By Margie Anderson
ICAST is an industry-only
convention that gives fishing tackle manufacturers an opportunity to
gather together and show off their latest products to retailers and
the media. This year, ICAST was held in the Las Vegas Convention
Center July 19 - 21. As usual, there were plenty of innovative
products and new twists on old ideas.
One thing that all successful fishermen need is a net, and for
such a simple item. With this in mind, several companies came up
with ideas to make netting fish easier. The Net ‘n’ Buddy is a
magnetic catch in two parts.
One part attaches to the rod handle, and one part to the net. The
magnets keep the net held out of the way against the handle, making
it easy to get the net into the water and maneuver it.
Once a fish hits the net, the magnet is released and the net
opens right up to welcome the catch. It retails for less than $10,
and you can see one at
Another net idea is the Net-Light, a flashlight with green LED
lights. The flashlight attaches to any net handle, to make it easier
to net fish in low light without spooking them. You can see them at
A Good Idea For Night Fishing
Here’s another good idea for night fishing: the Master Vision
black light cap light by Import Merchandisers. The three LED black
lights attach to the underside of your cap brim, making you into
your own personal black light.
Instead of moving a plug-in unit around, you just turn your head
to re-direct the light. The lithium batteries give you over 100
hours of burn time. Check them out at
Maintaining The Reels
Competitive bass anglers and salt-water fishermen think nothing
of spending $200 or more on a reel, but often don’t have a clue how
to maintain those reels for optimum performance. Lake Fork Tackle
has a Reel Maintenance Kit with everything you need to keep those
reels in peak condition, including a training DVD and all the
supplies you’ll need.
Say good-bye to sending those reels out of state to be worked on.
At around $125, you’ll only have to use it a couple of times before
it pays for itself. See it for yourself at
Northland Fishing Tackle introduced Sling Shot Weights, and they
look like real time savers. Sling Shot Weights look almost like
regular bullet sinkers, but they are split up one side and have a
rubber core with little knobs on the end. Slip the weight onto your
line and twist the knob to lock it in place. You can easily move or
replace the weight by turning the knob to loosen it, then again to
tighten it back up. Go to
www.northlandtackle.com to see them.
Controlling The Reel Digitally
Most baitcasting reels have adjustable drags and magnets that can
be re-set by the user to cope with various conditions. Very light
lures or high winds, for instance, can make it very difficult to
cast without getting a nasty tangle.
Shimano’s Calais 200DC reel takes the guesswork out of those
settings by making the reel digitally controlled. Just pop open the
side and pick from one of four settings, including two for distance,
one for accuracy, and one for head winds.
It’s A Bag Or Bucket
Shimano also introduced a new tackle bag that is completely
waterproof when it’s zipped closed. This makes it not only a great
tackle bag, but also a dynamite camera case and even a good portable
bait bucket! Check out all the new Shimano stuff at http//fish.shimano.com.
New Collar For Fido
Anyone who takes a dog on the boat knows how much they love to go
swimming. Regular dog collars can stay wet for a long time, but the
Spiffy Dog Air Collar is not only quick-drying, it is also
anti-bacterial. The collars come in a variety of patterns including
bass, walleye, trout, etc. They’re only about $15 and you can see
them at www.creekcompany.com.
No More Rust
Rust is always a problem for anyone who spends time around the
water, especially salt water. Flambeau has Zervit Plastabs and
Capsules that will prevent rust for up to three years. They retail
for five to ten dollars.
Keep one in your tackle box to keep your hooks, files, and tools
in perfect condition. Stash a couple in your gun safe. Put one in
the tool box. Go to www.flambeau.com to see these.
Just Right For Kids
Kids aren’t forgotten at ICAST, and one of my favorite new
products is the Jr. Fisherman Soft Tackle Bag by Outdoor Adventure
Kids. It’s a backpack with tackle boxes and a rod holder, and even a
place for lunch.
Just the right size for kids, it could also double as a regular
day hiking pack. It costs just under $30, and you can see it at
With 2500 square feet of display floor, 393 exhibitors, and 1025
booths, there were plenty more great new products to see at ICAST
this year. Heck, the New Products Showcase alone had 188 entries.
We’ll try to cover some more of the new things in upcoming issues.