Dad pushed the cane pole into the mud along the pond bank and adjusted it until his minnow swam frantically just below the surface. Soon the minnow’s antics attracted the attention of a hungry bass and the water exploded with an angry fish trying to figure out why its dinner was attached to a pole.
While dad was catching bass, Marjorie was culling the bluegill population with a cane pole, bobber, and nightcrawler pieces. I was trying to keep up with dad on the bass by using an Arbogast Jitterbug, a Heddon Crazy Crawler, and a Shannon Twin Spinner, ‘hot’ lures with a decade long record for catching fish.
In that era, the introduction of new fishing tackle, especially lures, occurred once or twice every five years. Nowadays, new product introductions number in the dozens each year, usually announced at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST).
Approximately 9,500 representatives from the global fishing industry attended the 2013 ICAST, including thousands of buyers plus the media representatives covering the show. “The energy and excitement generated during this year’s show was felt by everyone,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “ICAST is our industry trade show.”
The New Product Showcase occupies a special section among the displays to provide unique visibility for the latest innovations in sportfishing gear and accessories. Submitted products compete in the “Best of Show” competition where buyers and media members judge each new product. Here are the results of that judging.
ICAST 2013 Overall Best of Show – JL Marine Systems, Inc., www.power-pole.com/, Power-Pole Micro Anchor; Apparel – Shimano American Corporation, www.fish.shimano.com/, Dryfender Insulated Raingear; Boating Accessory – JL Marine Systems, Inc., Power-Pole Mirco Anchor; Boats – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft, Inc., www.johnsonoutdoors.com/, Predator 13; Combo – 13Fishing, www.13fishing.com/, Whiteout Ice Combo; Electronics – Johnson Outdoors, Humminbird Bow Mount 360 Imaging; Eyewear – Costa, www. www.costadelmar.com/, Tuna Alley; Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company, www.americantackle.us/, Tidal Wave-Micro Wave System; Fishsmart Tackle (new category) – Foreverlast, Inc., www.foreverlastonline.com/, G2 Floating Wading Net; and in the Fly Fishing Accessory category, Columbia Sportswear, www. http://www.columbia.com/, Henry's Fork V Vest.
The Best of Show list goes on with, Fly Fishing Reel – Beam Outdoors, www.beamoutdoors.com/, Elite 21 Reel; Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc., www.gloomis.com/, PRO4x; Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation, CHRONARCH C14+; Freshwater Rod – G. Loomis, Inc., NRX Umbrella Rig (rod’s name); Giftware – Rapala, www.rapala.com/, Original Floating Bottle Opener; and Kids’ Tackle – Pure Fishing, Inc., www.purefishing.com/, Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Combo; Fishing Line – PowerPro, www.powerpro.com/.
More winners include, Hard Lure – Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation, www.livetargetlures.com/, LIVETARGET Baitball; Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt, www.lunkerhunt.com/, Lunker Frog; Tackle Management – Plano Molding Company, www.planomolding.com/, 3700 Guide Series Tackle Bag; and Terminal Tackle – Mustad
Product, www.mustad.no/, Grip-Pin Swim.
Obviously, the above list represents just a few of the new products entered in the Best of Show competition. “The quality and ingenuity of the new products that are unveiled at the New Product Showcase continue to amaze me,” said Mike Nussman, America Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) President and CEO. “I congratulate all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase, from the companies who worked hard to develop these innovations to the buyers and media who served as judges.”
Other noteworthy product innovations include Aqua-Vu’s next generation in Underwater Viewing Systems with the Aqua-Vu WiFi and Looking Glass that merges two extraordinary technologies in a single wireless video device. See www.aquavu.com/Products/Whats-New/AV-WiFi and the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5UyTe_fFI8.
LakeMaster Introduced AutoChart User-Generated Mapping Products that included AutoChart and AutoChartPRO. This product allows anglers to chart unmapped waters and scrutinize ‘spot-on-the-spot’ locations, and gives them the ability to chart private, public, and hard-to-reach waters not commercially available with paper maps or digital GPS charts. Check it out at www.lakemap.com/AutoChart/.
Lew’s, a brand name from the 1970s’, introduced the Tournament HS Speed Spin series of reels, featuring a premium stainless steel 10-bearing system with lightweight graphite bodies, durable new finishes, stainless steel external screws and other corrosion-resistance materials. There are four models for less than $80. See them at www.lews.com/.
Minn Kota introduced the most powerful trolling motor on the market boasting 112 pounds of thrust. Available in 2014, these motors provide the extra power to overcome wind and current and to power through thick vegetation but the amp draw is similar to existing 36-volt motors. See them at www.minnkotamotors.com/.
I am not sure what dad would have thought if he could wander through the aisles at the ICAST in Las Vegas last week, but I’m pretty sure he would have been overwhelmed by the amount and kinds of tackle available to anglers today. However, he loved fishing Missouri’s ponds and rivers, and would have appreciated the new lures.
Dad would have also checked out the spincast gear because he never mastered the art of using a baitcast reel.