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New Rods and Reels for Inshore Fishing—ICAST 2020

New Rods and Reels for Inshore Fishing—ICAST 2020

New rods and reels includes the Penn Battle III reel, named best saltwater reel at 2020 ICAST Online. (Photo courtesy of Penn)

Stronger, lighter and with better ergonomics at more attractive prices sums up the field of inshore tackle introduced at 2020 ICAST Online. Whether it’s redfish, trout, snook or tarpon you’re chasing, the new lineup of inshore rods and reels offers plenty of features to help you hook up in the salt. (Compiled by Adam Heggenstaller)

Lew’s Inshore Redfish Special

ICAST 2020: Lew’s Inshore Redfish Special

Lew’s adds a 7-foot, medium-heavy, fast-action casting rod to its Inshore Speed Stick series, designed for anglers who throw 3/16- to 5/8-ounce baits at reds. The rod features an HM40 graphite blank, stainless-steel guides with aluminum-oxide inserts and the Lew’s G Clutch handle system, which allows direct contact with the blank for sensitivity and places the reel closer to the rod for improved balance. A Winn Dri-Tac split-grip enhances both purchase and comfort during those sultry mornings in the marshes and on the flats.

Daiwa BG MQ

ICAST 2020: Daiwa BG MQ

Built with Daiwa’s one-piece Monocoque anodized aluminum body, the BG MQ spinning reel is compact, strong and waterproof. The Monocoque design does away with the conventional sideplate while permitting space for a larger driving wheel gear. In addition, the direct-drive handle and gear form what is essentially a one-piece assembly. Nine rubber seal points prevent moisture and debris from entering the drag, roller bearing and gear. Two washers also seal the gear case. The reel’s Air Rotor is lighter than typical rotors and is designed to better distribute line strain. Additional weight reduction comes from the tubular Air Bail, which is more rigid than standard wire designs. The BG MQ is available in 10 sizes to handle fish up to bluefin tuna; the BGMQ2500D-H will meet many inshore needs.

B’n’M Sam’s Super Salt

ICAST 2020: B'n'M Sam’s Super Salt

Trout and redfish in the shallows are staples for inshore anglers. They’re also the target species for the Sam’s Super Salt series, which includes 7-foot and 7 1/2-foot medium-light spinning, 7 1/2-foot medium spinning and 7 1/2-foot medium casting rods. All have a Portuguese cork handle to provide great ergonomics, while the reinforced reel seat leaves a section of the blank exposed for better feel. The rods also sport stainless-steel guides and rubber butt caps, and they all have an MSRP of less than $70.

Cashion Icon

ICAST 2020: Cashion Icon

The new Icon series from Cashion includes a lineup of nearly 30 spinning and casting rods, one of which is designed specifically for inshore pursuits. The Icon iInS7MLFS is a 7-foot, medium-light, fast-action model with a uni-directional blank rolled from a new carbon-fiber prepreg sourced in the United States. Grips are made from a Kevlar and carbon-fiber composite, which keeps the rod not only lightweight and sensitive but also tough enough to handle battles in the salt. An American Tackle Company direct-to-blank reel seat with shortened threads also enhances sensitivity while reducing weight.

Penn Battle III

ICAST 2020: Penn Battle III

Named Best Saltwater Reel at 2020 ICAST Online, the new Battle III includes Penn’s proprietary CNC Gear Technology that ensures the pinion and drive gears are cut to exact tolerances using premium metals. The Battle III also features the company’s HT-100 carbon-fiber drag system, along with an aluminum body and sideplate. The rubber-gasket spool accepts superlines without the need for backing, and the 5+1 stainless-steel ball-bearing system is sealed against water and debris. The Penn III is available in nine sizes from 1000 to 10000, and offers a great value with MSRPs that range from $99.95 to $149.95. The Battle III is also available as a combo that marries the reel to a graphite-composite blank with Penn Dura-Guides and a Sea Guide double-locking-nut, graphite reel seat. Three-piece travel models, which include the combo, a spare spool and a case, are also part of the Battle III line.

Shimano Saragosa SW

ICAST 2020: Shimano Saragosa SW

The Saragosa SW has been labeled as a "workhorse" among saltwater anglers, and now Shimano makes the newest generation of the reel even tougher with the company’s Infinity Drive technology. With Infinity Drive, the main-shaft supporting structure eliminates friction within the pinion gear for greater winding power under load—such as when fighting a bull redfish. Shimano’s product development team also says the new version of the Saragosa SW is lighter than previous iterations. The reel retains Shimano’s HAGANE body and gear, IPX8-rated waterproof Cross Carbon drag, and X-Protect water-resistant coating and channeling design. The Saragosa SW comes in eight sizes; the 5000 and 6000 models will suit most inshore applications.

St. Croix Triumph Inshore

ICAST 2020: St. Croix Triumph Inshore

When St. Croix revamped its popular Triumph series for 2021, product developers saw an opportunity to expand the offerings with a focus on inshore angling. The Triumph Inshore lineup is the result, and true to the company’s focus on offering rods dedicated to specific species and presentations, it includes six spinning and seven casting models. All have SCII carbon blanks with a unique Sea Smoke color, Sea Guide Atlas Performance slim aluminum-oxide guides and Sea Guide reel seats. Handles are full-cork or split-grip, depending on the model. The lineup includes lengths from 6 feet, 8 inches to 7 feet, 6 inches, and powers from medium-light to heavy. All have fast or moderate actions, except for the 7-foot medium-light casting model, which features a moderate, parabolic action. True to the Triumph family, prices remain affordable at $130 to $150—a price point St. Croix has never attained in a series of coastal rods.

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