It’s an interesting time for fly fishing gear manufacturers. The ongoing pandemic has cancelled trade shows and outdoor expos, so marketing departments are working through what’s become an unfortunate new normal. How do you introduce a consumer base — even a loyal one — to new products?
Simms is facing that challenge as I write this. The company’s new Flyweight gear collection is aimed at a specific customer base — active anglers who work hard to get away from crowds … folks who might hike a few miles, even in waders and toting gear, as they pursue fish in less civilized locales. These are also anglers who take seriously the investment they make in their gear, largely because they depend so much on their gear to enjoy their pursuits. So how do you market “new stuff” to an audience that might be skeptical about buying before touching, either at an outdoors expo or in the fly shop?
Here’s Simms’ solution:
As Simms Marketing Manager John Frazier noted, the he gear is designed to be lighter and offer more mobility — attributes any angler can appreciate, not just the ones who hit the trail for miles before stringing up a fly rod.
“Personally, I don’t think I’m going to hike miles and miles each and every time I hit the water, but it’s so cool to have a wader and a collection of gear specifically designed for that purpose.” Frazier said. “Just like you have different rods, and reels for different situations, it’s incredibly advantageous to diversify your wader and gear quiver to allow optimal performance for specific scenarios.”
The new Flyweight line includes the men’s Flyweight stocking foot waders that features four layers of Gore-tex on the lower half, and three layers on the upper, along with Stretch Gore in the crotch area and under the arms. The waders will feature “athletic mode” and “relaxed mode” via zippers under the arms. The new waders will retail for $549.95.
Also included in the new product line are three jackets — the Flyweight shell ($299.95), the Flyweight Access hoody ($199.95) and the Flyweight Access jacket ($179.95).
Other accessories are also launching under the Flyweight line, including the new Flyweight backpack ($179.95), a hybrid hip pack that comes with bottle holsters and a large “pod” for gear storage and the Flyweight Tech utility belt, among other items. The gear is designed to work together to allow anglers who like to venture off the beaten path in both comfort and function.
The new Flyweight line launches on March 1. A sneak preview is available on the Simms website. Stay tuned … we’ll be testing this gear in the near future, and we’ll let you know what we think.