"ICAST 2012 Report - Part 2"
By Jerry White
Congratulations again to the ICAST 2012 New Product Showcase winners, and double props back to Hobie Kayaks for their Best Boat *and* top honor of Best Of Show with the Pro Angler 12. For all winner listings, head here: "ICAST 2012 WINNERS" article.
But there were some other products that were either great for the paddler, or simply just real neat. Let's review:
I don't have an iPhone but my daughters do. My youngest is a kayaker, a runner, a biker, and an iPhone power user. She has one of these waterproof cases, and hasn't lost any of her super powers. Meaning, all functions continue to function normally while in this case. That's big. Lifeproof also had their LifeJacket in the new products arena. A water proof anything is of little value it won't float, so here is your solution.
Contact: Ingrid Niehaus
FRABIL BAIT SOLUTIONS:
Frabill had 2 items that I thought would be useful. First the Frabill Worm Can. This has an ice compartment on the bottom and a larger bait compartment on top. That top compartment is perfect for cut bait and will also fit in your center hatch.
The second item was the Frabill Min-O-Life, which fits nicely on a standard milk crate. It also has a built in mesh net to remove the bait … very, very slick indeed.
GILL NORTH AMERICA:
JR USCG APPROVED FRONT ZIP PFD
My granddaughter has one of these. The first time she put it on she remarked on how comfortable it was. We all know that an uncomfortable PFD is one that won't get worn. So, this is 90% of the battle. We opted for the red color since that's what the Coast Guard has told me to be the most visible color. That's about all I need to know.
Also from Gill NA, are their floating sunglasses. If you flip your kayak, some things will float, others will not. I have a pair and they are both comfortable and effective.
Contact: Gary Barker
OSPREY INFLATABLE STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD by Creek Company
If you don't have a lot of storage room, this might be the ticket. The model shown below seemed plenty rigid enough to an "adult" like myself. It's certainly worth a closer look.
Here's how to flip a bird and get away with it. I'm talking about a bass lure that looks like a bird. Though there wasn't a category for it, this lure surely would have won "Best Of Show - Damnedest thing I've ever seen".
Behind our place there is an island that serves as a nest and rest spot for migrating sea birds. It only stands to reason that predatory fish would be drawn to this area. When the time is right, I definitely plan to give this lure a field test.
This caught my eye because of the hi-vis color. Sure, we need protection from the sun, but we might as well give ourselves a little more visibility too.
REEL KEEL LURES
This lure got my attention simply because there's nothing like it out there. Imagine being able perform a walk-the-dog only BELOW the surface. Go to the website and check out the video - pretty amazing.
Two of their boats caught my eye. The first was their SUP, the Vec. This is a well thought out fishing vessel, but doing the math is what Freedom Hawk is all about. The design is a bit different than many of the other SUP's at the show, but Dave Hadden gave me the skinny, and the design makes great sense - designed from the skeg up for the angler.
Next there was the Freedomhawk Pathfinder: Awarded Fly Fishing America's 2012 Editor's Choice Award
Dave gave me the walk-thru on this boat as well. Please go to that link above because there's too much to mention. But bottom line, it's a well thought out vessel.
While at the show, I encountered another boat that looked similar to the Freedomhawk. I checked it out, not impressed. I'm no genius, but even I could find the PATENT that Freedomhawk has on their design:
US Patent Number: 7,124,702, Fishing kayak with a deployable fan-tail
If you want a cheap knock-off, go to a flea market, or go to Canal Street in New York City. You get what you pay for. That's all I have to say about that …
OVERBOARD FISHING RODS:
Real estate is expensive at ICAST. It doesn't matter where your booth is, bring your checkbook. Same goes in Key West. But as with Key West, sometimes the best places are off the beaten path. Such was the case with this booth. Way off "Duvall Street" but man, what a find! We've seen products that you could place on a rod to make them float, but who wants a pool noodle in their way? The solution is a floating rod that is designed for the paddle angler.
What the pictures can't convey is that these are really nice rods, not just something you give the kids to play with. I was very impressed. In the beginning of the first article, I mentioned someone "having an idea that just wouldn't go away" … well here it is.
That's a wrap, because I could go on for days.
Bottom line, if you haven't been shopping lately now is a good time to go. I guarantee you'll find some new toys.
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