It’s not every day that a brand new fly fishing apparel brand launches, let alone one manned by a team of people that have resumes that include tenures spent at some of the industry’s most preeminent brands—gear makers such as Sitka, YETI, Simms, Patagonia, and Orvis. It’s partially because of its team’s pedigree that Montana-based newcomer Skwala Fishing is already turning heads. According to Skwala, the brand intends to shake up the fly fishing apparel industry with fresh new thinking and designs.
“We have been working on this brand for well over two years and now we are pleased to let the world to see what we have been up to,” says Kevin Sloan, Skwala’s CEO and Founder. “We think the fly fishing apparel world is ready for some new thinking about apparel design and construction that allows anglers to go further in their fly fishing pursuits.”
Skwala debuts with a core line of 10 products which includes waders, jackets, pants, shorts, and shirts. At first glance, most of Skwala’s products look familiar — 5-layer waders, puff jackets, polyester sun shirts and so on — but a closer look at least suggests Skwala is sincere about its intention of bringing fresh new thinking to fly fishing apparel product design. Features like a wholly redesigned suspension system for waders, pass-through warming pockets that that are designed to line up and marry as anglers layer and combine gear, and other unique details indicate that Skwala’s product designers are trying to solve problems not addressed by existing gear options.
It also seems evident that the team at Skwala has a lot of confidence in the product line it is debuting. Unlike many newcomer brands, or even existing brands breaking into new product arenas, Skwala isn’t being bashful about its pricing. Sticker prices on its top-of-the-line waders, wading jackets, sun shirts, and more, will go toe to toe with industry giants with impressive reputations, a proven track record, and generational customer loyalty.
At launch, Skwala products will be available online through the company’s website, and through a select group of fly fishing retailers across the country, including Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, MT; Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop in Missoula, MT; WorldCast Anglers in Victor, ID; and Charlie’s Fly Box in Arvada, CO.