Like cars and computers, fishing gear sees advances in design and technology that allow companies to release new models of your favorite rods, reels and lures each year. If you’re lucky enough to make it to any annual fishing shows, such as ICAST, you can catch an early hands-on glimpse at new products before they’re released. Here is a handful of upcoming fishing gear to start saving for now.
St. Croix Legend Glass ($240–$250)
While graphite rods take up the most space at tackle retailers, you can still find a few fiberglass models out there and this fiberglass version of St. Croix’s Legend rod series is one to look out for. Fiberglass is known for being a bit stiffer than other materials, but St. Croix has meticulously crafted each piece of their Legend Glass rods to reduce overall weight. There are four rods in the series, including a beast of a 7’11 model that is ideal for deepwater crankbait fishing.
Live Target Swimbait Series ($9.99–$18.99)
Anyone who’s picked up a LiveTarget lure can attest to their nearly perfect imitation of bass prey, and it comes as no surprise that the company’s upcoming swimbaits were meticulously created to replicate forage species in exemplary detail. These swimbaits feature an internal weight system and a dorsal fin that doubles as a weed guard, as well as an oscillating tail that provides crazy action during the retrieve. In total, there are ten color patterns available—seven for freshwater and three for salt.
Pflueger President XT ($79.95)
When I worked at an outdoor retailer, the Pflueger President was the number one selling fishing reel in the company, with good reason. The reliable reel performs excellently and is easily affordable. Pflueger’s given the baitcast version of their money-maker an overhaul for 2017, including durable carbon side plates, an externally adjustable magnetic braking system and nine ball bearings that make the updated XT smoother than Lando Calrissian and the Dos Equis guy playing cards. The President XT also features slip-resistant cork knobs and nearly a 3:1 gear ratio—that’s 31 inches of line reeled in per handle turn.
Humminbird HELIX 10 ($999.99–$1,499.99)
Named Best of Show for electronics at this year’s ICAST, the HELIX 10 from Humminbird offers a large, incredibly detailed display, GPS chart-plotting and both high-def down and side imaging. Furthermore, you’ll find that the ContourXD base maps are compatible with Humminbird LakeMaster charts, enabling a highly detailed display of the lake’s landscape. Best of all, the HELIX 10 won’t break your bank account, making it appealing for a number of budgets.
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