Every summer the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) presents new tackle for the coming year. Here’s a look at some of the top products to look for in 2018.
New Fishing Reels of 2018
Alutecnos Gorilla Albacore 30
The Gorilla Albacore 30, in narrow and wide models, features an extended arm to generate maximum leverage. Two-speed operation shifts from 3.3:1 to 1.7:1. The multi-disc drag produces up to 50 pounds of braking power at full drag. The 30 2S carries up to 765 yards of 90-pound Spectra. The wide version, 30W 2S, holds 1,038 yards of 30-pound mono, 525 yards of 50-pound, or 985 yards of 90-pound Spectra.
Price: $769 and $859
Daiwa Saltiga BJ
A flagship in the Daiwa spinning-reel line, the Saltiga Bay Jigging reel employs a Monocoque Body and a one-piece aluminum frame and threaded side plate. The J3500 with 5.7:1 retrieve carries 220 yards of 16-pound mono, 330 yards of 20-pound, or 220 yards of 30-pound braid. The J4000, with a 4.9:1 retrieve ratio, holds 220 yards of 20-pound mono, or 270 yards of 30-pound or 200 yards of 40-pound braid.
Designed specifically for braided line, the Primal lever-drag lineup offers four models in two retrieve ratios: 5.8:1 for bottomfish and a 7.3:1 for fast pickup. The MegaDrag offers 15 pounds of strike drag and 30 pounds of stopping power. The PR12LS packs 450 yards of 14-pound mono or 440 yards of 50-pound braid; the PR10LS holds 320 yards of 14-pound mono or 415 yards of 30-pound braid.
Okuma Coronado CDX
The Coronado CDX, Okuma’s third generation of bait-feeder reels, features updated styling and increased functionality. The Cyclonic Flow Rotor sweeps water away from internal parts, and a slow oscillation retrieve tames braided line. Four sizes — 55, 60, 65 and 80 — all with the Dual Force Drag system with Carbonite drag washers provide 27 to 36 pounds of maximum drag.
Price: $99.99 to $119.99
Penn International VI
Penn Internationals get a makeover in the VI series. Upgrades include a silent anti-reverse and drag system with adjustable strike-drag stop. The series includes 28 models in gold or silver finish, single- and two-speed, and wide and narrow. All feature a machined, anodized body and side plates, stainless-steel main and pinion gears, sealed Dura-Drag system, and double-dog ratchet anti-reverse.
Price: $499.95 to $1,299.95
Quantum Smoke PT
The PT stands for Performance Tuned. A one-piece gearbox eliminates flex under load. A C4LF carbon-fiber rotor and CSC2 front-adjustable drag with Plasma Arc ceramic washers, polymer-stainless bearings, extra-hard gears, and an aluminum Long Stroke spool define performance. Available in four sizes, each with 6.0:1 retrieve, carrying from 150 yards of 8-pound-test to 225 yards of 12-pound.
New Fishing Lures of 2018
Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40
The biggest, deepest-running bait from Rapala to date, the X-Rap Magnum 40 dives to 40 feet and trolls effectively at speeds up to 13 knots. Tuned and tank-tested, the new 7-inch, 33⁄8-ounce Mag 40 runs perfectly out of the box, comes armed with two 5/0 VMC 4X Perma Steel hooks, and sports a textured, translucent, X-style plastic body with internal scale pattern, internal holographic foil and 3D holographic eyes. Available in 20 big-water color patterns.
New additions to the Coltsniper line include the Coltsniper Twitchbait swimming stickbaits in floating and sinking models, both with Hi-Pitch sound to draw fish in, plus a pair of Coltsniper Walk surface walkers. All feature wire-through construction and 3X Strong hooks. Colors include purple-chartreuse, bone white, pink-silver, root beer, gold-chartreuse, glow chartreuse, green-chartreuse and red-white, as well as several baitfish patterns.
Sebile Magic Swimmer
The innovative design of Sebile’s Magic Swimmer incorporates a tapered nose and humpbacked head that combine to create turbulence first on one side, then the other, resulting in an amazingly natural swimming action, even during steady retrieves. Available in hard and soft versions, in floating, sinking and fast-sink models, and in 12 colors, this stable swimmer ranges in size from 33⁄4 inches, 3⁄8 ounce to 53⁄4 inches, 15⁄8 ounces, and covers depths to 6 feet.
Price: $9.99 to $12.99
Storm 360GT Coastal
Target snook, tarpon, redfish, seatrout and more with Storm’s 360GT Coastal baits. The lineup includes five soft-plastic bodies — Shrimp, Largo Shad, Mangrove Minnow, Manta Tail and Trick Tail — that mimic common inshore forage. Each is available in two sizes and a variety of colors and patterns, with a VMC Coastal Black weighted swimbait hook or boxer-style jig head, in packs of one jig head or swimbait hook pre-rigged on a body, plus three additional bodies.
New Fishing Rods for 2018
Eagle Claw Flats Blue Saltwater Inshore Rod
Flats Blue Saltwater Inshore rods feature a split handle design, double-triggered reel seat, and a strong build for lifting power in a lightweight rod, plus an oversize fishing butt, zirconium guides and new-cork grips for sure handling. Two casting and seven spinning models, from 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 feet, for lines from 4 to 17 pounds, in Camo Pink or Camo Blue, with tapers to handle from 1/8- to 3/4-ounce lures.
St. Croix Legend Tournament Rods
Legend Tournament Inshore rods by St. Croix employ SCIV graphite construction in 10 one-piece, fast-action models, seven spinning and three casting, with Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides, a Fuji TVS (spinning) or PTS (casting) reel seat, and a Belize Blue Metallic finish. The rods come in line classes from 6- to 12-pound through 17- to 40-pound, and lengths of 7, 71⁄2 and 8 feet to cover the gamut of inshore requirements.
Price: $280 to $340
New Fishing Line for 2018
Ande, a leader in monofilament for more than 50 years, adds Ande Braid to its lineup of proven, quality fishing lines. Along with a small diameter and no line stretch or memory, this colorfast new graphite-colored braid promises less noise while going through the guides, and longer and smoother casts. Available from 20- to 150-pound-test in 325-, 650-, 1,300-, 2,166- and 3,250-yard spools.
Price: $29.95 to $279.95
Berkley Fireline Ultra 8
FireLine Ultra 8 uses the same manufacturing process as the original FireLine, with 8-carrier Dyneema. Consistent line structure improves overall performance, and offers 50 percent more abrasion resistance and a 10 percent increase in casting distance. Available in Smoke or Crystal in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, 17-, 20- and 30-pound-test, in 125-, 300- and 1,500-yard spools.
Price: $19.99, $39.99, $199.99
Seaguar Pink Label Fluoro Leader
To contribute to the battle against breast cancer, Seaguar introduces Pink Label fluorocarbon leader, delivering superior strength, better abrasion resistance and minimal stretch. Soft and supple, Seaguar claims 30 percent better knot strength than other fluorocarbons. Available on 25-yard spools from 15- to 80-pound-test, and 25-yard coils from 100- to 200-pound-test.
Price: $10.99 to $92.99
Spiderwire Stealth Pink Camo
Colored in a varying pink-white-black pattern, Spiderwire’s Stealth Braid remains visible to the angler in all conditions. Microfiber construction provides strength and smooth feel for easy handling, and PE fibers provide top sensitivity to instantly detect strikes and subsurface structure. Available in 125-, 200-, 300- and 1,500-yard spools, in breaking strengths from 10 to 65 pounds.
Price: $12.99 to $279.99
New Fishing Hooks for 2018
Owner Inshore Slam Heads
The Inshore Slam Head features an Owner super-sharp and strong, heavy wire hook to wrestle big fish on heavy braid, and a corkscrew keeper to attach soft-plastic lures and easily assemble swimbaits and Alabama rigs. The new heads come in a multipack, and are available in 10 different weight and hook-size combinations from 1/0, 1⁄32-ounce to 5/0, 1⁄2-ounce.
Price: $6 to $8
Z-Man Lures SnakelockZ Jig Heads
This articulated weighted hook from Z-Man enhances the action of soft-plastic baits. Heads are engraved to facilitate identification, and their streamlined shape and weedless design slips snag-free through heavy cover. The sturdy wide-gap, offset Mustad UltraPoint hook incorporates a molded keeper to hold plastic tails in proper position. Available in 1⁄8-, 1⁄4- and 3⁄8-ounce weights with 3/0, 4/0 and 5/0 hooks, in packs of three.