I spent 2 days scouting the floor at ICAST, North America’s largest fishing convention, and it was jam-packed with exciting new products for the angler.
Here, I break down some of this year’s top picks for lures, tackle, and tackle management as awarded by a jury of ICAST buyers and media representatives.
Fishing Line: Shimano PowerPro Moonshine Braid
The Shimano Moonshine braid ($21) is for those of us who like to catch our quarry when the sun goes down. Glow technology lights up when illuminated by a blacklight, allowing night anglers to catch small movements in the line. It’s available in 8- to 80-pound tests as well as 150- and 300-yard spools.
Terminal Tackle: Rapala VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short
This Rapala treble hook won Best of the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, and it holds up at ICAST. A swivel-and-blade combo, it sits in a VMC hybrid treble with an epoxy resin. It’s an excellent option for multispecies modification, and at $6 for two, it’s worth having in your tackle box.
Tackle Management: Plano EDGE
The Plano EDGE is tackle management with a whole lotta common sense: watertight seals, anti-rust features, and big, durable latch systems. Plus, it’s got the organization level of the kid who always took lead on group projects in high school. The clear lid allows an immediate window for item location. And at a price point of $20-35, everyone can afford it.
Cutlery, Hand Pliers, Tools: Bubba 110V Electric Fillet Knife
Bubba packed four blade styles into this electric fillet knife, and each one brings a different set of skills to breaking down those big fish you’re about to catch. The brand is known for taking on salt and beating out corrosion. And that’s exactly what Bubba designed this system to do. The 110V Electric Fillet Knife is lightweight, tough as nails, and comes with a carrying case for storage.
Freshwater Soft Lure: Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider
This little rubber fella is 2 inches long and weighs 0.25 ounces. With nice action through its walking legs and a self-righting ballast in the body, it looks just like a spider that’s taken a bath to a waiting bass. That ballast keeps the lure centered, and the Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider will retail at $9.
Fly Fishing Accessory: Simms Dry Creek Z Sling Pack
Simms’ Dry Creek Z Sling ($200) is uber light, and the zipper is my favorite point on this sling pack. With self-healing, toothless, waterproof zippers, this pack is fully submersible. It’s roomy enough for a day out on a drift boat, and there’s enough organization for it to seem useful without getting too busy. The shoulder strap and back panel are also hydrophobic, so when things get sticky, your bag won’t stick to you.