Sport Fishing Gear Guide - - Words By Perry Mack -

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.

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