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ICAST 2017 Hottest Articles

ICAST 2017 Coverage

One More for the Road: Imakatsu and DSTYLE at the Airport
At the gate in Orlando five minutes before boarding we were greed by Munenori Kajiwara who is the distributor of Imakatsu and DStyle lures here in the US. He mentioned that he had tried to find us at the show but unfortunately we never crossed paths this year, but he did have a few new products that he thought our readers would be interested in. With just minutes before boarding we sat down for a quick look.
HUK Attack's the Footwear Market and Wins
HUK makes some of the coolest looking fishing garments on the market and while there are now more companies leveraging Kryptek patterns it was HUK that first put it on the map for anglers. This ICAST HUK entered the fishing shoe market, and did so with a very successful "Attack" strategy.
Simms Armors Up Anglers with New Technical Garment Options
With ICAST winding down we typically try and use every minute that we can meeting with manufacturers. There is always more to cover than hours in the show, but what has become somewhat of a tradition for us, is to meet with the team at Simms to close out the event. This year we met with John Frazier who walked us through the complete range of Simms new product introductions, and there were many.
Fast and Furious and Environmentally Friendly? KastKing Does it All
KastKing, a division of Eposeidon, has been making waves since they won a Best of Show for their modern aluminum framed rod rack. The company offers a complete range of fishing products including new reels and rods for bass fishermen. This year they increased their number of high performance baitcaster offerings as well as introduced a very innovative and environmentally friendly BioSpool packaging.
Flipping Out Over Missile's New Stick Bait and Jig
After their initial explosion onto the bass fishing scene several years ago, Missile Baits has taken their time updating and extending their arsenal of bass catching weaponry. Rob Pearson was on hand at the Missile Baits booth to show us what the brand has in store for us in 2018.
The Bait Everyone Will Soon Be Talking About
Is there anything more retro in bass fishing than the hand crafted wooden bait? Ok, maybe the grape colored plastic worm, but a plastic worm doesn't speak to ingenuity and craftsmanship. PH Custom lures, distributed under the Optimum Baits umbrella, is based out of Indiana and they are the makers of good old fashioned wooden lures.
Aqua-Vu goes Bigger with Their Most Advanced HD Camera to Date
Underwater cameras have improved greatly over the last few years due to the advances in optical, processing, and display technology and leading the charge in fishing applications is Aqua-Vu. This ICAST the company introduced a new flagship product, the HD10i PRO is more than just a camera, it is complete HD underwater viewing system.
Yozuri Pitches a Knuckle-Bait
This ICAST we were on the lookout for an interesting lure in the wire-bait class, which is not always easy to find. Yo-Zuri stepped up to the plate and pitched anglers a new style wire bait called the Knuckle Bait.
STORMR's New Aero Jacket and Bib Offer Anglers a Lighter Foul Weather Option
Foul weather shouldn't put a damper on fishing, especially when some of the best bites always seem to manifest when mother nature is not cooperating. Stormr has built a solid reputation for quality, dependability, and design over the last few seasons. This ICAST the company expanded their offerings even further into the freshwater fishing market with lighter and more feature rich garments.

Things Are Warming Up Over At Gill Marine!
Leveraging their over 40 years of experience, Gill continues to up the ante on weather protecting garment for the angler year after year. This year, it's all about warmth with two, new insulation options and one versatile new rain jacket.

Normark Shines Once Again with new Rapala and VMC Offerings
Rapala, a Normark brand, sent the announcement out about their new product a few days before ICAST sort of stealing out thunder. But of course, that wasn't the only news they had to share. We caught up with Dan Quinn to discuss what else was new and exciting with the brand.
The Optimum Umbrella - It's Bigger on the Inside
In case you hadn't already discerned from some of our past year's coverage, the umbrella that is Optimum Bait Company not only covers their own product, but several other brands as well. They are the US distributors of Deps, ima, Kahura, Reins, among other brands.
Sneaky not-so Sneaky Molix
Rolling into the Molix booth, it was lights, cameras, action as Mike Iaconelli held court with our friends over at TackleWarehouse filming his takes on the baits bearing his name and signature. Rather than interrupt their mojo, we met up with Carl Jacumsen, professional bass fisherman to hear the story behind his new favorite bait from Molix.
Making it Difficult to Select Your Favorite Rods
When Favorite rods debuted at ICAST 2015, we were among the first to cover the brand. Back then, they were simply making available rods they had developed for the European market. It's only been two short years, but this year, at ICAST 2017, the company had a much more robust lineup in store for US anglers.

Gamakatsu's Eclectic Introductions for 2018
Things were moving fast over at the Gamakatsu booth this year. So much so, we had a difficult time tracking down our traditional inside pros in Aaron Martens and Shin Fukae. Fortunately, Mike McClelland was available to speak with us about his new hook as well as a host of accessory products now flying under the Gamakatsu name.

Shooting for the Sky - Castaway's New Titania Air Rods
There were a lot of exciting new rods unveiled this ICAST and among the most interesting was the new Titania Air Series unveiled by  Castaway Rods. These new rods blend innovative designs together from tip to handle to create one of the most visually stunning rods we have seen to date, but it is only after you pick one of them up do you really appreciate what the Titania rods are all about.
Strike King Strengthens Their Rule
Strike King always has a host of introductions each year at ICAST and this year, we managed to hook up with FLW Pro, Cody Meyer to show us around the booth and highlight some of his favorite new baits.
Extend, Renew, Reinvent... River2Sea Continues to Up Their Game
The pros were out at the River2Sea booth this year anxious to show us what they've been working on over the past year. We caught up with a few of them to highlight some of the company's exciting new product.
G-RODS Takes Graphene International - Preview New Trout and Big Game Rods
This ICAST G-Rods did exactly as their full name implies and is taking their graphene rods international. The company showed us their new rods designed for the Canadian market as well as gave us a first look at their upcoming line of saltwater big game rods.

Deps - The Not So Silent Anymore Killer

Already well established within Japan, and producer of one of the continuously most sought after swimbaits in the world in the Slide Swimmer, Deps has even more in store for the USDM thanks to Optimum bait company everything from a unique knife bait to an L.O.U.S. type square bill. Let's take a look.

Some Things Big, Some Things Small, and a Lot of Squaring Around with Spro
2018 for Spro will be about some things big, some things small, and a lot of squaring around as the lure manufacturer extends some lines and digs a little deep to create new ones. We met up with Mike McClelland and BBZ man himself Bill Siemental to learn about the new baits.
Sunline Finally Extends P-ION to Other FC Options
Even with a full lineup of top quality lines in their suite of product, Sunline manages to push the envelope each year with a new introduction or two that keeps our Machine and abrasion tester busy. We're about ready to fall behind again as the manufacturer had three new products to show us at ICAST 2017.
A Closer Look at Daiwa LT Design, and the New Tatula Spinning Reel
At the show we highlighted the complete redesign of Daiwa's mainstream spinning reels with their new Light and Tough (LT) spinning reel makeovers. While the Ballistic LT is the highest end of these new reels it is the Tatula LT that has many anglers most excited as it bears a stealthy new look and retails for under 200 dollars.
The Future is So Bright at Lucky Craft USA, They're Distributing Sight Master Shades
Lucky Craft had plenty of bait introductions for this year that are actually already available but what surprised us when we entered their booth this year was the news that they've dipped their toes into the distributorship role helping brands from Japan enter the US Market. Takahiro Omori was on hand to show us what's up with the brand.

Three New Baits from Big Bite Bait Company
Big Bite Baits has been relatively quiet in recent ICAST shows with one introduction here, another there, but this year, they had three new products and one size extension to show us.

Gear with Grit : Hodgman's New H5 Storm Suit
When it's in the high 90's with 90% humidity outside, like it was in Orlando during ICAST 2017, it's difficult to look at a storm suit let alone think about one. What does help is when we see a new introduction that's well thought out and attractive to wear. Hodgman did just that this year with their new H5 Storm Suit.

Pflueger Continues to Define Best Value
The brand that helps define performance and affordability refines their workhorse spinning reel to deliver their lightest, smoothest revision to date. But just how did they do it? Let's take a look.

Cutting Edge - Cuda's New Tools and Tackle Center
There are a lot of tools on the fishing market, probably as many as there are reel options, and sorting through all the different options to find the really good ones can be a bit of a challenge. While there are many tools that look like they are simply re-branded work tools, Cuda is designing and building angling specific solutions, and it shows. 
13 Fishing Enters the Lure Market - Donkey Sauce!
Seriously, Is there anything that 13 Fishing can't do? It sure doesn't seem like it as the company continues to grow at an amazing pace. One of the keys to the company's success is the willingness to defy convention, take chances, and never forget to have fun while doing it.  

This Reel is Home Where the Red and Bonefish Roam
Van Staal is a brand deep with tradition and among the very top of the list when discussing enthusiast quality gear. They've zeroed in on one market, and support that market very well - the saltwater angler. Their fully machined reels are worthy of both the mantle and the surf but up until now, they've been all about big, heavy duty, reels for some of the toughest environments.

New and Blue: The Douglas LRS Rod Series
Offering both conventional and fly rods, Douglas had a presence on both the ICAST and IFTD sides (as usual) of the show. While their fly rods will be covered over on Demystifly.com, we made sure to stop by and see what they had to offer in the spinning and casting categories. The crew at Douglas always has something new to show us, and this year was no different with the introduction of their LRS rods.
Lew's is Absolutely Crushing It with Combos
A few weeks prior to the show a box arrived at the office from Lew's, and I'll admit I had a real head scratching moment when I opened it. Inside the box was a single empty can of Orange Crush, that was literally smashed and wound with fishing line tied to a hook that was attached to an invitation teasing the new reel.
The MS-1 and More From Majorcraft
I've been fishing Majorcraft's NANOACE rods for a couple of years now and even did a full-blown review of their NAC-WJ731M. These rods are solid performers especially at the given price points, but in my experience they fish lighter than their stated ratings—especially by U.S. standards. At ICAST this year, Majorcraft unveiled a new rod lineup that is said to be a bit different in regards to ratings.
Doomsday Tackle Company Plans for the Tackle Apocalypse
We've been fishing a few of the soft plastic baits from Doomsday Tackle for some time now enroute to some eventual reviews. But when we entered their booth at ICAST this year, Will Stewart, owner and COO of Doomsday Tackle Co. had something unexpected to show us - a full line of bass rods!
Aaron Martens Puts His Signature on DUO
It didn't take long for Aaron Martens to start putting his mark on DUO, and this ICAST the company introduced the first of many baits that are influenced by the Professional Angler. In addition to Aaron's new baits the company branched out significantly into other bait categories.
The Dark Knight - Shimano’s Exsence Spinning Reel
While the Sustain will no doubt find plenty of homes on the decks of both freshwater and saltwater boats it was another even more aggressively styled reel, the Exsence, that really caught my attention. The Exsence looks like something straight out of the batcave, ready to do battle with anything that comes its way, fresh or salt.

Ark Rods Demonstrates They Are Anything But Lost in the Bass Rod Market
There are three existing rod lines within Ark's arsenal and one, soon to be released line announced at ICAST this year. To develop the lengths, powers, and actions within each series the company leaned upon Elite Series BASS angler Randall Tharp.

Phenix Updates the MBX Line and Introduces the Feather Series for Bass
With one of the most complete lineups for freshwater and salt, and one of the most aggressive mission statements in the industry, Phenix always has something special to show us at ICAST. This year they did a little updating of a classic line and then introduced another mid-tier suite of sticks situated right between their budget Maxim and intermediate Recon lines.
Lunkerhunt Prop Frog and Prop Fish Really Churn
There is just something magical about a hollow bodied frog, maybe it is how realistic they look, perhaps it is just the allure of those explosive topwater strikes, or may it is just because they are just plain fun to fish. It seems every year a new topwater bait gets everyone excited and this year in the soft bait category it was Lunkerhunt.

Denali Finding their Stride with Fission and Kovert Inshore
Denali has been on a tear lately with the refinement and extension of their rod offerings. ICAST 2017 was no different. This year, the company introduces a brand new budget series of rods and then extends themselves into another market all together with the introduction of a brand new inshore series.

Cashion Goes Performance Kayak
Cashion Fishing Rods has been around for several years but we were first made aware of them about two years ago when sharing some time on the water with FLW pro Mike Neal. The company makes a full line of bass rods and sponsors Neal along with Elite Series pros John Crews and Tracy Adams. When we caught up with Mike Neal at ICAST 2017, he showed us the company's brand new Kayak Bass Casting Rod.
Okuma Updates the Epixor XT and Coronado CDX Spinning Reels
The more reel manufacturers we met with this ICAST the more it seemed like it was a spinning focused year, as many companies introduced redesigns of their popular spinning reel lineups this ICAST. Okuma rolled out a number of new reels this year, and most notable were the Epixor XT and Coronado CDX baitfeeders.
St. Croix's X-Project Defines a New Legend
The "X" projects within St. Croix are where the company has decided to express their inner rebel. This can be seen in Bass X, Avid X, and now, new for this coming year Legend X.
Fitzgerald Rods Introduces New Titan HD Flip & Pitch Rods and Bryan Thrift Cranking Sticks
Fitzgerald Rods has been quickly earning a reputation for building quality rods that stand up to the rigors of tournament angling, and most of their rods are even designed by tournament pros. This year the company introduced new Titan HD rods for flipping and pitching and a new range of crankbait specific rods under the Bryan Thrift Series.
What the "Fruck" is That? Savage Gear's New Topwater Bat and "Fruck" 3D Baits
Savage Gear continues to defy convention creating baits that cause anglers to take pause, scratch their heads, and open their wallets because they are just that cool. Topwater fanatics want to catch fish on lures like the 3D Rat and Suicide Duck, and this year Mads and Mike from Team Savage kicked it up to level 10 with the introduction of baits like the 3D Bat and 3D Hollow Body Fruck. Yes, I had to triple spell check this article
Jackall’s New Reaction Baits – Kaera Frog and Rerange Jerkbaits
One of the greatest joys of summer for bass anglers is the strong reaction bite, especially topwater frog action. This ICAST Jackall is introducing two new baits designed for anglers that like to target bass on and near the surface.
Evergreen International's New Duo of Topwater Combatants
Our review of their RCSC-73HG JackHammer cranking stick to match the new Brett Hite JackHammer bladed jig is already live on our site so we weren't expecting much when we walked into the Evergreen International section of Daiwa USA's booth at this year's ICAST. Little did we know, they had a couple new baits up their sleeves to entice us once again.
The “Curado” Series extends to Bass Rods
Curado fans are getting treated to a double dose this year. In addition to redesigning their mainstream baitcasters Shimano decided it was time to introduce rods specifically designed to pair with their new reels. Taking the guesswork out of what reel might pair well with the Curado the company introduced 16 casting and 5 spinning models to cover the entire range of bass fishing applications at today’s ICAST event.
Quantum Bucks the Trend with their New, Series 3 Performance Tuned Reels
Industry trends are a difficult path to resist - especially when talking about the most hotly contested segment in the bass fishing industry namely low profile casting reels. It seems each and every manufacturer is aiming for smaller, lighter, higher performing thanks in no small part, we're pretty sure, to our readership. Bucking that trend in a way this year is Quantum with a total, ground up redesign of their popular Smoke platform.

Accurate Introduces New Valiant BV-600 Sized Lever Drag Reels
Just about all the reel manufactures have their own saltwater big game reels but when it comes to compact reels designed to take on big fish the first company that always comes to my mind is Accurate. They have the formula down, and their Boss reels are the stuff of charter and commercial fishing legend. This year the team at Accurate introduced a new BV-600 size lever drag reel under their Valiant Series.

Daiwa Spins Favorites: New Ballistic, Tatula, Fuego, Exceler and Saltiga Spinning Reels
It was a big year for spinning reels at the Daiwa camp with updates to both the Ballistic and Saltiga spinning platforms. Both reels get performance boosts thanks to use of Daiwa’s latest materials and Magseal which prevents water and debris intrusion.
Daiwa and Yamamoto Baits Team Up to Introduce Neko-Rig Plastics
Reel manufacturers teaming up with lure brands really seems to be the trend these days with the likes of Shimano/Jackall, Okuma/Savage Gear, and now Daiwa/Yamamoto. This year Daiwa announced they were joining forces with Yamamoto Custom Baits to create exclusive plastic baits designed for the Neko-rig...
Abu Garcia Revo Enters Generation #4
Abu Garcia's original line of Revo baitcasters created a stir in the status quo. In what was for the longest time, a two manufacturer race for your attention in a low profile baitcaster, Abu Garcia has made it worthwhile to look elsewhere and helped spawn the rebirth of a few other manufacturers as well. This year, the manufacturer introduces their fourth generation Revo reels bringing together what they've learned from Toro through MGX to really refine the entire lineup.
In addition to the Conquest G.Loomis goes PRO, IMX-PRO Reaction
The Conquest introduction was definitely the big rod launch for G.Loomis, and Shimano, but there was also a lot of buzz at the show surrounding the introduction of the more “affordable” IMX-PRO reaction rods which join the company’s ‘Bottom Contact’ rods to expand the IMX-PRO series into G. Loomis’ largest range of rods for all current bass fishing techniques.
Green is the New Black – 13 Fishing’s New Fate Rod Series
The new Fate Black Series is not so black after all, and instead features an unmistakable matte green finish that is sure to grab the attention of anglers both in tackle shops and on the water. Built from the ground up the new line of rods is designed to deliver a lot more performance than anglers would expect at the 100 dollar price point.
A Baitcaster with No Ball Bearings – The 13 Fishing Concept Z
Without a doubt the most interesting reel at this year’s ICAST was the Concept Z. Leave it to the innovative team at 13 Fishing to disregard the “rules” of what a baitcaster has typically been and introduce what they are calling “the world’s first high-performance reel with zero ball bearings.”
TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series 
The only way to really experience just what a new rod has to offer is to use it, and we had the opportunity to not just check out but actually fish the new Conquest rods in advance of ICAST this year. These new premium rods combine much of what makes G.Loomis rods so popular among anglers, including proven actions and design, only this time it is merged with Shimano's latest blank technology...
First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters
The most important reel in the Shimano baitcasting lineup, the mainstream workhorse Curado, gets a major update this year and will be officially introduced at next week's ICAST event in Orlando. Pictures of the reel have already leaked online but we had the opportunity to not only fish the reel but bring it back to the lab for a first look inside.









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