We talked to some of our pro staff at ICAST for insights on some of the best new rods, reels, baits and fishing gear on display.
Fishbrain was boots on the ground at ICAST 2022 this year in Orlando Florida. Hundreds of vendors were showcasing tens of thousands of new products and fishing gear and we asked the Fishbrain Pro staff for the best new gear they are excited to test out.
Professional angler and the host of the fishing show: Their Life My Lens
Fishbrain: What are some of the new and impressive products, like rods, reels, baits, or anything like that, you've seen at the show so far?
Chasten Whitfield: I went over to pure fishing and Berkeley Bait made a like a white bait like a green back or shad and it's actually like a two 2 1/2 3 inch bait and it has every detail that like an actual shad has and then they they have the bluegill bait as well, but they turned one to a pinfish specifically for saltwater so it looks like they're touching into we're diving deeper into the saltwater artificial side of things and I really like that. They won I think eight or nine awards for the new products yeah pure fishing is taking it over.
For rods and reels Pure Fishing came out with a new line of rods, and price range wise they are pretty good like 60 bucks.
If you’re a beginning angler, or not, it's super light. $60 and really good for beginners.
They also had the Penn authorities spinning reel, which is sick. That thing was really cool. They said it could be submerged in water for 30 minutes and still be OK, kinda like an iPhone how it can only go in the water for like so long and then come back out ok. It's awesome.
FB: What about apparel? Have you seen anything that really stands out?
CW: Oh Huk has girls pro fishing clothes. So yeah there's not a lot of girls clothing and some companies say they may have women's clothing but it's not fit to us. It's super baggy and what not so Huk gear actually has some nice fitted clothes.
Boot wise I could never find any boots.I have really small feet, like a size 8 so I would have to get the smallest size in men and they would still be too big. So now Huk actually has two or three different women's pairs and they also have hair ties. They have leggings too so they're getting out there which is really good for women who fish. They’ve even been asking women and their female pro staff ‘hey what do you want in a shirt or a tank top on the boat’ and when we tell them they listen and make it.
FB: You’re also sponsored by Mustad, so what do they have going on?
CW: Mustad has some new artificial baits and they gave me samples of biodegradable braided leaders. If this leader gets tossed the water blown out of the boat, or broken off after a year or so it will disintegrate and not tangle anyone fishing, or get eaten or stuck on fish and birds.
FB: But it still holds up its strength when fishing?
CW: Yeah it still holds up as well when fishing and doesn't need to be changed unless it's been directly in the water for days straight.
Professional bass tournament angler with Major League Fishing
Fishbrain: are there any new products, or companies that have caught your eye so far here at the show?
Scott Martin: What of things that I am most intrigued with right now is that Garmin has a new panoptix sonar transducer called the XR. I believe it's a 64 XR with extra range, which is what the XR means. It transducers by twice the size of Livescope Plus, but what I've seen from looking at videos you’re able to scope now 200 and 300 feet away from the boat and see rock piles and fish acting very very clearly. The technology game and the electronics is just, Garmin is blowing the roof off the whole building. That’s one of the coolest things I've seen so far and I’m actually jonesing to get it on my boat here pretty quick.
We’ve got some tournaments coming up where we go to South Dakota in about three weeks. it'll be nice to have that new sonar and new transducer so I can literally pull up an a point and scope 200 feet around the boat in every direction.
Professional angler and host of Let's Take it Outside.
Fishbrain: Has there been anything that has caught your eye at the show so far? Any sort of gear, clothing, new baits, rods, or reels?
Misty Wells: So one of my first stops today which was pretty cool which I never expected to see at ICAST was Wrangler. You know the jeans and boots right? Well they have just come out with the new outdoor clothing line. It's about two years in the making for men and women and they have a lot of good stuff for women for hunting and fishing and the material is awesome. It's cool to see a brand come out that's embracing both men and women because usually it's like you know 30 pieces for men and the women get one or two.
FB: Awesome to hear about Wrangler. What about any baits that are new and upcoming?
MW: Ok so I love cat fishing. It's like my crazy weird secret.
FB: That’s catfishing on the river, thought right? Not like online catfishing?
MW: Ha, yeah exactly. There's a new bait that they've even improved on from last year, it's called catfish pro. It basically honestly kinda looks like cat treats, but the cool thing about it is it's cubed and there's a lot of different flavors. I didn't taste it, I take their word for it, but there's a lot of different flavors you know depending on where you're fishing to attract the catfish and it stays on your hook really well. So catfish pro is awesome. They're based out of Arkansas.
I also like a lot of the new stuff you know that Realtree has come out with. It's been a few years in the making with some of their apparel and they're getting a lot of different options. I think it's really comfortable and cool to wear.
FB: What about any new rods, or reels?
MW: One thing I love that Penn is continuing to do with their rods and reels is they have a new battle series. I love pen rods and reels, I mostly saltwater fish so that's what a lot of us use, but the new battle series is really affordable and trust me, they have sent me a couple demos and everything they send me I try to break. I tell him I'm gonna try and break it, so I've actually tested a lot of the inshore medium to light tackle and it holds up really well.
The price point is under $130 for a rod and reel combo and it's a Penn. That makes me really happy because you get good quality stuff for a good price.
FB: Eyewear is a popular product this year it seems like, so have you seen anything innovative for sunglasses?
MW: Oh one thing is Fin-Nor. They came out with some new sunglasses and I try different kinds of sunglasses all the time, but I put them in my bag the other day and we were going offshore and I gave them a shot to see if I like them. I really like their new glasses. The lenses are awesome. Some other brands tend to be a little dark and they don't let as much light in as I prefer. So I put on the Fin-Nors and they are really comfortable and I wore them all day and caught an 18 pound mutton snapper. So now I love them because I caught the biggest mutton snapper of my life while wearing them.
I also went over to WaypointTV and said hi to the crew because I just launched my channel with them and it's going like gangbusters.
Now let's go fishing. We'll bring some new gear.
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