Here’s a quick rundown of the ICAST 2008 New Product Showcase winners crowned Thursday morning:

Best of Show Winners

Shimano Curado E
Category:  Overall Best of Show and Freshwater Reel
Winner:  Shimano Curado E
Notes:  A huge improvement over the Curado D the new Shimano Curado E brings back and improves upon what bass anglers loved about the old “Green” Curados. Palming this bad boy was bass fishing bliss. $179.99 retail automatically puts it in the hands of serious bass fishermen everywhere. Marketing buzzwords overheard around the Shimano booth included “Revo Killer” and “Quantum who?”



Shimano Clarus
Category: Freshwater Rod
Winner: Shimano Clarus A Series
Notes: The Clarus A Series features IM 7 blanks, Fuji aluminum oxide guides, Grade A cork handles, hook keeper, and select casting models have a Fuji exposed blank reel seat. With an array of new Freshwater, Inshore, Salmon and Steelhead rods ranging from $59.99 to$79.99 these updated rods are sure to be a hit.



Shimano Tescata
Category:  Saltwater Rod
Winner:  Shimano Tescatta Rod
Notes:  These rods were especially designed to fish Shimano’s Lucanus Jigs. They have been designed with specific tapers and powers to accommodate various jig weights. They also feature Shimano’s TC4 construction, Fuji Alconite guides, Fuji reel seats and features Shimano’s limited lifetime over the counter warranty. They will retail for $199.99.



Shimano Stella
Category:  Saltwater Reel
Winner:  Shimano Stella Saltwater Series Spinning Reel
Notes:  Ranging in size from 5000 to 20000 these new SW Stellas feature Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement, the Propulsion line management system, Aero Wrap II oscillation, a cold forged aluminum spool, Diamond Like Coating (DLC) on the line roller, and Shimano’s SW concept (SW resistant body, water proof drag, and ergonomic handle grips). They will retail from $729.99 to $949.99



Fisher Girl
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Category:  Best Combo
Winner:  Fisher Girl: The Jewel
Notes:  I saw this reel at the New Product Showcase. What can I say? Its a pink rod and reel that features a pink LED that lights up as you reel it in.  She sees it as a cool toy, you should see it as another reason for the women in your life to want to go fishing with you.



Berkley Fireline Tracer Braid
Category:  Line
Winner:  Berkley Fireline Tracer Braid
Notes:  New Berkley Fireline Tracer Braid is still made of 100% Dyneema like the original Fireline, however a new radial braid pattern and alternating color scheme (provides a point of reference to detect movement) set this line apart. (Lb tests 15/4, 20/6, 30/8, 40/10, 50/12, 65/14, 80/15) (Spools 110yd, 300yd, 1100 yd) Retail $17.95-$139.95



Category:  Terminal tackle
Winner:  Pallatrax the Stonze System
Notes:  The Stonze System is a European import from conservation oriented carp anglers. These new weights are said to blend into your quarry’s environment and the natural click they make against structure is less intrusive compared to lead or tungsten weights. The gentlemen at this booth were quite welcoming and surely knew how to treat an interested angler.



Gulp Alive
Category:  Soft Lure
Winner:  Berkley Gulp Alive Crazy Legs Jerk Shad
Notes:  New “Alive Well” bucket shape. Larger mouth opening and lower profile makes this easier to access when recharging baits with less chance of tipping or spilling. New Crazy Legs Jerk Shad has two tails vs. the typical single tail for more action. Retail approximately $20.



Bio Pulse
Bio Pulse 2
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Category:  Hard lure
Winner:  Mystic Tackle works BioPulse Lure
Notes:  Designed by a team of scientists this lure system is claimed to appeal to all of a fishes senses. “Sci-X” feeding stimulants are added for different species of game fish. A cleaning solution can be used to flush the lure of scent so that another can be applied for a different game fish.
Interesting approach, but would be hard to justify in my neck of the woods where Flukes, frogs, and trick worms reign supreme. Retails for about $35 for the complete kit (lure, feeding stimulant, and cleaning solution).



Plano KVD Signature Series
Category:  Tackle management
Winner:  Plano KVD Signature Series bag
Notes:  Features an extra large main compartment, easy-clean all weather fabric, ability to open from the back or the front. 6 zippered pockets, 11 mesh pockets, zippered water resistant “take away” bag, water resistant zippers on outside pockets, padded shoulder strap and carry handle, and waterproof nonslip rubber base.
Available in two sizes
Size 4880 = 27” L x 15.5” W x 15.75”H
Size 4870 = 22.75” L x 12”W x 12” H
Retail: Not Yet Available



Ugly Stik JR
Category:  Kids tackle
Winner:  Shakespeare Ugly Stick Junior
Notes:  3’8” one piece light action rod with and EZ cast spincasting reel. Comes pre-spooled with 6lb monofilament and Ugly Stick sticker. Available in three colors: yellow, red and pink. Retails for approximately $25.



Drop Down
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Category: Boating accessory
Winner: Bert’s Custom Tackle Drop Down Rocket Launcher
Notes: Tilt-able rocket launcher to get your rods out easier than typical designs. Retail approximately $730.



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Category: Giftware
Company: Anglers Book Supply Book Supply Welcome Mat “Tarpon Gyotaku”
Notes: Japanese Gyotaku (literally means fish rubbing) Artwork on this angler oriented 18” x 48” rug. Retail approximately $45.00



Ice 55
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Category: Electronics
Company: Humminbird Ice 55 Flasher
Notes: For the Serious Ice Fishermen out there. Retail $499.



E21 Fishing
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Category: Clothing
Company: E21 Fishing Wind, Rain, Ice Gear
Notes: Ken Whiting himself was marketing this suit at the New Product Showcase. His demo was rather impressive as he placed a sample of the suits insulation material in my hand and proceeded to take a blow torch to it. End Result, my hand didn’t feel any of his efforts. I was certainly impressed, though I’m not sure the bright orange will suit everyone’s tastes. Retail for the full suit will be approximately $480.



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Category: Eyewear
Company: Old Harbor Mako sunglasses
Notes: High Quality Eyewear from Retail $150.



Zip Vac 2
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Category: Fishing accessory
Winner: CTI Industries Zip Vac Jumbo 2.0 Vacuum Bags
Notes: This product is the portable equivalent of a Food saver. Kits with an electric pump and assortment of resealable vacuum bags will retail for right around $40.


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