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The Best Fishing Gear From ICAST 2020

Although the ICAST show was held virtually in 2020, there's a slew of new fishing gear that's now hitting the market.

American Sportfishing Association president Glenn Hughes hit the nail on the head in July while introducing the 2020 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trade Shows (ICAST), welcoming attendees "to the first ever and hopefully the last ever virtual version of the show." This is the event where we see all the new fishing tackle introduced every season, and we look forward to it all year, so we also hope the virtual version will be a one-off. There is good news, however: Tackle manufacturers did not take a hiatus in any way, shape, or form, and we have a slew of hot new gear to tell you about.

Zenon spinning reel

Abu Garcia Zenon

Abu Garcia set out to design and build the "ultimate finesse spinning reel," resulting in its new Zenon. This reel has a magnesium body with one-piece gearbox integrated with the stem to shrink its footprint and reduce weight. In the quest to make the reel as light as possible, no measure was spared, down to the use of a hollow knob handle. Net result? The size 20 model holds 185 yards of 6-pound test, has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, and puts out 11 pounds of drag, yet weighs a mere 4.9 ounces. $499 | abugarcia.com

Bite 'Em Solar Frog

Bite 'Em Solar Frog lure

In the totally unique category, we have the Bite 'Em Solar Frog. These lures have a tiny built-in solar panel that powers an internal motor, creating vibrations. That generates both ripples and a fish-attracting hum. It comes rigged weedless so you can toss one right into the middle of a forest of lily pads or weeds, let it do its thing, and wait for a fish to attack. Now, that's some bright thinking! $19.95 | biteemsolarlures.com

Bite'em Solar Lures Frog

Penn Battle III

ICAST Best of Category in Saltwater Reel

Penn Battle III saltwater reel

The Battle series reels enter a new and third generation for 2021 and pulled out a win in the ICAST New Product Showcase Saltwater Reel category. The Battle III features a metal body and sideplate, CNC gears, and the HT-100 carbon-fiber drag system. As with older Battles, the III is available in a huge range of sizes going from the BTLIII1000 (designed for 2- to 6-pound test) to the BTLIII10000 (for 30- to 50-pound test). $104.95 to $154.95 | pennfishing.com

PENN - NEW Battle III Tarpon Fishing

Plano Synergy EDGE Flex

Plano Synergy EDGE Flex

If you want the ultimate in tackle box customization, the Plano EDGE Flex is a new option you'll want to check out. These boxes feature a customizable internal divider system with interlocking sections that can be configured in virtually limitless combinations. These boxes also have Plano's "Rustrictor" anti-rust material molded into the plastic, watertight seals, and heavy-duty steel-pin hinges. $19.99 to $49.99 | planomolding.com

Plano EDGE

Seaguar Inshore

Seaguar Inshore

Fluorocarbon leader is a must-have for serious anglers, and now Seaguar is offering its Inshore version designed for the challenges you face when fishing for inshore species like specks, stripers, and snook. It's faster-sinking than regular mono and has maximum abrasion-resistance for those times when you're fighting fish near sharp obstructions like oyster shells or jetty rocks. Made from Seaguar's custom resins, Inshore is available in 100-yard spools of 12- through 80-pound test. $16 to $59 | seaguar.com

Simms Woman's Challenger

ICAST Best of Category in Lifestyle Apparel for Women

Simms jacket and bib foul weather gear

Women continue to become an increasing share of the anglers out there, but there's still not enough gear designed specifically for their needs. So we applaud Simms for developing the Woman's Challenger jacket and bib foul weather gear. Winner of the Lifestyle Apparel for Women category of the ICAST New Product Showcase awards, highlights include a three-point adjustable storm hood, zippered fleece-lined pockets, two-layer waterproof shells, and a cut designed specifically for women. Jacket, bibs $199 each | simmsfishing.com

Rapala VMC Crossover Plier

VMC Crossover Pliers

Attention bass anglers who just love those wacky worm rigs: The new Rapala VMC Crossover Pliers were made for you. Not only are these designed to let you slide your O-rings over the worm in seconds, they have compartments built into the handles to hold all your O-rings and keep them close at hand. Four 6mm Crossover rings are included, but the pliers can be used with other sizes as well, and when you release tension on the handles you'll have a perfect fit every time. $14.99 | rapala.com

Author

Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at BoatUS.com