Here's a quick rundown of the new bass-oriented products being introduced by Shimano, G. Loomis, PowerPro and Jackall this week at ICAST in Orlando, Fla.
> SLX DC casting reels – Shimano’s innovative Digital Control (DC) Braking System technology is now within reach of all anglers and all budgets with the new SLX DC 150 series (top photo). Built on Shimano’s now proven SLX platform with an all-aluminum HAGANE Body, the six reels in the series feature the same I-DC4 digital brake control system used on Shimano’s popular Curado DC reels. Offered in three gear ratios – 6.3:1, 7.4:1 and 8.3:1 – and in both right- and left-hand retrieve. MSRP: $189.99
> Stradic FL spinning reels – Shimano brings its best technologies to the newly-designed Stradic FL spinning reels series, offered in five sizes to cover all types of freshwater action and more than ready for inshore saltwater use. The reels feature cutting-edge Shimano capabilities such as MicroModule Gear II for unparalleled smoothness and SilentDrive Technology for microscopic tolerance levels to reduce any handle play and eliminate any clicking noise in all moving parts. Shimano’s X-Protect design provides maximum protection in the harshest saltwater environments. MSRP: $199.99 to $229.99
> Intenza rods – Offering bass anglers comfort, control and great looks, Shimano’s new Intenza rods introduce new G-Alpha Grip on the split-grip handles. The 15-rod series – 11 casting rods in lengths from 6’9” to 7’11” and four spinning models in 7’, 7’3” and 7’6” lengths – feature 30-ton HM carbon blend blank construction, SeaGuide guides and a Shimano custom reel seat. There are lengths and powers offered to cover nearly any type of bass fishing technique, from cranking and flipping rods, to jig and worm, dropshot and clear-water tube rods. MSRP: $129.99
> IMX-PRO MBR, SJR, CR rods – There’s something special about going back to your roots. G. Loomis further expands its all-encompassing IMX-PRO bass rod series with the addition of 17 new "Classic Action" rods – Mag Bass, Spin Jig and Classic Casting now joining the 47 technique-specific models available. The seven new Mag Bass (MBR) action casting rods are highlighted by magnum tapers and light tips to facilitate long casts and deep-water hooking abilities. The lineup includes 6’6”, 7’ and 7’6” rods, all with a parabolic action to absorb the energy of surging bass.
Originally designed for use with soft plastics, the eight IMX-PRO Classic Spin Jig (SJR) rods provide the best alternative for anglers who favor spinning applications where a casting rod is usually prescribed. In models for finesse techniques to power fishing, the SJR rods include 6’ models for vertical jigging, swimming lures, as well as smaller waters, standard 6’6” and 7’ rods, and 7’6” specifically designed for the growing use of hair jigs and spy baits for smallmouth.
The two 6’ IMX-PRO Classic Casting (CR) rods are the ticket when anglers need to make precise casts when fishing small topwater lures and small crankbaits or to pitch or skip a jig into tight quarters.
With the addition of the "Classic Action" rods, the IMX-PRO series continues to be G. Loomis’ most extensive lineup of bass rods, now totaling 64 different models for any bass fishing situation faced or any technique used. MSRP: $325 to $345
> Moon Shine braid – With a special process making it glow when illuminated by a blacklight, the new PowerPro Moon Shine braid benefits both anglers fishing at night to avoid the summer heat, and the fish they are pursuing. Using Super8Slick V2 braid as its core, the Moon Shine braid is targeted to the growing interest in nighttime bass fishing tournaments taking place most notably in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. With Moon Shine glowing under a black light, anglers can see even the smallest line movement and hopefully set the hook more often. Plus the new braid also has applications for others anglers, including any nighttime action when targeting catfish, muskie trolling and surf casting, and be used during the day for those who prefer an easy-to-see, high-visibility braid. Available in 8- to 80-pound test in 150- and 300-yard spools. MSRP: from $20.99
> iSHAD soft plastic lure – Jackall brings a new design to its legendary iSHAD soft plastic bait (bottom photo) to target finicky bass on a dropshot rig or jighead. With a tail bulge shape to keep it stable, the split-tail design creates small vibrations. Two different salt compositions are injected into the iSHAD, with less salt on the top section so the bottom section is heavier and provides a more stable swimming action. Offered in 2.8” and 3.8” sizes in eight colors. MSRP: $4.99 (package of 5)
> Keeburn blade bait – With its circuit-board body design to offer the ultimate in vibration and movement, Jackall’s Keeburn blade bait will trigger strikes with either yo-yo retrieves or vertical jigging, especially in colder water situations. It has an instantly strong wobbling action with the turn of the reel handle when being retrieved, plus has the stability to fall straight down with a subtle, fish-enticing flutter action. Offered in 3/8- and 1/2-ounce sizes in eight colors. MSRP: $9.99