February '09 New Gear

The Keen Cimarron shoe, Penn's Torque 100 Lever Drag, Costa del Mar Caballito


Touch of Cimarron
Priding themselves on producing top-notch "hybrid footwear" - styles that cross a sandal with a shoe - Keen has done it again with their new model called the Cimarron. These shoes include a multi-direction lug pattern for increased traction as well as an "aquastop" non-marking water-traction outsole. The underlays are made from breathable mesh, and the midsole is 100-percent drainable. Weighing in at 10 ounces for women and 11.5 ounces for men, these shoes are extremely lightweight -  especially when you consider the durability packed in throughout the design. For boaters who want the comfort and convenience of a sandal, but strive to find a shoe offering full coverage. $100; keenfootwear.com

Combo Punch

For 2009, Penn is introducing their new Torque 100 Lever Drag. With a body built entirely from metal, even today's toughest superlines can't dig into the spool or frame. Engineered with Penn's Versa-Drag, the reel features three drag ranges, from light to heavy. Switching from one to the other is as simple as removing the drag cartridge and arranging the HT-100 drag washers in any of three configurations.  The Push-to-Turn feature  allows adjustment of the drag in the heat of the moment, without changing the  preset.  For those looking for the perfect rod to join the Torque, check out the Tourque Jig Rod Series, which includes three conventional and two spinning models. All feature light tips and strong backbones capable of breaking the will of any fish. Reels start at $599.99 and rods at $99.99; pennreels.com

Retro Look

Costa del Mar is a household name in the world of performance optics designed for anglers, and Caballito, new for 2009, is sure to help bolster that reputation. The new frame invokes a retro-surfer look with a hard rectangular shape and thicker temple design. The Caballito is available in shiny tortoise and black, but a combination of white and black is expected later in 2009. All are built with tough nylon frames, flexible integral hinges and no-slip Hydrolite nose pads. These frames are available with the full array of "Costa Clear" 100-percent polarized CR-39 - glass mirror or non-mirror 400 - lenses with popular tints like gray, amber, sunrise, vermilion, blue mirror and green mirror. For high-definition vision, these glasses also come in Costa's unparalleled 580 lens technology. Starting at $129; costadelmar.com