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ICAST 2020 Coverage


TackleTour's Best of ICAST 2020 Award Winners


Date: 7/15/19
Location: Virtual Event
Admission: Industry Only
Manufacturer: Varied
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: ICAST moved quickly this year in the face of a challenging, and ever-changing, situation, to transition from a live event to a virtual show. The event organizers did a good job keeping the discussion going on key industry topics, as well as providing a platform for tackle manufacturers to launch the products that they have been working on over the last year. While ICAST has their New Product Showcase Awards our Editors also review and select the products that they found the most exciting this year, and w
hile there are numerous entrants worthy of consideration, these are the products in each category that the Editors at TackleTour recognize as the "Best of ICAST 2020."



Best of ICAST - Casting Reel : Shimano Curado MGL 70: Shimano made a big move this ICAST with the introduction of smaller 70 sized Curado and SLX reels and equipping both of these workhorse baitcasters with the company's excellent MGL spool, a feature previously reserved for the company's higher end reels. In addition to the compact size and low weight this new Curado MGL will come loaded with 8+1 bearings and be offered in two quick gear ratios, 7.4:1 and 8.1:1, and will be available in both right and left hand retrieve. Retailing for $229 dollars this new Curado will definitely be a hot commodity, even versus the Curado 150 DC which retails for 20 dollars more. If you are looking for a more affordable reel with many of the same features the new SLX MGL 70 is also a great option at only $149.99, but for many the Curado still represents the benchmark that all mainstream baitcasters are measured against.



Best of ICAST - Spinning Reel : Shimano Vanford F: This was a close one but Shimano pretty much dominated the freshwater reel categories this year. The Vanford clearly draws upon designs from previous generation reels like the Stradic CI4+, but it brings new features and styling that will help the new series forge a new identity for itself. This new reel is also built on a CI4+ body for light overall weight, rigidity, and corrosion resistance and what is new is the inclusion of a new MagnumLite (MGL) rotor designed to deliver a quicker response with a lighter design that requires less rotational inertia. The Vanford is also designed to be a better caster than previous generation reels with the implementation of "Long Stroke Spool" technology. Retail price on the Vanford Series are $229 dollars for the 500, 1000, 2000, and 2500 sized reels while the 3000, 4000, and 5000 reels will retail for $239.99 each, and they should all start hitting retail store shelves in just a few weeks. Tackle Warehouse is taking orders now, and we are excited to see how this reel performs versus the current Stradic CI4+ and other competing reels at the same price point. Based on the specifications this new series might just represent the new sweet spot in Shimano's spinning lineup.



Best of ICAST - Saltwater Reel : Daiwa Saltiga: It is no secret that when it comes to spinning reels our enthusiast class spinning reels our editors feel the current generation Daiwa reels edge out the competition. Much like the Exist in freshwater the Daiwa Saltiga is an exceptionally refined reel for the salt, and benefits from Daiwa’s latest monocoque body design and magsealed technology. The monocoque body also boasts a new rear cover design, completely eliminating screws from the underside of the reel to fortify against the intrusion of moisture or contaminants. Improved paint and finishing processes also afford increased durability to the Saltiga’s cosmetics, delivering further enhanced corrosion protection. Housed within the monocoque body is the new G1 Duralumin cut Digigear system. Digigear is digitally developed gearing with bigger teeth and more touch points to yield gear strength and torque more than double its predecessors. Digigear transmits the power of the handle directly to the rotor with smoothness and efficiency. This reel is built like a fine watch and is designed not just to chase, but help anglers break records. It may not be cheap, or even considered affordable, at $999.99 to $1099.99 dollars per reel, but flagship reels rarely are.


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