Umpqua first showed off its new 'Zero Sweep' line of packs, bags, vests and more at this year's IFTD in Orlando and has now formally launched the line. Zero Sweep, which was developed in cooperation with US Special Operations veterans, is more of a design philosophy than it is one particular feature or set of features. The primary goal of 'Zero Sweep' is simple: eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, line snags while on the water. Any angler who spends even a small amount of time on the water knows that line snags can not only be incredibly frustrating, but can lead to bad casts, lost fish and so on. Umpqua wants to do away with them.
If the idea of enlisting special ops to help design fishing vests and packs sounds a bit over-the-top to you, you're probably not alone. But in the increasingly competitive market which those products occupy, companies are continuously looking for ways to modify their existing designs that not only mean better functionality and better fishing for the customers that buy them, but also make for good marketing. Umpqua's Zero Sweep likely fits both bills.
And the special ops tie in isn't disingenuous. The idea of designing packs, bags and other wearables that won't snag and grab equipment is well-preached and practiced in the military, where the consequences of such inconveniences are incredibly more dire than losing a big brown trout that emerged from under a logjam to snatch your dolly llama. Passing that philosophy on to the design of vests, packs and more that are worn by anglers won't likely save any lives, but it very well may make for a better day on the stream.
As noted, Zero Sweep is a design philosophy, one that focuses on building and assembling in a manner that sheaths or conceals potential snags. Fly patches are sewn on in a manner where edges are neatly tucked under hems, attachment points for nippers, hemostats and such are
hidden under tabs or threaded through ports, buckles have their edges hidden, zippers are closed foot and have specially designed-not-to-grab zipper pulls and so on.
The Zero Sweep line includes 12 new products in total — two waist packs, two chest packs, three sling packs, a backpack, a tech vest and a revamped version of its very succesful, stupid-simple, I-should-have-though-of-that Tailgater Organizer.
Umpqua expects to have Zero Sweep in fly shops and available online for landing in customer's hands by this year's holiday season. For more information, head to Umqua.