2022 ICAST New Product “Best in Class” Winners

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Each summer, at the ICAST Fishing Tackle Trade Show, hundreds of fishing and boating tackle products compete to be recognized as the best new products in 30 categories – as voted by media and tackle dealers. Here’s the list of 2022 winners. We’ve called the top saltwater category winners and listed the rest. Some of these products are available now; others will be rolled out this fall and next spring.
The overall Best of Show winner is the PacBak P88-MK Combo, a combination cooler and vacuum sealer.

Penn Authority
Courtesy of Penn

Saltwater Reel – Penn Authority

Penn’s new Authority spinning reel features an IPX8 waterproof rating, CNC Gear technology with a stainless steel gear train and pinion, and a Leveline slow oscillation system. The 12+1 bearing system provides smooth recovery and the Dura-Drag generates maximum drag pressure. Available in September, Authority will come in sizes ranging from 2500 to 10500 and will cost from $499.95 to $599.95.

Ugly Stik Carbon Coastal
Ugly Stik Carbon Coastal
Courtesy of Ugly Stik

Saltwater rod – Ugly Stik Carbon Inshore

The new Carbon Inshore rods feature a 24 ton graphite blank with a solid graphite tip, creating a lightweight, balanced rod with crisp action and increased sensitivity. Technique specific, these rods are available in six spinning and three casting models with one-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides, cork front handles and a shrink tube rear handle for durability. Rods are $99.95.

Shimano Spheros SW Combo
Shimano Spheros SW Combo
Courtesy of Shimano

Rod and Reel Combo – Shimano Spheros SW Combo

Shimano took their recently introduced Spheros reel and paired it with high-grade graphite rods to deliver a saltwater combo in four well-balanced models to target multiple species. The rods feature durable blanks with tapered EVA handles and aluminum oxide Fuji guides. Spheros SW A reels feature Shimano’s cold forged Hagane gearing and Hagane body technology. Available in four spinning models (7 and 9 foot lengths) with spools from 5000 to 8000 sizes, they cost $229.99

Hardy Fortuna Regent Saltwater Fly Reel
Hardy Fortuna Regent Saltwater Fly Reel
Courtesy of Hardy

Fly Reel and Fly Fishing Accessories – Hardy Fortuna Regent Saltwater Fly Reel

Hardy designed the Fortuna Regent to deliver effortless control and power with up to 22 pounds of drag and a wide shaft that captures 14 1/2 inches of line in a single rotation. The reel features a carbon fiber multipedal disc drag system and a narrow spool profile. Available in two colors, the reel starts at $750 and will be available later this year.

LiveTarget Live Shrimp
LiveTarget Live Shrimp
Courtesy LiveTarget

Saltwater Hard Lure – LiveTarget Live Shrimp

LiveTarget has always produced very realistic lures, and the new Live Shrimp continues that tradition. The Live Shrimp features a swing system that allows the lure to fall through the water column with a horizontal profile. Anglers can customize the sink rate using two interchangeable weights. The segmented abdomen and carapace are made of sturdy, buoyant ABS; the walking and swimming legs are made of TPE to float during recovery. Live Shrimp comes in two sizes and eight colors and costs $14.99.

Z-Man Kicker CrabZ
Z-Man Kicker CrabZ
Courtesy of Z-Man

Soft Saltwater Lure – Z-Man Kicker CrabZ

Z-Man designed this new bait to mimic a crab swimming sideways – the way it naturally evades predators. The 3 1/2-inch Kicker CrabZ features segmented legs, large eyes and protruding antennae and is made from Z-Man’s patented ElaZtech material. The streamlined belly of the bait keeps it straight while moving slightly on a straight retrieve. Pair the bait with a ProBulletZ, SnakelockZ or ChinlockZ jig head. Available in 10 Coastal designs, the Crabs come in three packs that cost $4.99.

Z-Man DieZel Eye Jigheads
Z-Man DieZel Eye Jigheads
Courtesy of Z-Man

Terminal Tackle – Z-Man DieZel Eye Jigheads

Designed for large soft plastics, Z-Man’s DieZel Eye Jigheads feature black nickel Tri-Forge Power hooks with precision cut angles. In tandem with Eye Strike Fishing, Z-Man has oversized jig head sinkers with oversized 3D eyes in red, glowing, or chartreuse. On the larger 3 8/0 ounce size, the eyes are half an inch in diameter. The base of the jig head is flattened to rest upright and stable on the bottom. The 60 degree angle between the eyelet and the hook shank accentuates the shimmying action of the bait on a straight retrieve. Available in sizes ranging from 3/8 ounce (6/0) to 3 ounce (8/0), jigheads come in twos in a pack that cost $5.99 to $11.99.

SpiderWire DuraBraid Hi-Vis Yellow
SpiderWire DuraBraid Hi-Vis Yellow
Courtesy of SpiderWire

Fishing Line – SpiderWire DuraBraid Hi-Vis Yellow

SpiderWire’s DuraBraid in Hi-Vis Yellow offers increased abrasion resistance that is 25% stronger than other conventional braids. It also offers the easy line management and smooth casting attributed to the SpiderWire brand. Available from 8 to 80 pounds test, the line is available in 150, 300, 500, and 3,000 yard spools. It costs from $13.99 to $319.99.

Bajio Roca Sunglasses
Bajio Roca
Courtesy of Bajio

Glasses – Bajio Roca

Bajio’s extra-large, bio-based Roca sunglasses frames provide full protection and coverage on the water, reducing glare and fog-free light intrusion, thanks to vented side shields. Blue light blocking technology minimizes eye strain and fatigue. Roca frames are available in shoal tort matte, black matte and dark tort glossy with polycarbonate or glass lenses in seven colors. They cost $199 and $249.

AFTCO Deck Boots
AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot
Courtesy of AFTCO

Footwear – AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot

AFTCO’s waterproof deck boots feature a non-marking hex grip outsole and an eco-friendly, quick-drying neoprene lining. Combined with a compression molded anti-microbial sockliner, the boots provide cushion and support for all-day wear. Available in men’s sizes 7 through 13, they will come in three colors including Port Grey, Naval Camo and Acid Green Camo. They cost from $99 to $109.

Read more : More ICAST coverage

Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Fillet Knife
Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Fillet Knife
Courtesy of Bubba

Cutlery, Hand Tongs or Tools – Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Fillet Knife

Bubba’s Saltwater Multi-Flex Interchangeable Knife Set features an easy-to-use push and slide mechanism that allows you to quickly switch between blades while the Flex-Change locking system keeps the blade secure. The Multi-Flex comes with two different full tang blades (9 inch serrated and 9 inch stiff flex) and Bubba’s non-slip handle as well as a hard-sided waterproof carrying case. The knife costs $99.99.

Additional winners

  • Lifestyle Clothing – Women: AFTCO Softshell Mower
  • Lifestyle Apparel—Men: AFTCO CocoBoardies Boardshorts
  • Technical clothing for hot weather: Simms SolarFlex Guide Cooling Hoodie
  • Technical clothing for cold weather: AFTCO Barricade Rain Suite Acid Camo Colorway
  • News and Well-being: Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch – Sapphire Edition
  • Fishing accessory: Frabill Witness Weighing Net
  • Nautical accessories: Frabill ReCharge, luxury aerator
  • Soft and hard coolers: PacBak P88-MK Set
  • Boats and personal watercraft: BOTE Rachkam Gatorshell + APEX Crankset
  • Fly fishing rod: Bull Bay Banshee Fly
  • Freshwater rod: St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Rod
  • Freshwater reel: Shimano Stella FK
  • Freshwater soft lure: Berkley PowerBait PowerStinger
  • Freshwater hard lure: Berkley Slobberknocker
  • Tackle management: Plano EDGE Frog Box
  • Material for children: Simms Kid Tributary Wader
  • Electronic: Humminbird MEGA Live Imagine Target Lock
  • Ice fishing: Garmin LiveScope Plus LI Ice Fishing Bundle
  • Custom hardware and components: Mud Hole RBS Pro G2 Power Wrapper
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