I’ll always remember the exhilaration of childhood Christmas mornings. While that capacity for delight diminishes over the years, I still feel that flash of adrenaline when I enter the annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) fishing-tackle show each July.
All Sport Fishing editors attend this trade-only event, and we report on it online with galleries and videos from the site, Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center. But before all that happens (July 11-14), we want to give you a sneak peek of the tackle, gear, paddle craft, electronics and accessories that we’ll see. As you read about these 22 soon-to-be-released items, we hope you experience a little of that youthful anticipation.
Penn International VI Reels
What’s Hot: International VI Reels
The Buzz: After nearly 15 years, the Penn International V big-game reel gets a makeover. The new International VI reels are American-made, with domestic and imported components. The new series of 28 models — including gold, silver, single- and two-speed, wide and extreme — features many upgrades; the reels are also lighter and quieter, with a more refined and adjustable Dura-Drag system. The reels come with machined, anodized-aluminum bodies and side plates, stainless-steel main and pinion gears, a Quick-Shift II two-speed system (select models), and more.
MSRP: $499.95 to $1,299.95
Xtratuf SpinDrift Boat Shoes
What’s Hot: SpinDrift Boat Shoes
The Buzz: To perform their best, anglers need proper footwear. Xtratuf says its new SpinDrift provides all-day comfort in an athletic silhouette. The molded-TPU cage and heel provide lateral stability, and the perforated, molded-EVA insole, paired with a drainage outsole, offers comfort and performance. SpinDrift also comes with Xtratuf’s nonmarking, slip-resistant chevron outsole. The shoes are available in men’s sizes 7 to 14, in black, white and blue. Women’s sizes range from 5 to 11, in blue, coral and sea foam.
Available: February 2018
Shimano Ocea Plugger Spinning Rods
What’s Hot: Ocea Plugger Full Throttle Spinning Rods
The Buzz: Offered in three lengths and strengths, Shimano’s Ocea Plugger Full Throttle spinning rods combine the company’s Spiral X and Hi-Power X blank construction. The 8-foot-2-inch medium-heavy-power and 8-foot-3-inch and 8-foot-8-inch heavy-power models were designed to throw pencil baits and poppers to pelagics. All two-piece models, the rods feature Fuji tangle-free silicon carbide K-series guides.
Cuda Telescoping Nets
What’s Hot: Telescoping Nets
The Buzz: Cuda’s new line of nets includes a dip net and three telescoping coated-mesh nets in small, medium and large sizes. The bait net features an aluminum shaft with a stainless-steel frame and a 51⁄2-inch-deep mesh bag; it measures 29 inches long. All four models feature corded nonslip grips and a replaceable net system. Unzip the water-resistant zipper to change the mesh. The small, medium and large nets are made of aluminum and range from 43⁄4 feet to a fully extended length of 73⁄4 feet, with varying net depths.
MSRP: $29.99 to $99.99
Buff Eclipse Gloves
What’s Hot: Eclipse Gloves
The Buzz: Buff’s Eclipse gloves feature advanced grip technology that’s designed to perform well in salt or fresh water. The gloves are quick-drying and breathable; Buff says they deliver unsurpassed durability and eliminate chafing with palm wrapping and bonded stretch hems. Made with antimicrobial fabric, the three-quarter-length fingers provide UPF 50 sun protection while leaving the fingertips free.
MSRP: $35 per pair
Available: Spring 2018
Storm Coastal Trick Tail Lures
What’s Hot: 360GT Coastal Trick Tail
The Buzz: Storm’s 360GT Coastal Trick Tail glides and changes directions like a fleeing baitfish when rigged with an accompanying VMC weighted swimbait hook. When paused, the bait’s entire body rocks and its tail wiggles on the descent. Remove the bait’s “tail webbing” for a more exaggerated wiggle on the fall. The Trick Tail also comes with a solid VMC jig head, an alternate rigging opportunity. The bait measures 5 inches long and is available in 18 color patterns. Each package includes one pre-rigged bait and three extra bodies.
Bluefin USA Solar Allover Billfish Shirt
What’s Hot: Solar Allover Billfish Shirt
The Buzz: The long-sleeve tee is made from a soft, microfiber-spandex-blend fabric that wears like a second skin to protect against chaffing like a rash guard. The blue billfish design is dye-sublimated to maintain the shirt’s technical features, which include SPF 40-plus sun protection and quick-drying properties. The vented armpit mesh keeps air flowing to the torso. Available in sizes XS to 2XL, the shirt features flat-lock construction.
Okuma Tesoro Reels
What’s Hot: Tesoro Star-Drag Reels
The Buzz: Okuma’s new Tesoro star-drag reels will be released in two sizes — 10 and 12 — this fall, with a third coming next year. The fully forged, machine-cut aluminum reels were designed to offer power in a small package for anglers using braided line. Tesoros feature the same gearing concept as the Makaira Sea, with helical, machine-cut stainless gears. The full-carbon and stainless wet-drag stack offers 22 pounds of max drag. The reels feature a 6.2-to-1 gear ratio and have undergone corrosion-resistant coating.
Eagle Claw Flats Blue Rods
What’s Hot: Flats Blue Saltwater Inshore Rods
The Buzz: Offered in spinning and casting models, Eagle Claw’s new Flats Blue Saltwater Inshore rods are equipped with a cork split-handle design for weight reduction, and with zirconium guides for improved casting distance. The rods employ the company’s S-Curve technology for a strong, sensitive design that maximizes lifting power and balance. Casting models come with a double-trigger reel seat. The rods feature either a camo blue or camo pink wrap.
Grundéns Deckhand Long-Sleeve Shirt
What’s Hot: Deckhand Long-Sleeve Shirt
The Buzz: The new Grundéns Deckhand long-sleeve shirt with Coolcore cooling yarn technology was designed to keep an angler cool throughout a hot day. Coolcore yarn is chemical-free and offers four-way stretch and UPF 50 sun protection. The quick-dry material wicks away moisture.
Available: Spring 2018
Z-Man SnakelockZ Jig Heads
What’s Hot: SnakelockZ Jig Heads
The Buzz: Built around strong stainless through-wires and heavy-duty Mustad UltraPoint hooks, SnakelockZ jig heads feature a swinging-hook design that allows soft-plastic swimbaits and jerk baits to appear lifelike in the water. Each jig head features a molded bait keeper that prevents soft baits from sliding out of position on hard casts or missed strikes. SnakelockZ jig heads allow easy weedless rigging, and the in-line wire and streamlined-head design slides easily through sea grass and over rock and shell. They are available in 3/0, 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes with 1⁄8-, 1⁄4- and 3⁄8-ounce weights.
Available: August 15
Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Coastal Camo
What’s Hot: 832 Advanced Superline Coastal Camo
The Buzz: The 832 Advanced Superline — a strong, durable small-diameter braid — from Sufix will soon be available in Coastal Camo for saltwater anglers. The ocean-blue color was designed to blend in with the natural environment. Like its 832 brethren, Coastal Camo is formulated with eight fibers — seven Dyneema and one Gore — at 32 pics (weaves) per inch. The new line will come in 6- to 80-pound-test line classes and in spools ranging from 150 to 3,500 yards.
MSRP: $15.99 to $349.99
Quantum Smoke Inshore Reel
What’s Hot: Smoke Inshore Reel
The Buzz: Redesigned from the ground up, this third-generation Smoke Inshore spinning reel features R.E.D. (Reel Engine Design), including precisely aligned aluminum unibody construction for durability and smooth retrieves. The one-piece gear-box means there’s no side cover to flex under load. Quantum’s CSC3 ceramic drag system includes a new adjustment mechanism and new plasma-arc-coated washers. Quantum packages all that with SaltGuard corrosion protection, a NiTi titanium bail wire, a new, stronger DuraLok clutch and 11 new PTAC anti-corrosion ball bearings.
Available: Late fall
Penn International VI Rods
What’s Hot: International VI Rods
The Buzz: Penn’s new International VI rods feature lighter-weight tubular-glass blanks (compared with International V rods) and are hand rolled in Stuart, Florida. They’re fitted with aluminum Stuart rod butts and reel seats, AFTCO and Fuji guides, and EVA foregrips. The series includes eight stand-ups and five bent-butt models.
MSRP: $279.95 to $799.95
Columbia PFG Solar Shade Shirt
What’s Hot: PFG Solar Shade Printed Long-Sleeve Shirt
The Buzz: The Solar Shade printed long-sleeve shirt features a new Columbia technology called Omni-Shade Sun Deflector that deflects sunlight away from the body so you feel cooler and stay protected. Sun-deflecting dots cover the surface of the shirt’s Omni-Shade fabric to reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heat absorption. Omni-Shade helps protect against UVA and UVB rays. Omni-Shade Sun Deflector has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of recommendation. The shirt also wicks away sweat; it’s available in men’s and women’s styles in a variety of colors and prints, including digital camo (pictured).
Available: January 2018
Accurate Valiant BV-600/BV-600N, BV2-600/BV2-600N Reels
What’s Hot: Valiant BV-600/BV-600N; BV2-600/BV2-600N Reels
The Buzz: Accurate’s Valiant reels have been accepted as a premier small reel for big fish; the addition of a 600 size fills the upper-end void for a 65- to 80-pound-braid reel. The Valiant 600s (in single- and two-speed, regular and narrow versions) offer anglers a line of lightweight reels that hold plenty of line yet generate enough drag to stop hard-fighting game fish. The BV-600s feature Accurate’s TwinDrag system, which produces even, smooth drag with more drag surface. The reels weigh 6 to 8 ounces less than other reels their size, with plenty of cranking power.
MSRP: $499 and $599
Halco Max 110 Lure
What’s Hot: Max 110 Lure
The Buzz: The little brother to the well-known Max 190 and 130 models, Max 110 is 41⁄4 inches long, weighs just over 1 ounce and comes in nine colors. A casting lure with the flexibility to be trolled up to 15 knots, the Max 110 is ideal for small pelagic species. Anglers can also hop the lure off the bottom and jig it vertically.
Fin-Nor Primal Reel
What’s Hot: Primal Lever Drag Reel
The Buzz: Primal Lever Drag reels come with Fin-Nor’s exclusive MegaDrag system for up to 30 pounds of drag without vibration. Solid aluminum construction and heavy-duty stainless-steel components provide strength and durability. Primals feature a multilayer MegaShield corrosion-protection coating. The reels are available in high-speed (7.3-to-1 gear ratio), retrieving 45 inches of line per turn, or low-speed (5.8-to-1) versions in a 10 size, with 320 yards of 14-pound-mono capacity, or a 12 size, holding 450 yards of 14-pound mono.
AFTCO Meisai Shirt
What’s Hot: Meisai Sun-Protection Shirt
The Buzz: Designed with ultimate sun protection in mind, the UPF 50-plus Meisai features a built-in sun mask — with laser-cut holes to prevent sunglasses fogging — and hood that can be worn four different ways for varying levels of coverage. The shirt sports a sublimated geometric-camo pattern and dual-mesh ventilation. Meisai will be available in Moonstone, Magnum Blue and Vapor, and in sizes S through 2XL.
Available: Spring 2018
Alutecnos Gorilla 30/30-Wide Two-Speed Reels
What’s Hot: Gorilla 30 and 30-Wide Two-Speed Reels
The Buzz: Featuring gear ratios of 3.3- and 1.7-to-1 and an integrated drag preset, the Gorilla 30 and 30-wide conventional reels offer a max drag of 50 pounds with free-spool. The wide version provides more than 1,030 yards of 30-pound monofilament. The reels also sport new aluminum ergonomic handles.
MSRP: $769 and $859
Salt Life Angler Shirt
What’s Hot: Angler Fishing Shirt
The Buzz: Salt Life’s Angler shirt is made from cross-dye stretch fabric for mobility and treated to offer UPF 30 sun protection. The vented back enhances breathability. Other features include a flap pocket and a zip pocket on the chest. A ruler is hidden behind the button placket. The Angler comes in short- and long-sleeve versions, sizes S through 2XL, and in three colors: grapefruit, chambray and cement.
Available: February 2018