ICAST, the Fishing Industry Family Reunion

ICAST is like a family reunion. Friends from the fishing industry all gather in one room at the same time for three solid days to talk fishing. Rapala, Pure Fishing, Strike King, Minn Kota, Lowrance, Simms Fishing and a host of other industry giants were in attendance as always and have numerous new products we will be testing in upcoming weeks. Companies like DUO, IMA, MegaBass, and St. Croix are pressing to make a larger mark in upcoming months, as well.

New products are the focus but in reality it’s about the relationships, the partnerships and discussions that occur there that really makes the industry go. Although a lot of our time is taken up attending meetings or walking to them the main focus for us is to get you the latest information on new products that will help you make your fishing experience better.

We see a lot of exciting new products, but to be honest, we see a few dogs in the bunch too. The neat part of ICAST is every booth is about building a better mousetrap and whether it’s line, terminal tackle or rods, reels and baits it’s all good.

If you are in the fishing business you had better be there. If you are not at ICAST industry people wonder why you’re not.

We enjoy seeking out new companies and sometimes find one we didn’t know about or ones that have that special product that might make a major ripple in the sport in the upcoming year. The good old days are now and our tackle is the best it has ever been.

I had a meeting about every half hour but got to walk the floor a bit on the final day and to be honest it was refreshing this year. More companies are tuned in and more new companies were there. Halo Rods and Reels and 6th Sense Lures got a majority of my open time that last day. I enjoy up and comers and straight up these two companies are dialed in and loaded for bear. Its exciting to see the energy and in upcoming months you will be hearing much more from them.

6th Sense Lures is an upstart that caught my eye and even at first glance has the panache of an industry veteran. They have a proven shapes but with a look that all look custom. The attention to detail is remarkable and I really was excited about their passion and desire to do things better. Their Crush 300DD isn’t a shape you have not seen and many large competitors have models similar but the devil is in the detail and they have taken the time to do the little things to make it unique. Inset 3D eyes, super sharp hooks, and custom paint jobs with finishes that looked like some of the Japanese stalwarts we have seen raise the bar the last few years makes them very special and ones you would be excited to own. They also make swimbaits with the same customization. I also got a sneak peek at some of their new products, not yet announced, and they are slick too.

Halo Fishing is a new company but has been making waves with pro’s like Randall Tharp, Brandon McMillan, JT Kenney, and Koby Krieger heading the charge. They make an good looking and affordable parabolic rods that we have been fortunate to test a few months. They introduced their new flipping hooks and new reels at the show and also introduced a line up of high quality, low cost series of rods called Daylite priced at around 80 dollars that look super sweet too. We can hardly wait to test them out.

Keep your eyes peeled on the upstarts and never rest on what you thought was tried and true. The future looks very bright and if what I saw at ICAST is an indication 2013 could be a banner year for fishing. I love family reunions especially those with my fishing family.

Halo Rods can be found at www.halofishing.com  or at Tackle Warehouse.

6th Sense has a great website at www.6thsenselures.com.

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