HOW TO USE THE SPORT FISHING GEAR GUIDE
Ourgoal in producing the guide was to show you the best of what’s coming for 2017, as well as some of the best sellers of 2016. No single publication could cover every product currently for sale, and if it did, the great, new, innovative products would be hidden amongst the poor quality, doesn’t last, doesn’t work – never did, mountain range of not tried-and-true, but tried-and-failed- miserably equipment.
You’ll occasionally see ‘Best of icast’ in a description. icast is the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades. Their annual trade-only convention is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel in North America. It is a trade only show, which means that you as a consumer can’t attend. So we go for you.
Each year, buyers and media representatives like us, judge products entered into the New Product Showcase based on their level of usefulness, innovation, execution, and workmanship. For 2016, more than 240 companies entered more than 1,000 tackle products and accessories into 24 “Best of Show” categories.
Units of Measurement
While Canada long ago adopted the metric system, the US has not, and as a result much of our own use of the imperial system remains entrenched in our fishing culture. Rather than provide metric equivalents that none of use, we have kept the old imperial units where they are in normal use and metric where they are not.
Many products had not been released as we wrote this gear guide, so often all the suppliers had to give were manufacturers suggested list prices (MSRP) in USD, as they were waiting to see where the dollar was when Canadian retailers had to pay for their orders. Wherever possible, the MSRP is listed in Canadian dollars (CAD).
Choice of Gear
We haven’t listed every piece of fishing related equipment for sale in 2017. Some of it is too poorly built to be worth mentioning. Much of it you are already familiar with. If you are new to fishing, you should be looking at the new 2017 gear, as it incorporates the latest technologies.
We’ve also kept it to gear that you can use to fish Canadian waters and species. So you won’t find your favourite tarpon or marlin bait here.
Most abbreviations in the product descriptions are detailed in the ‘How to’ introduction to the section. We’ve avoided using the manufacturers proprietary names for construction methods where possible, as they won’t help you compare between brands.
We were tempted to list the warranty for each model which typically range from one year to lifetime transferrable, but no warranty covers the physical damage you do to the equipment – just the rather ambiguous ‘manufacturers defects’. The true test of a warranty is not in the fine print, but in the application of it – you say it broke, and they replace it.
In the beginning of this introduction to the gear guide I declared you would have the best year of sport fishing in your life. A bold statement to which I will add the following caveats (also known as the fine print). The first is, you have to go fishing, often – there are worse things people could ask you to do. And two, it’s not how big or how many fish you catch, it’s that you enjoy the experience.
My friend Andy was ‘grounded’ for misbehaving while growing up - a lot. We were talking about the best fishing we’ve ever had when he said, “It would be a Saturday morning and I would be grounded, again. My Dad would come into my room early and tell me to get up and get my gear; we were going fishing. Afterwards, we’d come home and I would still be grounded. But I was never grounded from going fishing.”
So regardless of how the rest of your life is going, never ‘ground’ yourself. Just remember what Andy’s old man said, ‘Get up and get your gear, we’re going fishing.’
You are about to have the best year of sport fishing in your life. Too often people say “they don’t make ‘em like they use to”, when it comes to fishing gear, I say – “thank goodness”. This year’s bumper crop of innovations, from clothing to coolers, tech to tackle, will make your fishing trips more successful and more enjoyable than ever before.