The world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, wound up Friday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and the assembled press and industry reps voted on the gear they saw as the best of the best from some 270 companies. Some of the new gear will have a direct impact on bass and panfish anglers in North Alabama–here’s a brief look at some we liked.
The eddyline Kayaks C-135 YakAttack fishing kayak was voted not only best kayak in the show, but the best new product of the show, period. For angers who enjoy using these flyweight boats in ponds, lakes and rivers that are hard to get to with conventional powerboats, these new boats, which float in mere inches of water and can be cartopped even on compact vehicles, are well worth a look. Eddyline is noted particularly for its comfortable seating; www.eddylinekayaks.com.
Another product likely to get lots of traction with ‘Bama anglers is the “Lifeshirt”, which looks much like a conventional knit fishing shirt, but hides an auto-inflating PFD within its folds. The idea is that the shirt will be a life jacket that people will actually wear anytime they’re on the water–if it’s not needed, you scarcely know it’s there, but if you submerge, it inflates in seconds; www.lifeshirt.com.
The G. Loomis E6X Bass Rod which was named top freshwater rod is interesting in that it brings Loomis quality to a value-priced series that’s much more affordable than most rods with the Loomis logo, and in a full spread of actions and lengths to match all the needs of serious tournament grade bass anglers; www.gloomiscom.
Also of interest to bass anglers is the redesigned Shimano Stradic C3000HG-K spinning reel, a complete re-engineering of one of the most venerable names in the spinning reel industry. Shimano says the reel is more durable and has better balance than previous models, as well as featuring a quick-start carbon fiber drag stack and improved waterproofing; www.fish.shimano.com.
Here’s the full lineup of winning products:
Overall Best of Show – Product: eddyline C-135 YakAttack Edition
Best of Show – Freshwater Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product: E6X Bass
Best of Show – Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods
Product: Avid Inshore
Best of Show – Fly Fishing Rod – St. Croix Rods
Product: Mojo Bass Fly
Best of Show – Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation
Product: STRADIC C3000HG-K
Best of Show – Saltwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product: PENN Clash
Best of Show – Fly Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product: New Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel
Best of Show – Hard Lure – Savage Gear
Product: Hard Shrimp
Best of Show Soft Lure – Koppers Fishing
Product: LIVETARGET Hollow Body Sunfish
Best of Show – Lifestyle Apparel – Under Armour, Inc.
Product: UA Storm Covert Pant
Best of Show – Technical Apparel – Lifeshirt
Product: Aegis Lifeshirt
Best of Show – Boating Accessories – YETI Coolers
Product: YETI Hopper 20
Best of Show – Boats – eddyline kayaks
Product: eddyline C-135 YakAttack Edition
Best of Show – Combo – Lew’s Fishing Tackle
Product: Mach 1 Combo
Best of Show – Electronics –Johnson Outdoors
Product: Humminbird HELIX 7 SI
Best of Show – Eyewear – Costa
Best of Show – Fishing Accessory – RinseKit
Best of Show – FishSmart – Release Ruler
Product: Freshwater Release Rulers
Best of Show – Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products
Product: G3 Guide Stockingfoot
Best of Show – Footwear – Simms Fishing Products
Product: Current Shoes
Best of Show – Giftware – YOLOtek
Best of Show – Kids’ Tackle – Steinhauser, LLC
Product: Tangle-FREE Combo
Best of Show – Line – PowerPro
Best of Show – Tackle Management – Eposeidon Outdoor Adventures, Inc.
Product: KastKing Rack ’em Up Rod Racks
Best of Show – Terminal Tackle – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
Product: Lazer Sharp Fillet Knife