Top Rods and Reels from ICAST 2015

Sport Fishing spotlights the newest rods and reels from the top manufacturers at the world's tackle epicenter.

July 21, 2015

(Don’t miss all of our ICAST 2015 coverage, including video and more photo galleries.)

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast

The Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast is constructed with a lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum spool for high strength and longer casts. Combined with an InfiniMax Brake design, the Beast gives anglers almost limitless adjustment options to suit any fishing situation. Sam Hudson

Accurate Valiant 300

Accurate’s 9.3-ounce Valiant 300 casting reel is loaded. Built from 6061 T-6 aircraft aluminum and incorporating a stainless steel gear, the reel features a 6-to-1 gear ratio, up to 18 pounds of drag, and handles 325 yards of 30-pound braid. Sam Hudson

Alutecnos Gorilla 8V

Alutecnos was highlighting its Gorilla 8V at the show, one of its smaller models in the Albacore series. Features include a 6.2-to-1 gear ratio, 20 pounds of drag, and a smooth free spool that never seems to slow after you get it spinning. Zach Stovall

Daiwa Saltiga 5000H

Daiwa’s Saltiga spinners now have three Magsealed ball bearings, one on each side of the drive gear, and one in the line roller. Magseal technology utilizes a thin film of magnetic oil to keep saltwater and debris from entering the reel’s rotor bearing. Saltigas are available to the 8000 size. Zach Stovall

Dawa Saltiga 10HL

The newest Daiwa Saltiga conventional reels incorporate machine-cut aluminum bodies and come in 6.4-to-1 gear ratios. Daiwa’s Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag (UTD) imparts 15.4 pounds of drag when maxed out. Of course, the Saltiga utilizes Daiwa’s Magseal ball-bearing system. Zach Stovall

Fin-Nor Bait Teaser

Fin-Nor’s Bait Teaser spinner features a lightweight but rigid graphite body and tough aluminum side cover housing. An all-new teaser mechanism, with true free spool clicker, provides virtually no line tension when fish take the bait. Sam Hudson

G.Loomis ESX Inshore Rods

G.Loomis ESX Inshore rods are available in 11 spinning and five casting models, with either moderate fast, fast, extra fast or Magnum moderate actions. THE ESX series uses Multi-Taper Technology – the proper rod balance needed for inshore lures and bait techniques. The rods retail for $189 to $239. Sam Hudson

Penn Clash Spinning Reel

Penn’s Clash spinner was a show-stopper, winning this year’s best saltwater reel at ICAST. The lightweight, technical spinner features a CNC gear technology system — precision aluminum/brass main gear and brass pinion are machined for exact tolerances to provide smooth operation. Prices start at $179.95 Sam Hudson

Penn Carnage II Rods

With today’s reels getting smaller and lighter, the Penn Carnage II boat rods keep pace without compromising strength. The Carnage II features unique SLS3 small composite blank construction. Graphite fibers on the inside and outside of the blank sandwich the inner layers of carbon and glass. Sam Hudson

Quantum Smoke Speed Freak Inshore

Keep up with Quantum if you can. The Smoke Speed Freak inshore spinner, built from lightweight aluminum, features a blistering 6.2-to-1 gear ratio. The latest Freak is built tough for salt water with a sealed Carbon Stainless Ceramic (CSC) drag system. Sam Hudson

Shimano Twin Power SW

Offered in sizes 4000XG, 5000XG, 8000PG, 10000PG and 14000XG, and with keys features such as Hagane cold-forged gears, Hagane Body for strength, X-Ship precision cut gears, and X-Shield and X-Protect to combat salt water, the Shimano Twin Power SW reels handle most fish. Prices start at $480. Zach Stovall

Shimano Game Type J Rods

Shimano’s Game Type J Rods utilize Spiral X and Hi-Power X blank construction to produce lightweight and strong blanks for inshore and offshore jigging situations. The series includes 10 rods – three conventional and seven spinning models – to fish Shimano Butterfly and other vertical jigs. Zach Stovall

Shimano Stradic FK

The new Shimano Stradic FK features a Hagane cold-forged drive gear gear combined with X-Ship to provide a smooth and powerful reel. Sleek G-Free body provides better weight balance to reduce fatigue. Available in sizes from 1000 to 5000. Zach Stovall

St. Croix Avid Inshore

The St. Croix Avid Inshore series of rods are built from an SCIII graphite blank – a blank utilizing St. Croix’s exclusive Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology. The process yields continuous curve tapers, increased hoop strength and improved sensitivity. Sam Hudson

Van Staal VR Series

You won’t believe how much weight Van Staal dropped off its VR Series of spinners. Ranging from 15.6 to 16.8 ounces, the series features forged and machined 6061 T6 aluminum, fully sealed waterproof construction and solid titanium spool shaft. Sam Hudson

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