This show will predominantly be known as the battle of the trolling motors with the debut of Garmin’s award winning Force and Lowrance’s much anticipated GHOST to counter the now infamous Ultrex. Beyond the trolling motor battle ground there were a multitude of other interesting items to be found. Here are just a few that I found interesting:

Berkley Frittside Crankbait

David Fritts is a name that has long been synonymous with crankbait fishing. His input has been instrumental in development of some of the most popular crankbaits on the market. The new Frittside crankbait is designed to emulate his 1993 classic winning bait with flat sides and a balsa like thump upon retrieve. Available in multiple sizes, color patterns, and diving depths there is an option out there for any crankbait aficionado. MSRP 9.49

David Fritts Frittside Crankbait

Abu Garcia REVO EXD Baitcast Reel

With blatant good looks and compact form factor the new REVO EXD was a delight to checkout at the New Product Showcase. This 6.7oz beauty features a number of Abu Garcia’s proprietary technologies with 2 EXD (Extreme distance) spool bearings and even a spare shallow spool. This should be a hit amongst Abu Enthusiasts. MSRP $299

Abu Garcia Revo EXD Baitcast Reel

Updated Zebco 33 Reel Family

Every few years the uber popular Zebco 33 gets a redux and for 2019 the iconic reel gets a more modernized form factor with an increase in gear ratio, but not an increase in price. I don’t know how many of these COTS combos I’ve used when introducing new anglers, young and old, to the world of freshwater fishing. Its nice to see Zebco keep the cost down while bringing a refresh to the platform.

Lews Mach SMASH Combo

Lews Mach Combos have been on the ball the past few years offering bold aesthetics coupled with performance and value in the $100-$200 segment. Catering to the up and coming angling demographic these combos offer a lot of bang for the buck. The compact graphite framed SMASH SLP comes in at the $100 price point and feels great in hand and honestly doesn’t feel too shabby paired with its Winn grip counterpart rod. I know the coloration is a marketing ploy, but its a fun one that works. I sure wish these combos were around when I first got started.

Shimano SLX 150 DC Baitcast Reel

I’m not going to lie, its pretty strange to see DC technology get ported into a platform at this price point. I still remember when this made its debut in the flagship Calcutta DC. The one good thing about flagship technologies is that over time they eventually make their way down the product line so more and more anglers can come to appreciate them. DC tech has been “game changing” for along time. The Curado DC brought it to the masses. This reel will just expand upon that. MSRP 189.99

More to come.

G.C.

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