The second round of ICAST continued to pop with wow factor as I walked through the aisles, inundated by even more innovations in gear, rods, reels, and accessories.
Rarely do you see backpack design advancing in leaps and bounds, but Wild River has effectively accomplished that with their Nomad series of outdoor backpacks. Besides the expected tackle storage capacity, six medium and four small Plano storage trays, the design goes over the top by integrating an exterior and interior LED light system, removable pliers holder, padded carrying pouch for sunglasses and plenty of storage pockets to hold everything and anything. It’s effectively an on-the-move work station. Their Rogue series of tackle bags even integrates a high quality speaker system to plug your iPod or MP3 device into to keep the tunes flowing.
Fin-Nor has added a 40- and 50-size to its high-quality line of Marquesa two-speed conventional reels. Featuring a 5.2:1 retrieve ratio for high gear and 2.8:1 for low gear, the reels can hold 1,000 yards of 65-pound braided line, and it's complete with a flawless stainless steel carbon fiber drag system that can take the heat of a big run from tuna or white marlin; $369
Calcutta’s tackle storage system is available in 360 and 370 sizes and the tackle bag incorporates a wheeled base and a telescoping handle that pulls up, like a carry-on roller board. Storage tubes in exterior pockets make it easy to organize heavy metal jigs while a vast top storage area holds plenty of the bigger stuff like reels, spools of line and cell phones. The bag holds up to five tackle trays, so you’ll have plenty of room to bring all the lures you need; $169.
And last but not least, Group Publisher Glenn Hughes, SWS Publisher Dave Morel and myself swung by the Maui Jim booth to try out the snappy, sharp World Cup line of sunglasses. These two-tone, blue- and black-marlin-inspired models are new for 2013 and they even make this motley bunch look good!