The ICAST show can be overwhelming as you pass through the 400 plus booths with companies there to show off their latest and greatest products. The New Product Showcase is a destination for everyone and conversations throughout the show start with “Have you seen anything exciting yet?” The ICAST awards often feature the same powerhouse brands and while all of these new products deserve the awards, many other products do not get the attention they deserve. I chose five products that were truly innovative and offer something totally new to bass fisherman.
Buck Knives Splizzors
The idea came from Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bill Lowen three years ago and they have been developing it and refining it ever since. The product is a hybrid tool that is just plain awesome. It looks like pair of scissors from a distance but looking closely you will see that the tip of them is identical to the top of needle nose pliers. This will work great for removing hooks. Really the best feature though is the way that it cuts braid. With no tension at all, it will slice heavy braid without leaving any fray marks. They did some demonstrations and folded 50lb braid several times and it still sliced with ease. They are made of 420HC Stainless Steel and are very sturdy and built to last. It also comes with an extra blade and has a bottle opener at the end.
Jackall Kawashi Mikey 140 Swimbait
Fans of the Jackall Mikey swimbait will be happy to know that they now have a 4x4 model. I was skeptical when they talked about how it can deflect cover and seemingly avoid all snags. I watched a video of the bait swimming up and over logs without getting any of the three treble hooks snagged, it was amazing and I had to watch it a few times to make sure it was real. The secret is in the specially designed lip that protects the hooks and does the contact. The bait is a 140 size and is a three piece jointed body for a great swimming action.
Damiki Air Frog
The Damiki Air frog is a unique looking soft plastic frog. It is a big piece of plastic at about 4” long and with a weight of 1 ounce. The bait has a killer swimming action and legs that kick perfectly, but the air pocket inside of the bait is what really makes it work so well. It is designed to always spin and float upright on a cast, and the bait has a great action as it sits partially submerged under water. I think this is going to be a great bait for fishing very slow in the grass.
Powell Inferno Rods
One of the biggest trends over the last few years has been the increase in rods in the $100-$150 range. While this price range has always been around, the rods are getting better and better each year. Most major brands have a rod in this range and really have to in order to compete in sales. The Powell Inferno retails for $129.99 but has the features you would expect from a much higher priced rod. The 36 ton Maxumfiber material used is really strong and has semi micro guides. The rod blank itself is a matter black with an orange flame pattern towards the bottom. Each individual rod has a little different coloring and it definitely stood out.
The Abu Garcia Revo Rocket (pictured on front page)
When I first heard rumors of this reel at the Bassmaster Classic I was shocked, a 9:1 reel is a smoking fast retrieve speed. It has similar components to the Revo Premier, but at warp speed. The speed is not the only thing that stands out, the bright red color and oversized handle really add to the design. The bigger handle was necessary to keep the power and leverage with having a reel that cranks 37 inches of line per turn. Some people questioned where and why they would use it, but I see it as a perfect reel for pitching baits into cover.