Monday, June 29, 2015

New Stuff Season

If you're a fisherman, the end of June and the first half of July can be a pretty fun time of the year. Not because of some hot bite, although I'm certainly not denying that those exist. Right about now is when word starts trickling out about cool new fishing products that will be released in two weeks at the ICAST show. Put on by the American Sportfishing Association, ICAST is a huge trade show and the place where fishing tackle manufacturers introduce the next year's product releases to retail and wholesale buyers and to the fishing media. This year's show is July 14-17 in Orlando.

Rods, apparel, lures, kayaks, reels, terminal tackle... you name it. If it is sport fishing gear, several companies that make it probably will be at ICAST, and some will have new products to show.

Many products aren't revealed until the media and buyer preview reception of the New Product Showcase, which takes place the evening before the main show floor opens. That said, many companies favor a PR and sales head start over the surprise factor, so a couple of weeks before the show they begin trickling out information about products and select samples. With today's electronic media and especially social media sites, word of anything noteworthy pretty well spreads immediately.

Because I attend the show and write about products in magazines and on websites, I get a lot of emails alerting me about cool new stuff, along with a few packages containing things to field test. In fact, I'll share some of the stuff that looks extra cool to me between now and the end of the show. I got information just today about the Plano A-Series QuickTop Tackle Bag (pictured above). I'll write more soon about this really cool hybrid box, which has some feature that make it stand out from anything before it.

In truth, though, if you pay attention to fishing news website or follow pro anglers or guides or fishing tackle manufacturers on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites, you've likely heard about several new products in recent days. That will grow dramatically over the next couple of weeks.

Most stuff won't actually be in full production and in stores for several months. Now is just when the products get announced and the companies start trying to build interest so they can fill store shelves once the products do hit production. For me, it's a really fun time of the year.

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