ORLANDO — What began as a skunkworks project in Garmin’s Olathe, Kansas development center years ago has culminated in a debut as the Best of Show Overall Winner at ICAST 2019. The Garmin Force trolling motor is officially the year’s new product king.
Force, which made its first public appearance in Orlando, toppled a field of more than 1,000 new products as retailers and media members voted to decide which innovation would bring home the grand prize of the fishing industry’s largest trade show. En route, Garmin’s first trolling motor edged out another first-time trolling motor entry from marine electronics rival Lowrance, and a comeback product from storied propulsion specialists MotorGuide.
“We are completely honored and humbled that people accept Garmin in a category we are not traditionally known for,” said Garmin Marine Director of Sales, Dave Dunn. “We ventured out of electronics and the market has recognized Garmin as a true player in the space.”
“Our team wanted to make sure it was bulletproof before we released it,” added Dunn. “So it’s been over-tested and over-engineered to make sure it is the most reliable, innovative trolling motor on the market.”
This marks the second year that Garmin has taken home the ICAST Best of Show award. Last year, the company took home top honors for Panoptix LiveScope, a real-time sonar system that displays data from a transducer to a chartplotter instantly, effectively ushering in a new standard for sonar.
“It feels incredible,” said Dunn. “To go from zero awards at previous ICAST shows to winning two awards last year and winning two awards this year shows how far Garmin has progressed in fishing. We won back to back best of show, yes; but we also won it in two different categories in two different years, and for us that is a huge accomplishment.”
Dunn says that recognition is not lost on the engineers behind the scenes, who labored for years to refine the Force. “Our engineers went to head-to-head with the titans of the industry and came out on top. So it’s a testament to their engineering ability and passion.”
So what can anglers expect from the Force? “The first thing people notice will be the ease of installation,” adds Dunn. “Pairing the wireless foot pedal and motor to your chartplotter is incredibly easy. Second, they’ll notice how durable it is. And they’ll see that the power is second to none, it’s efficient and there is no sonar noise, which has always been a big deal in the trolling motor world.”
With a sleek design, near-silent drive and unique, wireless motion and pedal controls, the Force is poised to become a serious player in the freshwater fishing market. Its price point, right at $3,100, makes no bones about it—Force is positioned as a premium product for anglers looking high performance, excellent build quality, and advanced features. And with expected shipping dates in August, it looks to begin establishing a market presence soon.