Rods, Reels, Lures: Favorites of ICAST 2018

Amidst the sweltering heat and humidity of Orlando’s annual ICAST event is the newest fishing gear to hit the market.

Photo courtesy Gerber

We swam down the sidewalks and into the convention center, searching out the best-looking gear for the upcoming seasons. Below is a quick look at the spin and casting gear for anglers from ICAST 2018.

These were the favorites we found, and some were awarded by ICAST as gear of the show.

St. Croix Mojo Yak Rods: $150-160

The Mojo Yak freshwater and saltwater rods are built to meet kayak anglers’ needs. St. Croix designs the rods so the seated angler can cast long distances with minimal effort. This is made possible by shorter-than-normal butt ends. The six spinning rods and two casting rods are 7 feet 7.5 inches. The design keeps the line from tangling in a seated angler’s PFD and gear and helps them set the hook and fight fish.

All rods in the series run $150-160. An outstanding price point and numerous specialized features for the kayak angler was all St. Croix needed to win ICAST’s Best Salt Water Rod of the show.

Shimano Curado DC: $249

Shimano Curado DC

Shimano took the ever-popular Curado K Reel and added its flagship DC technology. This tech has been around; it’s nothing new. But it’s worth a mention because of its price and availability. Previously, it was far out of reach for everyday anglers.

DC technology involves a microcomputer sealed into the reel. The computer measures the line speed 1,000 times per second. It then applies the perfect amount of brake to prevent backlash and maximize distance. Anglers of all skill levels will appreciate less thumbing and enhanced casting in a variety of conditions. Fewer bird nests, more hookups. Available in fall 2018.

LIVETARGET Hollow Body Craw: $10

LIVETARGET Hollow Body Craw

LIVETARGET strategically combined hollow bodies and jig lines for an industry-first crayfish imitation. The hollow carapace offers two distinct benefits: First, the tail and body act as a weed guard. This allows you to work the lure in grassy areas. Secondly, anglers can squeeze scent paste into the internal cavity.

Tie your favorite knot to the weighted tail, available in 3/8-, 1/2-, and 3/4-ounce sizes. The tail anchors down while buoyant pincers float, giving the lure a defensive craw imitation. Available fall 2018.

Aftco Hydronaut Jacket ($249) & Bibs ($229)

The Hydronaut series was inspired by direct feedback from the AFTCO Freshwater Pro Team. The mission of the jacket and bib combination is to handle extreme foul weather conditions when comfort, performance, and focus are needed most.

The jacket boasts a two-layer waterproof nylon shell, vented hood, integrated camera mount pocket, internal sleeve cuff, adjustable stretch shoulder system with mesh back, tricot hand warmer pockets, and Cordura-reinforced pliers pocket and knees.

Combine the jacket with the bibs for a heavy-duty waterproof set. Capable of long days in inclement weather, the Hydronaut jacket and bibs are available in October 2018.

Gerber Salt RX Tools: $25-85

Gerber Salt Rx

Last year, Gerber introduced its line of freshwater fishing tools. Anglers received the line well. But something was missing: Saltwater enthusiasts needed noncorrosive choices.

Gerber took note. Fresh for ICAST 2018 is the new salt line, complete with Salt Rx anti-corrosion coatings and HydroTread grip that won’t get tacky after long hours under the sun. All tools within the Salt Rx line will be available in February 2019.

Seaguar Gold Line Fluorocarbon: $29-39

Seaguar’s roots date back to 1971. It was the first company to create translucent fishing line out of the pellet form of fluorocarbon. Fast forward to 2018, and the brand is a top-tier choice among competitors.

Seaguar’s staff has worked hard through the decades to remain relevant and innovative. And the new Gold Label 100% Fluorocarbon is the latest example.

Seaguar claims up to 23 percent thinner and 18 percent stronger fishing line in the Gold Series. The 25-yard spools are available in 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, and 40-pound tests. Available in early 2019.