Target Walleye/Ice email

New walleye and ice fishing stuff from ICAST 2019

Still digging out of the ICAST trenches, which is a good thing because that means there was a ton of cool new stuff at the show! Of course can’t fit every cool new thing in a single email…so we’ll keep sprinkling ’em in upcoming Target Walleyes. Bunch of new walleye- and -ice fishing schtuff below that caught my eye — some available right now, others in the coming months. Hope you like it!

Today’s Top 3

New stuff from Rapala and friends!     

1. VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble

Won “Best Terminal Tackle” at ICAST 2019. Modeled after a longtime secret among pros to add extra flash to your favorite baits. Has a resin-sealed swivel and blade for maximum rotation and flashy goodness:

Tons of open-water applications for you tackle junkies and gear tweakers, but I’m also imagining lake trout swimming right up the hole after it [chin-scratch emoji]. Also can’t wait to try it on a Rapala Jigging Rap

2. StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill

When a Lindner from CA realizes there’s auger bits that weigh less than their plate of sushi rolls (lol Troy!):

Of course the “synthetic resin-molded flighting” makes it super light (6″ weighs 4.4 lbs — 8″ weighs 5.3 lbs) but it’s also craaaaazy fast thanks to those twin serrated Lazer blades. Does have the Lazer Power Point too, so won’t hop around when you’re starting the hole.

Throw it on a brushless 18V cordless drill — or even your regular powerhead — to shave a ton of weight and make hole hopping great again.

3. “Custom color” Rapala Rippin’ Raps

No secret that one of the best ways to catch a truly BIG walleye is fishing Rapala Rippin’ Raps just like the name says…big 3-5′ rips and letting it crash back down to bottom. Pumped about these new “custom colors” Rapala’s bringing to the table:

4. #6 Rapala Slab Rap

Primarily known as an ice-fishing bait, but people have been playing around with the #5 Rapala Slab Rap (2″, 1/4 oz) in open water and killing it…though not usually willing to talk about it. Now with a bigger #6 size coming out — believe it’s 2.5″ and 3/8-oz — bet this is something you’re gonna be hearing a lot more about in the future….

Only reason Tony Roach is cheesin’ so hard in this pic is ‘cuz he got to throw this bad boy on Mille Lacs for a year longer than the rest of us lol:

5. #14 Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk

Go big or go home! A mega 5.5″ version (13/16-oz with #4 hooks) the Great Lakes guys/gals have been asking for. Some are available right now on Rapala.com, including the fan-favorite “glass purple perch” color:

6. Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon

If you’ve fished the new-ish Sufix Advance Mono this season, you know it’s legit. Has 50% LESS stretch [!] than standard monos — something about HMPE molecules, the same material braided lines are made from. Low memory and crazy soft/supple.

So with just how good the mono version has been for me over the last year, no doubt I’ll be spooling up some of the new Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon when it comes out next month. Don’t know a ton about it yet, but do know the pros that have been fishing it swear by it. Few scientific’y deets from the website:

> “Proprietary Gel Phase Technology process produces the ultimate handling, performance and clarity essential to the most discriminating anglers.

> “Maximization of the fluoropolymers through precision processing creates an easy handling, super-sensitive and abrasion resistant fluorocarbon.”

Keep you posted…

Bunch more new stuff!!   

1. Salmo’s got UV soft-plastics coming

Proven fish-catchers for zander (a bigger walleye cousin) in Europe, now coming across the big pond for walleyes. Cool UV colors in the new Spikey Shad (top left), Walleye Shad (top right), and the Dropshot Fry (bottom) just to name a few:

That Dropshot Fly is super unique — pics don’t do it justice. Had Salmo’s brand manager in Europe (Matt Rand) hop on vid to talk about it since he’s the one who came up with the idea and had been perfecting it for years prior to the launch:

Can’t freakin’ wait to try it.

2. Humminbird brings AutoChart Live to ice

If you haven’t heard of AutoChart Live, it lets you make your own custom lake maps in real time. Now Humminbird’s bringing it to their new ICE HELIX units. Can drill a handful of holes on a piece of structure and the unit will create a custom map of the spot with 1′ contours! Lot more info here — gonna be crazy cool:

3. Northland Tackle’s gettin’ riggy with it

Check the Float’n Butterfly Blade Harness (left) and the new Wingnut design (right):

Had the chance to test out that Float’n Butterfly Blade Harness last month and the fish absolutely smoked it. Worked especially well on bigger fish, more on that later.

The Wingnut’s supposed to have nearly double the action of the original Butterfly Blade design — for when you want a wider wobble and more aggressive action, but can still be slowed waaaay down if need be.

4. Okuma Convector Low-Profile Line Counter

You bottom-bouncer pullers are gonna love this one. A low pro line-counter with a bait-clicker and “Quick Drop” feature that works like a flippin’ switch…lets you adjust the depth of your bait with one hand. Big spool yet compact in the hand, and the graphite helps keep it just 11.7 oz. Gonna retail for just $99-ish:

Solid walkthrough from Okuma’s director of product development, John Bretza:

5. Yo-Zuri’s droppin’ a smaller Rattl’n Vibe

A tasty 1-5/8″ (3/16-oz) size for you ice-heads. 12 different colors, 4 of which are UV and designed specifically for ice fishing:

Max La Gaipa says it has a “downward shimmy swimming action on the fall, and a really tight wobble action on the rip.”

Even more new stuff!!! 

1. Lindy Glow Streaks

Sorta like a hard-bodied jigging bait + a rippin’-style bait combined. Pop a glow stick inside the bait and the entire thing glows — not just the glow stick — since light radiates in the color of the lure:

More deets from Jon Thelen here:

2. Berkley’s bringin’ sexy “firetails” back…YUP!

Their “firetail” patterns killed it in the Flicker Shad Jointed last year, so it’s awesome to see Berkley’s bringing ’em to their Flicker Shads and Flicker Minnows. Here’s a look at the tasty “firetail hot perch” color:

People have been dipping the tails of soft-plastics for years — gives fish a little something extra to hone in on — so cool to see it in hard baits:

3. Phantom Lures Budzo

Was wondering what the Phantom crew had up their sleeves after creating all that buzz [Top Item #4] up on Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba last ice season…. This one’s called the Phantom Budzo. Can be vertical-jigged through the ice or open water, but also a casting bait with a “finesse fall and strong BB rattle.” In typical Phantom Lures fashion they nailed the colors:

Few other colors (hidden ^ at the bottom of the stack) have “greenbacks” written all over ’em.

Check all the new colors here on Phantom’s website.

4. KastKing Speed Demon spinning reel

Believe it’s the world’s fastest spinning reel with a 7.2:1 gear ratio. Lots of high-speed baitcasters in the bassin’ world, but this is the first I’d ever heard of ’em in spinning. That braid-ready spool (no backing needed) is a cool idea…

They’re available right now. Haven’t had the chance to try one yet, but can instantly think of all the times I see fish on the graph — under the boat — after I’ve already cast. Dang near tore my rotator cuff trying to speed crank with 5:1s lol!

Also think you’d lose less fish making long casts in shallow water, since bigguns love charging the boat.

5. Northland Eye-Ball Spoon

Simple but interesting design seeing as fish love them some eyeballs. Basically a bullseye for ’em to target:

6. FishLab Bio-Gill Weedless Swimbait

Know it’s pretty bassy…but is it just me or would a 24-27″ walleye go fin-over-tail for this in the cabbage weeds:

Of course can’t fit every cool new thing in a single email…so we’ll keep sprinkling ’em in upcoming Target Walleye/Ice emails. Thx much for reading!

Check this stuff out!

Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — walleye during open water and all species during hardwater — is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-nuts like you! #fishheads
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye He was discovered in Brainerd, MN after years of wondering how in the heck people break into the fishing biz. He’s in it now, but still can’t answer that question…. Brett is one of those guys who majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at brett@targetwalleye.com 
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