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ICAST: New Products Best of Show Awards

Here are the winners of the various tackle and gear categories at this year’s ICAST fishing tackle trade show.

July 16, 2020
Best new products from ICAST 2020
The top tackle and gear choices put on a great show. Chris Woodward

The annual ICAST fishing tackle trade show, normally held each July in Orlando, is taking place virtually this week. More than 200 exhibitors have used a newly designed portal created by ICAST’s host — the American Sportfishing Association — to keep the show going through the COVID-19 pandemic.

During each year’s show, media and dealers vote on an array of new products in categories from accessories to reels and rods. The top vote-getters earn the distinction of Best of Show for their category. ICAST also awards an overall BEST OF SHOW winner. This year, that product is the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot kayak.

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Here are the category winners announced Wednesday evening. (Note: We have put more focus on products compatible with saltwater anglers.)

BEST OF SHOW and Boats and Watercraft Winner

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot kayak
Old Town Sportsman Autopilot Courtesy Old Town

The 12-foot Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot motorized kayak leverages Minn Kota’s trolling motor technology. The saltwater-ready 45-pound-thrust motor moves you to your spot faster and holds your position with GPS Spot-Lock. Control the motor with the touch of a finger using the i-Pilot remote. The motor is compatible with lead acid or lithium-ion batteries. Retail price is $3,799.99.

Boating Accessories

The Minn Kota Raptor anchor at ICAST 2020
Minn Kota Raptor SW Anchor Courtesy Minn Kota

Minn Kota’s new Raptor is a hydraulically actuated anchor that debuts two industry-first technologies: Active Anchoring, which monitors anchoring force and adjusts to stay pinned to the bottom, and Auto-Bottom Mode, which automatically detects bottom hardness to determine the right amount of anchoring force. Raptor will be available in 8- and 10-foot lengths and in black, white, red and silver. Pricing ranges from $1,499.99 to $1,899.99.

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Cold Weather Technical Apparel

AFTCO Reader jacket wins at ICAST
AFTCO Reaper Windproof 3-Layer Softshell Jacket Courtesy AFTCO

The Reaper Jacket is made from durable-stretch, soft-shell rip-stop fabric with an ultra-warm Hexatron fleece lining and an integrated fleece face mask. A durable 94 percent polyester and 6 percent Spandex outer shell fuses to the Hexatron lining. This combination, in a 3-layer fabric, provides added comfort, warmth, and wind protection. Retail price is $99.

Electronics

Humminbird Coastmaster Chart on a display
Humminbird Coastmaster Charts Courtesy Humminbird

CoastMaster charts delivers coverage for all U.S. coastal waters on one card. Anglers will appreciate the detailed depth contours, points of interest, navigational aids, and predictive tides and currents. Because the charts integrate with Humminbird’s One-Boat Network, anglers can pair a Humminbird chartplotter and Minn Kota trolling motor with i-Pilot Link to automatically follow a depth contour. Retail price is $149.99.

Eyewear

Costa Del Mar Fergs sunglasses
Costa Fergs Courtesy Costa

Costa’s Fergs were named for company founder Ray Ferguson. They offer a refined focus on performance details, including top and side shields, integrated textured Hydrolite rubber, and vented nose pads. Ferg’s large OmniFit frame and 360-degree nose-pad adjustability allow for a more comfortable and secure fit on a variety of face shapes and sizes. Available in four color options — matte black, matte tortoise, matte reef and shiny gray — with a variety of Costa color-enhancing 580 lenses, Fergs cost $199 to $279.

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Fishing Line

Berkley’s new FluoroShield fishing line
Berkley FluoroShield Courtesy Berkley

Berkley’s new FluoroShield, a fluorocarbon-infused nylon copolymer line, combines the manageability of monofilament with the abrasion resistance of fluorocarbon. Its refractive index resembles that of fluoro, making it less visible to fish. Like mono, FluoroShield possesses nearly neutral buoyancy, making it ideal for fishing a wide variety of artificial baits. Available in pound tests from 4 to 30, FluoroShield comes in 300-yard filler spools ($8.99 to $10.99) and 3,000-yard bulk spools ($49.99 to $74.99).

Footwear

Under Armour’s Micro G Kilchis fishing shoes
Under Armour Micro G Kilchis Courtesy Under Armour

Under Armour’s Micro G Kilchis offer a highly breathable, quick-dry textile upper and welded synthetic overlays for abrasion protection. The shoes feature a full-length Micro G foam midsole for long lasting, responsive cushioning, rapid water drainage from ports built into lateral and medial sides of the midsole, and a non-marking rubber outsole that maximizes surface-area contact to grip on wet surfaces. Collapsible-heel construction allows easy slip-on capability The stretch collar construction permits barefoot wear. Available in UA Hydro Camo, black, khaki and victory green, and in sizes 8 to 14, the shoes cost $80.

Giftware

Garmin’s quatix 6X marine watch
Garmin quatix 6X Courtesy Garmin

Garmin’s quatix 6X solar marine GPS smartwatch uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life up to 24 days. Designed for life on the water, the quatix 6X Solar comes preloaded with specialized boating, fishing, cruising and sailing capabilities. With comprehensive connectivity and built-in activity profiles for SUP, kayaking, skiing, golf and more, the solar watch features a 51-mm titanium case and a titanium band. It costs $1,149.99.

Lifestyle Apparel — Men

AFTCO's Saba boardshorts are comfortable
AFTCO Saba Boardshorts Courtesy AFTCO

AFTCO’s first product to integrate recycled material into the fabric, Saba Boardshorts are made with a sustainable 88 percent recycled polyester and 12 percent Spandex blend. Touted as the lightest weight shorts the company makes, Sabas feature fewer seams and unnecessary trims. The four-way stretch promotes freedom of mobility, and the bonded hem ensures comfort without any chafing. The shorts come in sizes 28 through 40 and in three colors. They cost $65.

Lifestyle Apparel — Women

Simms all-new Women's Challenger Jacket and Bib at ICAST
Simms Women’s Challenger Jacket and Bib Courtesy Simms

Simms all-new Women’s Challenger Jacket and Bib are made with a waterproof, breathable two-layer Toray fabric and feature a women’s specific fit. The jacket comes with an adjustable hood, a center-front zipper with a waterproof storm flap, a chest pocket with a built-in sunglass chamois, and handwarmer pockets. The bib comes with a pass-through handwarmer pocket, plier port, and knee-high zips for easy on/off. The jacket comes in sizes XS through 3XL, in garnet and Hex Flo Camo Admiral, and costs $199.95. The bib comes in sizes S through 2XL, in Admiral Blue, and costs $199.95.

Saltwater Hard Lure

Shimano sinking pencil bait
Shimano SP-ORCA 150 Flash Boost Blue Sardine Courtesy Shimano

The SP-ORCA 150 Flash Boost Blue Sardine sinking pencil bait comes with Shimano’s unique Flash Boost Technology. The bait constantly emits a fish-attracting flash even on the pause. Inside the lure, foil suspended on small springs helps mimic the movements and flash of an injured baitfish. The lure features 3X hooks and split rings, through-wire construction and Shimano’s Propulsion Weight Transfer system for increased casting distance. The bait measures 5 7/8 inches and weighs 2 ½ ounces. It comes in six colors and costs $22.99.

Saltwater Reel

Penn Battle III spinning reel
Penn Battle III Courtesy Penn

The Penn Battle III spinning reel now comes with the company’s proprietary CNC gear technology, HT-100 carbon-fiber drag system, and a full metal body to give it the guts and drag to handle serious abuse. Stronger, smoother, and more durable, the Battle III series includes sizes ranging from 1000 to 10000; select sizes are available in high speed ratios. Prices range from $99.95 to $149.95.

Saltwater Rod

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Series fishing rods
St. Croix Mojo Inshore Series Courtesy St. Croix

St. Croix’s popular Mojo Inshore Series has been redesigned for 2021. The new lighter, upgraded one-piece SCIII carbon blanks have been further enhanced via Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) mandrel technology. St. Croix uses full cork handles on light-, medium-light-, and medium-power models. Medium-heavy, heavy- and extra-heavy-power rods feature full-length cork and EVA combination handles. Retail prices range from $160 to $230.

Saltwater Soft Lure

13 Fishing’s The Mullet new lure
13 Fishing The Mullet Courtesy 13 Fishing’s

13 Fishing’s The Mullet features a custom HD VMC weighted swimbait hook, hand-painted finishes, HD holographic eyes, nose anchors for durable rigging. Editors Note: This bait was apparently so new that few details were provided to media.

Soft and Hard Coolers

Yeti’s Roadie 24 hard cooler
Yeti Roadie 24 Courtesy Yeti

Yeti’s Roadie 24 hard cooler innovates on the company’s original Roadie 20 portable cooler. It’s 10 percent lighter, holds 20 percent more and performs 30 percent better thermally, the company says. The 24 is taller than its predecessor so it accommodates a standard wine bottle and fits better behind the driver or passenger seat of a car. It costs $199.99 and comes in four colors.

Tackle Management

Plano EDGE Flex Series tackle storage
Plano EDGE Flex Series Courtesy Plano

The all-new Plano EDGE Flex Series is the first StowAway to allow the user to customize the internal divider system. Designed based on pro-angler input, the 3600 and 3700 Flex allow personalization based on a particular fishing application, technique, lures, species, or trip. The boxes feature five 4X dividers, six 3X dividers, nine 2X dividers and 18 1X dividers. The system comes with a Water Wick divider with reusable moisture-wicking packet and Dri-Loc O-ring seals. Flex boxes cost $29.99 and $39.99.

Warm Weather Technical Apparel

AFTCO Diffuse fishing shorts
AFTCO Diffuse Courtesy AFTCO

The first pair of technical fishing shorts made entirely of AFTCO’s breathable Air-O Mesh polyester stretch fabric, Diffuse provides comfort in warm, humid climates that generally create sticky situations. The shorts feature a reinforced plier/utility pocket, AFLEX four-way stretch, DWR treatment to prevent stains and multiple pocket storage options. The inseam measures 9 inches, and Diffuse comes in sizes 28 to 42. Available next spring in charcoal, navy, and ecru, the shorts will cost $59.

Additional Winners:

Terminal Tackle: Rapala VMC Crossover Rings

Fishing Accessory: American Tackle Co. Tsuka Handle

Freshwater Reel: Shimano Vanford 2500 Spinning Reel

Freshwater Rod: St. Croix Legend Xtreme Spinning

Freshwater Soft Lure: A Band of Anglers Hyperlastics Dartprop Pro SK

Freshwater Hard Lure: Z-Man Chatterbait Jackhammer Stealth Blade

Rod & Reel Combo: Abu Garcia Virtual Casting Combo

Fly Fishing Reel: Hardy Ultra Disc UDLA Reel

Fly Fishing Rod: Hardy Zane Pro

Fly Fishing Accessory: Frabill Floating Trout Net

Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools: Line Cutterz Dual Hybrid Micro Scissor

Kids’ Tackle: Abu Garcia Gen Ike EZ Cast

Ice Fishing: Rapala Strikemaster Lithium 24V

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