In our never-ending quest to bring you news of the latest and greatest fishing gear, we went to the ICAST show in Orlando, Florida this summer and saw all the cool goodies on display including the Garmin Panoptix LiveScope, which was voted the best new product in the entire show. Here's a quick look at Panoptix LiveScope, on video:
Garmin Panoptix LiveScope
How does Panoptix become LiveScope? Panoptix, Garmin’s forward-looking sonar, has been juiced with 500 watts of 530 – 1100 kHz scanning frequencies, to gather insanely good detail of what lays beneath the water in front (or anywhere around, if you have the trolling motor mount) of your boat. Just how good is insanely good? You can make out the individual fins of the fish. In fact, their profile is so detailed that in many cases LiveScope will make it possible to differentiate between species. You can cast out a lure, see how far it is from the fish as it sinks, and see whether the fish move towards or away from it. Yes, we realize these are quite crazy claims, but what you see will boggle your mind. Forward range is out and down to 200 feet, and an attitude heading reference system stabilizes the views in rough conditions.
The transducer is particularly interesting: as we saw in the video, it has three separate sections arranged in a fan-like shape, which project three different beams simultaneously. As opposed to CHIRP, which sends out a series of pings in differing frequencies, this system “blasts” multiple frequencies all at once. Then the system’s brain takes what all three of the beams see, and stitches them together into the on-screen image. The system is too new to be built into Garmin’s head units so in addition to the transducer you’ll need the GLS 10 black-box sonar, but it’s compatible through the ECHOMAP and GPSMAP ranges. Price: $1,499.99. Visit Garmin to learn more.
Daiwa Exist LT Spinning Reel
Also quite impressive was the Daiwa Exist spinning reel; reels, actually, since there's an entire line of them. Here's a look on video:
The most amazing thing about the Daiwa Exist line of spinning reels is how light they are. Pick one up and it’s hard to believe, but even the largest one (the GTL4000, which is sized for line up to 40 pound test braid and can hold 150 yards of that size) barely gets north of seven ounces. What Daiwa calls monocoque design is the reason why. The structure doesn’t have to be large enough to allow for screw housings, since it’s all a single piece and the side of the reel itself screws into place on the body. The Magseal magnetic oil we saw explained in the video, however, is even more of a mind-bender. The concept for this stuff was originally created by NASA in order to draw rocket fuel through a weightless environment – how’s that for high-tech!? These reels are available from 1000 to 4000 sizes, but as Daiwa’s absolute top spinning reel offering, don’t come cheap at $799.99 to $849.99. Visit Daiwa to learn more.
Okuma Coldwater Low Profile 450 Line Counter Reel
Another find at the show was the Okuma Coldwater 450 Line Counter reel. Check this quick video out, and you'll quickly realize that this is quite an interesting conventional reel - which isn't conventional, at all.
The Okuma Coldwater Low Profile 450 line counter reel is going to appeal to a large number of anglers who enjoy trolling for stripers, but want a reel with a low profile style. Thanks to the line counter feature keeping track of the length of your trolling lines is a piece of cake. But by combining this feature with the shape of a low profile casting reel, Okuma has in some ways bridged the gap between trolling and casting reels. The reel has an aluminum body and sideplate for ruggedness, a 5.4:1 gear ratio, and a stout drag system that you can crank all the way up to 30 pounds. Line capacity for the 450 is 300 yards of 50 pound braid. Price: $189. Visit Okuma, to learn more.