Tackle continues to grow lighter and lighter. Look no further than Quantum's new EXO reel series. The baitcast and spinning reels will be used primarily in freshwater, but they epitomize the growing trend of reduced materials in reels, with the idea of lightening the load while retaining structural stability. This trend is nothing new and is happening with all the big brands, both in fresh- and saltwater tackle - but the engineering is getting better and better with each passing year. Look to Shimano's new Stradic FJ or Sustain FG reels and Daiwa's Certade and Ballistic lines, as well; a lot of evolution here from all the big players.
Lures continue to become incredibly realistic. Lure fishing as I remember it 20 years ago was based more on shape and design, but the colors, finishes and details available on today's products continue to amaze me. It, too, is getting better and better. Check out Yo-Zuri's 3D Prism and Color Change technologies incorporated into the company's lineup of saltwater lures. The Dorado finish simply blew my mind - turn it to the side or up-and-down, and the color changes before your eyes. Doggone if it doesn't look like a peanut dolphin! Ditto on Yo-Zuri's floating Sashimi 3D Squirt. Looks exactly like a squid, both in color AND design. The finishes the lure companies are developing today is simply astounding.
The same can be said for lines. They are evolving into realms that two decades ago, we never could've imagined. Take Berkley's new Nanofil, for example. While it may only be offered up to 12-pound test right now, targeting primarily the freshwater arena, its composition is certainly unique. It's built with Dyneema, but the carriers are not braided; instead, they are aligned in a linear fashion and molecularly linked, which creates a braid-like line for spinning reels that's incredibly supple, almost like mono.