After a brief one-year hiatus to the in-person festivities that constitutes the annual ICAST event in Orlando, Florida, the 2021 installment of the world’s largest sportfishing trade show is sure to be bigger and better than ever. And while last year’s event saw no shortage in new and exciting products brought to market through the event’s virtual platform, it’s the live, hands-on aspect of the show that truly makes it shine.
So, with just a few short weeks until ICAST 2021 launches with a slew of Super Tuesday events on July 20, let’s kick-off our very own ‘Countdown to ICAST’ with a look at 15 of the most exciting products making their debut in Orlando from fishing juggernaut, Pure Fishing.
Fish, especially saltwater fish, use scent to find food and can smell at the parts per billion level. The extreme scent dispersion of Gulp! performs as well as live bait allowing anglers to catch more fish. The company has been rapidly expanding the Berkley Gulp! family and this year it grows by two new members with the addition of the Gulp! Freshwater Paddleshad and the Gulp! Saltwater 8” Grub.
Building on the popularity and success of the 6” Gulp! Grub in the salt for species like striped bass, flounder and grouper, a new, larger, 8” version is sure to reel-in the lunkers! The 8” Gulp! Saltwater Grub is equally as effective as a trailer on your favorite bucktail jig, pinned on a plain jig head or rigged on a single hook as a teaser ahead of your main offering. Available in 13 awesome colors (Black Bling, Blue Fuze, New Penny, Cajun Chicken, Nuclear Chicken, Camo, Pink Shine, Chartreuse, Salmon Red, Firetiger, White Glow, Motor Oil Red and White.)
On the sweetwater side of Gulp!, the Freshwater Paddleshad is an all-new shape with a super-lifelike baitfish profile with an optimized nose design that is equally effective for rigging on jig heads as well as EWG swimbait hooks. The unique body and tail design work together in unison to provide the perfect combination of fast action and slow-speed movement, certain to draw vicious strikes from all manner of gamefish. Available in three sizes (3”, 4” & 5”), and 14 colors selected by the top walleye pros.
ABU GARCIA VENDETTA RODS
The newly redesigned Vendetta is bolder, lighter, and more sensitive than ever before. Built with a new ergonomic CCR Carbon Contour Curve handle design, the interconnected reel seat makes this innovative rod not only lighter but also better balanced and results in an unprecedented feel in your hand. Built with 30 Ton graphite and IntraCarbon Technology, the Vendetta is more durable than its predecessors but doesn’t sacrifice its weight to achieve its toughness. Light in hand, effortless on the cast, the Vendetta brings control and confidence to the palm of every angler’s hand.
BERKLEY STUNNA JERKBAIT
Talk about a coming out party – the new Stunna jerkbait hasn’t even launched and it is already a Bassmaster Classic champion as Hank Cherry used it last week to become only the fourth angler to win back-to-back Classic championships. Designed in collaboration with one of the best jerkbait anglers, Hank Cherry, the Stunna is a radical departure from traditional jerkbait designs. The Stunna has a crisp, side-to-side darting action and salacious shimmy when killed or on the fall—one which draws vicious strikes with its amplified side flash. A novel onboard tungsten inertial transfer system allows the Stunna to cast like a bullet and work water unreachable by traditional jerkbaits.
Demand is so intense after Hank debuted it in his win that Berkley has moved the release up to July. The Stunna is equipped with tournament-proven Berkley Fusion19 EWG trebles, is available in two diving depths, the Stunna 112 (dives 4’ to 6’) and the Stunna 112+1 (dives 8’ to 10’), and comes in 14 fish-approved colors.
BERKLEY POWERBAIT MAXSCENT
After dominating the tournament scene last year, Berkley Powerbait MaxScent has been one of the most difficult baits to find as shelves have emptied as soon as they are stocked. The scent dispersion clouds from PowerBait MaxScent that do so well on smallmouth are now being used just as effectively by largemouth anglers. Berkley adds a totally new bait with the MaxScent Tube and expands the colors and size on a proven winner for drop-shotting in the MaxScent Flatworm with a new size and four new colors. Building on the super-charged scent field attracting properties, the PowerBait MaxScent line keeps getting better!
The MaxScent Flatworm is just about the perfect bait for drop-shotting, as proven by all the tournament anglers who went off the rails when Berkley and MLF pulled an April Fool’s joke about banning it from competition. With its quivering, darting movement it absolutely drives bass wild. New this year, Berkley has added a larger, 4.25” size to compliment the popular 3” size released several years back that took finesse fishermen by storm. They have also added four new colors (Gobyashi, Cinnamon Purple, Green Pumpkin/Watermelon and Smelt.)
Berkley has also added a totally new bait to the PowerBait MaxScent line with the MaxScent Tube. An absolute smallmouth smasher, this tube bait is a huge upgrade over the traditional design as it combines ultra-realistic texture and natural matte colors to produce easier hook-ups and to make fish hold on longer. The MaxScent Tube is available in two sizes (2.5” & 3.5”) and 10 fishy colors (Black Red Fleck, Black Blue Fleck, Breen Green, Goby, Green Pumpkin, Lucky Penny, Smoke Silver, Watermelon Red, Watermelon Vapor and White Pearl.)
ABU GARCIA MAXPRO LP
One of the most popular lines of baitcast reels and combos for novices and avid anglers, Abu Garcia reengineered the Abu Garcia Max line of reels and combos to increase performance at attainable price points. The new Abu Garcia Max Pro, STX and X low profile reels and combos all feature a custom designed reel seat with integrated polymer comfort grip, stainless steel bearing systems for ultimate smoothness, and a 24 Ton graphite construction for extreme sensitivity. All three of the Max LP Reels feature stainless steel bearings (Max Pro = 7+1, Max STX = 5+1, Max X = 4+1), a Power Disk drag system for ultimate stopping power, a MagTrax brake system for effortless casts, a lightweight and strong machined double anodized aluminum spool, graphite frame and sideplates and a super-comfortable compact bent handle.
SHAKESPEARE EZ-GROW COMBOS
If you’re a proud parent then you know your child never seems to stop growing, and now there’s a fishing rod combo that grows right along with them! The new Shakespeare EZ-Grow combo extends from 2-1/2’ to 3-1/2’ to 4-1/2’ to make sure it is always correctly sized for your little angler, making their time on the water even more enjoyable. With models themed for both boys and girls, and an interchangeable reel handle knob, this combo will be popular with the 13 million new anglers who joined our ranks last year.
Be sure to check back for more hot new ICAST product debuts from some of the most iconic brands in the Pure Fishing family in the coming days.