Last week, fishing tackle manufacturers, dealers and professional anglers hooked up at the International Convention and Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) in Orlando, Fla. The annual show introduced new stuff for anything related to fishing. The latest in lures, rods, reels, electronics, clothing and gadgets are showcased at ICAST first.

In the coming weeks and months, tackle and fishing manufactures will be releasing all of this new gear to the public. Each year companies attempt to improve on existing gear or create totally new ideas, all to assist the angler. From what I’ve seen so for it appears the emphasis this year is more on lures, rod and reels.

Some of the Japanese lure companies have released some pretty wild ones. There are some swimbaits with buzzers on the front end. Also, some crankbaits with a Colorado-style blade on the under belly. Oversized jointed lures in the 8- to 10-inch range will probably catch some West Coast anglers.

Mega-sized lures also seemed to be a theme this year at ICAST. Strike King released a new KVD 8.0 square bill crankbait. The lure dives to 7 feet and measures 5 ½ inches. Weighing in at 1 ½ ounces, casting should not be a problem. Surprisingly the lure should retail for around $8 bucks. I guess that’s where the 8.0 comes in.

There were some new intros to casting reels for bass fishing. Quantum released the new Smoke Speed Freak reel. This is a burner. At an 8:1 gear ratio anglers can scorch the water with a buzzbait, with one complete turn of the handle bringing in 35 inches of line.

A new improved pinion gear design allows the spool to free float for less wear and longer casts. The new Smoke caster weighs in at 6.4-ounces and the carbon ceramic, stainless drag system rates at a 25-pound load. The price range should be under the $200 mark.

Another new baitcasting reel unveiled last week at ICAST was the ABU Garcia Revo Beast. This reel has oversized handles and grips for pulling the new mega-sized lures. The Beast is fast at 7:1 gear ratio and is built on the classic REVO all-aluminum frame.

Megabass does an updated modification on its line of freshwater rods. The Evoluzion C40 Series has a titanium blank that is blended with carbon and titanium fibers. The idea is for super sensitive and powerful rods, and the guides are the latest technology made from Torzite. This rod will set you back around $700.

Rapala has introduced some new lures to its balsa extreme series. The lure has a balsa wood core wrapped in a co-polymer shell for great action and tough-as-nails durability, and at æ of an ounce the bait can be cast out of sight.

Finally the new Howeller line of crankbaits was released by Livingston Lures. B.A.S.S. pro Randy Howell of Springville captured the Bssmaster Classic using one of the Livingston prototypes.

Keep an eye peeled in the coming weeks and months for advertisements featuring some of the new fishing gear. Angler may want to make out their Christmas list a little early this year.

Charles Johnson is the Anniston Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at