Loads of new electronics, rods, reels, lures, sunglasses and performance fishing apparel
April 2, 2015
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PowerPro has debuted Maxcuatro braided fishing line, employing Honeywell’s new high-tenacity fiber — Spectra HT — which the company says is 25 percent thinner than and twice as abrasion-resistant as previous braid. The fiber, exclusive to the PowerPro brand, allows for special processing that contributes to longer casting. Anglers can downsize their tackle and still enjoy loads of capacity for longer-running fish in saltwater applications. Maxcuatro is offered in moss green and high-viz yellow, and in 50-, 65-, 80-, and 100-pound-tests on 150-, 500- 1,500-, and 3,000-yard spools. Prices range from $28.99 (150 yards of 50-pound) to $699.99 (3,000 yards of 100-pound).
West Marine Blacktip Baitcaster Combo
West Marine‘s exclusive Blacktip Baitcaster Rod-and-Reel Combo merges a 7-foot conventional, medium-heavy casting rod with a Shimano Corvalus CVL-400 round baitcasting reel. Rated for 15- to 25-pound-class line, the outfit suits most inshore applications. The reel holds 240 yards of 12-pound-test and features a gear ratio of 5.2-to-1 (retrieving 22 inches of line per crank). It comes with Shimano’s variable brake system, three ball bearings and one roller bearing. The combo costs $199.99.
Garmin Panoptix All-Seeing Sonar
In a major announcement at February’s Miami International Boat Show, Garmin introduced its Panoptix All-Seeing Sonar. This multibeam-transducer technology allows anglers to see forward, backward, sideways and down in real time; it was previously available only in the offshore commercial market. With a Panoptix Forward transducer, anglers can see the bottom, structure, even fish in front of the boat in LiveVü or RealVü 3-D modes. With a Panoptix Down transducer, the screen shows what’s swimming below the boat in any direction in LiveVü, RealVü 3-D Historical or RealVü 3-D Down views. Currently, Garmin offers only transom- or trolling-motor-mount transducers. The price is $1,499.99.
Sperry Kingfisher 2
Sperry has taken an angler favorite in the Kingfisher 2 and updated it with lighter (9.7 ounces), sleeker styling, and a 50 percent reduction in shock and vibration. The enhanced ASV technology in the outsole offers improved cushioning and comfort from heel to toe. The adaptive wave siping and Hydro Grip rubber combine to deliver maximum traction and stability on wet deck surfaces. Kingfisher 2 shoes come in sizes 7 to 13 and in gray/lime or white/blue. They cost $140.
With the TZtouch2, Furuno has taken its next step in refining the multitouch NavNet navigation system. The new multifunction display now comes with a built-in dual-frequency fish finder and 56-channel GPS receiver. For the fish finder, Furuno has introduced RezBoost technology, which sharpens fish-target images four to eight times. To further simplify use, Furuno has refined its interface, employing easy icons and drag-and-drop convenience, and instituting an edge-swipe motion common on today’s smart devices. Choose a 12.1-inch ($3,995) or 15.6-inch ($5,995) display.
Yeti Seafoam Cooler
Yeti now offers a springtime-edition Seafoam Cooler in its four most popular sizes: the Roadie 20 (14 cans/20 pounds of ice, $249.99), and Tundra 35 (20 cans/28 pounds of ice, $299.99), 45 (26 cans/35 pounds of ice, $349.99) and 65 (39 cans/56 pounds of ice, $399.99). The light-green versions of these rotomolded polyethylene coolers are UV resistant and heavily insulated; the Tundras feature double-haul handles made from military-grade nylon rope, nonslip feet and a vortex drain system. Yetis also come in white, desert tan and ice blue.
Raymarine CP570 CHIRP Sonar
Engineered for serious blue-water anglers, Raymarine‘s new CP570 Professional CHIRP Sonar ($1,999, pictured) features the latest generation of intelligent CHIRP signal processing. The CP570 can see through dense schools of baitfish, identify thermoclines, and clearly target game fish. The black-box unit comes with improved automatic sensitivity controls and noise filtering, Raymarine’s digital surface filtering, and two fully independent sonar channels with up to 4 kW of output power to deliver fast target identification. Raymarine also now offers the 2 kW CP470 ($1,199) and the non-CHIRP, 1 kW CP370 Digital Sonar ($699).
OceanLED Pro Series HD Allure Lights
OceanLED has unveiled premier additions to its Pro Series bronze lights with the HD Allure 50XFM and 150XFM. These new underwater lights offer the latest in LED technology, which allows them to run at maximum brightness with minimal heat. The lights feature 3,000 to 6,500 fixture lumens, brightness that’s equivalent to 50 W and 150 W HID/metal halides. The Allures feature an aluminum-bronze housing, fit flush, and are exchangeable from inside the hull using a simple plug-and-play system. Allure 50XFM ($1,499) and 150 XFM ($1,999) HDs are available in ultrawhite and midnight blue colors.
SeaStar Solutions EPS
Power steering dramatically changes the way a boat handles, and has become almost a must-have for today’s most powerful outboards. SeaStar Solutions, which makes systems for twin- and triple-outboard-powered boats, now offers its Optimus electronic power steering (EPS) for single- and quad-powered boats. The brains reside in the Pump Control Module and in the system’s “smart” hydraulic cylinders. The electronic helm (pictured) takes input and converts steering-wheel rotation to electronic signals that travel on a CanBUS network to the control module, which drives the hydraulic pumps. Pricing for the custom installations will vary, but the single-engine system should cost about $4,300 plus labor.
Shimano Torium A
Shimano placed heavy emphasis on corrosion resistance with these newly designed Torium star-drag reels, using an in-house treatment process and adding durability with nonflexing aluminum side plates and a cold-forged aluminum spool. The Torium A reels also feature High Efficiency Gearing and a 6.2-to-1 gear ratio capable of retrieving 46 inches of line per crank. Cross Carbon drag washers and anti-rust bearings add smoothness. Offered currently in three sizes — for 50- to 80-pound braid or 15- to 40-pound mono — Torium A’s cost $229.99 to $249.99.
Berkley Gulp! and Gulp! Alive! Doubletails
Berkley‘s Gulp! and Gulp! Alive! Doubletails draw on the proven designs of the company’s swimming mullet and minnow grub. Doubletails’ twin appendages move erratically when the bait is retrieved at any speed. Available in 3- and 4-inch lengths, Doubletails can be fished multiple ways, whether from a jig head beneath a popping cork or in a more weedless fashion. Doubletails come in eight Gulp! saltwater colors, including nuclear chicken (pictured) and new penny, and in four Gulp! Alive! colors. Bags cost $6.99; half-pint buckets cost $9.95.
Designed for anglers who navigate in unfamiliar waters or in inclement conditions, Simrad‘s new ForwardScan forward-looking echo-sounder transducer provides a unique look ahead of the boat, alerting captains to dangerous coral heads, shoals and other underwater obstructions. Its effective range is eight times the actual depth. The transducer is compatible with the SonarHub sounder module, and with Simrad NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 systems. ForwardScan images can also be viewed on a smartphone or tablet on vessels equipped with Simrad GoFree Wi-Fi. The transducer costs $699 and can be mounted to almost any vessel.
Raymarine Dragonfly 4 and 5
Raymarine has expanded its Dragonfly multifunction-display lineup to introduce two new families — the 4 and 5 — starting below $200. Within the 4 and 5 lines, Raymarine offers seven models, providing CHIRP sonar and wireless mobile-device integration. The model range starts with the 4.3-inch 4 DV ($199.99) with CHIRP DownVision and tops out with the 5-inch 5 Pro, a sonar/10 Hz GPS combo with CHIRP DownVision, conventional CHIRP, and Wi-Fi ($549.99). Raymarine also offers the Wi-Fish ($199.99), a wireless black-box sonar with DownVision for mobile devices built on the Dragonfly platform. The new units join current Dragonfly 6 and 7 versions.
Steiner Navigator Pro
Steiner has introduced a new line of marine binoculars with the Navigator Pro series. Pros come in four models: two compact versions in 7×30 (meaning the image is magnified seven times, and the objective lens measures 30 mm wide) and 7×30 with compass, and two full-size versions in 7×50 and 7×50 with compass. Steiner has improved the rubber armoring and the waterproof protection of the Pro series compared with the original Navigator series. On the compass models, an internal light makes navigation after dark easier. Prices range from $299.99 to $599.99.
Halco designed its new C-Gar weighted stickbait with a medium sink rate for use on the surface or subsurface, depending on the retrieve. Halco says the C-Gar’s action is less splashy than a popper, yet it still produces enough surface disturbance to entice strikes. The lure comes with Mustad 1/0 treble hooks and Halco’s extra-strong fish rings. Measuring 4½ inches long and weighing 1½ ounces, C-Gars come in seven clear-polymer or traditional finishes, and cost $13.49.
Humminbird ONIX NT
Humminbird has added keypad-control versions to its ONIX fish-finder lineup with four new NT (nontactile) models. The 8- and 10-inch screen NTs offer the same technologies, features, and networking of the original ONIX units, but with a traditional keyboard, toggle control, and track wheel embedded next to the display in place of the touch-screen capability. ONIX 8 SI NT ($2,199.99) and ONIX 10 SI NT ($2,699.99) come with HD side and down imaging. All come with DualBeam PLUS Sonar with SwitchFire, internal GPS, and Tri-Fuel Cartography. The two standard sonar/GPS units cost $1,499.99 (8-inch) and $1,999.99 (10-inch).
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000
Abu Garcia says it has maintained the power of the Ambassadeur 7000 in this newly redesigned reel series while increasing the balance and adding new features. The new 7000s (rated for 20-pound mono and 30-pound braid) feature an anti-distortion spool design and Duragear brass gears. The red C-7000 carries one bearing and comes with a multidisc drag system; the silver C3-7000 and black CS-7000 Pro Rocket carry two high-performance bearings and one roller bearing, and come with a Carbon Matrix drag system. The reels cost $149.95 to $179.95.
St. Croix Legend Trek
St. Croix built its Legend Trek travel series rods with high-modulus/high-strain SCIV graphite blanks and the company’s fortified-resin-system technology. The eight, fast-action, three-piece spinning and casting rods range from 7 to 7½ feet in length, packing down to 32 inches or less. Components include Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides with zirconia rings and titanium frames, supergrade cork handles and Fuji reel seats. With a carrying case, the rods cost $460 to $530, and come with a 15-year transferable warranty.
Mercury Midrange FourStrokes
Mercury says one-third of its engine market share goes to midrange products. So it’s no surprise that the company circled back to that range with its new FourStroke outboards, including the four-cylinder 115 (pictured). The new outboards (75, 90 and 115 hp) offer higher output, lighter weight, and lower emissions with lower maintenance costs. Mercury avoids expensive valve adjustments by offering a self-adjusting valve train. The 2.1-liter 115 weighs 363 pounds. Mercury also offers a new gear-case option called Command Thrust. The 2.38-to-1 gear ratio helps boost midrange power. The 115 costs $10,610 to $10,975.
Named after the sea that separates the Baja peninsula from the Mexican mainland, Costa‘s new Cortez sunglasses offer a large fit with a wrap shape to block glare from the sides. The venting system helps keep lenses from fogging, and the temple tips feature slots for a retainer cord. The co-injected molded nylon frames come in blackout, tortoise, shiny black, Realtree Xtra camo, crystal bronze, and white with a blue logo. All can be customized with any of Costa’s polarized 580 glass or polycarbonate lenses. Prices start at $169.
Raymarine VHF Radios
Raymarine has launched a new line of VHF radios, including the flagship multifunction Ray70 ($649), the Ray60 ($299) and the ultracompact Ray50 ($249). The Ray70 comes with a built-in 72-channel GPS receiver; its integral AIS receiver delivers vessel traffic information to compatible navigation displays. Combine it with an optional RayMic remote, and the system offers dual-station control and intercom capability. All models feature audiophile-quality speakers, noise-canceling technology, and a new design that matches Raymarine MFDs and glass-bridge displays.
Fusion Marine Audio Systems
Fusion‘s new 650 and 750 (pictured) marine audio systems are available in two configurations — one with an internal uni-dock, and the other with a DVD/CD player. The 750’s DVD/CD version offers HDMI video connection support so anglers can enjoy audio from any supported ARC television. Both the 650 and 750 feature internal Bluetooth A2DP audio-streaming capabilities and Pandora radio support. The uni-dock versions also charge and play music from smartphones or media players from a watertight internal compartment. The 750 sports a color, widescreen LCD display; the 650 features a grayscale widescreen LCD. Prices range from $549.99 to $799.99.
Navionics SonarCharts Live
Navionics‘ new SonarCharts Live feature — part of the company’s Boating app — allows anglers to create a high-definition (1-foot contour) bathymetry map that displays on their mobile device in real-time while navigating. The new information appears as an additional layer over SonarCharts, and requires a Navionics+ in-app purchase and Vexilar’s new SonarPhone T-Box hardware. The app, downloaded to your smartphone or tablet, connects wirelessly to the Vexilar transducer. Sonar information and Navionics charts display on your mobile device simultaneously. The Boating App costs $10 to $50.