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BarneyB

Lure storage?

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    Fox Sport Fishing Standup Trek: I had to add this one in here simply for the unique factor. Travel rods are nothing new, but until this year’s ICAST, I had never seen a stand-up roller guide outfit capable of battling massive makos or huge marlin that could break down into a travel tube. It may seem silly to some, but if you do any offshore fishing, you know how cumbersome outfits like this can be. Traveling with them is a nightmare and 99% are one-piece rods. Pick up four of these bad boys, and you can take your tuna gear along as easily as your fly rod. These bluewater packables sell for $470.

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    It's almost 112 degrees is Las Vegas this week. So why on Earth am I here? Because I will face hurricanes and lightning, blizzards and hellish heat to attend the annual ICAST trade show. This is where all the tackle manufacturers unveil their latest wares for the up-coming year. When I'm on the show floor I drool a lot. I find myself awestruck by the innovation and smart designs coming out these days. I also scratch my head at certain booths, completely boggled by the ridiculousness of what I'm seeing. But it's all here, from lures to accessories, rod and reels, apparel to terminal gear. These are some of the most innovative, unique, and downright bizarre things coming to tackle shops near you.  Let me know what you think. - Joe Cermele

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    Fetha Styx NASCAR Series: Want to show your love for Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon or Mark Martin when you’re tearing up the lake? Now you can with Fetha Styx’s new line of NASCAR rods. That’s right, the wraps match your favorite driver’s colors and feature his or her signature. Is this a gimmick? Actually, no. These are some serious graphite bassin’ sticks that come in a wide range of sizes and powers. Though I’m not a NASCAR fan, the wrap colors are oddly cool looking. But what’s really cool is that $10 from the sale of each rod goes to a charity chosen by the driver who’s rod you purchased. These “hot rods” (sorry) range from $160 to $175.

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    VersaLures V-X4 Serpent: Here’s a classic “why didn’t I think of that?” VersaLures V-X4 Serpent can be whatever you want it to be thanks to sections that snap together. Each lure comes with a tail, two heads, and middle piece. With just one lure, you can opt for a 5-inch diver or popper, or lose the mid section and make it a 3-inch bait. Buy two lures and you can mix and match colors, or make even longer models. It’s a cool idea and they seem pretty well made. The middle pieces even have slots for two little glow sticks. The Serpent sells for $12.

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    Fishouflage Quarter-Zip Performance Top: Look again. That’s not Realtree. It’s 3-D Fishouflage of crappie in the brush on this company’s new quarter-zip Performance Top ($90). “Walleyeflage,” “Bassouflage” and “Muskyflage” are also available. So will this stuff hide you from the fish? According to the company’s catalog, it will not, but “it will create a new and distinct look for fishermen everywhere that they will be proud to display both on and off the water.” What say you?

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    Shakespeare E-Z Cast: This was by far one of the most innovative reels I saw on the show floor, and that innovation won’t put a dent in your wallet. The E-Z Cast low-profile baitcaster sells for $40, and I promise whether you’re 10- or 90-years-old, it will make you a master caster. A unique anti-backlash system above the spool (the blue panel) automatically pops up and brakes the spool when the line goes slack. At the booth, I launched a rubber sinker as hard as I could into a wall 5 feet away and ABS popped and locked the spool instantly. Zero backlashes. With the ABS on, there is no reason to even thumb the spool. But as the angler gets more comfortable and is ready to graduate to thumb braking, simply flip the ABS off and you’ve got a regular baitcaster. Aside from the braking features, the E-Z cast was actually a very smooth reel.

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    River2Sea Dahlberg Diver Frog: Created by Mr. “Hunt For Big Fish” himself, Larry Dahlberg, this is one wicked frog. Pull it and it dives, creating a slight bubble trail with its legs. When you pause the retrieve, the legs retract like a real frog. Work it harder and it’ll dive 24 to 30 inches. When it rises back up, it sits with just its eyes breaking the surface. The unique “overhead” diving lip doubles as a weed guard and the “hook up” design lets it skip over weeds with ease. Larry’s TV show is hard to turn away from, as was the video of this bait in action. The explosions were epic and the largemouth weren’t tiny. The Dahlberg Diver Frog sells for $12.

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    Old Harbor Outfitters Bucket Master: There’s no shame in being part of the bucket brigade, especially if you rig your 5-gallon “tackle box” with the Bucket Master ($50). Mesh-lined pockets inside and out hold everything you need for a day on the water. There are also separate knife and tool holders. The interior pockets are plenty big enough to fit a bunch of small- to medium-size tackle trays. A shoulder strap lets you sling it and go.

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    Backstabber Lures: So why move the belly hook on a crankbait to the back? According to the fellas at Backstabber Lures, it keeps fish glued a little tighter because they get hooked in the top of the mouth. Both hooks also swivel 360 degrees to stop the lure from shaking loose if you accidently give the fish slack, if it jumps, or quickly changes direction. Finally, Backstabber claims this hook placement causes the bait to collect less salad when you’re ripping it through the weeds. Sounds intriguing to me. I’ll be getting one of these on the water soon for a serious test. Backstabbers are available in 7 colors, 3 sizes, and start at $13.

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    Duckett Fishing Micro Magic: Nope, it’s not a panfish rod. The Micro Magics were developed by bass pro Boyd Duckett to increase accuracy by using super tiny guides from end to end. The guide in the photo is from the 7-foot model. That’s the first guide closest to the reel and it’s smaller than my pinky nail. Supposedly, this guide system will increase casting distance by up to 15%. There are many models to choose from, and they also feature a removable weight system in the butt for custom tweaking.

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    DelalanDe Fury Shad: I know what you’re thinking: two paddle-tails, double the kick. Not exactly. The tails on these French imports don’t work like regular paddles. Instead, the design causes them to roll back and forth. That means you can work these shads like a buzzbait, gurgling them across the top. Or rig them on a jighead and work slowly for a more subtle, twisting wobble unlike your standard paddle. U.S. prices not yet set.

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    Pflueger Patriarch: Oh how far things have come since the old Pflueger Medalist fly reel. The lightest model in the new Patriarch Series weighs just 5.6 ounces. The heaviest weighs 8.1 ounces. That’s because the rotors and sideplates are made of magnesium, the shafts are titanium, and the spools and handles are anodized aluminum and carbon fiber. Put it all together, and it doesn’t weigh much. At the booth, they had a helium balloon suspending the small model over my head. But the Patriarchs are also going to be workhorses, because although the components are light, they’re very tough materials. So how much for this technology? All models will sell for $200.

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    Gulp! Crickets: Not long ago I wrote a blog post asking readers what natural baits they’d like to see “Gulpified.” Many of you said crickets. Ask and ye shall receive. Gulp! Crickets, also available in the Gulp! Alive formula, will be on shelves near you soon. They come 8 to a pack and sell for $4. Panfish, beware.

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    Gear Grabbar: There are lots of suction-cup and sticky-foam-mounted lure holders out there, but I know from experience that hooks can be a pain to get out of the slots, and if you happen to bump up against one, it’s not pleasant. But the Gear Grabbar ($21.95) uses magnets to hold 9 lures, tools, and loose hooks and swivels on the top shelf. Your lures won’t come loose from the boat rocking, but if you brush up against the strip, the lures pull free…so no points buried in you past the barb. A stick-on rear magnet system lets you place the Grabbar anywhere on the boat and take it down when the trip is over.

 

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Reckon I might have to ask for some overtime at work, coz I see some imminent future expenditure occurring.

One of the things that does stand out a bit was the relatively low cost of some of the new items coming out.

Some good kit.

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