In May, Garmin became the talk of the fishing tackle world when news apparently leaked regarding the debut of their new trolling motor. Though speculation had run rampant for months, consumers and retailers had received no official confirmation from Garmin that they would, indeed, be launching their first-ever trolling motor at ICAST 2019.
Then, on a Thursday morning, that all changed with the push of a button from fishing’s biggest name—Bill Dance.
Dance, who was filming a commercial for Garmin near his home in Memphis, Tennessee, was sending a message to fans via Facebook Live when he, apparently inadvertently, let the cat out of the bag. The motor’s name? Garmin Force. Its debut time? ICAST 2019.
“We were doing a commercial for Garmin, and it was the first time I’d seen the trolling motor,” Dance told FTR.“It was so exciting. But it was also the first time I had really used Facebook Live, and once it’s out there its out there. I was actually with someone from Garmin when it went out. I looked at her, and she looked at me, and we were both like, ‘wow, good gracious.’ We couldn’t believe the reaction.”
The video garnered over 70,000 views within hours and was shared by fishing pros throughout the industry that day. With such hype already surrounding the product release, Garmin began amplifying the organic conversation on its own social media channels.
“When bass fishing’s eldest statesman can’t contain his excitement about a product and wants to tell the world about it a few weeks prematurely, who are we to stop him?” said Carly Hysell, Garmin’s public relations manager. “Bill’s enthusiasm is contagious and we’re glad to see the excitement out there. We look forward to sharing even more details with the world on the “official” announcement date.”
As for Dance? He remains one of the few fishermen to get their hands on the Garmin Force so far, but he’s eager for the public to try it out.
“They didn’t leave a rock unturned when they developed this motor,” the industry icon continues. “The quality of the engineering is so impressive. Garmin has already proved that quality in the aviation world, and in the marine electronics world with their graphs and with Panoptix, so I knew the trolling motor was going to be state-of-the-art.
We talked to the engineers and told them everything we wanted to see in this motor from a fisherman’s standpoint. Let me tell you, they listened to the fishermen and the needs of the anglers.”