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New Fishing Reels from ICAST 2022

Here are some of the new baitcast, spinning and fly fishing reels unveiled at ICAST in Orlando.

New Fishing Reels from ICAST 2022

The Daiwa Free Swimmer is designed to battle hard-fighting saltwater fish. (Photo courtesy of Daiwa)

Note: Read more coverage from ICAST 2022

It's possible to catch a fish on a stick and line, but far better to have the best fishing reels for the task at hand. Whether you're chasing panfish or big bass, the reel is the necessary workhorse of your tackle.

The annual ICAST Show in Orlando each summer is an angler's playground. New and updated products are introduced. Some already are available at your favorite store or website, and others will be coming in the next few months. Here are some of the best coming out this year.

Baitcasters

13 Fishing Inception G2

ICAST Reels: 13 Fishing Inception G2
13 Fishing Inception G2 baitcasting reel.

13 Fishing teamed with two-time BASS Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle to create a reel that would stand up to the rigors of tournament competition and weekend fun. The Inception G2 reel comes with a 22-pound “Bulldog Drag” system, Gen II hard anodized worm gear, low friction 6-way braking system, eight ball bearings, alert drag clicker and a “Beetle Wing” side plate for easy access for maintenance. Info: 13Fishing.com


Kistler Chromium

ICAST Reels: Kistler Chromium
The Kistler Chromium will be unveiled at ICAST 2022

Kistler founder Trey Kistler has been fishing since he was a tot, and now he has four grandchildren who are growing up with the passion. He’s keen for catching big bass, though, and the new Kistler Chromium reel is his latest introduction. Built with South Korean engineering, the Chromium weighs just 5.8 ounces and is designed to handle different line sizes and techniques from finesse baits to power fishing. The Chromium comes in 100 and 200 sizes, with a carbon handle sporting EVA paws for better control. It has a centrifugal braking system, solid aluminum frame and carbon side plates. Info: kistlerrods.com


Fitzgerald FX8 Combo

Fitzgerald FX8 Combo
Fitzgerald FX8 Combo

The new FX8 Rod/Reel Combo by Fitzgerald Fishing is designed for affordability and versatility. It utilizes a proprietary 36 ton graphite blank that is sensitive and durable. The rod is paired with the workhorse FX8 baitasting reel that is just a work horse of a reel. Available Fall 2022. MSRP: $219.99. Info: fitzgeraldrods.com

Spinning Reels

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

ICAST Reels: Abu Garcia Revo Rocket
Abu Garcia Revo Rocket spinning reel.

Need more speed with your spinning reel? The new Abu Garcia Revo Rocket has a zippy 7.6:1 gear ratio for those times you hit a fish and need to get it in quickly. It sports a 9+1 bearing system and max drag of 11 pounds. The Revo Rocket has a more compact, lightweight body but a new AMG2 gear system that is 17% larger than the previous generation. How? The aluminum frame was built around the gears to ensure a streamlined package that combines speed and power. Info: abugarcia.com

Daiwa Exist LT

ICAST Reels: Daiwa Exist LT
Daiwa Exist LT spinning reel.

Daiwa’s flagship intro this year is the Exist LT spinning reel, designed for serious freshwater anglers seeking high performance. Available in five sizes, the Exist line features a new “Air Drive System” with upgraded rotor, bail, spool and shaft. The Zaion rotor is 15 percent lighter and has a screwless design, flush surface and increased rigidity. The lighter rotation provides lower handle-turning resistance. The rotor along with the shaft, bail and spool all combine for smoother retrieves yet with the power needed to handle big fish. The Exist LT has a maximum of 22 pounds of drag in the 3000, 4000 and 4000 sizes. The 2000 and 2500 sizes have 11 pounds of drag. Weight ranges from 5.3 ounces for the 2000 to 7.6 ounces for the 5000 size. The reel is available in interchangeable right- and left-handed versions in three different gear ratios: 4.9:1, 5.2:1, and 6.2:1. Info: daiwa.com/us

Shimano Spheros SW Combo

Shimano Spheros SW Combo
Shimano Spheros SW Combo

Shimano designed the Spheros SW Spinning Combo to offer anglers a saltwater combo with increased versatility and capability. Four new models offer exceptional performance for multiple saltwater species. Durable blanks designed with EVA handles and large comfortable reel seats built to handle powerful Spheros SW spinning reels offer versatility for anglers throwing artificial lures or using live bait. Rods ranging in length from 7 to 9 feet make the Spheros SW Combos ideal for everything from fishing on piers to light offshore applications. The Spheros SW Combo features the redesigned Spheros SW A spinning reel with premium Shimano technologies (including Infinity Drive) to provide unparalleled cranking power and increased smoothness when targeting hard-fighting game fish. Four different combos are available with powerful 5000, 6000, or 8000-series Spheros SW spinning reels paired with durable Shimano rods. MSRP: $199.99 to $209.99. Info: shimano.com




Daiwa Free Swimmer

ICAST Reels: Daiwa Free Swimmer
Daiwa Free Swimmer saltwater reel.

Saltwater beasts such as bluefin and yellowfin tuna, amberjack, stripers, cobia and other big fish have to be wrangled with power and control. The new Daiwa Free Swimmer features an Automatic Bite N’ Run clutch at the base of the body. This allows anglers to instantly disengage the spool so line can peel off with little or no resistance while the bail is closed. A small Tension Control Knob at the back of the reel makes it easy to adjust spool tension to control the speed at which line plays out. The arched profile of the air rotor and 15-percent weight reduction provides smooth winding while eliminating vibration. The Free Swimmer has a waterproof carbon Automatic Tournament Drag system with an improved low-viscosity grease to help slow down big fish. It’s available in 8000 and 10000 sizes, and comes with a corrosion-resistant graphite frame, larger gears digitally cut and polished, and a machined aluminum screw-in handle with Power Round EVA knob for even more control when fighting a fish. Info: daiwa.com/us

Penn Authority

ICAST Reels: Penn Authority
Penn Authority saltwater reel.

The new Penn Authority saltwater reel is positioned among the highest end spinning reels in the market. Built to withstand the challenges of tough saltwater action, it boasts a IPX8-rated sealed body and spool that allows the reel to be submerged to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The Authority handles the most extreme saltwater exposure and post-fishing cleaning without suffering water intrusion. The Authority’s stainless-steel gear train and pinion gear is machined out of a solid piece of metal. The full metal body, side-plate and rotor keep gears protected and eliminates flex in the frame. A 12+1 bearing system provides smooth retrieves, with additional bearings in the spool that lend support for the drag when under heavy pressure. Multiple sizes are available along with four high-speed models. Info: pennfishing.com

Shimano Saragosa SW BFC

Shimano Saragosa
Shimano Saragosa SW BFC

Shimano developed the all-new Saragosa SW BFC for the dedicated billfish angler looking for the upper hand when a tournament check or world record is on the line. Saragosa BFC reigns supreme when tossing live baits at billfish tailing down sea or cutting through bait balls on the surface. Designed to perform when there’s no other choice than to get the release, the 14000-series Saragosa SW BFC boasts the market’s fastest retrieval rate at 56 inches of line per turn, helping anglers to stay tight no matter the conditions. Saragosa SW BFC features an optimized drag curve for fighting sailfish and other billfish on light-line applications with a lower, more gradual drag curve compared to the battle-tested Saragosa SW A. Saragosa SW BFC also incorporates Shimano’s Rigid Support Drag for enhanced spool support to produce smoother and more consistent drag. MSRP: $339.99. Info: shimano.com

Recommended


Fly Fishing

Hardy Fortuna Regent

ICAST Reels: Hardy Fortuna Regent
Hardy Fortuna Regent fly-fishing reel.

Saltwater fly anglers should take a look at the new Hardy Fortuna Regent fly reel, designed to deliver effortless control and power under in demanding conditions. The Fortuna Regent has up to 22 pounds of drag in on 360-degree rotation for better power when fighting big fish. The reel was built around a multi pad, carbon fiber disc drag system and is housed within a sealed, waterproof hub design. The large arbor spool delivers exceptional line pickup, while the narrow spool profile ensures easy, level stacking of the line. Info: hardyfishing.com

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