In keeping with their ICAST tradition, Duckett Fishing has introduced two new lines of rods for bass anglers.
The WhiteIce pro series features 11 casting rods, four crankin' sticks and three spinning rods. Each rod was individually designed and tested by a Bassmaster Elite series pro -- men who know what it takes to properly present a bait. The casting rods range from 6 feet, 10 inches in length to 7 feet, 11 inches. And they'll handle a wide array of line and lures. The crankin' models are between 7 feet and 7 feet, 11 inches. They're suitable for almost any line or bait size, regardless of conditions. The spinning series is 6 feet, 8 inches on the short end and 7 feet, 2 inches on the long end.
Duckett has also released the Macro Magic series. It's basically the same as the Micro Magic except that it has full-size guides for those anglers who prefer them.
It's always interesting to see who's at ICAST. Hanging out at the booth next to ours (B.A.S.S.) is none other than largemouth bass world record holder Manabu Kurita. I speak almost no Japanese, and Kurita speaks no English at all, but we've met several times before, and I was fortunate enough to help break the story of his record catch three years ago, so I offer a "Genke des ka?" (How are you?) every morning, and he replies with a "Genke des?" (I'm well."). We are bridging the cultural gap. Bass are bound by no language!
At one of the largest sportfishing trade shows in the country, setting your company apart from the other industry leaders is almost as important as the products you bring. With hundreds of exhibitors representing the best in the industry, the show can be a maze of products and people. Some booths are outrageously creative and immediately draw your eye and your interest.
From sand pits and saloons to fish fry demonstrations, the imagination knows no bounds.
Be sure to check out the ICAST Booth photo gallery for more creative booths.
Costa Del Mar created a beach-like getaway complete with sand, umbrellas, beachballs and a top deck pavillion.
Gerald Swindle has found the cure for your fraying trolling motor rope. The TH Marine G-Force handle is made of rubber-coated cable, which is guaranteed not to fray.
The hugely popular Revo from Abu Garcia has been redesigned for 2012. It's lighter -- some models weigh as little as 5.4 ounces -- and stronger thanks to the new D2 Gear Design. And there are plenty of models to choose from.
In the casting line there are more than 20 models. The spinning line has more than a dozen. Each group offers reels suitable for fresh and saltwater.
Regardless of which one you choose, however, it'll be designed, constructed and tested for a lifetime of reliable performance.
Spro has unveiled the newest member of the McStick line, the 115. It's a floater that works well over submerged grass. It comes with Gamakatsu hooks.
ICAST is part sprint (just two and a half days) and part marathon (too many exhibitors, too many products, too much to do). To make things tougher, the more of these things you attend, the more people you know and the more time you'd like to spend visiting and catching up with them. It's ultimately crushing, but still kind of fun.
At ICAST 2012, there doesn't seem to be a clear theme -- at least not to me. It's not covered up in castable umbrella rigs, swimbaits or soft plastic frogs. It's a little of this, a little of that and a whole lot of modifications on existing classics. I'm seeing a lot of great paint jobs, a lot of new colors and a lot of stuff that looks just a little better and a little cooler than last year's gear. It's not to say there's nothing revolutionary in the mix here, just that I haven't seen it.
Sometimes the sport grows or changes incrementally rather than by great leaps and bounds.
I spent a couple of hours criss-crossing the floor at ICAST, shooting BASSCams with Ken Duke. Check out pros Mark Menendez, Aaron Martens, Skeet Reese, and many more on the BASSCam page. We'll be adding more as ICAST continues.
I found Aaron Martens at the Megabass booth, and he's excited about the new FX Vision 110 and the new Knuckle 60 square bill. The bill on the 110 folds down so super-long casts are a breeze. The Knuckle's bill is adjustable so it can run as a wake bait or a traditional square bill. Way cool.
Duo North America has focused its energy on helping young anglers pursue a college education by awarding a generous scholarship to lunker hunting youth. It's such an awesome opportunity for young anglers to represent the bass fishing industry and combine their love of the sport with personal growth. Even some of the top anglers in the field say the ability to market yourself is key, and an education definitely makes you more well-rounded. And public speaking classes sure don't hurt!
"This is an incredible opportunity for young anglers," said Shelia Murphy, CEO of DUO North America. "It's a win-win situation for youth anglers, DUO and in the end, the entire sportfishing industry."
The company will offer two students $2,500 each toward pursuing their college education and accelerating their angling career. The fund is open to applicants who have a 75 percent grade point average or better, are active in tournament fishing or school teams and community involvement.
Interested anglers can request an application form from scholarship@duonorthamerica.