Big business was conducted on Thursday as more than 11,000 manufacturers, buyers, sales reps, outdoors media and angling pros gathered in Orlando again for the second day of the 2014 ICAST/IFTD show.
From start to finish, the day was about the business of fishing for the remainder of 2014 and on into 2015.
But the day also belonged to the annual awards that are passed out for “Best of Show” items on both the conventional and fly tackle side of the aisles at the Orange County Convention Center.
When the day was done, there were even more quotes, notes, and things overheard during Day Two of ICAST/IFTD:
Duckett Fishing Wins ICAST “Freshwater Rod of the Year” Award
Major League Fishing co-founder and former Bassmaster Classic champ Boyd Duckett is no stranger to success.
Duckett came into ICAST believing that his company’s biggest splash would be from the 7- and 11-ball bearing reels that have been in development for a couple of years. And to be truthful, the high-end reels with a reasonable price tag have indeed created a buzz in the reel market this week.
But it was Duckett’s fishing rods, the backbone of his company, that grabbed the biggest news as the Micro Magic Pro rod grabbed the “Best Freshwater Rod” award. The award was voted on by media that gathered on Tuesday evening and announced Wednesday night.
John Gierach Wins IFTD “Book of the Year” Award
Fly fishing writer and icon John Gierach of Larimer County, Colorado, is no stranger to writing award winning books on the sport.
On Day Two of the ICAST/IFTD show, Gierach picked up yet another piece of hardware in his long career that has produced more than a dozen fly fishing titles down through the years.
This particular award – “Book of the Year” for Gierach’s recent release entitled All Fisherman Are Liars – came from the International Fly Tackle Dealers “Best of Show” awards program that was held on Thursday afternoon.
Sage Fly Fishing Wins Three IFTD Awards Including Best of Show
It was a “Party at the Pond” – the casting pond, that is – for Sage Fly Fishing on Thursday afternoon in Orlando at the IFTD show.
The big winner of the day might have been Sage Fly Fishing, the west coast fly rod maker who picked up three awards for their newly introduced fly rods.
Those awards include “Best Freshwater Fly Rod” for the company’s Accel 590-4 and “Best Saltwater Fly Rod” for the company’s 890-4 rod.
The latter was so good that it also picked up the award as “Best of Show.”
Simms Fishing Wins Seven “Best of Show” Awards at IFTD
Simms Fishing will be carrying a pile of hardware home to their Montana base of operations after raking in seven different awards out of 28 different categories on Thursday afternoon at the IFTD show in Orlando.
With a big crowd looking on at the “Party at the Pond” (casting pond), Simms grabbed “Best of Show” awards in the men’s wader (Freestone Z); women’s wader (Freestone); wading boots (River Tex); men’s outerwear (G4 Pro Jacket); women’s outerwear (Guide Jacket); men’s general apparel (Confluence Reversible) and women’s general apparel (Solar Flex) categories.
2015 ICAST/IFTD Returns to Orlando
This year’s ICAST/IFTD show isn’t officially over, but already, thoughts of some manufacturers are turning to Orlando next July.
That’s because the next version of the ICAST and IFTD shows – scheduled for July 14-17, 2015 – will return to Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center.
“In Orlando, you get a lot more customers and there seems to be a lot more media,” said Robbie Gant of Shimano in an interview with ICAST-TV. “I don’t know if it’s easier to get here but there’s (just) more people to talk to (here).”
Why is that?
“Because it’s Florida,” said Deborah Chance of Complete Custom Boats in an ICAST-TV interview. “And Florida is all about fishing. There is nothing else to do.”
Click here for videos, stories and photos from ICAST 2014.