TackleTour's Best of ICAST
2020 Award Winners
Introduction: ICAST moved quickly this year in the face of a challenging,
and ever-changing, situation, to transition from a live event to a virtual show.
The event organizers did a good job keeping the discussion going on key industry
topics, as well as providing a platform for tackle manufacturers to launch the
products that they have been working on over the last year. While ICAST has
their New Product Showcase Awards our Editors also review and select the
products that they found the most exciting this year, and while there are
numerous entrants worthy of consideration, these
are the products in each category that the Editors at TackleTour recognize as
the "Best of ICAST 2020."
of ICAST - Casting Reel : Shimano Curado MGL 70:
Shimano made a big move this ICAST with the introduction of smaller 70 sized
Curado and SLX reels and equipping both of these workhorse baitcasters with the
company's excellent MGL spool, a feature previously reserved for the company's
higher end reels.
In addition to the compact size and low weight this new Curado MGL will come
loaded with 8+1 bearings and be offered in two quick gear ratios, 7.4:1 and
8.1:1, and will be available in both right and left hand retrieve. Retailing for
$229 dollars this new Curado will definitely be a hot commodity, even versus the
Curado 150 DC which retails for 20 dollars more. If you are looking for a more
affordable reel with many of the same features the new SLX MGL 70 is also a
great option at only $149.99, but for many the Curado still represents the
benchmark that all mainstream baitcasters are measured against.
of ICAST - Spinning Reel : Shimano Vanford F: This was
a close one but Shimano pretty much dominated the freshwater reel categories
this year. The
Vanford clearly draws upon designs from previous generation reels like the
Stradic CI4+, but it brings new features and styling that will help the new
series forge a new identity for itself. This new reel is also built on a CI4+
body for light overall weight, rigidity, and corrosion resistance and what is
new is the inclusion of a new MagnumLite (MGL) rotor designed to deliver a
quicker response with a lighter design that requires less rotational
inertia. The Vanford is also designed to be a better caster than previous
generation reels with the implementation of "Long Stroke Spool" technology.
Retail price on the Vanford Series are $229 dollars for the 500, 1000, 2000, and
2500 sized reels while the 3000, 4000, and 5000 reels will retail for $239.99
each, and they should all start hitting retail store shelves in just a few
is taking orders now, and we are excited to see how this reel performs versus
the current Stradic CI4+ and other competing reels at the same price point.
Based on the specifications this new series might just represent the new sweet
spot in Shimano's spinning lineup.
of ICAST - Saltwater Reel : Daiwa Saltiga: It is no secret that when it
comes to spinning reels our enthusiast class spinning reels our editors feel the
current generation Daiwa reels edge out the competition. Much like the Exist in
freshwater the Daiwa Saltiga is an exceptionally refined reel for the salt, and
Daiwa’s latest monocoque body design and magsealed technology. The monocoque
body also boasts a new rear cover design, completely eliminating screws from the
underside of the reel to fortify against the intrusion of moisture or
contaminants. Improved paint and finishing processes also afford increased
durability to the Saltiga’s cosmetics, delivering further enhanced corrosion
protection. Housed within the monocoque body is the new G1 Duralumin cut
Digigear system. Digigear is digitally developed gearing with bigger teeth and
more touch points to yield gear strength and torque more than double its
predecessors. Digigear transmits the power of the handle directly to the rotor
with smoothness and efficiency. This reel is built like a fine watch and is
designed not just to chase, but help anglers break records. It may not be cheap,
or even considered affordable, at $999.99 to $1099.99 dollars per reel, but
flagship reels rarely are.