What is ICAST?

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ICAST, or the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, is fishing’s largest trade show. This year, it takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from July 16 to 19. Inside the exhibit hall, and the ponds outside it, manufacturers from across the globe will be showing off the latest in fishing gear, tackle, and electronics. Last year, the 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space was home to some 13,346 attendees, and 2024 is shaping up to be even bigger.

Attendance is limited to members of the fishing industry, including manufacturers’ reps, custom tackle builders, retailers, industry representatives, pro-staff, and members of the media. For many, ICAST serves as a homecoming of sorts. I look forward to the event every year as much for the camaraderie as the new gear. It gives members of the fishing industry a chance to meet face to face with old friends, and make some new ones. 

I also look forward to sharing all the innovative new products with the Wired2fish community. We will be bringing you both written and video content so you won’t miss a thing. If there’s a new bait, rod, reel, fishfinder or accessory that you need to know about, we’ll tell you all about it. Tune in for more coverage, starting on Tuesday, July 16.  There will be updates on our website and our social media channels throughout the show. 


July 16 is the On The Water Product Demo Day. Here, attendees can test out the newest rods, reels and lures. They may also have the opportunity to take a kayak, paddleboard, inflatable or other small craft out for a spin. The small pond has been utilized to demonstrate the latest in brushless trolling motors and sonar tech in past years. I really enjoy the hands on nature of demo day; it provides the best opportunity to get a feel for some of the new stuff before it hits the market.  

Retailers and members of the media participate in the New Product Showcase preview, where they get to see and handle the newest tackle, gear, apparel and accessories later that evening. The voting process for the “Best of Category” competition begins after attendees become acquainted with with the new products. Winners of the 41 categories will be announced the following evening. On the afternoon of Thursday the 18, one of those 41 winners will take the coveted “Best of Show” award for ICAST 2024. 

The show floor opens to all on Wednesday, July 17. The hall is a hive of activity for the next three days. Rods are cast. Reels are reeled. Baits are demonstrated. Manufacturers show their line up to interested buyers. Members of the media do their best to capture all of the new products, as well the excitement. 


Another high point of ICAST is the international companies that bring their latest and greatest to our shores. It’s no secret that a number of products that American anglers love come from the Japanese Domestic Market, also known as JDM. This trade show allows retailers to see these items in person, and place orders for the coming season. Likewise, there are a number of excellent tackle manufacturers from Australia and Europe that showcase innovative rods, reels, batis, and terminal tackle. Where else do you get a sneak peak at Rapala’s newest?


Now in its 67th year, ICAST is put on by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). The ASA has been looking out for the recreational fishing community and the recreational fishing industry for over 90 years. As the voice of the fishing industry and anglers alike, they have stepped up against proposed laws, policies, and regulations that could negatively affect recreational angling, and the sportfishing industry. ASA promises to continue to work to promote fisheries conservation, as well as the social values of sportfishing, to ensure Americans can always enjoy fishing.