Story courtesy of Mary Jane Williamson
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL - The global sportfishing industry has converged on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., for the world's largest sportfishing trade show. The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is being held July 11 - 13. Produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the industry's trade association, ICAST - in its 55th year as the industry's trade show - is the catalyst that drives the recreational fishing industry year-round. Thousands of industry representatives from the global sportfishing industry are in Orlando to see the latest innovations in gear, accessories and apparel.
The single most important feature for ICAST exhibitors and attendees alike is the New Product Showcase. The New Product Showcase embodies the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity through the "Best of Show" new product awards competition.
This year, the New Product Showcase, the tradeshow's flagship event, was as competitive as ever. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, nearly half of the exhibiting companies entered over 700 tackle products and accessories into the New Product Showcase.
Making up a special section of ICAST's 300,000-square-foot show floor, the New Product Showcase provides special visibility for the industry's latest innovations in gear, apparel and accessories.
Best of Show Awards
This year the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 by Hobie Cat, was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat category and the overall "Best of Show."
This year's New Product Showcase winner's also included first-time ICAST exhibitor SeaQualizer. Two returning ICAST exhibitors were also first-time winners. They are: Luna Sea and Magnetic Marine. Eight 2011 showcase winners also won Best of Show honors in 2012: Hobie Cat, JL Marine Systems, Inc., Pure Fishing, Johnson Outdoors, Costa, G. Loomis, 3D Picture Store and Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation.
"Each year, I am amazed by both the quality and ingenuity of the new products that are unveiled at the New Product Showcase and this year was no different," said Mike Nussman, ASA's 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. I also thank Fishing Tackle Retailer for their sponsorship of this important event."
Enhancing new product development through the FishSmart Tackle Program
During ICAST, ASA also launched a new category in the New Product Showcase that recognizes tackle that works to help conserve our nation's fisheries improving the survival rate for catch and release fish. In this, its inaugural year, The SeaQuilizer, developed by the Florida-based company Finovation Inc., took the top spot in the FishSmart Tackle category. The SeaQuilizer is a noninvasive, pressure activated, fish recompression tool that is capable of releasing fish at targeted depths.
The ICAST 2012 "Best of Show" awards were presented on Wednesday, July 11, during the Chairman's Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by Frabill, Inc., at the Orange County Convention Center.
2012 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners
ICAST 2012 Overall Best of Show – Hobie Cat, Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
Best of Show – Apparel – Columbia Sportswear, Airgill Chill Zero Long Sleeve Shirt
Best of Show – Boat - Hobie Cat, Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
Best of Show - Boating Accessory – JL Marine Systems, Inc. – Power-Pole Drift Paddle
Best of Show – Combo – Pure Fishing, Inc., Penn Battle Combo
Best of Show – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors, Humminbird 360 Imaging
Best of Show - Eyewear – Costa, Costa 580 P Sunsrise Lenses
Best of Show - Fishing Accessory – American Premier Corporation, The Ultimate Line Winding System
Best of Show – FishSmart Tackle – The SeaQuilizer
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory – Luna Sea, LLC - Master Guide Fly Rod "Cush It"
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Reel – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle – Wright & McGill Sabalos Saltwater Fly Reel
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis – NRX Fly Rod
Best of Show - Freshwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc., Abu Garcia Revo
Best of Show - Freshwater Rod – St. Croix Rods – Legend Xtreme
Best of Show – Giftware – 3D Picture Store, Inc. - Jigsaw
Best of Show - Kids' Tackle – Pure Fishing, Inc. – Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook Bobber Kit
Best of Show – Line – Pure Fishing, Inc. – Berkley Trilene XL/XT
Best of Show - Hard Lure – Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation – Live Target Frog Popper
Best of Show - Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt LP – Bento Baits
Best of Show - Saltwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc. – Penn Spinfisher V
Best of Show - Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods – Legend Inshore
Best of Show - Tackle Management – Magnetic Marine Products, Inc. – Gear Grabbar Lure Hangar Kit
Best of Show Terminal Tackle – Pure Fishing, Inc. – Berkley Gulp! Jig Heads