From Trade Show to Field Test - Texas Fish & Game - June 2012 From Trade Show to Field Test - June 2012 How some of the Hot New Products at Last Year's World Fishing Showcase Lived Up to Their Promises by Chester Moore
EACH YEAR the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) highlights the latest developments in the fishing industry.
I have been attending the show for years and found last years innovations and products I only learned about at the 2011 show to be some of the best ever.
Companies are beginning to send out press releases about products set to debut at the 2012 show to be held in Orlando, Fla. in July.
After time to test out and study much of what debuted last year, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the most unique Texas applicable products from last year.
This new class of line by Berkley is truly unique. It is not monofilament or fluorocarbon but it is not a braid. It is a different kind of material and it is by a long shot the smoothest casting line I have ever thrown. Without a doubt, an angler can get 20 percent farther using this line. So far, this line does not come in large sizes so that is a limiting factor but for anglers looking to get a little distance without super strength Nanofil is worth checking out. www.Berkley-Fishing.com
Abu Garcia Revo MGX
The Revo has been a popular reel for Abu Garcia fans for a number of years. However, in debuting the MGX the company took things to the next level. This super lightweight (5.4 ounce) reel has not only a compact ergonomic design but is has an incredible 28 points of external adjustment allowing anglers to super fine tune the reel and throw super lightweight baits. I have been using mine for everything from throwing small soft plastics for flounder to chunking spoons for Spanish mackerel and have been more than happy. It is a truly great reel for someone looking for something that is finesse fishing friendly. www.AbuGarcia.com
KVD Sexy Frog
There are many frog lures on the market but the one that has consistently been getting good reviews from anglers is the KVD Sexy Frog. Sporting the name of the worlds top angler (Kevin VanDam) not only gives it extra juice on the market but credibility. VanDam can have anyone produce anything for him and when his name is on a product you know it is worthwhile. This frog is the big frog hit of the last year, despite numerous popular renditions in the marketplace. www.StrikeKing.com
U.S. Reel Liberty
I did not come across this one at ICAST, but got my first taste fishing the Pro Am of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic with Jimmy Houston. This reel is priced within reach of the average angler and allows for super smooth and surprisingly long casting. Houston fishes these in many of his event and like KVD can use anything he wants. These reels are assembled in the U.S.A. and that gives them some nice synergy with the brand name. www.USreel.com
Bomber Saltwater Grade Super Pogy
I first noticed this one last year at ICAST although it had been on the market in the previous year. This is a killer crankbait that has been producing redfish at the Sabine Jetties for me this year. It looks exactly like a pogy and has a killer rattle system that drives fish crazy. Another advantage is that even a semi-skilled angler can throw it super long distances, allowing anglers to cover vast amounts of water. www.BomberSaltwaterGrade.com
Frabill Storm Suit
This jacket is lightweight but definitely shields an angler going across the open water on a cool morning. I was actually surprised with how warm it kept me. In light rain it remained comfortable and once again kept me warm as temperatures fell during a cold front. Probably the most impressive thing about the product is the functionality. The various pockets allow an angler like myself who is constantly packing on gear to have practical and comfortable places to stow away things like my small digital camera I always carry, pliers, my wallet and other amenities. www.Frabill.com
Using polarized shades had given me an edge in fishing I did not expect. Slow to come around to using premium shades, I now refuse to fish without them so I was glad to test a pair Costa Del Mar Fantails in the 580 lenses.
The fit is comfortable, the look is cool and the polarization is what I would expect from Costa Del Mar. These 580 lenses are incredible giving me a chance to see things in water ranging from super stained to ultra clear I would never have seen otherwise. I know because when testing shades I often pull them off when I see a fish or structure underwater to compare
These are not cheap sunglasses that ZZ Top might sing about but they are well worth it for someone with the resources and the desire to maximize their fishing. www.CostadelMar.com
Humminbird 788ci HD Combo
This setup features a Best-In Class High Definition 640V x 640H 5" display with LED backlight, DualBeam PLUS and Down Imaging sonar with 4000 Watts PTP power output, GPS Chartplotting and advanced Fishing System capabilities. In addition, it includes dual card slots for maps and saving waypoints, as well as three programmable preset buttons to save your favorite views.
The imaging on this is clear enough for anglers in some situations to pick up individual fish in clearer fashion that you ever imagined and also to be able to make out intimate details of cover and structure at a level most anglers have never dreamed of. www.Humminbird.com
Lews Laser SL Speed Stick
After ICAST last year I got an opportunity to fish at Lake Fork with some of the pros from Lews and tried out a variety of their products. I am always looking for things affordable for the average angler and in that class this rod fits the bill. ($99)
These graphite blanks are light, super sensitive and have for the last eight months put up with my punishment, which is a pretty amazing feat. The micro guides took a little getting used to but I am able to make impressive casts and work a variety of lures with the casting version I am using. www.Lews.com
This one is for the angler who wants something lightweight but that is super durable. These reels come in a variety of models with drag strength ranging from seven to 20 pounds and are perfect for using braid, which is what most anglers on the Texas cast prefer when using spinners.
Shimano gets a lot of play in Texas for their casting reels but their spinning reels are every bit as dependable. www.Fish.Shimano.com
PHOTOS: BOMBER SALTWATER GRADE; FRABILL; COSTA; JOHNSON FISHING; LEWS; SHIMANO; AMERICAN SPORTFISHING ASSOCIATION; PURE FISHING; STRIKE KING; U.S. REEL