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"ICAST, Therefore I AM - Part 2"
By Jerry White
Congratulations to the category winners at ICAST 2011 [link back to "ICAST 2011 WINNERS" article]. But there was some stiff competition out there this year. I inquired about some of these products, others just showed up at my door. The great part about getting these items is being able to demo them and really see how they perform. It's also always fun to see how products will crossover to the world of paddling.
Refresh that beverage - here we go again...
This item (to me) belongs in or on a traditional milk crate. There are some serious magnets in this thing. I was able to hold my fishing knife by the *tip* of the blade. So you can imagine how secure it would hold pliers, hardbaits, and jig heads.
Here it is on one of my milk crates - a perfect fit. Note the angles on the rod holders (so lures don't slap in to each other on your rods) and also note the "J" hooks used to give the tank well bungee a place to fasten. That's my little gift/tip for you...
Gear Grabbar by Magnetic Marine Products, LLC
Contact: Jennifer Gesik
ICONIC ENERGY BANDS:
We've all seen many athletes wearing some sort of band/bracelet similar to this. The reported features include an increase in energy, stronger wrists and back pains subside. I've worn it some, but not enough to really determine if it really works. But as the weather cools (and I'm sure it will at some point) I will fish more, and it will get the real test then.
Iconic Energy Bands by Iconic Bands
Contact: Brian Galvin
These are really nice lures. They are well made and have very realistic action. The Banshee baits will work well for me later in the year when predatory fish are eating all they can before the cooler months move in. They're a lot of fun to throw now simply because of the action.
ABT Lures by ABT Lures
SNIP, SNIP, SLICE:
90,000 guys just winced.
No fellas, it's not like that at all... I'm talking about line cutters.
I currently have a drawer full of "braid only" scissors that don't work very well. I had then - they're in the trash now. An ugly leader-to-braid knot is about as bad as having a wrinkle in a duct tape repair. No one knows but you, but you do know. When I first opened these packages up I fully expected to be greeted with the smell of Cracker Jacks, because they're small enough to be the prize in the big box. That also makes them small enough to be very functional for us.
I submit 2 for your consideration:
- THE SNIP - BOOMERANG
It's offered with or without an LED light. Tried it on 8, 15, and 30 lb braid as soon as it arrived, worked great on all - provided a clean precise cut. The handles tuck away to a locked position, and it's got a retractor. This will be ideal to hook on to your PFD or vest.
- ZIPCUT PRO
Very handy and the velcro enables you to use it on different rods. It too provided a quick clean cut, and didn't interfere with casting or reeling. Very slick product.
PELICAN i1015 iPHONE BOX with headset jack
Pelican has been the paddlers friend for many years, keeping our valuables dry and secure. It only makes sense for them to walk side by side with emerging technology. If you like to listen to music or be able to field calls while on the water, this is definitely made for you. My pictures didn't do it justice because the case is so shiny and I'm a lousy photographer. But it's made like my other Pelican boxes. Put in what you want to keep dry, and don't worry about it.
Contact: Kiersten Moffatt
SHARK PACK FLOATING PHONE CASE:
This little wonder enables you to navigate your touchscreen with wet hands. You shouldn't text when you drive, same goes for when you're on the water. But for me, I sometimes get article inspirations while I'm afloat, so this will help me. Yeah, it's a business tool now.
RAPALA et al:
One of my favorite shows is on the Food Network, called "Chopped". Chefs compete by making 3 courses from mystery items in a picnic basket. They never know what's in there, and that's a little how I felt when I got the box from Rapala. It contained: Suffix line, a Clackin' Minnow (caught a fish on my first cast with it), VMC Spin-Shot hooks (work like nothing you've tried yet), and a nice selection of jig heads. The jig heads came at a good time because lately jerk baits and are about all I've been using. These are made by VMC (same folks that made the award winning "Spin-Shot Hooks") and the quality/sharpness of the hooks is unlike anything I've seen. These are the real deal.Rapala and their minions cover every aspect of fishing, and there's something new every week. So, check out their websites to get in on the latest and greatest.
This is a product that the majority of us can and should use. My field testing proved them to be high performance sunglasses and not some flea market blue blockers or the feature of infomercial spam. They simply work. I don't change my contacts as often as I should, and that's mainly due to not having prescription sunglasses to wear while I give the eyeballs a break. Problem solved. My optometrist will thank me - yours will too.
Cocoons are designed to be worn over prescription eyewear and studies have shown that 62% of Americans wear prescription glasses - deserving the best possible eye protection from the elements when they venture outdoors. Whether in bright sunlight or stormy, rainy days, Cocoons deliver the ultimate visual protection. Cocoons feature optically correct scratch resistant polarized lenses, adjustable Flex2Fit temples and a limited lifetime warranty. Available in six sizes with amber, gray, copper, blue mirror or yellow lenses, there is a pair of Cocoons to fit over any prescription frame.
FLYING FISHERMAN SUNGLASSES
No other way to say it. These glasses out performed my other glasses that "costa" lot more. My other glasses are a few years old, and have been cleaned a zillion times. I'm sure over the years some degradation has occurred (only natural) and lens technology has undoubtedly improved over the years. The result is that these $60 glasses perform way above their price tag. They are very light as well.
Contact: Linda Sheldon
THE SULTANS OF FLING - DOBYNS RODS
Up until now, my rods were mostly 2-piece and never very expensive (less than $100 for my best). I really didn't see spending more since what I had was adequate. Well, once you go past "adequate" there's no going back. Gary Dobyns sent me a rod and it's a game changer. I went from having 11 rods, to having one. Here are the numbers.
7'6" 1pc. 8-17lb, 3/16-5/8oz, Medium, Fast Action Senko, Texas Rigs, Jigs MSRP 249.99
Starting with the handle Dobyns' Rods incorporates a high AAA grade cork, a Fuji reel seat, kevlar wrapping, and a specialized hook keeper that will not interfere with your line. The guides have SiC ring inserts with Kigan stainless steel frames, the highest quality guide available. The rods are noticeably lighter and even more sensitive than earlier versions.
My rod was equipped with micro guides, which I'm a big fan of now. After using this rod exclusively for a few weeks (and I fish almost every day), my other rods feel like pool noodles. I fully understand the bang that comes with getting a better rod. It's like getting a better playing/sounding guitar. You practice more, you play more, you have better results consistently. You just become better at it - you build on your talent. Same vibe here. Casts are noticeably longer, go closer to where I want them to go, and once you connect it feels like the fish is at the tip of the rod and not at the end of the line. Hard to explain, but easy to get used to. The feel of this rod is akin to nailing every note in the outro of 'Sultans Of Swing".
This is listed as fresh water rod because that's where Gary learned his chops. But trust me it's at home in the salt water arena as well. Just switch the info from "Senko, Texas Rigs, Jigs" to "DOA Cals, Skitterwalks, and MirroDines". Maybe call them the "Sultans Of Fling" series as well (that's kinda growing on me). It has a much shorter butt/handle than my other rods, which makes it very easy to use from the kayak. And, at 7' 6" it can maneuver a fish around the bow with ease. Sure, this is an investment, but at some point you do outgrow pool noodles.
I've been sending e-mails to many folks from the show and am getting "out of office" replies. Wanna know why? They've been working like crazy to do well at the show. That being done, now they've gone fishing. Time for me to do the same.
See you out on the water …
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
~ Henry David Thoreau