Most anglers become addicted to new tackle and gear. That’s why Sport Fishing’s editors look forward each summer to the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, also called ICAST. This year’s event—July 19-22 in Orlando, Florida—will amass thousands of manufacturers, dealers, and media representatives for a saltwater and freshwater show-and-tell.
Although the public can’t attend this trade-only convention, Sport Fishing plans to bring you daily coverage on social media. We’ll continue the reporting after the show at sportfishingmag.com. However, we know you’d like at least a taste of the new stuff right now, so here are several new products gear-makers have shared.
Penn’s new Authority spinning reel features an IPX8 waterproof rating, CNC Gear technology with a stainless-steel gear train and pinion gear, and Leveline slow oscillation system. The 12+1 bearing system delivers a smooth retrieve, and the Dura-Drag generates maximum drag pressure. Available in September, Authority will come in sizes ranging from 2500 to 10500 and cost $499.95 to $599.95.
St. Croix’s new Rift rod series includes 16 Rift Salt boat models and 12 Rift Jig models, designed as thinner, lighter rods for inshore and nearshore fishing. The rods feature SCIII carbon blanks, EVA handles, and stainless-steel frames with Alconite inserts. Rift Salt rods are available in seven conventional and nine spinning models. Rift Jig rods come in six conventional and six spinning models. The rods cost $290 to $350.
Shimano says its new World Pop 69F Flash Boost is a multipurpose fresh- and saltwater lure that triggers explosive strikes. The cupped face of the 2 ¾-inch hard bait creates surface commotion while the bait’s body makes a deep gurgling sound with a dramatic bubble trail as it’s worked. This is Shimano’s first popper to incorporate the company’s Flash Boost technology, a visual enhancement created by suspending reflective foil on micro springs within the lure’s body. The World Pop 69F weighs 3/8 ounces and comes in 10 colors. It costs $19.99.
Designed by kayak anglers, AFTCO’s Waterline Kayak Shorts are made from Air-O Mesh performance fabric that stretches. The elastic waistband creates more comfort for all-day sitting. The shorts feature a pliers pocket, dual hand pockets, and zippered thigh and back pockets with drainage. Available next spring in sizes 28 through 42, Waterline’s measure 10 inches along the inseam and cost $79.
Yeti has added two hard-sided, wheeled coolers to its Roadie model lineup. The 48 (left, available now) and the 60 (right, available August 23) feature a retractable, dolly-style handle, leakproof drain plug, nonslip feet, and Neverflat wheels. The 48 weighs 25.7 pounds, holds 41 cans (2:1 ice-to-can ratio), and costs $450. The 60 weighs 28.8 pounds, holds 51 cans, and costs $500. Wheeled Roadies come in white or charcoal.
Garmin has taken its LiveScope real-time sonar technology and extended the range for deeper open waters. The new LiveScope XR system delivers imagery of fish and structure up to 500 feet in front of or below the boat in fresh water and up to 350 feet in salt water, without sacrificing image clarity and resolution. The functions reside in the new GLS 10 black box and accompanying XR LVS62 trolling-motor-mount transducer, which offers three vantage points. Turn the ’ducer forward to see ahead, down to see beneath the boat, or sideways for a top-down perspective of open water or shorelines. The complete package costs $2,999.99.
Huk’s A1A Pro Guide pants feature abrasion-resistant-fabric side patches to cut wear and tear while poling the flats. They offer 50+ UPF protection and employ an eight-pocket design that includes two side cargo pockets with grommets and two zippered back pockets. The waist and hem adjust, and the fabric has a durable water-repellent finish. Made from 94 percent nylon and 6 percent spandex, the pants are available in night owl gray and in sizes S through 3XL; they cost $125 to $130.
Z-Man pro C.A. Richardson has studied the parallels between freshwater bass tactics and those for redfish, and began experimenting with Z-Man’s popular Ned rig finesse technique in saltwater applications. The result: the Salty Ned ShrimpZ. He calls it “a tasty little cocktail shrimp for selective inshore predators.” The soft bait measures 2 1/2 inches and is made from ElaZtech. Its buoyancy and flared appendages allow it to land softly and parachute slowly toward the bottom. Rig it on any ShroomZ, NedlockZ or Texas Eye Finesse series jigheads. Available in August, the Salty Ned ShrimpZ will come in 10 patterns and cost $4.99 per six-pack.
Daiwa designed its new live-lining spinning reel — the Free Swimmer — with an automatic bite-and-run clutch at the base of its body, which allows anglers to instantly disengage the spool so line can peel off with little or no resistance while the bail is closed. Adjust spoon tension with the small tension-control knob at the back of the reel. The Free Swimmer also features an Air Rotor and waterproof, carbon Automatic Tournament Drag. It comes in 8000 and 10000 sizes and costs $199.99.
Frabill says its Witness Weigh net is the first combined net, scale and ruler for fresh and saltwater anglers. The net comes with a built-in 30-pound scale that weighs the fish while it is suspended in the mesh, eliminating the need to handle the catch or hang the fish vertically. Scoop the fish, remove the hook and then hold the net vertically to record the weight. Witness features tangle-free micro-mesh netting and a flat bottom for safer fish handling. The 48-inch, aluminum handle is marked to take measurements of up to 30 inches. Available this fall, Witness costs $149.99.
Penn has updated and upgraded its Fathom reels in the Fathom II Lever Drag series. Integrating the palm side plate and frame allows these reels to be more compact in hand and reduces their weight. The pull-to-turn preset knob lets anglers set it and forget it. The Quick Shift II two-speed system functions similarly to the Penn Internationals. Available in single- and two-speed models and in a wide range of sizes, including a new 80, Fathom II LDs start at $229.95 and will be available in September.