by Ron Wong
Check out a preview of the top products that will hit store shelves by Christmas
How about walking into a 650,000 square-foot store – about 15 ACRES – filled with new fishing tackle. Yes, I was like a kid in a candy store at the 2019 ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) show held in Orlando, Florida in July. Fishing tackle and service companies worldwide showcase new products for 2020. There is so much to see and do that it is difficult to cover all exhibits in two-and-a-half days. For the crappie anglers, there were some exciting new products presented and all those items could help you catch more fish.
YEAR OF THE TROLLING MOTOR
The biggest buzz of the show – it was the year of the trolling motor. Three companies introduced all new trolling motors, all designed to help anglers catch more fish easily.
Garmin introduced the “Best of Show” award-winning Force trolling motor. This motor comes with a cordless foot control pad, handheld remote control and is totally integrated with Garmin electronics such as livescope. It has a brushless drive unit they say reduces noise and provides more power.
Lowrance introduced the Ghost trolling motor which also has a cordless foot control pad. This motor is also designed to be integrated with all Lowrance electronics and like the Garmin, features a brushless drive unit.
Meanwhile Motor Guide reinvented the Tour trolling motor with true cable steering and a stronger mount. All the motors have GPS anchor capability, much like the Minn Kota spot-lock. All the new trolling motors will retail for more than $3,000.
NEW CRAPPIE RODS UNVEILED
There were some very nice crappie rods introduced at ICAST with most them available as early as the first of September.
B’n’M showed off its new Mossy Oak Edition Brushcutter rod – a very tough IM6 rod with strength and sensitivity finished with a Mossy Oak Element paint scheme. It will be available in 10- or 12-foot lengths.
B’n’M teamed with Leland’s Lures (Crappie Magnet, Fin Spins, Trout Magnet) to develop the Leland’s TCB Rod. Whether fishing for trout, crappie or bluegill, this crossover rod is built to handle light weight lures and line. This rod is a six-and-a-half foot ultra-light graphite rod with a split grip handle.
Jenko Fishing revealed the Big T Trick Stick built from a Paratek Carbon-blend graphite. The same material used in their bass rods. This seven-foot rod can be used for dock shooting, vertical jigging or casting jigs. The Big T Trick Stick also comes with a 3-year, “No Questions asked” replacement warranty.
From Lew’s Fishing, the Wally Marshall Pro series introduces the 7-foot model rod. This IM-8 blank with cork split grip handle can be used for several different fishing methods.
NEW LURES, OF COURSE
One of the things happening in the crappie tackle industry is the partnering of top-tier companies to come out with new lures.
Roadrunner has partnered with Bobby Garland to introduce the Slab Runner which features a Roadrunner head paired with a Bobby Garland Baby Shad. It will be available in one-sixteenth and one-eighth ounce sizes in a myriad of color combinations.
Roadrunner also unveiled new weedless heads that will be available both dressed and undressed in various sizes.
Bobby Garland showed some new colors for the Baby shad series baits that were developed by the pros.
Jenko Fishing showed the all new Big T Whirly Bird jig head. This jig head combines the classic “Slasher” style pill head with a longer shank sickle hook and an in-line chrome prop spinner.
Leland’s Lures introduced the Fin Spin Pro series which dresses the Fin Spin head with a tied skirt.
Another very impressive new product shown at ICAST was Leland’s Lures Slab Bites. These bait nuggets have a powerful scent which has been designed to stay on the hook better and longer. The bites come with glitter that is not just coated but mixed throughout the bait.
A couple of other new products for the crappie fishermen that were eye-catching shown at ICAST included the award-winning Hummingbird Mega 360 Imaging. The Mega 360 Imaging is compatible with both the SOLIX and HELIX series fish finders. The custom viewing options let you choose how your returns appear on the screen. Therefore, you can adjust the unit based on current conditions and your fishing style.
Slime Line introduced its Champion Edition super stretch fishing line. Ronnie Capps and Whitey Outlaw worked with Slime Line to develop this line which has up to 30% more stretch which will help fight the fish and not rip hooks out of the soft crappie mouth. They say the line has low memory and very abrasion resistant.
As typical with most new products destined for 2020, many products will not be available until late summer/early fall. Most companies indicated product will be on store shelves in time for Christmas. Check out the respective company’s web sites for product availability.