Cruising the floor at ICAST on day 1 is essentially tackle junkie sensory overload.  With a myriad of new product available I am always looking for those that stand apart from the norm, hopefully earn a respected reputation, and more importantly a place in my collection for years to come. Below are just a few interesting items from this years show:

Shimano Calcutta D

The new Calcutta D is the star of the show for Shimano this year. With no immediate planned Calais platform update and revamped Cumara supposedly still in the works the Calcutta D took center stage.  I was more than pleasantly surprised at the ergonomics of the 200D.  My initial mild interest immediately subsided after palming one and realizing how compact the “S Compact Body” and inbound handle repositioning really is.  In hand, this reel certainly doesn’t feel at all like the 200 sized Calcuttas of years past.  A reputation of reliability, enhanced feature set, and well thought out ergonomics will certainly make this particular reel a gem for many bass anglers.  

Gloomis GLX Flipping Sticks

Improved actions, lighter and stronger than the previous generation, new blank thru custom reel seats, split grip, Fuji titanium sics, and GLX reputation.  Whats not to like? (6 different Models ~ $460)

Quantum Accurist and Energy

Amidst size expansions to the Exo lineup of reels, debut of the Tactical rod series and revamp of the Cabo and Boca saltwater offerings Quantum also debuted new Accurist PT (~$100) and Energy Bait cast ($159) Reels.  These mass appeal reels have undergone many changes over the years in Quantum’s quest to push the design envelope while still coming in at a price that many weekend warriors can certainly appreciate.  PT design implementation, compact form factors, modern aesthetics, flipping switch implementation and aggressive pricing make these two reel series worthy of note.    

Daiwa Limited Edition T3

Plain and simple Hell Yes…

MegabassOrochi XX

The legendary Megabass brand is taking a full swing at the US market by releasing a gamut of new product.  Of particular American market interest is the new Orochi XX rod series with actions created with input from Megabass pro staff Luke Clausen and Aaron Martens.  Featuring mass appeal aesthetics these rods have 30 ton super low resin carbon blanks with 2 axis XX weave micro carbon fiber and 4 axis carbon layers to form a powerful and lightweight blank. Topped off with Fuji “Galaxy finish” reel seat, Ito Head Locking System (Carbon Fiber up locking system on spinning), full cork grips and Fuji K-R Concept guides (Fuji New Concept for Spinning models). 11 casting and 2 Spinning Models with a retail price point set below $300.

Challenge Series A6704X

Quite possibly the finest 6’7″ bass fishing rod that you and I may never get a chance to fish with.  I’m pretty sure Aaron Martens is going to take it home with him.  I wouldn’t blame him.  Full Coreplex graphite blank, ARMS stealth fit reel seat, IHLS, ARMs wood sunburst handle. You know you want one.

13 Fishing:  Envy Series Rods

New comers to the market this year this particular rod series certainly caught my attention at the New Product Showcase. One of the few rods on the rack this year that screamed “fish with me!” as I held it in hand.  Intriguing aesthetics, 40 Ton Toray blanks, Rec black recoil guides, 10 year limited warranty all for around $250. Count me in!  Passion for perfection, use of custom components, refined designs coupled with a flair for standing out from the crowd were my first positive impressions of the brand.  These guys have big plans to create a paradigm shift in the market and this series of rods is certainly a step in the right direction.

More to come.


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