2011 ICAST Preview – Pure Fishing

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7/8/2011 – by Dan O’Sullivan

Next week, the fishing industry as a whole arrives en masse at the Las Vegas for the American Sportfishing Association’s ICASTshow. At that show the media and commerce is introduced to new products that will help drive the industry for the 2012 tackle year.

Advanced Angler.com will be on site with our “ICAST Raw” coverage of the show. Our approach is to allow the individuals responsible for the development of the products to speak for themselves; as opposed to through written word and imagery.

We have been able to get a sneak peak at some of these goods in the past several weeks, and will share some of them with you in the days leading up to the show.

The Pure Fishing brands have long been some of the industry’s heavy hitters, and the past several years, brands like Abu Garcia, PowerBait, Trilene, Spiderwire and now Havoc, have taken the industry by storm. 2011 looks to be another strong year for the Columbia, S.C. firm as their ICAST product list has plenty to say for itself.

Abu Garcia
Abu Garcia seems poised to grab a lot of attention with their product releases for the 2011 ICAST show. The announced releases of the Villain rods and Orra SX spinning reels along with the Revo MGX are sure to catch the eye of many at the show.

The Villain rods are explained to be the lightest Abu Garcia rods to date. They feature low resin content bank construction, titanium guides and high-tech reel seats that are all designed for lightness without sacrificing durability. The engineers at Abu Garcia even went so far as to wrap the guides in carbon fiber to help in weight reduction.

The Orra SX baitcasting reels were introduced last year at ICAST, and they will be followed up by the Orra SX spinning reels in 2011. The Orra SX family proved to be a highly affordable reel at the $99 price point, but it had features that rivals other higher priced reels. The Orra SX spinning reels should fall into that same category with a one piece gearbox, carbon matrix drag system and a host of other features.

The talk of Abu Garcia has to be the new Revo MGX baitcasting reels. The first thing someone notices about the Revo MGX is how light it is. At 5.4 ounces, the reel feels very dainty, but rest assured that it has plenty of powerful characteristics.

The Revo MGX features 10 bearings with 7.1:1 and 7.9:1 retrieve speeds and a carbon fiber drag system and reel handle all help provide solid performance someone would expect from a high dollar reel. The lightness comes from the magnesium frame composition that is combined with all of the features above to bring a high dollar, high performance reel to the marketplace.

Berkley PowerBait
Berkley PowerBait will feature the launch of several new baits that should give anglers plenty of new items to toss at their favorite gamefish in the 2012 product year and beyond.

One addition is the new 4” PowerBait Ribworm that is a throwback to the original 4” Ringworm that was popular early finesse bait. This little curtailed worm is available in 10 colors that are sure to generate bites anywhere in tough conditions.

The Ripple Minnow came out last year as a 4” swimbait that was infused with PowerBait scent a pogy style tail and a series of ribs down the body that add action and trap air bubbles to add unique attraction to the bait. The original Ripple Minnow got a new pair of siblings this year with the addition of the new 3” and a 5” version in several fresh and saltwater colors.

Berkley has also decided to release their popular Gripper Jigs in individual packages. The jigs designed by Mike Iaconelli, Hank Parker and Jay Yelas were introduced a couple of years ago, and they came packaged with the jig, a second skirt in a contrasting color and a few Chigger Chunks or Power Grubs as trailers. Berkley decided to release the jigs in individual packages for anglers to choose from.
Walleye anglers will love the new additions to the Flicker Shad lineup. Flicker Shad has now received some new cosmetics in the form of several new colors that have been added to the lineup in both sizes.

Berkley Havoc
At the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, Berkley Havoc made a splash with the announcement of their new line of pro designed soft plasticbaits by Skeet Reese, Mike Iaconelli, Gary Klein and Bobby Lane. The initial offering of four shapes was soon augmented by three new bodies and they now have a new line designed by bass fishing legend Larry Nixon.

Known for his career long penchant for fishing with plastic worms, Nixon added his new Bottom Hopper finesse worms to the Havoc lineup. The Bottom Hopper is a pair of 4.75” and 6.25” straight tailed finesse worms that can be Carolina rigged, Texas rigged, Drop-shot, Split-shot and tossed on a Shaky Head. Bottom Hopper is available in eight colors picked by Nixon.

Berkley Lines
Berkley’s roots in fishing line have long been a well known fact. The Berkley Trilene brand has been responsible for some of the most popular products in the sport. Berkley Trilene XL has been one of those brands, and it just received an upgrade.

Trilene XL Armor Coated is a new version of the original Trilene XL, but with the addition of a new coating that helps increase the abrasion resistance while keeping the manageability that Trilene XL has always been known for.

The real shining star is the new Unified Filament line called Nanofil. Nanofil is a superline that features of Dyneema fibers that are molecularly linked and shaped into one of the thinnest diameter lines on the market. Billed as being a line that is specifically built for spinning reels, Nanofil is extremely smooth, boasts zero memory and exceptional sensitivity.img style=”float: left; padding: 3px 3px 3px 3px;” src=”http://advancedangler.com/July2011/Berkley%20Nanofil.jpg
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Nanofil is also extremely thin; the 8-pound-test sample spool we received has a diameter of .006,” the same size as 2-pound-test Trilene XL.

Nanofil is super slick, so Berkley representatives recommend using a double Palomar knot to attach lures to the line to help keep it from coming untied. That slickness does translate into one of the line’s best features; extreme castability.

In Advanced Angler comparative tests on long driveway, we used a wacky rigged 5” Yamamoto Senko on a 1/0 TroKar TK150 Drop Shot hook, and 8-pound-test Nanofil spooled on a size 9035 Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel on a 7’ Powell 703 spinning rod. The comparison models were the same, with the exception of the rod, and the line. We used a 7’3” Powell 732 spinning rod and 6-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast Fluorocarbon on the opposite setup.

The longer rod with the 6-pound-test Ultracast Florocarbon over several casts averaged 31 yards. Meanwhile, with the shorter rod with the Nanofil and the same number of casts, we were able to average 42 yards with the same lure.

We are still in the testing phase on the water, but it certainly has our attention. With sizes from 1-pound-test to 12-pound-test, it’s a bet that Nanofil will find a place on many rods.