Here are the 5 products I am most excited about from ICAST 2011 and that I will mostly likely purchase. These picks are largely based on my obsession with bass fishing and tournament based fishing. There are a ton of great products & I can’t cover them all in this short post, so here is my Top 5:
Optimum Baits Top of the Line Swimbait – The Line Thru category swimbaits has been very popular for two main reasons, fish catching action & better then average hook-up ratio. The main draw back, has been the position of the hook does not come through weeds & cover very well, plus many were not meant to fish deep. Optimum baits introduced the Top of the Line swimbait this year, which will be awesome for fishing through grass and slow rolling around off-shore structure. I have fished the prototypes, you can fish them much deeper and faster then the original Optimum BLT.
VMC Spin Shot Hooks – The new drop shot hook design immediately caught my attention. No special knot to make your hook stand out and line twist should be nearly eliminated. Likely to be a game changer for drop shotting.
Shimano Stradic FJ – I’ve always been a fan of Shimano fishing reels, when they came out with their AeroWrap a few years back that reduced line twist, I changed all my spinning reels out. I am intrigued by the X-Ship double bearing supported pinion gear with two S A-RB shielded bearings that eliminates pinion gear twist and rotor flex when fighting big bass. Should be another instant winner from Shimano.
Dobyns Savvy Micro Guide Series – The Dobyns Savvy series is what I already consider the best value in the bass fishing rod market today. Now they are launching additional models with micro guides at the same price point, sounds too good to be true. They are also launch their Coalition Weapon Series originally targeted at the Army Bass Anglers; main feature on these is an Army-like camo motif.
Response has been so positive; Dobyns now plans on bringing the rods in as permanent fixture to a wider audience.
IMA Beast Hunter – Is a new deep diving crankbait with a great name and same attention to detail you have come to expect from Ima Lures. Designed by legendary Japanese pro Jun Shoji, who guides on Lake Biwa & has a great test ground there to get baits exactly right. The sidewall plastic is 2mm thick which is extremely thick for a crankbait. The reasoning is they wanted the weight in the bait to have a narrower channel so the crankbait wouldn’t roll & helicopter on long. Also angle of the lip was studied for a long time to make it dive at the right angle that would allow it to get down but not get bogged up in grass. If you make the dive angle to steep on a crankbait, it will get down and under the grass and the bait will hang a lot more. The bait comes in at a more gradual angle and if you just slightly raise the rod up quickly, the bait will free itself easily from grass which triggers a lot of strikes. Look for this bait around September 2011.
Sometimes I wonder if I love bass fishing for the sport or because I am such a tackle junkie….