class fly fishing destinations such as Chile, Venezuela, India, Alaska and St. Brandon's Atoll.

The trailer is more of a teaser, but will undoubtedly get your blood pumping with brief but tantalizing shots of beautiful vistas, tantalizing water and exotic species such as India's giant mahseer.

Not the least bit subtle in character.

Although I live in a region of the country where Northern Pike aren't exactly abundant, there are a reasonable number of opportunities to pursue the toothy predators within a few hours of my urban home of Philadelphia. Despite this fact, I've never made the journey. This was partly because I'd heard so many tales of their elusiveness, tales of long days spent on the water only to go home empty handed, determined to return again in the hopes of success. Mostly, however, it was because of my unfamiliarity with pike and my resulting uncertainty about what tactics to employ for success. When you've heard fishermen -- ones you know are more skilled than you -- tell tales of repeated skunkings when pursuing any species, the last thing you want to do is head out on your own pursuit of that species without a solid game plan. Not having one, I just stayed home.

Had anyone bothered to mention how similar fly fishing for pike is to fly fishing for largemouth bass, I'd have made the trip sooner. While I'm sure seeking pike in all locations doesn't require the same exact approach, there's no question that stalking pike with the fly is eerily similar to stalking largemouth with the fly.

It's also worth mentioning that, just like fly fishing for largemouth bass, fly fishing for pike is easy. Really easy.

From left: the Umpqua Toketee and Swiftwater Tech vests.

Umpqua Feather Merchants, who announced today the addition of the Toketee and Swiftwater Tech Vests to its lineup of fly fishing products, wants you to know a lot about their vests' pockets -- while keeping in mind that it's not all about pockets.

"When we first started looking at fishing vest, we were shocked that it wasn't really a game about innovation; it was a contest to see who could put the most pockets on a vest," explained Jeff Fryhover, Umpqua President & CEO. "That approach simply wouldn't work for us, we wanted a vest with everything you need and nothing you don't."

According to information on the new vests provided by Umpqua, the one-size fits all Toketee Vest features cushioned shoulder straps, a supportive back panel, and several inside and outside pockets with a "unique cross-body pocket orientation" for easy accessibility. The outside of the vest includes six external pockets with internal stretch-mesh accessory pockets, eight coated web attachment loops/retractor stations, two molded barbless fly rigging stations, and tricot-lined hand pockets. The vest is also equipped with YKK zippers with loop primary pulls and micro-tectured secondary pulls, a back D-ring and web loops for net attachment.

Abel's new, hand-painted Grateful Dead 'Steal Your Face' design.

If you're a lover of premium reels and the Grateful Dead, then Abel is offering the reel for you, albeit in very limited quantity. Beginning immediately, Abel is offering the iconic Grateful Dead "Steal Your Face" logo on both its Classic Series and Super Series reels. Abel is only offering the hand painted Grateful Dead design on 250 reels, and snagging one will run you a $300 premium over the price of the same reel in plain black.

“This has been a dream of ours for over 10 years to partner with the Grateful Dead, and offer our shared loyal fans a hand painted reel that symbolizes their passion for fly fishing and the music of the Grateful Dead. We can think of no better way to mark our 25 offering a custom designed reel that celebrates the rich American heritage of both Abel Reels and the Grateful Dead,” said Jeff Patterson, Abel Director of Sales.