SUP has come full circle: the Best of Show product at the 2017 ICAST Show is a Stand Up Paddle board on steroids … actually, with a motor and propeller attached. The Bote Rover is a flattish fishing skip that will take the fisherman to wherever he wants to fish – and just before he enters the shallow waters, he can lift the motor, take up his oar, and stealthily approach the fish as a SUP paddler. Turning the clock back two centuries to when captain James Cook first saw Hawaiian fishermen paddling out to sea while standing on flat boards.
The Boat Rover also won the Boats category at the annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) fishing tackle show held in Orlando, US, in July. This year, the 582 exhibitors in 1 982 booths covered almost 200 000m2 of the show floor. They attracted registrations from close to 15 000 visitors – 1 156 people from 73 countries outside the US.
Rapala VMC SA is the local distributor whose brands were the most successful at the show, touted as the world’s biggest fishing tackle trade show. The brands they distributed won five categories: Shimano won the Saltwater Reel and Freshwater Reel categories (Sustain Reel and Curado K), G.Loomis won the Fly Rod category (IMX Pro), the Rapala 3D X-Rap won the Saltwater Hardlure category, while the Costa Sunrise Mirror lens won the Eyewear category.
Pure Fishing brands won two awards: Berkley Fireline Ultra 8 won the Fishing Line and the Pflueger Supreme QRS was judged to be the best Fly Reel.
It is interesting to note how much the American show winners differ from the products that won categories at the EFTTEX trade show: only the Savage Gear 3D Topwater Bat, locally available from RAD Fishing Gear, was a winner at both shows. At ICAST it was judged to be the best Freshwater Lure, but the EFTTEX judges voted it to be the Best Innovation of the Year and the Best Hard Lure.
Other brands available locally that won categories are: St Croix Legen Tournament Inshore from Xpolorer Fly Fishing won the Saltwater Rod category, Daiwa Corp Tactical Backpack, available from The Kingfisher, was voted to be the best Tackle Management product, SIMMS S3 Guide Stocking Foot Wader from Frontier Fly Fishing won the Fly Fishing Accessory category and Lews March Crush Speed Spool Combo from Thornveld Angling won the Rod & Reel Combo category. The FishSmart product of the show was the Eagle Claw Flounder Sample Pack, available locally from Sensational Angling.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) again hosted the show in conjunction with the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (see story), as well as the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The 2018 ICAST show will again be held in Orlando, from July 10-13 – the actual show opens on the 11th, but conferences start on the 10th.