ICAST was once again the place to view up-to-the-minute designs in fishing tackle. Manufacturers running the gamut of fishing gear displayed their latest lineups and introduced what is to come in 2016.
However, in the mix of the latest in rods, reels and accessories, there were several products on the showroom floor that weren’t “entirely” new. There were items that anglers once had in their tackle arsenal, but for whatever reason, were discontinued or replaced with something newer and possibly better.
A select few of those lines were deserving a second appearance on the market—in many cases, anglers demanded the encore—and stormed back at ICAST 2015.
Here’s a look at just a few:
Johnson Outdoors’ Trident & Loon Kayaks
Due to popular demand, a pair of older model watercraft from Johnson Outdoors were reintroduced – Ocean Kayak’s Trident 15 and Old Town’s Loon.
Ocean Kayak’s Trident 15 was pulled from production a few years ago as the company turned its focus to other innovations in the series. Improvements were made to the Trident series, but kayak fishermen continued to ask for the return of the longer Trident 15, insisting it was best for the type of fishing they do. “The reason being, it is an extremely fast, stable offshore boat and a favorite among offshore fishermen,” said Luke LaBree, marketing manager for Johnson Outdoors. “It really set the standard for offshore kayaking.”
Improved features of the Trident 15 include molded carry handles on the side instead of the old rope handles, and Click Seal hatches that offer one-hand operation and lots of storage.
Twenty years ago, the original Old Town Loon revolutionized recreational kayaking. It was an extremely popular model for many years. Being nearly indestructible, it gained a reputation as a “rental” kayak and other models surpassed it in popularity as a rec boat.
The company went back to the drawing board and the Loon was re-engineered from the ground up with today’s paddler in mind – focusing on fit for the paddler, performance on the water and boat features. The Loon Angler Series (106 and 126 models) was designed with the ACS2 seat as the center-point. The seat can be “dialed in” to the paddler, with adjustments for height, backrest, lumbar support and more. The Loons are lightweight, too, with the 106 (10 foot, 6 inch) model weighing only 46 pounds.
The Loons are perfectly designed for performance on the water. Johnson Outdoors spent two years redesigning the hull of the Loons to track well and glide effortlessly, even in the shorter 106 model.
For staying “connected” on the water, Johnson Outdoors has even added a USB port on the Removable Workdeck for using using and charging phones, GoPros and portable GPS units.
You could say that the Loon is at the heart of the company since the Johnson Outdoors logo features a loon and this model kick-started the recreational kayaking market.
The Return of Daiwa’s Fuego Reels
Daiwa is bringing back their Fuego reels, in both baitcasting and spinning models. Will Rogers of Rogers Sports Marketing explained why these once-popular reels will soon be back in retail shops. “Fuego was a brand that’s been in Daiwa’s line-up for many, many years. It was one of their higher-end products,” said Rogers. Unfortunately, the Fuego was not affordable to the mainstream angler.
“In an attempt to go after the bass market, and specifically the mid-range bass market, Daiwa has been able to lower the cost of the Fuego to a price point the average consumer can afford. It’s a high-quality product at a very reasonable price,” said Rogers.
Daiwa makes exceptional high-end products, like the Steez series. The same research and development that goes into the Steez lineup benefits the Fuego. Rogers calls it “trickle down technology.”
Fuego spinning reels feature “Hardbodyz” design for strength and durability, Air Rotor components to keep them lightweight, hollow stainless steel bails and nine ball bearings.
The baitcasting model features Daiwa’s precision machined aluminum frame, the Swept handle design for a more comfortable retrieve, anodized parts and a color-coded system that identifies gear ratios. It comes in three speeds, with the fasted being 8.1:1 Xtra Hyper that picks up just under 34 inches of line per crank.