Last summer at the annual fishing industry ICAST Show in Las Vegas — a crazy combination of party, business meeting, reunion, and new products preview — the mood wasupbeat. Companies were eager to promote new products that will hit the market this year.
While bass tackle dominated the scene, I ferreted out a selection of great new items for walleye anglers. Here are 10 favorites, in no particular order, of top walleye fishing gear.
Booyah Boo Rigs
- I'm convinced that walleyes love these things as much as bass do. Just one requirement: shad, smelt, or other schooling baitfish. These new rigs offer arrays of arms and spinners, designed to give crankbaits, swimbaits, and other lures a multi-baitfish appearance that's made umbrella rigs so successful.
- Entering their 41st year, Fenwick's iconic High Modulus Graphite (HMG) has received an overhaul with new Fuji reel seat, titanium guides, and slim handles to reduce weight.
Frabill Crankbait Net
- This addition to Frabill's extensive net line uses a new coating and weave pattern to produce a mesh that resists snagging crankbaits and other multi-hook lures. Three sizes are available.
Humminbird Bow 360
- Humminbird's latest wonder took Best of Show honors in the Electronics category in Vegas. In this fast moving field, blink and you're behind. This new imager shows what's ahead of the boat, a step beyond side-imaging. The unit attaches to the bow-mount trolling motor and its transducer turns 360 degrees to scan all around the boat. It tracks the movement of schooling fish, allowing you to plan the best approach. Units should be available early in 2014.
Lindy Lil' Guy
- This innovative device from the inventors of the Lindy Rig imparts floating and wobbling action to your presentations. It comes with a 36-inch fluorocarbon leader, two #2 octopus hooks, and is available in seven holographic colors.
- MotorGuide's new technology enables the trolling motor to 'anchor ' on a waypoint or spot, or follow bottom contours or preset routes. It links with the company's new Pinpoint GPS system.
Plano Guide Series Tackle Bags
- This new series (4 sizes) features a solid 'work station ' on the lid. Stowaway boxes are easily accessible, and waterproof pocket for maps and padded pockets for sunglasses finish its details.
Rapala Scatter Rap
- Rapala's international team of designers brings a new lip design with a potato-chip shape to give lures a wandering, side-to-side action. The series includes a suspending minnowbait, floating minnow, shad-style bait, and shallow-running crank. Last fall, nocturnal trollers found them deadly along sharp breaks and across shallow reefs.
Wavespin Legend 250
- Wavespin President Russ Riley has released the fruits of fishing legend, Doug Hannon's engineering dream, the latest spinning reel in their line. This spool system virtually eliminates aggravating coils in line spools.
Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon XL
- Trilene engineers have succeeded in producing the most angler-friendly fluorocarbon yet, supple enough for spinning tackle, yet with the durability and visibility advantages this material brings. Available in tests from 4 to 12 pounds.