Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. – From every corner of the globe, 11,000 exhibitors, buyers and media converged on the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) last week for the world's largest recreational fishing trade show.
Held July 15-18, the 57th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), is the global showcase for the latest innovations in gear, accessories apparel as well as other products and gear for the novice and avid angler including boating accessories and appareal and boats, such as kayaks. In addition, close to 1,000 media representatives were at the OCCC to cover the exhibits and products offered by 480 exhibitors on a show floor.
“I've been coming to ICAST for 20 years,” said ASA Board of Directors Chairman Gregg Wollner, executive vice president of Rapala, “and this is the best show I've ever attended. I can't express how proud I am of the board of directors, the Trade Show committee and the staff for how they pulled together to make this happen.”
“You could almost touch the energy that the exhibitors brought with them along with the vast array of products that were on display,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “I am always amazed at the commitment to innovation that exists in our industry. And nowhere is that more evident than in the New Product Showcase. My congratulations go to everyone who entered a product and to the companies who received a “Best of Show” award.
Nussman also said, “I want to thank Governor Rick Scott for welcoming everyone to Florida and Orlando during Wednesday's State of the Industry Breakfast. In addition, my thanks go to ESPN's always entertaining football analyst, Lee Corso, for highlighting the importance of teamwork and sticking with personal integrity no matter what.”
Trade Show Director Ken Andres noted how well the Orlando location works for the industry's trade show. “This week, Orlando was the epicenter of the global sportfishing industry,” said Andres. “The excitement level this year was higher than it's ever been. We are already planning to make next year even bigger and better. And that includes expanding as well as refining the business seminar sessions that we offer to attendees and exhibitors alike.”
The New Product Showcase “Best of Show” Awards
Making up a special section of ICAST's show floor, the New Product Showcase provides unique visibility for the latest innovations in sportfishing gear and accessories. The submitted products competed in 24 product categories for the “Best of Show” along with the overall “Best of Show” award. This year more than 700 products were entered by 253 exhibiting companies.
This year, Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Predator XL was voted by buyers and media as the most innovative product in the ICAST 2014 New Product Showcase Boat category and, ultimately, the overall “Best of Show.”
The awards were presented on Wednesday, July 16, during the Chairman's Industry Awards reception, sponsored by Rapala, which was held in the OCCC.
2014 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners
ICAST 2014 Overall Best of Show – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft
Product – Predator XL
Best of Show - Freshwater Rod – Duckett Fishing
Product – Micro Magic Pro
Best of Show - Saltwater Rod – Shimano American Corporation
Product – Terez Stand Up
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product PRO4x Short Stix
Best of Show - Freshwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product- Abu-Revo Beast
Best of Show - Saltwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product – PENN Battle II Spinning
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Reel – 3TAND, LLC
Product – TF-70 Sealed Fly Reel
Best of Show - Hard Lure – SPRO Corporation
Product – BBZ-1 Rat
Best of Show - Soft Lure – Okuma Fishing Tackle Corporation
Product - Savage Gear 3D PVC Crab
Best of Show – Lifestyle Apparel – Pelagic, Inc.
Product – 4TEK Fish Finder Boardshort
Best of Show – Technical Apparel – STORMR
Product – Fusion Bib
Best of Show - Boating Accessory – Johnson Outdoors
Product – Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor
Best of Show – Boats – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft
Product - Predator XL
Best of Show – Combo – Lew's Fishing Tackle
Product – American Hero Baitcast Combo
Best of Show – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors
Product – Humminbird ONIX 8SI
Best of Show - Eyewear – Costa
Product - Hamlin - 580P Mirror Lenses
Best of Show - Fishing Accessory – Lit-Industries, LLC
Product – Lit Coolers
Best of Show – FishSmart Tackle – Cuda Fishing Tools
Product – Cuda Grip & Scale
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory – Plastica Panaro SRL
Product - M2300 – Fly Caddy
Best of Show – Footwear – Columbia Sportswear
Product – Megavent PFG
Best of Show – Giftware – Helter Skeletons, Ltd.
Product – Authentic Skeletal Articulation
Best of Show - Kids' Tackle – ZEBCO Brands
Product - ZEBCO Splash Combos
Best of Show – Line – Pure Fishing, Inc
Product – Berkley IronSilk
Best of Show - Tackle Management – ENGEL U.S.A.
Product – UC30-RH
Best of Show Terminal Tackle – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
Product – TroKar TK619
ICAST 2015 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., July 14 – 17, 2015.