ICAST 2017 Showcases New Products & Winners
By Tim Huffman
International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) held the world’s largest trade show at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida, July 11-14. It is the ultimate showcase for the latest innovations in gear and apparel.
ICAST hosted 582 exhibitors, 1982 booths covered almost 200,000 square feet of show floor.
Best of Show
Overall Best of Show may not be a crappie rig but is worth mention. The Bote Rover can be propelled by standing and paddling with a stable, deep-V nose and channeled bottom to slice through the water. Or, it can be run by a small outboard. 500 pounds capacity, 14 foot, 40 inches, 105 pounds weight, and will handle a 6 h.p. motor. $3500. www.boatboard.com
Eyewear- The Sunrise Mirror Lens by Costa. A good choice for low light conditions but also versatile for changing light conditions. They allow 30 % light transmission versus the typical 10-12 % while maintaining 99% polarization. The sunglasses sharpens contrast all day and the mirror finish helps deflect harsh light from your eyes. Starting at $189. www.costadelmar.com
Footwear- Attack by Huk Performance Fishing. Boat shoes engineered and purpose-built to bring performance features to the serious fisherman. Unique traction, bullet-proof durability, all day comfort and support. They feature GripX wet traction non-marking outsoles, Huk Fuzetek upper support cage, performance lacing and Kryptek Camo. $85. www.hukgear.com
Boating Accessory- LoadOut Bucket by Yeti Coolers. This is Yeti’s solution to the tried-and-true plastic hauler. It’s a 5-gallon work-horse made from high density polyethylene for toughness. It’s ready for bait or anything else you need to carry. It’s versatile and built to last. $40. www.yeti.com
Lifestyle Apparel- Frogg Toggs Prym1 Series Pilot II Jacket & Bibs. This suit will help enhance your experience whether fishing or doing some other outdoor activity. The newest addition utilizes proven performance of the Pilot II material and design while incorporating the bold, unique Prym 1 camo patterns in lifestyle colors and textures designed by wildlife artist, Stacie Walker. Set $360. www.prymcamo.com; www.froggtoggs.com
Electronics- Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics Solix 15 Chirp Mega SI GPS. Bigger is still considered better with the new 15 inch Solix winning the electronics category. It has Mega Imaging and AutoChart Live to Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity. Cross Touch display for touch screen operation or menu buttons. You can zoom in or out with a pinch or spread of your thumb and finger on the screen. Screens can be customized to the fisherman’s needs. The 15 inch Solix starts at $3000. www.humminbird.com
Fishing Accessory- Yeti Panga Duffel. Whether it’s raining or your bag just lands in the wrong spot, Panga offers zero access points for wetness. It’s a fully submersible duffel designed to stand up to the toughest conditions. It won’t give in to a fish hook. The company calls it a gear fortress. Starts at $300. www.yeti.com
Fishing Line- Pure Fishing, Berkley FireLine Ultra 8. Here’s the toughest of the tough with 50% greater abrasion resistance, better casting with 10% farther distance, better handling with rounder, more consistent line structure, and the strongest high-tenacity Dyneema PE Fiber. It isn’t inexpensive but the long wear will outlast others making it an good value. 125 yd $20. www.Berkley-Fishing.com
Freshwater Rod- Fate Black by 13 Fishing. A quality spinning rod that claims casting accuracy, a lightweight blank, seamless reel seat and custom wrapped tangle-free guides. Cork handle. The rod is an easy to see matt green finish and will turn heads. $100. www.13fishing.com
Tackle Management- Tactical Backpack by Daiwa Corporation. Whether hiking or fishing, this pack is for an angler on the go. It’s unique with a 3-box stack system easily accessible from the side. Big pockets have ample storage. Configured with sunglass case holder, plier holder, booger box and Velcro attachment area. $150. www.daiwa.com
Terminal Tackle- Trapper Round Bend Treble. Trapper Tackle made a big impact last year with its unique hooks. This year their treble hook is making noise and might be of interest for the crankbait crappie trollers. Their design includes very sharp hook points and a patented design hook bend that makes it more difficult for a fish to throw the hook. $7 per pack. www.trappertackle.com
A few crappie-related fishing items were highly ranked. For the Boating Accessories was Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics Talon Shallow Water Anchor 15-foot. Crappie fishermen are in many situations where a deep, easy to use anchor would be outstanding.
Footwear is always a critical element to enjoy the day. The good-looking Simms Challenger Mid Boat Shoe is waterproof and looks like a great choice. The Simms Contender Insulated Jacket is also worth careful consideration.
The runner up for electronics was the Lowrance HDS Carbon 16. If you want super-size and money isn’t an object, this is one to consider. It has an internal GPS antenna, extensive mapping options along with built-in charts, InsightGenesis custom maps, dual microSD card slots, built-in Chirp Sonar, StructureScan 3D dual network sonar views, optional all-in-one TotalScan Skimmer transducer, DownScan overlay, and much more.