17 Jul A few of my favorite things from ICast and IFTD
The aisles at the ICast and IFTD Show where not alive with the sound of music; but they were alive with “that’s cool”, “when will this be available?” and “how does it compare to X?” I doubt there are stats; but it did seem there were more new products this year than most. In this post I will share some of the top items that should be of interest to our customers.
New Products for the Surfcaster
Stormr will be launching a Surf Top in the coming months and it’s loaded with features. Where it departs from other Stromr designs is the adjustable neck gasket, a two way adjustable waistband seal and internal neoprene cuffs. We have had the opportunity to provide input to the design and Stormr did a fine job. Going to be a great piece to chase the fall run.
Stormr also added kevlar to the thumb and forefinger of two current 3mm Typhoon and 2mm Strykr gloves to create the Cast and Torque. These gloves are optimized for casting braid with the same great fit as Typhoon and Strykr.
For the wet suiter one of their most popular shoes the Korkers HyJack is getting a make over. The Hyjack will morph into the Box Car. It is a more substantial shoe with an enhanced mid sole and reinforced stress points including an additional layer of material where needed. It appears to have the same mobility as it’s predecessor. Solid in the hand.
Savage Gear Darter similar to the very popular sand eel; but this tail tapers whereas the sand eel is a paddle tail. In the water the action is incredible. The head weight creates an awesome jigging action. Slightly longer and heavier versions of the Manic Prey Minnow are inbound as well.
New Products for the Saltwater Fly Fisherman
Nautilus has always made a great fly reel; but they were not going to rest on their laurels. The CCF has been for years a solid performer at a more affordable price. This year they have replaced the very popular CCF with CCF – X2 and added features including a dual action drag system with twice the drag strength and half the start up inertia. The CCF-X2 is fully sealed making it ideal for the surf. It’s a beauty. So much so it won “Best of Show”
Echo rods have always been a shop favorite for the “bang for the buck”. Great tapers and thoughtful components create great performance and value. Sight casting for stripers, bonefish and other gamefish on the flats is a demanding game. One piece rods offer distinct advantages to the sight caster with instant load rod, insane accuracy and supreme feel. Tim and the rest of the gang at Rajeff Sports nailed it with Echo Prime.
Fly Men Flyfishing has produced a number of innovative fly tying products like Fish Skulls and Helmets. This year the added Fly Mask and Heavy Duty Articulating Shanks. Both these product will appeal to saltwater fly rodders. The Mask creates bulk without weight. The HD Shanks create an amazing action and will add a new dimension to streamer patterns. The video below stopped me in my tracks as I exclaimed “You tied a Sluggo!” Check out Blane Chocklett’s fly the “Game Changer”
New Product for the Saltwater Kayak Fisherman
First off, It was great to meet the team at Jackson Kayak. They are passionate problem solvers for the kayak fisherman.
While the an SUP is an attractive option the practical fishing application in the northeast salt is tough get your head around; particularly with the steady swell and the stoney encounters associated with most outings. That said a wide kayak with a stand up bar and the resulting higher freeboard would offer many of the SUP benefits with improved stability and functionality. Enter the “Big Rig”; although still in the prototype phase the feedback was very positive. I see it in part as an answer for those interested in an SUP style boat for fishing the northeast salt; but with adequate freeboard, tough enough to absorb the dings along the way and way more accepting of various rigging options than a fiberglass SUP. More to follow as this prototype becomes a reality.
There are even more opinions about how to rig a kayak for fishing than there are kayaks! What the market needs is a simple and versatile system to let the easy jobs get done easily and the creative types to have all the flexibility they desire. Railbalza seems to be the answer. This New Zealand company developed a low profile mount called the Starport, These ports are available for flush, track and rail mount as well as other options. These ports are then used to install a wide range of accessories like various rod holders, GPS and fishfinder mounts as well as a dashboard that some yakers prefer. The options seemed limitless!
New Products for the Inshore Angler
Halco is an Australian tackle manufacturer and they have a winner in the Outcast. These are a series of heavy duty tins in 20, 30 and 40 grams with triple split rings and solid Mustad treble hooks. The Outast is a rear weighted baitfish imitation that cast a mile and when viewed from on high is is markedly convex. This creates a wider swimming motion that I suspect the hardtails will hammer.
The white color of the LegendXtreme will take some getting used to; but it will not take a second to recognize the rod is loaded with features that translate into a super sensitive inshore rod. The heavier models will be well suited to firing metals in the late summer and fall. The lighter versions for live shrimp and tiny jigs used on the flats. Two features in particular will maximize the sensitivity of the LegendXtreme. First the Fuji SK2 split reel seat which allows the angler to feel the blank itself. The second is the unique handle design utilizing Xtreme Skin it is a hard foam with a skin over it. As it tapers it is only the thin skin between the angler and the blank at the narrowest section.
New Products for the Offshore Fisherman
Suffice to say there is a heavy weight battle brewing as it relates to top water tuna reels. Both Shimano and Van Staal launched reels targeting this segment.
Shimano upgraded the Saragossa to include number of the performance features that were only previously available to saltwater anglers in the top of the line Stella. The new Saragossa SW utilizes the proven Shimano technology X- Ship and X- Tough Drag as well as their durable ‘cam’ oscillation system for better drag performance. All these features create a tremendous value. Plus it is a great looking reel. Available in the fall.
Van Staal launched the VM 275 and like it’s predessor the VM150 it is machined out of a solid block of aluminium creating a very rigid reel making it more sensitive. The oversized stainless steel main and pinion gear are up for all the heavy cranking you can deliver. This also means more drag pressure can be applied so you can better bring the fight to the fish. The bail is designed as a manual throw so as to avoid “slap back”. VS also has a kit to convert the VM275 to a bail-less version. Capaity of 400yds of 80lb braid.
Couple Cool Accessories
As a lure manufactuer they need a great pair of splint ring pliers. So they built them. What impresed me was the unique jaw that opens splits ring large and small with out deforming the ring itself.
Simms first foray into tools and i think they nailed it. These do not replace any “big game” pliers; but will be suitable for light SW use.