ICAST 2017: Best Of Show

By Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore

Top innovations in tackle, gear, and accessories from this year's premier fishing show.

No matter whether you're into fishing offshore or on a quiet lake, the New Product Show at ICAST is the angler's Disney World each year. Attendees have a chance to preview the most innovative new gadgets and gear to help you catch more fish — or at least have more fun doing it.

Here is a rundown of just several of the category winners at the 2017 ICAST, which took place in Orlando, Florida, in July. At press time, not all products were available. Check individual websites for expected delivery dates.

Best of Show & Best Boats/Watercraft: BOTE Rover

14-foot BOTE Rover

A cross between a paddleboard and skiff, the 14-foot BOTE Rover has a removable motor-rack system that allows you to go from power to paddle in seconds. Get where you want to go quickly, then creep into areas other anglers can't with the axe edge adjustable carbon fiber paddle. With a 500-pound weight capacity and a 40-inch beam, Rover has a sunken-cockpit design, which lowers the center of gravity for stability while the side rails contain deck items. A deep-V nose slices through the water for better tracking, speed, and silence. The Rover is completely modular with a number of available "Racs" (sold separately) to hold tackle, buckets, and more. In addition, ConnexSUP plugs installed throughout the deck allow you to mount accessories for a custom setup. The Rover can handle up to a 6-hp engine and reach speeds of up to 16 mph. Available in three color schemes. $3,499 | boteboard.com

Best Eyewear: Costa Sunglasses Sunrise Silver Mirror Lens

Costa sunglasses with sunrise silver mirror lens

Costa's new Sunrise Silver Mirror Lenses offer an advantage for anglers at dawn and dusk as well as in low light or overcast conditions. The silver mirror provides an additional layer of coated protection to bounce reflected light away from the eye for superior color and contrast. The glasses provide 100-percent UVA, UVB, and UVC protection and have a hydrophobic coating for instant water beading and sheeting. Men's and women's styles available. $189–$249 | costadelmar.com

Best Electronics: Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS

Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS

Find where the fish are with Humminbird's revolutionary new SOLIX 15 GPS. It has a massive 15.4-inch (diagonal) 16-bit TFT color touchscreen display with LED backlight. Using the company's exclusive MEGA Imaging, the SOLIX 15 takes fish-finding sonar to the megahertz range for the clearest, sharpest underwater views anglers have ever seen. CHIRP Digital Sonar offers improved fish detail and target separation. The Cross Touch Interface allows users to operate the unit via touchscreen or keypad, and activates with tap, swipe, and pinch while customizing the screen with up to four viewing panes. AutoChart Live creates customized maps with depth, vegetation, and bottom hardness mapping. Bluetooth capability allows users to keep their phones safely stowed while displaying missed calls and text messages on the screen. Options for gimbal or in-dash mounting. Transducer is transom-mounted. $3,499.99 | humminbird.com

Best Fishing Accessory: YETI Panga Duffel

YETI Panga duffle

Whether you're heading out for a day trip or overnighting offshore, the Panga Duffel from Yeti is a perfect companion. The laminated high-density shell, EVA-molded bottom, and waterproof zipper will keep your gear dry while shedding errant hooks and anything else you can throw at it. Dryhaul straps are comfortable and durable, tough-wearing hardware holds up to abuse, and six lash points make for easy carrying. Two easy-access mesh pockets offer a secure places to stash your valuables. Three sizes: 50 (23.5 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches), 75 (28 by 15.5 by 11), and 100 (32.5 by 17 by 12); storm gray. $299.99–$399.99 | yeti.com

Best Tackle Management: Daiwa Tactical Backpack

Perfect for the angler on the go, the Daiwa Tactical Backpack offers ample storage and a place for everything you need for a day on a bass boat. This versatile pack's rigid non-collapsible frame, double-reinforced stitching, and tough #10 Delran corrosion-resistant zippers takes any abuse you can dish out. It's loaded with features, including a sunglass case holder, plier holder, booger box, three-box stack system that's easily accessible from the side, two-spool leader reel, and Velcro attachment area. Black with silver digi camo. $149.99 | daiwa.com/us

Best Saltwater Hard Lure: Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40

Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40 lure

The X-Rap Magnum 40 is Rapala's biggest and deepest-running bait. A massive lip gives it the ability to dive to 40 feet unassisted with nothing to hinder its action. Troll up to 13 knots for big gamefish. Features a texture, translucent X-style plastic body with an internal scale pattern, internal holographic foil, and 3D holographic eyes. Measures 7 inches, weighs 3-3/8 ounces, and comes armed with two No. 4/0 VMC 4X Perma Steel hooks. 20 big-water colors. $20.99 | rapala.fishing

Best Freshwater Soft Lure: Lunkerhunt Prop Series

Prop series frog lure

The new Prop Series from Lunkerhunt combines the time-tested design of hollow-body soft plastics with modern prop technology previously only found in hard-body lures. The three body styles — frog, sunfish, and shad — replicate North America's top gamefish forage. They have a super-soft, streamlined weedless design, premium hooks, and high-quality patterns. All three styles churn water, gurgle, and splash during retrieve. On the pause, they float on the surface. Frog comes in eight patterns; sunfish and shad come in six colors each. Measures 3.25 to 3.5 inches and weighs .5 ounces. Available November 16. $8.99 | lunkerhunt.com

Look for even more of our favorite new products from ICAST in the October/November 2017 issue of BoatUS Magazine. 

— Published: August 2017


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