Kayak Angler's Best Catch from ICAST | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Kayak anglers get caught up at ICAST. Ric Burnley

Innovation on display at the world's largest sportfishing tradeshow.

The 2014 ICAST tradeshow blew through Orlando last week showcasing the hottest in tackle and gear for life on the water. Kayak Angler was on the floor searching out the best stuff for paddle powered anglers. Check out these picks for what will be hot in 2015.  

Snack time at Tactical Anglers.

One of my favorite plugs for big striper, reds and amberjack is the Bomb Popper by Tactical Anglers. Now the company has come out with a line of smaller Cross Over lures that are just as effective on specks and reds or largemouth and smallies. Pro angler, Lyd Le’Ng showed us the new Crossover Stalker and Popper. The hard-plastic lure is through wired for durability and they add extra layers of clear coat for a high-gloss and tough-as-nails finish. And internal rattling chambers call fish into the bite. The large recessed Diamond Eyes are lifelike and provide maximum light reflection; in fact, the eyes follow you as you move the lure. Freaky! Like all TA lures, the Crossover features recessed gill rakers that produce a larger sound signature and look ultra-lifelike. Lyd has been using the cross over to switch from saltwater to fresh without switching lures. Pop over to Tactical Angler’s website to see the results and check out the full line of fish-crazy lures at www.tacticalanglers.com.


Columbia steps it up a notch. 

As always, Columbia sportswear was the center of attention at ICAST. From Omni Heat to Omni Freeze, Columbia has developed some of the most effective technologies that make fishing more comfortable. To kick things off, their Megavent PFG shoe won Best Footwear at the New Product Showcase. The shoe features ports in the sole and footbed that drain water and provide ventilation. This also allows the shoe to dry quickly so they don’t stink the next morning. The bottom of the shoe provides all-terrain traction with raised lugs to dig into soft surfaces and razor-siped soles that will stick to a wet kayak deck. A removable insert in the footbed absorbs shock so you can comfortably stand a fish. The upper is wrapped in tough, breathable material that is treated with Columbia’s Blood and Guts coating to resists stains and stay fresh and clean. I’ve been a fan of Columbia’s line of boat shoes for years. I even slide them over my socking-foot waders in the spring and fall instead of wading boots because they are light and comfortable and tough enough to go from paddling to standing to wading. Take a stroll through Columbia’s full line of PFG fishing gear at www.columbia.com.  

columbia shoe

Costa del Mar sees victory.

We were most excited to hang-out at Costa del Mar’s shady cabana and talk about fishing and sunglasses. When we arrived to the two-story booth, the Costa crew was already parting on news that the new 580P mirrored lenses had won Best Eyewear in the New Product Showcase. This is the first year that Costa has brought their mirror technology to the high-level 580P line of polycarbonate lenses and everyone was stoked to see the results. Costa’s 580P lens is already famous for eliminating glare, cutting out yellow light and improving color clarity. The mirrored finish further reduces glare and the poly lens is shatter resistant and much lighter than glass, an important feature for paddle anglers who put their shades through constant abuse. Costa’s mirrored surface is actually embedded into the lens so it won’t delaminate and the lenses resist water and oil to stay clean. Anglers will be stoked that the mirrored finish is available in 14 styles including women’s models and will be available in the full line in 2015.  Take a peek at the new shades at www.costadelmar.com.


Williamson gets sharp.

I’m a big fan of Williamson’s vertical jigs for their high-quality components and deadly attraction for tuna and amberjack. But it was the company’s new fillet knives that caught my attention at the Rapala booth. The knives are made by Marttiini, the company that has been producing the Classic Rapala fillet knives since 1928. The razor-sharp, mirror-polished blades are available in three styles to make quick work of skinning a delicate flounder to steaking out a yellowfin tuna. The knives also feature a co-molded handle designed for comfortable, relaxed grip that reduces fatigue and ensures a safe grip on the knife. See the new knives at www.rapala.com.


RAM Mount sticks to paddle fishing.

After seeing all the SUPs and inflatables on the ICAST floor there’s no doubt that convenience is one of the biggest draws for paddle anglers. RAM has introduced a cool adhesive mount that allows anglers to attach RAM bases to any surface. Just apply marine-grade adhesive to the bottom of the soft rubber mount and attach it to the boat. Then attach a RAM mount base and you can add almost any accessory. Not only will this be a great addition to SUPs and inflatables, but it works great anywhere an angler wants to install accessories without drilling holes. Take a look at all the possibilities at www.rammount.com.


CastMate goes kayak fishing.

Teamfish’s CastMate accessory bar hit a homerun with float-tube anglers so the company expanded their innovative line of accessories and mounting bars to other paddle anglers. The new KayakMate utilizes a light-weight aluminum tube and plastic mounts that accepts a solid line of light-weight accessories. The bar is mounted to the kayak with two plastic bases that can be offset to allow even more mounting options. In addition to rod holders and cup holders, we really like the new camera mount that can be rotated to shoot underwater. If you’re looking to customize your kayak without loading it with heavy mounts and accessories, check out CastMate at www.teamfishco.com.


G.Loomis gives kayak fly anglers the ShortStix.

Casting a fly rod while sitting sit inches off the water isn’t easy. Managing a long stream of fly line that is flying through the air with little room to spare means shorter casts with less accuracy. And there never seems to be enough space on the kayak for a 9-foot buggy whip. G.Loomis offers a solution with their new PRO4x ShortStix series of fly rods. These six to seven foot rods are designed to be used with popular short-head fly lines to produce distance and accuracy. So, how do they do it? The PRO4x ShortStix feature a stiffer tip than ordinary saltwater rods to reduce collapsing loops that decrease casting distance. And the rods boast all the best features G.Loomis has to offer including K-frame stripping guides that prevent knots and tangles. Get a virtual tour of G.Loomis’ Pro4x rods and other smart stuff at www.gloomis.com


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