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ICAST 2012 Coming Next Week
Category : iCast
Christmas shopping in July.
That’s how I always feel when I’m thinking about heading to ICAST. The ICAST 2102 show finds itself back in Orlando this year. Bring on the humidity, afternoon showers, blazing temperatures, good food, good friends and loads of new fishing tackle.
At Wired2Fish, we’re fortunate that many brands allow us to test products way in advance of manufacturing or release at ICAST. Over the years we’ve been able to tweak some products before release to the public so brands wouldn’t run into “gotchas” after production.
This year we’ve had a lot of products in our hands for months but gave our word that we wouldn’t let any proverbial cats out of the bag so to speak. The nice thing is we’ve already had some real fishing experiences with the products most will see for the first time next week.
That’s sort of the point to us in covering new tackle. It’s not just what’s new, but sorting through the fluff from press release materials to get down to why an angler needs this bait or that line. Obviously the manufacturers have spent a lot of time trying to make products better for anglers. We would be remiss to just say here’s the new stuff and not tell you what we like about it.
We also want you to feel more like you’re at the show this year so we’re going to shoot a lot more hands on video and photos of the products so you have some sense of reference and can get a good feel about the products before you look to buy them later this fall.
This Year’s Buzz
Folks like to quantify the show each year based on the new offerings — “The Year of the Swimbait,” “The Year of the Low-Profile Reel,” “The Year of the Frog” or “The Year of the Umbrella Rigs.” The truth is fishing tackle like any manufactured category of products have trends. Lighter, lower, wider, stronger are all key phrases you see repeated over and over in press releases from year to year and probably lead to the categorizing of each show.
This year though rather than lumping the new tackle into a category we’d rather just focus on what’s cool we hear coming out of each camp.
There Havoc soft baits released a few new shapes for this year’s show, namely the Pit Boss Chunk for jig trailers and the Rocket Craw which has already helped David Dudley win an FLW Tour event this season.
But they really went to town on beefing up their lines. Several of their most popular lines, namely Trilene XT and XL have been reformulated and repackaged in smaller spools. They offer a couple new monofilaments aimed directly for spinning applications and casting applications.
They have a slick new castable umbrella rig call the Schoolie Rig. It comes packaged by itself or in a great all in one kit with 5 swimbaits, 5 jigheads and the rig. This year will no doubt see a lot of new players in the castable umbrella rig market.
St. Croix has some amazing new designs to their Legend Xtreme Rods. We’ve been playing with the new medium-heavy power Legend Xreme. The obvious new feature is the all new Xtreme-Skin handles that are very comfortable, light and surprisingly very sensitive. The handles look cool and serve the function of repelling dirt, water and fish slime so they are easily cleaned after each trip to look like new again. The rods feature a new FRS technology that makes a smaller but tougher blank without adding any weight.
Yes. We’ve been putting the new third generation Abu Garcia Revos through the paces as well. We love em. We’re not even trying to smooth it over. The reels are lighter, lower profile, cosmetically appealing, and fish extremely well. The Revo S, SX, STX, Premier, Winch and MGX are all astounding reels that will please a lot of anglers this fall. We’ll have a lot more about them next week.
Big Bite Baits
They came out with the new Coontail worm that you’ve probably seen featured in some of our videos this early summer and in a few photos. They also are releasing a new Buzzing Warmouth and a smaller Cane Thumper. Stay tuned for more on those.
The now famous albeit difficult to always find stateside Japanese manufacturer is releasing a bunch of new products at ICAST. The Knuckle 60 square bill crankbait, the 110 Square Lipped jerkbait, The Spark Shad soft swimbait, and a frog/creature bait called the Para Bug. We’re excited to see these baits, get our hands on them and share them with you all.
Rapala has a new line of balsa baits called the BX Minnows that we’re pretty excited to check out. There is a jointed BX Swimmer and the straight BX Minnow. They feature balsa encased in copolymer shell that makes them very durable yet super erratic. We’ve played with the BX Minnow and it looks pretty sick in the water.
We’re excited to get our hands on the new Ish’s Poppin’ Phattie. It’s a uniquely shaped frog that has cupped sides to the pointed mouth. It should be a dynamite addition to our frog collection.
There are new sizes of popular lines coming out of the Spro camp this year. The long awaited Little John Baby DD 60 and the new Fat Papa 55 Medium deep runner both look to be solid additions to already proven lines.
We got our hands on a bunch of their new plastics already including the Craw Chunk, Mighty Craw, Lil SuzEE and the Yumphibian, not to mention several new castable umbrella rigs to accompany their very popular YUMBrella. Their Flash Mob and Flash Mob Ultralight will be big hits and their mini version for panfish and white bass will be a hit we’re sure as well. The Craw Chunk is an awesome crawfish trailer with flapping claws that comes in two sizes. The Mighty Craw will be a killer punch bait or finesse bait alike. The lil Suzee gives them a finesse swimbait in that niche and the Yumphibian looks to be a very viable option for a creature bait for flipping and Carolina rigs.
VMC is making a big splash this year at the show we’ve heard. We’ve already seen their new offset widegap worm hooks as well as the Rugby Jig designed and approved by Mike Iaconelli. Their new resin encased eyelets will eliminate the problems with line cuts and knots sneaking through the hook eye anymore. They are said to be releasing a flipping hook, offset worm hook, heavy duty worm hook, wide gap hook, heavy duty wide gap, heavy duty swimbait and weighted swimbait hooks as well as a new trailer hook and a new wide gap spinshot hook.
Lots to share from the VMC camp this season.
Sunline is offering a new braid and a new finesse fluorocarbon at this year’s show. The new braid is the SX1 that was designed with input from Brent Ehrler and Aaron Martens for those applications like drop shots that need a light sinking braid. The new FC Finesse fluorocarbon will also be made for situations like leaders on drop shot or shaky heads. We’ve tested some preproduction spools and love them both.
They are said to be offering a new Calcutta D reel and a new Crucial Castable Umbrella rig rod at this years show and we’ll probably see a few new reels that they’ve kept under tight wraps.
They have a new GLX Crankbait Series debuting at the show as well as new GLX Flipping rods. WE’re anxious to get our hands on these as they are said to be 35% stronger with brand new reel seat designs.
Ima is introducing a new floatin
g jerkbait/wakebait and a mid depth crankbait called the PinJack 200 that we’re anxious to see and test.
The Swivel Shot should come back at this show and be released finally and they are also offering a new Short Shank EWG Treble in regular and 2X Strong versions. We should also see their Alien shaky heads and the G-Finesse Wacky Head.
Eco Pro Tungsten is coming out with a bunch of new stuff at the show we’ve heard. We’ve seen their new castable umbrella rig that is modifiable called the Roll Tide Rig. But we also hear they’ve got three new jigs, two new jig heads, a punch weight with skirt collar and maybe some other stuff as well. This will be a fun booth to visit because we’re pretty OCD when it comes to terminal tackle.
The Korean based manufacturer has been bringing lots of cool tackle to the market each of the last few years and this year sounds like much more of the same. We’ve not got to see any of the new products yet but we here there is a big 11-inch Air Mega Miki II worm, a deep diving narrow bodied crankbait called the Abyss 90 plus a new creature flipping bait and a soft bodied swimbait for umbrella rigs or on a single jighead. We’ve already got a note to swing by and see their new stuff.
That’s just some of the stuff we’ve played with or heard about leading up to next week’s show so stay tuned to wired2Fish next week. We’re going to be bringing hourly blogs and videos from the show highlighting ALL the cool fishing tackle we find. We’re tasking a force of guys at the show this year to make sure we cover it all for you so keep it locked on Wired2Fish starting next Tuesday night and the NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE from Orlando and Wednesday morning from the ICAST show floor.
Christmas in July is upon us.