It was a busy week... a fun week. I just returned from attending the 2014 ICAST Show that was held in OrlandoFlorida. With me were Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show and Roger Wright, one of our Radio Show Pro-Staffers and one who helps me on Illinois Outdoors TV.
ICAST (which stands form International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) is the largest fishing tackle trade show in the country. Maybe even the world. For us it was a great opportunity to see all the new tackle that will be coming out later this year and in 2015. Too, we got to meet with some old friends who are also in the outdoors industry as well as make some new ones.
The show always starts with a New Product Showcase for media personnel to view up close so many new outdoor products in one place. They're displayed and grouped in categories like, Hard Baits, Soft Baits Saltwater Rod, Freshwater Rod, Fishing Accessory, Fishing Apparel, and so on.
Many of our long time friends and sponsors did well at the showcase to win the BEST in many categories.
Johnson Outdoors took Best of Show honors with their Predator XL Watercraft (kayak).
It was good to see so many different items at the show. What was exciting was that the lure colors and designs have made great advances. Although I’m sure the new colors and designs will catch fish, but they will catch the fisherman too. To me, that’s not a bad thing. The industry needs a boost of excitement.
Fishing apparel is big and micro cameras were growing in popularity so anglers can save that Kodak Moment in video easily. The iON Camera is one that allows the user to upload and post his catch on Facebook within moments after the fish is released.
On a fishing trip to the Niagara area of New York this spring, I got to meet Bob George of Buck Knives. He was at ICAST representing Buck Knives and showed me a new pair of fishing scissors for cutting braid line. All serious anglers know that the life of braid scissors is short and when it comes to heavier lines like 250 pound test, many just “don’t cut it”. On the other end of that pendulum swing is that some won’t cut smaller diameter braid. It just binds in the scissors or it leaves you with a badly frayed cut. Buck Knife’s “Splizzors” as they call them cuts through braid of any diameter like it was made out of butter. I watched a demo of them cutting 6 pound braid and 500 pound braid. Unbelievable!
That’s an example of that this show is all about. We got to see some of the greatest new products out there. But I won’t try to steer you down the wrong path here. There are some independent manufacturers (I’m being kind here) who were showing and attempting to sell to dealers and distributors some products that just won’t make it. Call them garage or basement production items; it disappointed me to see someone invest their hard earned money on a product that just isn’t worth the effort.
I’d say that 99.9% of the products on the showroom floor had a place in the fishing industry. And they were good, quality products. The show is over now and I wish good fortune to all who exhibited at the 2014 ICAST Show. And for the anglers, who really enjoy the sport of fishing, keep an eye out for many new products coming in the very near future.