One of the things we look forward to every year is going to ICAST. This is the biggest fishing convention in the world, and we are lucky to get passes from our partners, Z-Man Fishing. We try to see what’s new and also drop by the Z-Man booth several times a day to check in with them and see some of their partners and pro-staff that we usually only get to see once a year. The main draw is the New Product Showcase, where all the new products for the year are shown.
Often, my personal best-in-show doesn’t match the show’s best-in-show! I’m impressed with true innovation and not gimmicks, and both last year and this year, my best in show were bait casting reels. Last year it was the 13 Fishing Concept Z reel, that eliminated ball bearings for bushings. I own one of them and its a really good reel, and 7 months in, its still going strong. It does have its issues, but overall a very good reel. This year, for me, it was the Shimano Curado DC. DC stands for Digital Control, and it uses a chip to control the spool instead of feathering your thumb. We are told that it has settings 1 through 4. On setting 4 you can throw it against a wall with no thumb and it won’t backlash. That’s incredible! The lower the number the more you might have to feather it, but the farther it will go. Pretty cool innovation from our friends at Shimano!
We are very honored to have one of our products be one of Z-Man’s featured products this year, the Weedless Eye jig! As you can see, it was prominently displayed in the Z-Man booth and really well received from what we heard. It’s incredible how fast Z-Man’s profile is rising in the fishing world. ElaZtech rules. Nothing else will stand up off the bottom like ElaZtech. They smartly had several aquariums and tanks displaying the product in-action, which is to say, dead-sticked and floating up.
Z-Man also has released a 4″ scented jerk shad that will match up perfectly with the Weedless Eye, we are looking forward to trying this ourselves. There is a new Trout Trick Shrimp that was released that has swimmin’ antenna, and is meant to be presented in a fleeing orientation. Also looking forward to trying these.
ICAST is not open to the public, but if you ever get a chance to go, it’s worth it. Till next year…