Fishing Gear Innovations

By Debbie Hanson

Here's a sneak peek at the latest advancements in fishing tackle and gear from the 2016 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.

If you're an angler, new fishing products probably do a pretty good job of reeling you in for a closer look. But when you have your nose pressed up against a glass display case or have some shiny fishing gadget in the palm of your hand, ask yourself an important question: Will this bring value to my on-the-water experiences through greater performance, safety, or organization? To help you sort through all of the latest introductions, we've compiled some of the most practical ICAST 2016 product picks that will appear on retailer shelves in the coming months.

Frabill I-Float Suit

Ice-fishing industry leader Frabill received accolades as the Best of Show winner in the Technical Apparel category. The I-Float Suit, which is composed of a jacket and bib, is one of only a few flotation-assisting ice-fishing suits to be recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as a USCG-Certified Personal Flotation Device. Every I-Float Suit is sold with a set of ice picks, comes with ice pick holders, is constructed with 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material, and has mesh drain ports to help eliminate water weight and facilitate self-rescue. Jacket $299.99, bib $249.99 | www.frabill.com

St. Croix Rods SOLE Fly Rod

St. Croix Rods/SOLE Fly Rod

Ready to exchange your four-piece fly rod for greater casting distance and accuracy? St. Croix Rods has improved fly-rod performance with this winner of the ICAST 2016 award for Best Fly-Fishing Rod. This two-piece rod offers all the advantages of a one-piece in both freshwater and saltwater applications. The lower two-thirds of the rod is fashioned from a single ferrule, so there's a significant difference in how the blank deflects through the casting process and while fighting a fish. All nine SOLE fly-rod models are 9 feet long and include an extra 28-inch tip section. $340–$360 | stcroixrods.com

Cobra Garage-Door Storage Rack

Cobra Garage-Door Storage Rack

This creative rack, winner of Best of Show award for Best Tackle Management, maximizes unused space in your garage for rod storage. Say "Sayonara" to tangled lines and broken rod tips without having to use any tools in the process. Each rack pair comes with hex bolts and wing nuts, allowing you to easily install the hangers onto your garage door panels with clamping blocks. Alternately, the rack can be hard-mounted to walls, ceilings, doors, boats, or other flat surfaces. One rack holds six rods at a total maximum of 10 pounds. $35 | www.cobrastorage.com

Trapper Tackle Dropshot/Live Bait/Finesse Hook

Trapper Tackle Dropshot/Live Bait/Finesse Hook

Frustrated by having to constantly readjust your baits? Do you get bites but have a tough time bringing fish to the boat? Winner of the Best Terminal Tackle award is a revolutionary hook solution that better holds both bait and fish. Two right-angle bends at the hook's base keep your bait in place while restricting the hook's ability to rotate out when a lunker is on the line. Whether you prefer to fish with soft plastics or live offerings, you no longer have to keep adjusting your baits before making another cast. The standard-gauge hook is available in sizes #4 to 2/0. $3.14/6 pack, $12.72/25 pack | trappertackle.com

P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon

P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon

When a stealthy presentation is required for line-shy fish, be prepared with clear and smooth 100-percent pure Japanese fluorocarbon. P-Line's latest is available in 200-yard spools of 6- to 20-pound test. $19.99–$29.99 | p-line.com

Lew's Mach II Speed Spool Baitcast Combo

Lew's Mach II Speed Spool Baitcast Combo

Bass beware! There's a new baitcast combo in town — the Mach II Speed Spool Combo. Lew's pairs a 7-foot IM8 one-piece graphite blank (utilizing nanotechnology for greater impact resistance) with a super low-profile baitcast reel design to give you a high-performance combo at a value price. The 10-bearing reel also has a machined double-anodized aluminum spool with externally adjustable magnetic cast control, and a 95-millimeter power handle. $179.99 | www.lews.com 

— Published: October/November 2016


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