August 2006

Fishing Talk Radio | New Product Reviews

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A Report On Some ICAST '06 ‘Goodies'

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.

Netting Easier

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

Time-Saving Weights

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 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//

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

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 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.