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Home » Fishing-Tips-Techniques » Product-News-and-Views » AFTA 2019

AFTA Wrap - Another Successful Campaign

 

AFTA 2019 will go down in history for the re-introduction of a public day, a day many of us wholesalers feared for a number of reasons.

But was the day that bad?

No! In fact the day was an awesome opportunity for us to meet the end users of our products and show off all of our new products to them. It also gave us a chance to give the visitors access to our TV partners in Hook Line and Sinker and Mark Berg's Fishing Addiction.

It was great to see the public getting photos with Nick, Andrew and Mark and also having the chance to have a casual chat about fishing and products. That part was awesome.

But the real reason for the AFTA Show is for us to show off our upcoming gear to the trade and let them see first-hand what will be released over the coming 6-12 months.

Let's break it down into a brand by brand look at the AFTA 2019 show as it was a massive show for new products from the Wilson stable.

Wilson

From our own brand we had a variety of releases that will meet new fisheries regulations as well as provide some amazing gear for anglers.

First up was the release of two new crab traps that have been designed with heavier gauge wire to meet the possibilities of new weight and size regulations in Queensland and perhaps NT at some stage. These new pots are heavy duty, won't float away with the current and will pot crabs as well as any other pot on the market, all while remaining legal fishing apparatus into the future.

Next up is the new shirt range. There are two series of shirts coming out over the next few months and these are the Wilson range and the Addict Brothers/Wilson collaboration range.

The Wilson range are strict fishing shirts that have all the features anglers come to expect in fishing shirts. High UPF ratings, long sleeves, collars and some great new designs will see these shorts be very popular.

The Addict Brothers/Wilson collaboration shirts are more casual fishing attire that is a street smart as well as comfortable and protective in the elements. This range has t-shirts, hoodies, long sleeved polos and more. This is a really nice range of clothing that will allow you to walk the walk and talk the talk.

We've also designed a range of awesome looking digital camo tackle storage option. The highlight is the Runner-Up in Best Tackle Management category for the Wilson Digital Camo Back Pack - a back pack that is so full of features it's phenomenal! Other products int eh range include mall and large 4-tray tackle bags and a new version of the awesome Tournament 8-tray tackle bag - a tackle bag that will carry absolutely everything you'll need for a month on the water!

The last product, and perhaps the most exciting is the introduction of the new Live Fibre Blade N Tails series.

This series of rods (currently 18 models) are specifically designed by the Wilson team to provide lure fishing options from trout and bream right up to swimbaiting for cod and medium weight offshore fishing.

The range is built on a Toray cloth blank that features Fuji guides and skeleton reel seats which provide direct access for the angler's hands to the blank. This massively increases the feel through the rod and allows clued in anglers to know what's going on at the lure end.

Fish Art is an entirely new brand of lures that Wilson is now distributing.

There are over 150 different lures in the range across the 18 models! That's a lot of new lures!

From finesse bream and trout fishing, all the way up to barra fishing, there is a lure in the range to suit your needs. The highlights are the new funky colours and the tough ABS bodies that will allow these lures to take the punishment Aussie anglers dish out when fishing.

Affordability is that the heart of these new lures and we look forward to seeing how they go on our species.

Bone

Bone bought a bunch of new products to the show including some lighter threadline travel rods and some heavier baitcasting travel rods. Add this to the new lures coming from his stable and there's a lot of new Bone gear about to arrive in Australia.

Let's start with the lures and the Entice - a brilliant multi-function topwater bait that has some unique characteristics.

With the Entice's flaps up, work it like a walk-the-dog lure with a side to side action, letting it produce a high-pitched rattle from internal ball bearings that rock and roll with the lure's action. This creates a brilliant underwater knock that attracts predators from afar.

With its flaps down, a slow retrieve gets the lure in its signature 'I' rolling in the surface, with less left and right wobble for fish to accurately engulf the lure. This rolling action works brilliantly on more subdued fish that are cautious and careful.

Giving the Entice a few jerks with the flap down will allow it to work like a popper. The 'Pop and Stop' action will excite fish like barra and jacks making for a brilliant top water bite.

The Entice is 110mm long and comes in 6 awesome colours in the Aussie range.

The next lure shown to the trade was the HoverJet 100, a smaller version of the already released HoverJet 130.

Bringing all the same characteristics as the 130, the 100 is a bite-sized walk-the-dog/tail fizzer lure that will immediately appeal to anglers fishing mangrove fringes and shallow rock bars.

Fish such as barra, jacks, saratoga, queenies and trevally will not be able to resist this multi-function topwater as it subtly walks the dog or loudly fizzes in their feeding zone. We think this lure will more popular than the 130 as its size makes it suitable for many more situations, giving it a species target diversity that is hard to match.

Lastly, the Hero Darter rounds out the Bone lures on display.

The Hero Darter is a soft, multi-function vibration lure that has a number of awesome features.

There are three tow points on top of the lure that provide three slightly different action, and there is another tow point on the nose, which gives the lure a cast and retrieve option. This essentially gives anglers four lure fishing options in the one lure!

But the big thing with this lure is that when the lure is in the jigging/vibration mode, a chin weight can be attached to the front nose eyelet that will allow this lure to be sent on deeper missions or fished in faster currents. The real beauty of this option is that the action of the lure is unaltered - in fact, while testing, the nose weight increased catches!

The Hero Darter is a fish munching 90mm long lure that is initially available in 6 colours and weighs in at 16g.

As for rods, well the Bone range is always under development and the new light spin rods look like ideal travel companions for anglers. The light range is not finalised yet, however there are a number of 4-piece options that sit in the light/ultralight category and will be ideal for things such as flathead trolling, bream and trout spinning and also grub or blade fishing for lake golden perch. AS this range gets finalised we'll bring you the details.

There was also a new range of heavy baitcasters designed for the travelling angler. These rods make up a new series, the Expedition series and again, with models still under development we have no firm knowledge of actual models, but we're happy to say that these rods have been tested on black bass and oversized barra and the results thus far are looking very impressive.

So there's a lot to look out for in the Bone range in the coming 6-12 months.

Zerek

We were almost overwhelmed with the number of new lures that we displayed at the show from Zerek.

The highlight was the Best in Show Soft Plastic Zerek Weedless Fish Trap! Over 18 months of development and testing went into this lure and while other weedless vibes came onto the market, the design team patiently made sure this lure would vibe right and perform to the high expectations anglers have for the Fish Trap range.

This patience was rewarded at the show with this lure being one of two products almost everyone wanted to see first hand. It's quite exciting seeing this sort of excitement over a lure and, given what we know in the background in regards to hook up rates, snag resistance and action, well we think it's well deserved.

We can safely say no other weedless vibe on the market has the action of this lure and no other weedless vibe has the technology built into it like this one. A quick summary of the lure sees the use of an inverted single worm hook that points downwards rather than upwards, the incorporation of the patented side slits for ease of compression, an internal positioning mould to hold the single hook in place, the ability to remove and replace the worm hooks (with a treble or another worm hook), an altered from nose weight that gives this vibe the ability to swim on the fall and the maintaining of the same Fish Trap vibe on the draw!

Yeah we're proud of this little beauty!

Other lures introduced at the show included the Nap Shad, a flat sided diving plug that looks like it will be ideal for snag dwelling species in relatively shallow water. I see this lure as a Lake Mulwala special for goldens and cod, while I also reckon barra and jacks in the mangrove roots will be all over this lure. It casts like a bullet and has an action that is instantly appealing and certainly not what I expected when I first cast this lure.

Next up is the Defiance - a slim-lined minnow lure with two diving depths.

The Defiance features a unique tapered profile that allows a supreme wide wobble action with a straight retrieve. Adding a few rips and twitches gives the Defiance an erratic all-direction darting action.

Internally structured with a chamber that has 2 ball bearings, loud rattles can be created during the retrieve. The bearings also act as a weight transfer system during a cast, allowing the Defiance to be cast a greater distance and with more accuracy.

Available in two variations, a shallow version and a mid-ranged version, the Defiance is equipped with 4x strong hooks and will bring a tough and dependable minnow option to the range that sits squarely in the barramundi domain.

We also had on display an under-development spinnerbait. This lure had a unique point of difference that was a spinning blade hanging underneath the head of the lure, giving a little extra vibration and flash.

These were literally the first samples we saw of this lure and we are yet to have them on the water for a proper test, but they look the good for bass, goldens and cod with head weights that are right in the most-used range of 3/8oz through to 5/8oz. Keep in mind this is head weight only and not the entire lure weight - an important point to understand.

We'll bring more info on these lures as it becomes available, including the all-important arrival times in Australia.

Venom

What would an AFTA Show be without Venom rods introducing a new rod?

This year we were very excited to introduce the Ocean Warrior series of Venom rods - a series that gives anglers all the Venom benefits at an affordable price.

Winner of the prestigious Best Game Rod at the 2019 Show voted on by members of the fishing media and retail tackle stores, the Ocean Warrior hits the mark on many fronts.

Within the range are four rods:

a 15kg slick butt stroker;

a 24kg slick butt stroker;

a 37kg slick butt stroker, and;

a 60kg bent butt stand up rod for when things are getting serious!

All rods in the range feature ALPS Zirconium guides that are constructed from SS316 anti-rust stainless in a one-stamp finish to increase strength and reduce weight. The rods also make use of the ALPS CAH reel seat, a reel seat that is built from marine grade aluminium and presents with a locking centre hood and a newly designed hexagon locking nut for the ultimate in reel security.

Of course, the Venom Ocean Warrior series is built on the high modulus Venom blank, a blank that provides incredible lightness and unparalleled strength. This ensures that while fighting a fish, the angler is not unnecessarily fatigued from fighting the weight of the outfit and can concentrate on using the strength in the Venom blank to dictate terms to the most stubborn of fish.

Mustad

And lastly, but certainly by no means the least, the Mustad range has expanded massively with a new direction and the introduction of the award-winning Ink Vader!

Let's start with the new tool direction and Mustad's desire to bring to market a range of environmentally conscious tools and knives presented in environmentally sustainable packaging.

The new packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials, reducing the amount of plastics seen in the retail market for fishing products. It's quite a leap of faith and the retailers loved the concept and the three-tiered system of quality. This system has a base level, a excellent level and an elite level, giving anglers the option on quality when historically they have had no option.

This new direction takes in all the Mustad tools and knives that will be released in the next 12-18 months and it really is an industry leading move by one of the major players internationally.

At the show we also saw the first of the new Mustad jig range.

This range takes in all sorts of jigs, from slow pitch to fast retrieve, from shore casting through to deep dropping, there is a new Mustad jig to suit.

Within the range are some exceptional colours and some really clever models that will perform in a variety of situations. All the jigs come pre-rigged with Mustad Assist rigs, however, Mustad go to great lengths to ensure anglers that how they come is not the only these lures can be rigged and fished.

Too many to mention individually, it's worth checking out the website for the full range on offer - it's massive!

And we've saved the best till last - the Mustad Ink Vader!

The Ink Vader won the prestigious John Dunphy Award for Innovation at this year's show and we're exceptionally proud of this lure.

The Mustad Ink Vader is a revolutionary TPE octopus soft bait that is built to look and move like a live octopus.

The Ink Vader even squirts non-toxic and soluble scented ink from tablets that can be added to the head cavity!

Whether you're bouncing the lure off the bottom, slow trolling or slow pitch jigging this lure, the Ink Vader is the closest thing you'll ever get to the real thing. The deception is real!

The Ink Vader comes pre-rigged with wickedly sharp Mustad Assist hooks that are forged for extra strength and feature a needle point for ease of penetration.

Available in 3 sizes and 10 weight configurations from 60g through to 340g, the Ink Vader comes to the market in 9 brilliantly natural colours that represent real octopus from around the world!

That's a wrap

If you've stuck with it this far, you'll be as exhausted as we were after the show.

So many new products to look forward to and so many of them are right at the top of the tree.

Three category winners and two runner up awards just shows again that when we put out minds to it, we can come up with gear that will not only sell, but will work and has that special something about it.

It's going to be an exciting time in the next 12 months as all these new products arrive and head down the path to providing all of you with better, more innovative and more productive fishing tackle.

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