Fishing Gear 2007: A first look at the best new stuff from the ICAST show

New products from ICAST

Shimano’s Calais DC is a low-profile, computer-controlled baitcaster with four internally selectable casting modes: extreme distance, long distance, short-range accuracy, and wind. An external control knob then offers eight cast-control settings within the selected category. At 9.5 ounces and with fast 7:1 gearing, this highest of high-tech reels will sell for a paltry $650.00 (Shimano.com).

New products from ICAST

I did a double-take at one lure display, caught by the extraordinary realism of the new Lucky Craft “Real California” series of hard-bodied swimbaits. The double-jointed, 5-inch plugs even have molded fins and are just superbly finished in 10 different color patterns. At about $30 each, it’s worth getting one to hang on the wall. And yes, people will fish with them despite the price. (luckycraft.com)

New products from ICAST

Most people will find the new Berkley Frenzy Flicker Shads a little more realistic, at least by price. At about $5 or less (for some models), the fast-wiggling diving plugs are specifically engineered in 14 different color patterns for walleye fishing. (Berkley-fishing.com)

New products from ICAST

Back on the wacky side, how about a soft-plastic frog with rabbit-fur legs? This $11 Furbit Series bass lure from AA/Optimum Bait Co. won “Best in Show” in the soft-lure category. So who’s wacky now? (aaworms.com)

New products from ICAST

Molded-foam clogs have become the height of casual fashion, and the latest entry is the Marlin Comfort Clog from Bimini Bay Outfitters. The sole pattern is said to provide an excellent grip on slippery boat decks. At 20 bucks a pair, you can afford to try them. (biminibayoutfitters.com)

New products from ICAST

The lives of panfishermen will get much easier with the new “mini” version of Baker Manufacturing’s long-popular HookOut tool. Sized for one-hand use, just insert the small clamp into a fish’s mouth and pull the trigger to grasp and remove the hook. I could not find a price for this item, but I’m guessing around $10. (note: no website)

New products from ICAST

Berkley made a huge splash with its Fireline “Crystal,” the only superline that’s translucent rather than opaque. While not fully clear like nylon mono, it’s clear enough to be used without an added clear leader when flipping or pitching for bass in mixed cover, for example. This new line took the overall “Best in Show” award as the best new fishing product for 2007. Available in pound-tests from 1 to 20. A 125-yard spool is expected to retail at about $15. (Berkley-fishing.com)

New products from ICAST

Penn has a nifty new addition to its International series-“the Torque 300, in which the right (handle-side) sideplate is built to be extremely rigid. This allows stronger gearing and a hugely beefed-up drag system. Penn CEO David Martin was quick to tell me that yes, the reel is American-made. Three sizes will retail at about $400 each. This was the “Best in Show” winner in the saltwater reel category. See the excellent description at pennreels.com.
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