Tackle Sneak Preview

An advance peek at hot new fishing gear available in coming months

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When U.S. tackle makers convene mid-July for their national industry trade show (ICAST) in Las Vegas, they trot out the latest, top-secret R&D projects to show dealers and media from all over the world. And while the public can’t attend this convention, anglers will begin to see these new products on store shelves as early as this summer. To offer an exclusive glimpse at some of the truly cool new stuff these companies plan to introduce, Sport Fishing editors convinced their industry sources to provide a few hush-hush details. Here are 10 all-new offerings for SF readers to see, even before ICAST participants get the chance.
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OKUMA
What's hot: RAWII spinning reel
The buzz: Unique, new proprietary aluminum promises unprecedented corrosion resistance; big on carbon — all-carbon drag washers and carbon handle. Nice cosmetics too.
Available: September
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AFTCO
What's hot: RDT reel seat/rod butt
The buzz: This amazing gizmo displays the exact amount of tension in your line as you fight a fish. Readout shows in pounds or kilograms on the self-contained, electronic scale built into the foregrip.
Available: July
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YO-ZURI
What's hot: Crystal 3D Shrimp
The buzz: This is Yo-Zuri's first-ever shrimp, and it looks like an inshore hottie. Check out the rubber "legs," ultraviolet colors and holographic internal foil. Sources tell us its tight wiggling action makes for muy realistic movement with an enticing pause-and-twitch retrieve.
Available: January 2012
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ACCURATE
What's hot: Twinspin SR-6
The buzz: Ending years of speculation, Accurate is finally entering the inshore market. While details are veiled (we could get only a computer-generated view), expect the company's twin drag, machined 6061 T6 aircraft-aluminum construction and ABEC class 7 bearings in its smallest-ever package.
Available: September
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FIN-NOR
What's hot: Marquesa two-speed, lever-drag conventional reel
The buzz: Acceding to public demand, Fin-Nor will unveil its popular Marquesa as a two-speed (sizes 20 and 30). Given the Marquesa's selling points, look for max drag at free spool and inches-per-turn in high-speed mode to put the Marquesa around the top of its class.
Available: September
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PLANO
What's hot: Hydro-Flow StowAway Utility Boxes
The buzz: Available in three sizes with adjustable compartments, Hydro-Flo boxes feature hundreds of small holes that allow air to circulate around wet baits. Rinse boxes with fresh water after use to ­inhibit corrosion.
Available: January 2012
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BERKLEY
What's hot: Gulp! Flats Worm
The buzz: World's best-selling scented/flavored line of baits gets a new look in 4-inch inshore bait, heavy enough to skip under docks or mangroves. Designed by pros and sporting some cool new colors.
Available: late June
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PENN
What's hot: Fathom star-drag conventional reel
The buzz: Penn's newest aims for heavy duty but stays light in weight. Expect the aluminum Fathom in a range of sizes from 12 to 40, designed for multiuse: casting, trolling and, of course, jigging.
Available: September
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**
** HI-SEAS
What's hot: Grand Slam Select
The buzz: Hi-Seas touts this 100 percent copolymer line as best in knot strength, abrasion resistance and castability. Color: fluorescent, clear blue (high-viz above water; translucent below).
Available: September
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WILLIAMSON
What's hot: Raku Jig
The buzz: This newest wrinkle on the Japanese Inchiku, or "slow" jig, promises irresistible action when moved slowly or — in a ­current — barely at all. The jig heads, up to 7 ounces, create more flutter than previous rounded heads, and the hook-bearing squid adds flash.
Available: October