By Ron Wong
ICAST 2018 in Orlando, Florida was a sight to behold. 350,000 square feet of fishing and marine tackle displayed for around 15,000 buyers and media members. CrappieNOW had the privilege to cruise the massive amount of tackle. Having said that, about half of the tackle was geared towards the salt water fishing industry and the majority of the rest was focused on the bass fishing world. However, we found some really cool stuff for the crappie fishermen. Most all new fishing equipment and tackle will start coming out late summer and during the fall. Most certain all will be available by Christmas, so it is time to make your list.
Bobby Garland will have available this coming fall the Slab Hunt’R crappie bait. It is a 2 ¼ inch prop tail soft plastic bait. It can be used for casting, jigging or spider rigging. It will be coming in all of Bobby Garland’s poplar colors. There will be several new colors for the Slab Slayer, Baby Shad and Stoll’R: Indigo Sky, Green Lantern, Monkey Milk Glo and The Shadow.
Cranks, Mermaid & One Eye Wiggle Head
Jenko Fishing will be adding the midnight color series to the crappie crank bait line. Black/orange, black/chartreuse and black/red are colors that should be really good for off-colored water. Jenko has just introduced the Mermaid bait that should be on the market now. This soft plastic bait has a ribbed body with a split tail to provide action. Tony Sheppard recommends using this bait on the new 2019 Big T One Eye Wiggle head. This jig head is made to wobble and make a lot of different soft plastic baits come alive.
Stand-Out Hook with Feathers
TTI-Blakemore has new crappie bait for 2019 that was the talk of the show. It is the Live Shot’N which is a Stand Out hook tied with feathers. It can be used for drop shotting without the use of a soft plastic trailer or minnow. If preferred, it can be rigged with your choice of bait. There will be 21 colors to choose from so it can be used in all types of water.
Charlie Brewer’s Slider Co.
Over at Charlie Brewer’s, we found a new large sized crappie bait being introduced for 2019. It is the Dixie Devil, a 4-inch curl tail style soft plastic bait that can be used for trolling, casting or spider rigging. A couple of new colors will be added to all the Charlie Brewer soft plastics in 2019, Green Ghost and Pumpkin/Pink tail.
Rod Threading Device
There was one item that drew much attention at the show. The Rod Threading Device (RTD) introduced by the Erupt company. All freshwater attendees were truly impressed with this new device that should become available around November this year. It is a fishing rod threading device that eliminates missing guides when threading and line fall out that you’ve incurred when manually threading a rod. With this tool, you can thread fishing line on a 14-foot rod in about 5 to 6 seconds. Several crappie pros who were present tried this new device and were super impressed. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price will be $39.95. Just think of all the time you can save when rigging your rods with new line.
Rapid Line Guide
Rapid Industries presented the Rapid Line Guide device that will aid in threading rods where it helps getting the line through the guides and prevents your line falling back through guides you had already threaded. They have 2 sizes, one for normal rod guides and one for micro guides. This product is now on the market.
There was a lot of buzz around the new Russ Bailey Signature rod being offered by B’n’M rods. This rod was designed by Russ Bailey, host of the poplar Brushpile Fishing television show and avid tournament fisherman. It is a 10 ½ foot rod with Portuguese cork handles for max sensitivity and a light weight feel. It is a slightly stiffer action with a fast tip rod to bring in the biggest slabs. B’n’M also has a couple of new sizes in the Buck’s Graphite Crappie Combo, 6 and 6 ½ foot lengths. The new B’n’M Pow-R-Troller rods will handle up to 3 ounces of weight for the pushing baits whether it be jigs or crank baits.
Over at the Millennium Marine booth, they were showing the Side Kick Fishing Double Seat which converts boats with only one pedestal mount either on the front or back to where you now have the ability to place 2 seats. This anodized aluminum mount is fully adjustable in both height and width. Seat pedestals are also height adjustable. This product should now be on the market.
With many of the new products introduced for 2019 being available later this year, it is best to check the company’s web site for availability. The common these to many of the companies visited this year were new sizes or colors. In terms of a new lure or bait there wasn’t that many and that was not only in the crappie world but the bass side also. As a teaser, several of the companies we spoke with at the show said watch out for the next year.