There is always a lot of information to soak in at ICAST. Particularly if you’re trying to find out what is the “latest and greatest”. Wandering the floor I learned of a few items that will surely make their way into my arsenal in one form or another. Here’s a quick look at just a few of those “interesting” items I came across today.
The G.Loomis NRX
The new “Top Dog” Loomis stick comes in 8 new casting models and 5 spinning models. Touted as the “Best Bass Rod Ever Built” and 15% lighter and 15% stronger than GLX. I couldn’t stop playing with these rods. Seeming like a conservative version of the Shimano Cumulus rods they feel great in hand and I can only imagine how they would handle out on the water. Im still not quite sure what to make of the “Hybrid Guide System” of Fuji SICs and Recoils. Retail is right at $475…ouch!
Shimano Curado 50E
Sharing the same body style as the Core50mg7, Aldebaran, and Scorpion 1000xt platform the new Curado 50 is America’s aluminum framed version. Two models are available CU50E and CU51E with 6.4:1 gear ratio, 7BB, 6.9oz, retailing at $199. A couple of these slick reels will sure surely compliment any die hard bass angler’s arsenal.
Daiwa Steez Megatop
The latest Steez offerings are two new finesse worm and jig rods with a flexible tip. This tip is created with an exclusive process that distributes graphite fiber evenly with precise resin control, creating a tip without a noticeable spine. This facilitates pinpoint casting with lightweight lutes. Two rods will be available, a casting and spinning model both 6’11” ML, XF actions. Retailing at a premium price point of $474.95
Abu Garcia Verdict and Veritas Rods
I’m a big fan of the black and red Vendetta rods. They are in my opinion one of the best “legitimate” bass fishing tools available for under $100. The Veritas and Verdict series of rods are just the next evolution of the same design principles. I for one am particularly fond of the less conspicuous and classic styling of the Verdict rods. In hand balance is fantastic with Abu Garcia’s Flagship Revo Premier. Moreover, the ability to adjust the handle length with the Extending Handle System (EHS) is definitely a plus. The Verdict rods will retail at 129.95 to 139.95 and the Veritas at $99.95.
Pfleuger Patriarch Spinning Reels.
I must say I’m rather impressed with this new reel from Pflueger, even more so than the new Revo Premier Spinning Reel. The magnesium body, aggressively ported aluminum/ carbon arbor spool, carbon handle and EVA knob make this one light and sexy reel. This reel feels impressive in hand and will surely be a hit with its $199 price point.
Quantum Smoke Series
Quantum pushes the design envelope once again this year with the introduction of the Smoke series of Rods and Reels. The new baitcast reels will be available in a 100 and 150 size that weigh in at 6.2oz and 6.8oz respectively! Predominant design features include aluminum side covers, seven PT bearings, ceramic drag, Micro ACS II (infinite ACS II on 150 size), and a new minimalist handle design. The 100 size is offered at 7.0:1 and 6.3:1 ratios whereas the 150 size will have 7.3:1, 6.6:1 and 5.3:1 ratio models available. Retail will be right at $199 (100 size) and $219 (150 size). The Smoke PT rods now replace the “superlight” series of rods. They feature HSX70 blanks, split EVA grips, soft touch Fuji ACS reel seat and Fuji micro concept guides with aluminum oxide inserts. Retail on these new rods is right at $129.
Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Worm Hook
Fishing heavy cover is a way of life in South Florida and its no secret that the Reaction Innovations BMF (now Paycheck Baits Punch hook) is a flipping and punching favorite. Gamakatsu took their already successful design and refined it a pre installed small wire keeper, eliminating the need to light up heat shrink tubing and pinch your own barb.