From left: Abu Garcia Revo Premier and 707LX.
(Editor's note: This is part 1 of a 3-part story that covers new bass products unveiled at the recent ICAST industry trade show. Companies are listed alphabetically.)
Each year in Las Vegas, Nev. the sportfishing industry converges for the ICAST trade show. Here, companies display their new wares – everything
from lures and line to rods, reels, tools, and accessories.
What follows is a comprehensive look at the new offerings. Some products are already available, while some will hit store shelves later this summer or fall.
Abu Garcia's flagship Revo line gets a new member this year – the Revo Premier. Abu said it's the lightest aluminum low-profile reel on the market. Premiums include five stainless-steel "high-performance corrosion resistant" (HPCR) bearings, Carbon Matrix drag system, linear magnetic brakes, and an Eversilk-coated pinion shaft and pawl. It features a 6.4:1 gear ratio and weighs 6.3 ounces. ($259.99)
Anglers looking for a value-priced reel will be interested in the new Abu Garcia Max. These low-profile baitcasters feature colors that match their bearing counts. The Black Max has 4+1 bearings and costs $49.99. The Silver Max has 5+1 bearings and costs $59.99. The Pro Max has 7+1 bearings and costs $79.99. Each weighs 7.9 ounces and is reportedly built to take a beating.
The Cardinal spinning lineup has two new members. The 700LX series offers five sizes that range in price from $109.99–$199.99. Notables include HPCR bearings, oversized line roller and Carbon Matrix drag. The Cardinal 600ALB ($79.99–$89.99) contains many of the same notable features, but is all aluminum – so it's a little heavier, but built to take a beating. (Abu-Garcia.com)
AC Plug Swimbait Company
Alan Cole has returned to lure manufacturing, and the original AC Plug is back in production, along with a new AC Casitas soft swimbait. The original AC Plug is still a sought-after big bait. Later iterations – notably those by Arbogast and Luhr-Jensen – never perfectly replicated the original because the baits were wrapped with a decal. The AC Plug spent some time with Optimum too, but now Cole's making it again and the baits are painted then sealed with four clear-coats. It's not balsa, but Cole wouldn't divulge what wood he's using. ($19.99, ACPlugs.com)
This company offers cool gift items for BassFans, like its Reel Fish magnets and stickers that measure 6x8 or 11x14 inches. The artwork's cool, and the company said more freshwater stuff's coming. ($3.99–$9.99, AdvancedGraphicsInc.com)
BassFans probably haven't heard of this balsa-bait company yet. It's based in Serbia, and is the newest project for Aleksandar Veselinovic, who was the designer for Ugly Duckling. Balsa fans might want to pick up a few and see how they run. (AlexLures.com)
All Star Rods
All-Star debuted its ASR series, which is a technique-specific rod lineup with seven casting and three spinning models. The technique each rod was designed for is printed on the blank. The blanks are IM-10 graphite and the rods feature high-grade components like Fuji Alconite guides, split grips, and more. (AllStarRods.com)
The center of attention at the American Rodsmiths booth was the company's new H3 Titanium Ultra rods with "92-million modulus hybrid technology." They're an $80 upgrade from the existing H3 Titanium series, with carbide rodtips electronically fused into place, nickel-titanium Recoil guides, and more. ($349.99, AmericanRodsmiths.com)
Ardent, which prides itself on reels made in America, showed off its new XS100 baitcaster. It represents a redesign, upgrade, and enhancement of the existing XS baitcaster. Includes 10 stainless-steel ball bearings and a stainless-steel clutch bearing. The gear ratio's 6.3:1. Also notable is the company says it's the only magnesium-framed casting reel backed with a 3-year warranty. ($249.99, ArdentOutdoors.com)
The biggest to-do at the Bagley booth was the announcement that the Bagley team "pulled out and dusted off the first tooling Jim Bagley created to carve the very first shad-profile crankbait – Jim Bagley's Big B." In essence, Bagley said it's bringing back the lure in its original form, along with original '60s-style packaging. It's one of the most famous lures ever, and originals are highly sought, because it has a thinner profile and flatter sides than the Balsa Bs.
Also new from Bagley is the Suspending Kill'R B and a line of Shaky Head jigs. (BagleyBait.com)
From top: Jim Bagley's Big B, Bandit 700 series, Biosonix flush-mount unit, Booyah Bi-You Buzz.
Bandit's been in the crank business for 30 years now. Nothing flashy – they're just baits that catch fish. The newest Bandit is the 700 series, which includes a weight-transfer system for longer casts. The 3" bait weighs 7/8-ounce, comes in 12 colors, and dives 14-18 feet. (BanditLures.com)
Berkley's ICAST rollout was nothing short of monstrous.
Berkley won a Best of Show award in the lure category for its Gulp! Alive, which is Gulp! goby, minnow, and leech baits soaked in Gulp! juice and packaged in a bucket. They tore up the recent Erie/Niagara Bassmaster Elite Series. Gulp! Alive juice is also available in a spray bottle.
New Gulp! shapes, some of which became available prior to the show, include the 10" Turtle Back worm, 4 3/4" Slim Shaky worm, 2 1/2" minnow, 5" Jumbo leech, and 4" goby. ($5.49)
Several Berkley products are now packaged as Power Packs that include hooks, jig heads, and other appropriate rigging items. A few of the example include Larry Nixon's Shaky worm Power Pack and Jay Yelas' Texas Rig Power Pack. ($4.99)
New Powerbait shapes (again, some of which debuted earlier this year), include the Chigger craw, Fat Dover Crawler, Sabertail Burly Bug, and Sabertail tube. ($3.49)
Also new was the Jointed BladeDancer ($6.49) in 1/4- and 3/8-ounce, as well as the Powerbait BladeDancer Spin Dancer ($6.49), which features a spinnerbait arm with blades at the head of a BladeDancer.
BassFans have heard a lot of pros talk about the new Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and it's now widely available. In other Trilene news, XT is now available in red, and the Sensation formula has been tweaked. ($17.99–$23.99)
Berkley snapped up another Best of Show award, this one in the Accessories category, for its new TEC Tool Pistol Trigger Grip, which is a cool new take on traditional fish grippers. In fact, all the TEC tools feature impressive industrial design, top-notch tooling, and extras that anglers will appreciate. Other new TEC Tools include the Digital Scale and Culling Kit, Superline Shears, Locking Trigger Grips, Power Pliers, , Hook Sharpener, and more. (prices vary, Berkley-Fishing.com)
> The big news at Biosonix was the new flush-mount units. The company only had a prototype on-hand, but what a difference it makes – no more big gray box on the bow. The units will also be available for a gimbal-mount too. The menu interface works much like a standard fishfinder, so the menu navigation's easy. (Biosonix.com)
Remember when Mark Davis won the Ft. Loudoun–Tellico FLW Tour this year? One of his key baits was an old Bomber Long A in bone. Bomber brought that color back this year and it's now available.
The Model A gets two new colors – royal red and royal shad. (Lurenet.com)
Two new sizes of the Boogie Bait are now available – the 1/8-ounce "pond" size, and the 1/4- and 1/2-ounce. ($4.69–$5.99)
The popular Swim'n jig also gets a new size – 1/4-ounce. ($2.99)
The company unveiled two new blade baits. The Bi-You Buzz ($9.99) features counter-rotating blades and a unique triangle-shape head. Word is it's one of the slowest buzzbaits out there. Also new is the HD spinnerbait ($6.99) made specifically for burning. It delivers a 3/8-ounce weight on a 1/4-ounce frame with double-willows. Comes with the Leverage flexible hook system. (Lurenet.com)
The legendary big-bait company showed off its new Rock Hard series, which is a line of super-realistic hard swimbaits that include a small magnet to lightly pin the treble to the belly for fishing around cover.
Also new is the Platinum series, with soft versions of threadfin shad, sunfish, rainbow trout, hitch, gizzard shad and baby bass. (CastaicSoftBait.com)
Costa Del Mar
> Costa Del Mar makes awesome sunglasses, and the latest addition to its fishing line is the Man o War, which is basically the largest in a line that includes the Frigate and Osprey models. All three models have easily removable side shields to provide maximum protection against wind and glare. The three models are available in black, shiny tortoise, and silver frames, and lens options span the full palette of Costa polarized offerings. ($129 to $229 for Man o War, CostaDelMar.com)
Berkley products, clockwise from top left: Gulp! Alive, Larry Nixon's Shaky worm Power Pack, TEC Power Pliers, TEC Hook Sharpener, Gulp! Goby and Leech, Trilene 100% fluorocarbon.
West Coast legend Gary Dobyns has his own rod company now that offers Dobyns Champion and Champion Extreme rods. Each rod is technique-specific. Examples include dartheading, shaking, toading, and more. (DobynsRods.com)
E21 won the Overall Best of Show and Best Freshwater Rods awards. The company, previously known for golf products, recently entered the rod business with new hire Ken Whiting (formerly of Airrus, where he'd won Best Freshwater Rods 3 years in a row).
The Boyd Duckett Classic Gold series is a high-end offering with a bunch of tech involved. The blank is described as being a "multi-modulus and filament-wound carbon-fiber nanotube." The guides are ceramic-free, there's a weight port in the butt for personal balancing, and the reel-seat (designed by E21) is split and set on a bulbous portion of the rod. They felt cool, and were very light.
The Carrot Stix, believe it or not, are rods that utilize carrot fiber. "Nano-level cellulose bio-fibers" are extracted from carrots, processed into a "super-high-strength epoxy matrix," then wrapped around a graphite skeleton. Also very lightweight. (E21fishing.com)
The new bass product of note from Eagle Claw is the Lazer Magworm EWG. Available in 2/0–6/0, in either black or red, it's designed for braided line and big plastics. (EagleClaw.com)
Fenwick's big bass rollout was its new high-end Elite Tech rods. These follow the trend of custom rod designs with features like exposed butt, a balance adjustment in the butt cap, plus top-shelf guides and other components. Each model was designed by a pro-staff member for a specific technique, so there's a Crankbait rod, Drop Shot rod, Skippin' Special, Jerkin' Stick, and more. Each rod blank is color coded for easy recognition in the rod locker. ($199.99–$239.99, FenwickFishing.com)
Fin-tech has plans to grow and was on-hand showing its Title Shot jigs, which include the standard Title Shots in various weights and hook sizes, as well as the Title Shot Bigun (1/8-ounce, 5/0 hook) and Title Shot Magnum (1/8- to 2-ounce, 8/0 hook). (JigFish.com)
There are four new Jack hard swimbait products from Fish Arrow, available exclusively through Lobina.
The 7 1/2", 2-ounce Deep Jack ($75) is basically a deep-billed Spooky Jack and runs at 6 to 10 feet. The 6", 1 1/2-ounce Deep Jack Jr. ($65) is a downsized version of the same bait.
The I.T. Jack Baby measures 5 1/2 inches, weighs 1 ounce, and completes the I.T. Jack family. ($90)
The Real Monster Jack is a big one. It tapes 7", weighs 2 ounces, and features handlaid foil with realistic detailing. ($95, LobinaLures.com)
Storage company Flambeau rolled out a number of new items, but BassFans would likely be most interested in the expansion of its Maximizer line. These bags contain vertical compartments to hold hardbaits. The Maximzer 2781, for example, is a more compact version of last year's 2782.
Also new are two larger versions of the Dry Box. The 1809 and 1899 include O-ring seals to keep out water. The 1899 includes Zerust anti-rust technology. (FlambeauOutdoors.com)
These are the all-natural baits made with real food that were banned in FLW competition. Several new bass shapes were introduced, including the 3" Steeler and 2" Turkey Creek darter. Both are part of the Alabama River Series, with sale proceeds to help benefit the Freshwater Land Trust.
Other new shapes include the 3" Little Warrior creature, and the 4" Tricky worm. ($3.95–$4.95, FSLures.com)
Frabill's primary bass-related product this year is its 3444 Sportsman net. Built with soft, knotless micromesh, it's designed to be catch-and-release friendly. It's coated with a special rubber to help cushion the fish and prevent hook entanglement. Also notable is the shallower, flat-panel bottom that supports the entire length and weight of the fish. ($49.99, Frabill.com).
Gamakatsu rolled out six new hooks this year, and of those, three are of note for BassFans.
The Weighed Superline EWG is simply a weighted version of Gammy's super-popular EWG. Think toads here. Available in 3/0 and 5/0 with 1/16- or 1/8-ounce weights.
The Trailer Hook SP is a trailer hook with a rubberized coating over the hook-eye. Comes in red or black in No. 1 through 3/0.
The EWG Monster runs in 5/0 through 7/0 for swimbaits and monster tubes. (Gamakatsu.com)
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits
The big news from Yamamoto this year was that the Shad Shape worm is now clear for the U.S. Market. Previously, it was a Japan exclusive. BassFans likely remember that Shinichi Fukae tore through the 2006 FLW Tour with it.
The other new bait from Yamamoto is the Flappin' Hog II. The Flappin' Hog isn't new – it was pulled previously due to patent issues – but this latest rev has redesigned flaps to increase motion and vibration. (Baits.com)
Tommy Biffle worked with Gene Larew for two new products this year. One is the 8" Biffle-O worm, which marries a tube head with a trick-worm body. The other is the 5" Super Salt Biffle craw, which features a larger body for bigger worm hooks.
Other new items include the Three Legged frog, the Salt Head Shaky worm, and the 12" El Salto Grande worm. (GeneLarewLures.com)
The G. Loomis company continues to delve even deeper into technique-specific rods, and this year, it introduced new Swimbait rods. Built to be lightweight but powerful, the line includes four models with various actions. The big boy is the 7'11" SWRB957C heavy-action "Monster." ($235–$250, GLoomis.com)
BassFans probably remember that worldwide line company Hi-Seas wanted to get into the U.S. bass market, so they stepped up to title sponsor the new ABA professional tour (the Grand Slam Series). Hi-Seas was at ICAST to display its 100% fluorocarbon and Grand Slam braid. (HiSeas.net)
From top: Jackall Flick Shake worm with tungsten Wacky jig head, E21 Carrot Stix and Boyd Duckett Classic Gold rods, Costa Del Mar Man o War, Lucky Craft Fat Mini.
The main focus of the Jackall booth was its new Flick Shake worm paired with its new tungsten Wacky jig head. This is the technique that has overtaken dropshotting in Japan, and Jackall mastermind Seiji Kato used it to win the co-angler title this year at the Amistad Bassmaster Elite Series.
Jackall's Cross Tail Shad worm had previously been available in the U.S. under the Lake Police name. Now it's a Jackall-branded product.
The Giron is a new jointed panfish swimbait.
Kato's new crank is the MC/60 and it features a "fast wobble and rolling action similar to a hand-carved wood crank." (Jackall-Lures.com)
The new bait from Kinami is the 4" Swimming Senko, which is exclusive to Kinami (meaning, it won't be sold as a Yamamoto product). (KinamiBaits.com)
The Don Iovino Signature Series is the new bass offering from Lamiglas. Each of the four models measures 6'2", but features different actions and tapers to create a complete finesse set. (Lamiglas.com)
A few new Cocoons OverRx items made their debut at ICAST. First there's the new polarized copper Polaré lens, which is an option on all Cocoons models. Also new is the soft-touch Tortoiseshell frame with a mottled color scheme. ($39.95, LiveEyewear.com)
Lucky Craft blew the minds of several folks with its new Real Skin, which is real, preserved fish skin wrapped on baits. The effect is obvious – the look and texture of real fish skin. Baits with Real Skin run about $10 more.
The Real California Supreme 110 and 200 are upgraded versions of the existing Real California hard swimbaits. They're sinking models with running depths based on speed of retrieve, and reportedly move much differently than other two- and three-piece swimbaits. ($29.99–$49.99)
Lucky Craft's Iron Athlete line comes in fluorocarbon, mono, "topwater nylon," and braided versions. ($12.99 for mono, $14.99 for nylon, $22.99 for fluoro, and $41.99 for braid, LuckyCraft.com)
The six-lure Fat Mini series runs the gamut from wakebaits to deep-divers. These fat-bodies cranks each weigh 3/8-ounce – you simply change lures for changing conditions or cover. ($14.99, LuckyCraft.com)
Lowrance typically launches its new products on a different timeframe than other companies, so its ICAST lineup is often light.
It introduced a new 8.4-inch mid-size display for its color units, available on the LCX-38C HD and LCX-37C.
Lowrance said its new SONAR Optimizer with Broadband Sounder-1 boosts installed units to achieve "peerless echo clarity and the highest underwater definition ever achieved." The unit's compatible with all 2007 Lowrance models with 5-plus-inch color displays and 5-pin ethernet connectors.
Also new is the Navico Expansion Port–1 network switch, which when used with the Broadband Sounder-1, allows optimized sonar-sharing for up to four compatible Lowrance units. (Lowrance.com)
(Editor's note: If you are a manufacturer and didn't see your new product(s) mentioned here, please leave us a note in the FeedBack section.)
– End of part 1 (of 3) –