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ICAST 2019 Coverage


TackleTour's Best of ICAST Award Winners (continued)





Fishing Apparel : Aftco Overboard Submersible Shorts


Best of ICAST - Fishing Apparel : Aftco Overboard Submersible Shorts It wasn't all that long ago that AFTCO was known only as a saltwater brand. A lot has changed in the last two seasons and the brand is now a popular choice for anglers in the fresh and salt. AFTCO's line of fishing shorts is already quite extensive but this year, they decided to take things a bit further. The new Overboard Submersible Short features a waterproof, submersible roll-top pocket to keep your cell phone or wallet safe from the elements and water. The shorts are made from a lightweight, 4-way stretch fabric and treated with the company's AFGUARD for stain resistance. They are cut with an active fit, features a 21" outseam and 10" inseam and will retail for $99 a pair. These shorts are truly designed for the hard core angler that isn't afraid to get a little, or very wet, in their angling pursuits.



Tackle Storage : Plano EDGE


Best of ICAST - Tackle Storage : Plano EDGE  Plano's new EDGE system is built on the familiar 3600 and 3700 form factors and consists of four new standard boxes that come in standard, thin, or deep configurations, and six application specific boxes designed for crankbaits, big cranks, spinnerbaits, jigs/bladed jigs, plastics, and even terminal tackle. The new EDGE boxes look different than anything else in the Plano lineup and feature a grey and yellow finish that is built heavy duty. Each of these boxes feature an internal organization system that is configurable and/or optimized for the specific type of baits that you are looking to store. The terminal tackle box for example features smaller sealed compartments within the box to efficiently store weights, hooks, and other small pieces to tackle. There is a lot to like about these new boxes and how fast and easy it is to identify baits through the Duraview crystal clear lid, and then how quickly anglers are able to open the boxes with single one handed latch design. The other major innovation with these boxes is the Dri-Loc watertight seal which creates a reliable barrier from moisture. Unlike competing boxes that usually require three latches to create a watertight seal the EDGE's single one handed latch is able to do the job. On the other side of the lid the hinge is supported with durable steel pin hinges that are designed to provide year's of security. In the event that your lures are still wet when they go into the box Plano’s new Rustrictor™ anti-corrosion compound is infused into the base and prevents terminal tackle from corroding. Water Wick also provides further corrosion defense from a water absorbing desiccant divider, giving EDGE one two punch against rust and corrosion. Patent-pending, pre-separated, vented dividers allow for air circulation. They are also recess into the base of the box so that terminal tackle and smaller items don’t migrate throughout the box. These boxes, like their name implies, really do give anglers an edge when it comes to advanced tackle storage, protection, and organization.


Watercraft : Garmin Force Trolling Motor


Best of ICAST - Watercraft : Garmin Force Trolling Motor 2019 will go down as the year where the trolling motor market forever changed. Some call it the beginning of the "Trolling Wars," but the real winners are consumers as entries from Lowrance and Garmin will provide anglers with more choice, and ultimately help raise the bar for the category. While the Lowrance Ghost was interesting it was the Garmin Force that really caught our attention with an extremely robust design and rich feature-set. This motor is designed to be powerful, quiet, and efficient with a brushless motor that operates with almost no perceivable sonar noise interference. Integration with Garmin's existing technology is seamless and it is the first trolling motor to include built-in industry-leading Garmin CHIRP traditional and Ultra High-Definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars. When it comes to power the Force is appropriately named and should generate close to 30% more power than premium competing traditional motors on the market today and can operate at either 36V or 24V. When it operates at 24V it delivers comparable thrust to traditional 36V motors! The built-in transducer is user serviceable, and the cable management system protects the built-in transducer cables as well as additional accessories, including the full range of Panoptix™ and Panoptix LiveScope™ sonars.


Zander got a demo of the Panoptix in action from the Garmin team in Florida Keys, and was absolutely blown away with the technology, and the game changing application benefits to anglers both in fresh and saltwater. The Garmin Force also includes a convenient wireless foot pedal that provides instant control and responsiveness yet feels and steers like a cable-steered pedal. The pedal resistance is adjustable, and features foot-actuated buttons to control speed, heading and anchor lock. It can be operated wirelessly using AA batteries, or with the included power cable for wired power installation. When battery-operated, the wireless foot pedal will remain charged through one year of typical fishing use. The icing on the cake is that the Force can also be controlled from anywhere on the boat via the included wireless remote. The remote gives anglers complete control of the trolling motor with precise virtual anchor lock, autopilot functionality and simple point-and-go gesture steering and includes user-programmable keys for remote chartplotter control, and it even floats. Expected to be available in August 2019, it will be offered with a 50-inch or 57-inch adjustable shaft for suggested retail prices of $3099.99 and $3199.99, respectively. Garmin has delivered an exceptional first entry into the trolling market with the incredibly well designed Force.


Enthusiast Tackle : 13 Fishing Carbon Fuse Rods


Best of ICAST - Enthusiast Tackle : 13 Fishing Carbon FUSE rod 13 Fishing decided it was time to approach rod design from a different angle, and not only use the most advanced materials in which to build the Carbon Fuse but also approach the build in a completely new way. In order to build the most sensitive rod possible 13 Fishing created the new Fuse Carbon Series by forging from a proprietary carbon fusion process to create an entirely one piece rod from blank to handle. The seamless construction eliminates the loss of vibration through epoxy or in the surface contact between the individual components found on traditional rods. The new FUSE Carbon rods are designed to telegraph even the most subtle contact on the end of the line. Fusing all of the components together not only gives anglers improved sensitivity, it also is designed to improve the strength to weight ratio. There will be two FUSE Carbon rods that will officially launch in a few hours, a 7'2" ML Fast action spinning rod dated 4-10lbz and with a 1/8-3/8oz. lure rating and a 7'4" MH Extra Fast casting rod with a 12-20lbs. line rating and 3/8-1oz. lure rating. Both of these rods will retail for $450 each and will be limited and individually number 1-1500, which only adds to their enthusiast appeal.


Tackle Innovation : Savage Gear Hooks


Best of ICAST - Tackle Innovation : Savage Gear Savage Grip Hooks The easy pick in the category would have been one of the new trolling motors which have extremely technically advanced new features but after a healthy debate we landed on the Savage Grip hooks from Savage Gear. Traditional hook design finds the eye formed from a continuation of the actual hook material and may not absorb all the energy, and allow the leverage of the fish to come unbuttoned during the fight; but Savage Gear creates its durable and flexible eye from 120-pound braid linked to the hook with an epoxy coating. The result is a hook that spins freely on the lure to absorb all the fight a fish can muster. Available in sizes 4, 2, 1 and 1/0, the Savage Grip Treble is made with a black nickel finish. This high-performance wide gap hook is a designed for retrofitting any lure with treble hooks, while natural bait pursuits from muskie to snook can also potentially benefit from its flexible design. Though seemingly simple in design, the Savage Grip hooks are also simply elegant, and are an example of how innovation can take many forms, big or small.


Overall Best of Show : Shimano SLX DC


Best of ICAST - Overall Best of ICAST : Shimano SLX DC After reviewing all our Best of ICAST picks one product had to take home top honors as our overall Best of ICAST and that product is the Shimano SLX DC. It is hard to believe that just a few seasons ago the DC technology was reserved only for enthusiasts, and anglers that couldn't afford a $400 dollar plus reel could only listen to the signature whine of the DC technology from the sidelines. That all changed last season when Shimano introduced the more user friendly I-DC4 sealed module in the Curado DC, and at $249.99 it was finally within reach of mainstream anglers. Fast forward to this week when the SLX DC was unveiled at the price point of only $189 dollars, making this a truly affordable DC reel.... the DC reel for everyone. The I-DC4 system utilized in the SLX DC is now proven, and this reel is special not only because it is affordable, but also because it has the potential to make fishing a baitcaster not only more accessible, but more effective, and enjoyable, for the everyday angler just breaking into the sport. Fishing should be about bridging gaps, and the SLX DC is the reel that everyday anglers have been waiting for.









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