Freshwater Tackle Trends of ICAST with Bernie Schultz

There are no shortage of new products at the industry’s largest trade show. In fact, ICAST is the epicenter of new product launches that the tackle industry revolves around each year. Yet, buried within the legions of new products are some overlying trends that, if you look closely enough, give a little perspective on the what to keep on—or off—of store shelves.

To tap into that perspective, FTR caught up with professional angler Bernie Schultz at the show. We gave him a mic flag and a kick through the door to find out what overall trends stood out to the freshwater tackle expert on the show floor.

Yes, you already saw the big bass baits last week. They really were the obvious bell cow of the show from a freshwater viewpoint, but Schultz hints at a real reel dichotomy: while freshwater reels are getting “beefier”, saltwater reels are sizing down.

Competition in the foul weather gear category is heating up, too. As companies like Gill and Grundéns push into the recreational fishing arena, established players are expanding product lines to include new additions like footwear.

Human-powered fishing platforms like kayaks and paddle boards continue to gain popularity, as evidenced by the yearly Overall Best of Show win by yet another kayak.

Of course, not every trend is accounted for. And every eye is different. Did you attend ICAST this year? If so, what freshwater tackle trends stood out to you? What trends do you see rising or falling for next year?

Let us know in the comment section below!