Even with the tornadic pace, There are so many new rods, reels, hard baits, soft baits, electronics, lines, apparel, tackle and other items I want to incorporate into our fishing next year.
Someone asked me what my favorite thing at ICAST was. That’s always a tough question to qualify with a single answer. I had probably two or three favorite reels two or three favorite rods and two or three favorite baits in every category of baits from frogs to swimbaits and beyond. We’ll save my favorites for the Editor’s Choice edition of FLW Outdoors Magazine (Nov-Dec issue).
What I can say is I’ll be buying a lot of the products I saw at the show, starting with …
Skeet Reese Signature Tessera rods were impressive. The most impressive aspect was the price. I just felt there was more packed into a lower price, and apparently Skeet was the driving force behind that. It was also interesting to note that if Skeet breaks one of his rods, he’ll go to a local tackle shop and replace it. Not just because the rods have a Lifetime Warranty, but because Skeet uses the exact rods that the consumer buys. Many pro staffers use custom built rods with signature series designs but they aren’t the same specs the consumer gets. The designer assured us that Skeet uses the exact rods the consumer buys.
The rods feature an S-Curve technology that is part blending of Tessera glass and graphite and other composites along with two new resins that are much lighter than common resins. The T-glass was borrowed from the extremely strong saltwater jigging rods WM makes, and because of the blending and resins, they were made to be light but extremely powerful rods.
The last components of the rods are the accessories like guides, reel seats and grips. The grip is a very comfortable, the reel seat features the feel-through blank design and the guides are increased in number over conventional rods because Reese doesn’t like any line slap as the line shoots through on a cast. Some of the guides were downright tiny some I’m excited to test them.
I think these rods will be around for a long time. Now if we can get them to change the color from Reese’s signature yellow color then maybe we can perfect an already great product!
Lazer Trokar hooks hinted at something special and created a buzz leading up to the event. And not to disappoint the hooks were incredibly sharp, very strong and with some interesting designs. I don’t mean like “normal-hook” sharp I mean like “be-careful-to-avoid-a-trip-to-the-ER” sharp. They are surgically sharpened borrowing innovations from the medical profession. The hooks will supposedly take as little as a third of the effort to hook fish. That’s good news for anglers. The hook comes in several shapes and sizes including extra-wide-gap, straight shank flipping, offset worm, swimbait, oversized wide gap, drop shot and more.
The advertising materials for this brand were very intriguing. The HDR photography and burned effects were very cool. Kudos to Eagle Claw for making some strong, sharp and what I think will be widely appealing hooks for avid anglers. These aren’t going to be cheap hooks but these are going to be hooks made to last.
Honestly Rapala releases too many great baits every year. I don’t even know where to begin here from Trolls-to baits to new Max Rap jerkbaits, Trigger X soft baits, Sufix stretch braid line, DT Thug crankbaits, etc. It was a lot of information to process. Then you throw in some cool new swimbaits from Storm and the new VMC treble hooks with the spark points and it’s enough to keep fishermen like us scheming on what to buy first.
All I can say is I was very impressed with the Trigger X craw trailer, the new DT Thug crankbait, the Trolls-Totrolling baits, the Max Rap jerkbait and the Storm swimbaits. Probably my favorite was the Storm swimbait but we’ll save a blog on that for our on the water testing.
More to come…