Photo courtesy of the American Sportfishing Association.
In a little less than a week a huge segment of the sportfishing industry will gather under a single huge roof in Orlando for the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades -- better known simply as ICAST. At ICAST, which is the world's largest sportfishing trade show and is produced by the American Sportfishing Association, tackle manufacturers will reveal their new products for the 2013 model year.
Rods, reels, lures, hooks, waders, ice augers, fishing hats, fly vests, pliers, kayaks, electronics... You name it. If a product is used for fishing, it's probably represented with some new twist at ICAST. Manufacturers primarily use the show to highlight new offerings for sales to distributors and retailers (who travel to the show from all over the world); however, it's also the time when media folks like me get to see all the new stuff for the first time. For that reason, you'll soon begin to see lots of stories about cool new stuff on the web, on TV, in tabloids, newspapers and magazines and more.
I typically attend ICAST, both for the chance to see all the new products, which helps me tremendously with story ideas, and for the opportunity to visit with many manufacturer representatives, fishing pros writers and editors in a single place. It really feels like the whole industry gathers at ICAST, so it's a great place to build relationships.
I won't make this year's show because the Samsel family is due to expand very soon. Holly Samsel is due July 10. I'll be watching reports from manufacturer and media friends, though, and will report about some of is happening and what is begin revealed. I've already begun getting quite a few e-mails previewing the new stuff that will be shown.
Most manufacturers will travel to Orlando over the weekend. Set-up begins Monday, and the show kicks off Tuesday evening with a New Products Showcase preview reception.