Well, ICAST 2013 is now history. All in all it was a good show and we are excited about some of the new gear we saw. Like we said a couple of weeks ago not everything we see at these shows excites us. There’s lots of gimmicks and trick stuff that seems designed more to catch the fisherman than the fish.
What did excite us was the new Shimano Stradic CI4 spinning reels and Chronarch CI4+ casting reels (Best Freshwater Reel winner). These simply rock and any serious fisherman would be crazy not to take a hard look at these. They offer great value and quality at very reasonable price points.
G. Loomis introduced a NRX umbrella rig rod which won Best Freshwater Rod. Our take is that it looks like a great rod for umbrella rigs, but also would make a fantastic flipping stick.
As usual Costa sunglasses showed off some great new specs and won Best of Show for eyewear. That may not sound like a big deal, but I assure you it is. If there is one product that seems to be everywhere at the ICAST show it’s sunglasses. The competition is simply fierce, so Costa winning this award is pretty cool. In our mind there isn’t a better pair of sunglasses available at any price that beats Costa.
Live Target introduced the “Baitball” lure and won Best Hard Lure at the show. Now I have to tell you I’m a bit skeptical on this one. This is a lure with three minnow bodies all cast together using clear plastic to emulate a bait ball. Call me old, goofy, or whatever, but I just can’t see fish biting on this one. Fishermen yes. Fish? I’m not so sure. Time will tell since this new lure won’t be available until November.
In the apparel division Shimano’s insulated rainsuit took Best of Show. This is kinda’ one of those “why didn’t someone come up with this before?” items. I mean, how many days have you been on the water in wind and rain freezing your puttee off? My take is this is a great item and something we have all been needing even if we didn’t know it.
I think we mentioned in our last article that this year’s ICAST show was the first time fly fishing was included in the show. And I have to tell you, we saw some great fly fishing gear! Without giving away too much just let me say that you will be seeing some great additions to the fly fishing selection at American Legacy Fishing in the next few months. Stay tuned!
Speaking of fly fishing, G. Loomis’ new PRO4X fly rods won Best Fly Fishing Rod honors. This is a “value” priced rod that will amaze you with “high end” performance. This rod is damn good lookin’ and casts crazy good. And in my opinion offers great “bang-for-the-buck” performance.
Other products we saw that impressed us: Great new rods from 13 Fishing (which has become one of our best selling lines), Abu Garcia spinning and casting reels, LEW’S spinning reels along with some upgrades to their low profile casting reels, Jackall lures new shapes and colors, Wild River’s newest design tackle bags, Power Pro’s Zero Impact braided line, and several more which we will be telling you about in future issues.
Summary: Well, as usual the show was a mixed bag. Some great new stuff, some stuff that was supposed to be new that wasn’t (unless a different paint job qualifies for new), some real “gimmicky” stuff, and some stuff that we really have to wonder “who in his or her right mind would buy this”. But the good news is that the gear that impressed us (and most other attendees) was truly innovative and will make your fishing trips more productive, more fun, less stressful, and a heck of a lot more comfortable.
As I write this Dixie, Brian, and I are still unpacking all of the catalogs and literature we gathered at the show. We’re still evaluating many products and encourage you to let us know if there are any lines or brands or specific products you would like to see us offer. We value your input and always try to offer you the best products and highest quality for each given price point.
Thanks to all of you for your great friendship and trust. You are truly why we do what we do and why our days are so much fun and so rewarding.