Best New Tackle And Gear At ICAST 2022, Part II

Buyer’s Guide | Kayak Angler

For the past three years, most of the innovation in fishing tackle and gear has been in sourcing materials, redesigning existing products to meet the challenges of the times and scrambling to manufacture and fill orders. The chaos of COVID and a volatile economy have distracted from creating new stuff to make fishing easier and more fun. As we enter a new normal, hot, new start-ups and the biggest companies in the business are back in the game and ready to cook up new and better ways to catch fish. Here is the second installment in our list of favorite new fishing products from ICAST 2022.

[This article is part of our Best New Tackle And Gear At ICAST 2022 series. Read Part I, Part III and Part IV for more of our top picks from the world’s largest fishing tackle tradeshow, or browse all of our ICAST coverage.]

Best New Tackle And Gear At ICAST 2022, Part II

Dakota Lithium Powerbox 10 at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Dakota Lithium Batteries and Power Management

Dakota Lithium batteries have proven to be reliable and efficient to win the approval of tournament anglers in power boats and kayaks. To meet the need of kayak anglers, Dakota Lithium released three new batteries and a power management system.

The new batteries are focused on specific needs of paddle anglers. The 24-volt 60-amp hour battery is designed to power electric outboards like the Newport Vessels Kayak Motor NK. A 12-volt, 135-amp hour unit is targeted toward electric trolling motors such as Motorguide’s Xi3 kayak motor. To run a pair of large fish finder displays with advanced forward sonar along with a full array of accessories, the DL+ 60 amp-hour battery is a great choice for a second battery. All Dakota Lithium batteries use premium components for unmatched performance and reliability.

To house the batteries, Dakota Lithium’s Powerboxes offer waterproof protection with versatile connections and control. The Powerbox includes an AC to DC inverter with USB ports, AC wall plugs along with waterproof binder posts to connect a trolling motor. Components are military grade and the Powerbox is rated IP67 waterproof with a shockproof battery cradle. The Powerbox is a perfect complement to Dakota Lithium’s compact, reliable and efficient batteries.

Bubba Multi-Flex knife set at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Bubba Multiflex Saltwater Interchangeable Knife Set

Winning the ICAST New Product Showcase award for best fishing accessory, the Multiflex Saltwater Interchangeable Knife Set includes a Bubba’s classic red, grippy, oversized knife handle and two interchangeable blades. Use the nine-inch fillet blade to quickly separate meat from fish and the nine-inch serrated blade for cutting through thick skin and hard bone.

The knives feature a full tang for durability and Titanium Nitride coated blades for corrosion resistance. The blades and handle come in a sturdy hard case with room to add two more interchangeable blades.

Shimano Stella FK at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Shimano Stella FK

For years, Shimano’s Stella saltwater reels have been the first choice for big game anglers targeting bluewater beasts like big bluefin tuna and giant trevally. Now, Shimano has taken the technology to create a new line of Stella reels for the most demanding freshwater anglers. Featuring 14 of Shimano’s most advanced technologies, the new reel is tougher and smoother than any other reel on the sweetwater market.

Some highlights are Infinity Xcross which extends the gear teeth for more power. Duracross drag combines the smooth performance of felt with the toughness of carbon fiber drag washers. Infinity Drive provides light rotation for more cranking power while a super slow spool oscillation winds the line in a wider pattern for greater casting performance. The long list of features combines to make the Shimano Stella FK the most durable, smoothest and best-performing freshwater reel on the water.

Mustang Survival Ventus fishing apparel at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Mustang Survival Fairweather Clothing Line

Mustang Survival is famous for heavy-duty foul weather gear approved by emergency responders, military and professional sailors and anglers. Now, they’ve come out with a line of fairweather apparel for days when the conditions are calmer. The new line includes a hooded and crew performance shirt, neck gator and pants.

My favorite addition is the Ventus hooded wind shell. This lightweight jacket offers protection from wind, rain and spray without overheating. The Ventus includes an adjustable hood and tapered sleeves to improve range of movement. Two large front pockets are located high on the chest to allow access while wearing a life vest.

Bubba EFS Series Pro fish scale at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Bubba EFS Pro Series Electric Fish Scale

Bubba’s new EFS Pro Series Electric Fish Scale is much more than a fish scale. The handheld scale has a small digital screen that displays, organizes and records fish weight. But that’s just the beginning. The scale has Bluetooth connectivity and GPS. Pair the scale with the Bubba app, and share catch data and location with your network of fishing friends.

The GPS allows the scale to record each catch on an interactive map with data on weather and water conditions. Three modes allow anglers to use the scale to manage tournament stringers and compete against friends. Don’t worry about running out of power, the EFS Pro uses either a rechargeable battery or AAA batteries.

Costa fishing sunglasses at ICAST 2022
Photo: Kayak Angler Staff

Costa del Mar Pro Series

Costa del Mar sunglasses continue to be the choice of professional anglers, and their expanded PRO Series offers the features captains, guides and hardcore anglers need. Starting with Costa’s premium 580 glass lenses, the PRO Series is scratch resistant with unmatched polarization and UV performance. For the best fit and the highest comfort level, the PRO series includes adjustable nose pads, sweat channels, improved Hydrolite rubber accents, top and side hooding to block sun and extensive venting to prevent fog.

The recent additions to the line include the Jose Pro in honor of fishing superstar Jose Wejebe. In Costa del Mar’s continued efforts to reduce plastic pollution, they are sourcing plastic from recycled fishing nets and their frames and glasses are 100 percent recyclable.