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 third 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 II 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 III
Onyx Air Span Angler Lifevest
Onyx is one of our favorite lifevests for function, features and a great price. Now, they’ve added comfort to the list. The new Onyx Air Span Angler has all the great features of a fishing lifevest including padded shoulders straps, attachment points, large pockets, rod holder and tool holder. The low-profile front and back foam improve range of motion without sacrificing floatation.
The coolest feature (literally) is the Air Span technology; as you tighten the body straps, the inner mesh panels expand to increase airflow. Even when I’m sitting in the kayak seat, air continues to flow through the back panel, a perfect solution for keeping cool on the water.
Bubba Voyager Series Gear Box
Perfect for paddle anglers, Bubba’s Voyager Series Gear Box is a waterproof storage case that can be customized with rod holders and accessories. On the outside, there is room for vertical rod holders or cup holders. Inside, the case comes with a cutting board, gear tray and divider.
The Gear Box would be a great fit for standup paddleboards, providing protected space for tackle, gear, lunch and fishing tools.
Scotty 452 Gear Caddy
Scotty is celebrating their 70th anniversary with a line of new products and some exciting promotions. One of our favorite new products is the 452 Gear Caddy. To meet the challenge of keeping a kayak organized, the gear caddy holds tackle, tools and other items that end up scattered around the cockpit.
Attach the caddy to the kayak with a gear track or Scotty Post Mount. Hanging slots hold scissors, pliers and a dehooker. A small tray with a magnet in the bottom keeps hooks and lures in place. A rod clip and bungee secures the rod while rigging lures or unhooking a fish. All of the trays have drain holes to keep gear and tackle dry.
Scotty R5 Rod Holder
The Scotty R5 Rod Holder allows anglers to use one rod holder for baitcaster, conventional, spinning, fly and spincast rods. The rod holder has a locking bracket with adjustable tension to keep the rod in place and still release quickly.
The R5 comes with a Scotty 241 mount and standard post, or upgrade to an extended post to keep the rod farther off the deck and out of the water.
Mustang Survival’s New Inflatable Life Vests
Mustang Survival leads the way in inflatable life vest technology and comfort. Now, they’ve extended their reputation to a line of lighter and more ergonomic life vests. Starting with the Essentialst inflatable belt pack. The compact fanny-pack style PFD fits around the waist and stays out of the way until it is needed. Pull a tab and the life vest inflates to provide 18.9 pounds of floatation. The new Essentialist includes two small gear pockets for keys and other small items, and a larger pocket to fit a smartphone.
Continuing on the light and comfortable theme, Mustang Survival’s new line of inshore MIT life vests offers anglers more options for safety. Three models, a 70, 100 and 150, increase floatation and function as the numbers increase. The 70 is the smallest and lightest with 15.5 pounds of buoyancy and inflates manually. The 100 and 150 offer either manual or automatic inflation with 28 pounds of floatation. The new MIT life vests are designed for inshore and protected waters to offer enough floatation to keep the wearer above water in an emergency.
Mustang Survival Quadra Dry Suit
The biggest obstacle to cold water safety is the price of a quality dry suit. Mustang Survival meets this challenge with the new Quadra Drysuit. To lower the cost, Mustang outfitted the dry suit with latex neck and wrist gaskets. But, to maintain performance and durability, the suit is made out of the same three-layer Marinespec BP fabric with reinforced knee patches as Mustang’s premium drysuits. The Quadra Drysuit is just as safe as the best drysuits on the water but it costs about half the price.
Sea Eagle Paddle Ski 437ps
Is Sea Eagle’s new Paddle Ski 437ps an inflatable kayak? Is it a motor boat? Is it a sailboat? The answer is yes to all of the above. Once again, the team at Sea Eagle has taken inflatable technology to the edge of possibility with a 14-foot kayak that only weighs 55 pounds. But that’s not all.
Add the solid transom and the Paddle Ski can accept up to a six-horsepower motor with a range of 60 miles at 17 miles per hour on three gallons of gas. Or, rig the optional sail kit to effortlessly propel the boat downwind.
Two pedestal swivel chairs allow the Paddleski to go from paddle to motor power with all-day comfort and increased fishability. At the end of the day, the Paddle Ski 437 deflates and fits in a carry bag.