The introduction of something new or different, either a method or thing. This is the dictionary definition of innovation – a word I think we can all agree is thrown around a little too freely in the fishing tackle industry. So often we see the marketing materials of brands telling us just how innovative their latest bit of ‘must-have’ tackle is, and how it will change the industry.
But how many of these fanfares actually deliver? How many make a real difference in the industry and change the way we think as anglers and as businesses? The turning of the decade seemed an appropriate time to look back and examine which of those products introduced in the last one have really shaped the way things will happen in the one we just entered. Which innovations from the 2010’s will change the future in the 2020’s? Here are a few contenders…
Savage Gear Suicide Duck (2016)
In the middle of the last decade creature baits were nothing new. As lure manufacturers searched for new and creative designs we’d seen our fair share of frog and crustacean imitations, but then along came a duckling that stole the show. Savage Gear ripped up the 2016 show season in Europe and the USA with its 3D Suicide Duck – a crazy lifelike duck surface lure that splashed its way into our tackle stores and our imaginations. Initially, it was actually a lure that divided opinion, some even saying it was a gimmick, but it worked and it outshone others launched around the same time to pave the way for a new way of thinking. Savage Gear followed it up with rat, a snake and even a bat – some of these may have been more effective than others – but what the Danish company really changed was our perceptions. Lures like these are more likely to be taken seriously now in the 2020’s as we know they work, and more importantly— we know they sell.
Deeper Sonar (2013)
Before 2010, fish finding technology was reserved largely for anglers with their own boats, not to mention a sizeable wedge of expendable income too. Then along came an unheard-of tech company from Lithuania that completely changed that. Deeper launched its Deeper Sonar portable fish finder in 2013, bringing a castable, tennis ball-sized fish finder within the reach (and price point) of almost all anglers. Combined with an excellent mobile app to show what the sonar was seeing, anglers could boost their catch chances across a whole wave of disciplines and methods. Since then, there have been many other companies putting their attention into affordable, portable and effective fish finders. No doubt, this whole new category will continue to evolve and expand well into the 2020’s.
World Fishing Tackle Gliss line (2015)
Fishing line has always been a pretty innovative arena, especially with new technologies and processes that have been developed in the last ten years. German company World Fishing Tackle (WFT) stunned anglers and the industry alike in 2015 when it revealed its Gliss hybrid line. Made in conjunction with Japanese PE manufacturers, the line had the benefits of both monofilament and braided line combined into one with added smoothness and incredibly fine diameters. How in the heck could a line that is 0.009 inches thick (0.25mm) have a breaking strain of 41lbs (19kg)? I still don’t know, but I know that line that is launched in the 2020’s will be working towards new ways to offer anglers the same levels of finesse and strength and even better.
American Tackle Microwave Guide System (2013)
Who would have thought at the start of the 2010’s that one of the most talked-about and most award-winning products would be a rod guide? Well, American Tackle Co certainly had that in mind when they stormed into the market in 2013 with their Microwave Guide System that went on to win an incredible six international industry awards in North America, Europe and Asia. The guide looked crazy, but it really worked, allowing anglers to cast further and more accurately. It also made us realise that the components that make up our rods really are important and can make a big difference to our fishing. We haven’t seen too many similar products since (probably due to some pretty watertight patenting), but it has made some of the other rod component firms up their games, and also encouraged rod makers not to think of their components as an afterthought. American Tackle has ensured that components are a crucially important piece of the building-an-amazing-rod puzzle going forward into 2020 and beyond.
Daiwa MagSealed technology (2010)
Right at the start of the last decade, Japanese tackle giant Daiwa announced it was about to set something loose on the industry that was some of the most advanced technology it had ever worked on. How could any right-thinking fisherman not be excited? What they launched was MagSealed technology – a special sealing technology for its reels using a magnetically-charged liquid that means they are water and dust proof and also boast new-found levels of durability. My absolutely battered and bruised (but still smooth as silk) Daiwa Certate spinning reel can vouch for these claims. Daiwa set a new bar with this technology, and honestly, I still think it is being clamoured for by other reel manufacturers. The reel arms race will continue long into the next decade and Daiwa’s magnetic innovation will take some beating, at least in my opinion.
Innovation can mean different things to different people – this is just a curation of some of the launches I thought really broke ground in the 2010’s. What was the product that did it for you?