Ready to check out a bunch of cool new fishing gear for the new season? Here are some goodies that have caught our eye. An no, the links you'll see don't go to Amazon or any other online retailer because we don't play that "affiliate" game - our opinions are what they are and we're not trying to take a cut by selling someone else's stuff. Love it or hate it, the gear you see here is simply what we think anglers will be interested in hearing about.

XTRATUF Boots: Tuff Customer

xtratuf fishing and boat boots
FishTalk team member Kaylie tried out the XTRATUF boots for a season; her thoughts are below.

You’re probably familiar with XTRATUF boots — but this specific vintage styling caught my eye. The Ankle Deck Boots (ADBs) have been crafted specifically for sport and recreational fishermen. These feature the same non-marking, slip-resistant Chevron outsole as their Legacy boot, but with new vintage colors with nautical rope inspired pull tabs. They are 100-percent waterproof, feature an XPRESSCOOL liner, and an SRA-rated slip-resistant outsole. After wearing my pair throughout the late summer and early fall, I can say that my feet did not get hot during the summer, and they kept me very comfortable during those early fall days. I was able to walk around slippery boats with ease and jump up on wet gunwales while maintaining my footing. I love the low silhouette compared to a tall rubber boot, but my one caveat would be to make sure your foul weather pants cover your ankles if you’re fishing on a wet day, to keep the spray out of your shoes. Available in green or vintage coral. Price: $115.

-By Kaylie Jasinski

KastKing iReel One: King of the Cast

kastking fishing reel with bluetooth
FishTalk fishing team member Mark tried casting with the KastKing iReel One.

I would have never guessed that I’d be connecting my fishing reel or my sunglasses to my phone, but… The new KastKing iReel One IFC Smart Fishing Reel has made it a reality. This casting reel connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and tracks casting distance, number of casts, retrieval speed, and more details during your fishing trip, through the KastKing App. Simply turning the handle powers on the reel, and it’s ready to track your casting history through your phone. Having these details at your fingertips can help you dial in casting and learn how the lure is moving through the water. The iReel comes with a snazzy pair of polarized sunglasses that goes hand in hand with the reel itself. These sunglasses also pair with your phone, and have a speaker connected to the frames. It talks out loud and tells you the retrieve’s characteristics from when your lure hits the water until it’s back to the rod tip. This allows you to fish normally without having to look at your phone and can be beneficial when trying to dial in on a particular cadence or retrieval speed. Slow-rolling a paddletail on a jighead with this reel let me pick apart my lure’s speed. It told me the most productive speed of my lure, so if I wanted to troll instead of cast, I knew exactly how fast to go. Not only are those sunglasses sharing your lure’s play-by-play movements, they also can play music and answer phone calls.

One surprising thing I learned using this reel is how fast my line leaves the spool — it was almost reaching 60 mph! The iReel has a 7.2:1 gear ratio which is great for do-it-all purposes, 11+1 double-sealed stainless-steel bearings, and puts out 16 pounds of drag. Talk about ground-breaking tackle tech! Price: $349.99.

-By Mark Nicolaus

Fin-Nor Sportfisher Sunglasses: Eye Candy

sunglasses from Fin Nor
FishTalk fishing report editor and fishing team member Dillon checked out these Fin-Nors.

For an avid angler, a good pair of sunglasses is one of the most integral components of everyday life. I was lucky enough to try out the brand new Sportfisher sunglasses from Fin-Nor this past fishing season. One of the things I love most about this product is that they were built specifically for fishermen. The unique features of the Sportfisher combine to offer an exceptional visual experience, and that is why they were my go-to pair for fishing this season. Birds working, breaking fish, schools of bait, even big gamefish just below the water’s surface are all things that I look for when fishing but the glare from sunlight coming off the water can make spotting them very difficult. The Fin-Nor Sportfisher features lateral line lens technology engineered to enhance sight without distortion. This gives anglers an advantage by making it easier to identify what’s happening on and beneath the water's surface while reducing eye fatigue. The lenses decrease blue light transmission and glare, enabling anglers to have exceptional vision in any and all weather conditions. They were especially helpful while sight fishing for cobia this summer, helping me spot fish over 50 yards away from the boat on multiple occasions.

Comfort is another important feature that I want in my sunglasses and the Sportfisher passed this test with flying colors. I spent many all-day trips on the Chesapeake this summer and not once did wearing the sunglasses cause any discomfort. I forgot I was even wearing them in the first place a few times. The Sportfisher is composed of a stylish eight-base frame designed for a full day on the water. They feature lightweight, flexible materials, adjustable nose pads, integrated spring hinges, and a venting system that prevents the frames from trapping heat, creating a more comfortable experience. Frame colors include Matte Black and Matte Sienna Tort. Lens colors include blue, green, silver, copper, and gray. MSRP starts at $189.00.

-By Dillon Waters

Potomac River Fishing Book: Wayne Strikes Again

fishing book from wayne young
Wayne has a new book out, folks!

Author and FishTalk Contributor Wayne Young has a new book out, this one specific to anglers who ply the Potomac. “This is Potomac River: Fishing Reefs, Rocks, Wrecks, Ruins, and Obstructions from the Fall Line to the Chesapeake Bay,” covers every tidal inch of the river in striking detail. Whether you need to find natural rock formations and the schools of blue catfish that swarm them or rip-rap redfish spots down by the Yeocomico, you can bet this book will take you directly to the hotspot. We particularly like that Wayne includes a huge number of marked charts and graphics illustrating the different structure identified in the river. If you find Wayne’s articles in FishTalk valuable and you fish in the Potomac, you’ll want to give this one a read. Price: $30.93.

Skeleton Sunglasses: Exoskeletons for your Eyes

sunglasses from skeleton
Skeleton sunglasses offer anglers a new choice of optics.

There are plenty of options when it comes to sunglasses, but those designed specifically for fishing are by far the best for we anglers. The newest we’ve seen are Skeleton Sunglasses, which are outfitted with Zeiss “Tri-Pel” polycarbonate lenses. These combine hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings with mirroring, making them easier to clean and less prone to smudges than traditional mirror coatings. They offer 100-percent UVA/UVB/UVC protection, anti-scratch coating, and of course full polarization. Frames are Italian-made injection-molded Grilamid and the fishing-specific lineup includes 24 different options, several with species-specific graphics (like the Yellowfin, seen here). Price: $186 to $379.

Old Skool OG Eels: Oh, Gee!

old skool fishing lures
The Old Skool OG Eel fooled this fish into striking... and you can't see him well in this pic but FishTalk fishing team member David cast these lures all fall.

Looking for a durable soft plastic with the size and action to tempt monster rockfish into snapping? Old Skool says their nine-inch OG Eels fit the bill, and our experience proves the claim. Using the Violet Pearl this past December OG eels accounted for fooling multiple striped bass from 40” to 45” and on one day, whooped the other plastics good — accounting for four out of the four trophies caught aboard the boat. You want proof of just how rugged these things are? All four of those fish were caught on a single tail, before it was finally retired. Additional color options include Black Pearl, Bubblegum, Chartreuse, Chartreuse Flake, Purple Smoke, and White Pearl. Price: $8.99/3-pack.