ICAST, the largest fishing manufacturers’ trade show in the world, returned to Orlando last July. Every tackle company you can think of and more were there to display their latest new products to the media and fishing retailers. All the fishing magazines will be touting the latest in rods, reels, lures, marine electronics and more that were unveiled at ICAST.
AFC again scoured the vast isles of ICAST looking for the unique and quirky. We looked for products that are off the radar of mainstream media, with perhaps an eye towards conversation. Here is our take on the best of ICAST.
Call them face guards, face masks, sun shields, buffs, or several other names. These tubular pieces of colorful, stretchy, breathable, UV blocking fabric can be worn several ways, but the most popular is up over the face, bandit style, to protect one’s face from the sun. Seems like dozens of companies are producing these face guards now, so how did Fishmasks make our best of ICAST list? At first glance Fishmasks don’t look any different than any of the other face guards out there, except for one thing, they are manufactured from a fabric called Repreve that is made from recycled water bottles. The stretchy fabric is breathable, moisture wicking, odor controlling and has a UPF rating of 50+. Each Fishmask is made from nine or more recycled water bottles. To learn more checkout www.fishmasks.com.
What happens to worn out fly line when it is no longer useable? Most of it probably ends up in a landfill but not if it finds its way into the hands of the folks at Flyvines. They braid, wrap, twist and weave old fly lines into all sorts of fun, colorful products including bracelets, sunglass retainers, lanyards, keychains, dog leashes, coasters and more. Although Flyvines are suitable for anybody, they are an especially unique way for fly anglers to show off their love for the sport and keep old fly lines out of our landfills. To learn more about Flyvines visit www.flyvines.com.
SeaQualizer Leader Retainers
Keeping with the theme of recycled fishing line comes a new entry from SeaQualizer, a company already well known for their descending device for safely releasing deep water bottom fish. The folks at SeaQualizer have now turned their attention to repurposing old, worn out monofilament fishing line to make eyeglass retainers and bracelets. The translucency of monofilament combined for their unique weave patterns makes for a visually striking yet practical product that helps keep old mono out of our landfills. For more information visit www.seaqualizer.com.
The Bait Sack
If you’ve ever listened to the safety station at a Hook Kids on Fishing you’ve probably heard us touting the benefits of using a lure wrap to cover exposed hooks while a fishing rod is in storage. Most lure wraps are made of tough fabric and fold around the lure like a wallet and are held closed with Velcro or similar material. The clever folks at Cal Coast Fishing came up with The Bait Sack, a better version of the lure wrap. The Bait Sack is made of clear marine grade vinyl. It has a clamshell type opening; squeeze the corners and it opens wide to accept your lure; release the corners and it snaps shut. The Bait Sack is available in a variety of sizes and includes a rod clip to secure it to the rod and a line clip so the lure will never accidently pull out of The Bait Sack. For more information visit www.calcoastfishing.com.
Rapid Line Guide
Sometimes you find a product so simple yet ingenious that you wonder, why didn’t I think of that. An example is the Rapid Line Guide by Rapid Fishing Solutions. The Rapid Line Guide is a needle like device for threading line through the guides of a fishing rod. It is sized to fit all common fishing guides, even micro-guides. One end sports a diamond shaped clip that holds the line while the other end is an easy to see, yellow, plastic coated tip that you feed through the guides. The Rapid Line Guides is great for anglers with vision problems, arthritis or anyone else who sometimes struggles while threading line through all those guides. Visit www.rapidfishing.com.