SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Record attendance, a busy booth and three “best” awards have Lew’s executives saying ICAST 2016 was their best show ever and riding high on optimism for 2017.
Lew’s won “Best of Show” awards in three categories in ICAST’s New Products Showcase.
The Team Lew’s Custom Pro SLP baitcast reel took top honors in the freshwater reel category. Lew’s Mach Speed Stick Inshore model won best saltwater rod. Lew’s Mach II Baitcast Combo was the winner in the rod and reel combination category.
It was Lew’s third win in a row for best rod and reel combo.
“The opening day set the tone that we were in for a great show when our booth filled soon after the doors opened,” said Lew’s President Gary Remensnyder. “It remained a busy blur thereafter, ending with the good news about our three best of show wins. And that was just the first day.
“Awards aren’t our intentions for exhibiting at ICAST, but knowing we’ve been chosen by customers and press makes these honors particularly special to us.”
Lew’s has enjoyed the show’s return to Orlando since 2014, agreeing with what seems to be a common opinion of many exhibitors that the fishing-rich venue boosts attendance and keeps those who participate in it focused on business.
“Exhibiting at ICAST is a big investment for us and we make the most of the business opportunity and the fact we have industry customers, press and vendors here,” explained Lew’s CEO Lynn Reeves. “We arrive with a full schedule in place from start to finish that touches every part of our sales and marketing strategies for the new season. Our new products are always a big part of our draw.”
The award-winning Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool is built on the company’s new proprietary SLP Super Low Profile platform and has many innovative features, including a small diameter 32mm spool that makes the reel’s compact design possible.
The reduction is 10 percent smaller overall than the size of traditional Speed Spools, but the downsize is without compromise in features and performance. The premium 11-bearing reel has an aluminum frame and custom Winn Dri-Tec knobs on the reel’s handle. The reel sells for around $259.99.
Lew’s Mach Speed Stick Inshore rod features an IM6 graphite blank constructed using Lew’s exclusive Carbon Nano Tube process for greater strength in its lightweight and sensitive design. The rod also has American Tackle’s new AirWave guide system and a split-grip handle with Winn Dri-Tec technology.
The Mach Speed Stick Inshore rod retails for around $79.99.
The Lew’s Mach II SLP Baitcast Combo is a professionally matched rod and reel combination of balance, performance and styling.
The reel is Lew’s new super low profile design and features a premium 10-bearing system with double-shielded stainless steel bearings and Zero Reverse anti-reverse. The reel’s frame and sideplates are strong and lightweight graphite.
The combo rod is a 7′ one-piece IM8 premium graphite rod built using Nano technology. Rod guides are durable stainless steel frames with aluminum oxide inserts. Reel seat is Lew’s exclusive SoftTouch graphite skeletal reel seat.
The rod’s split-grip handle features Winn advanced polymer Dri-Tec technology.
The Mach II Baitcast Combo retails for around $179.99.
We have a great team of individuals passionate about our brand and new product development,” said Reeves. “Congratulations to them and every Lew’s employee because all have contributed to this very successful ICAST.
“Also, I extend a special thank you to product specialists Dave Hinke and Bob Brown, who collaborated diligently to bring our newest rods and reels together in such harmony. We’re excited about the promising outlook of another great year for Lew’s in 2017.”
Lew’s has realized double-digit growth every year under the leadership of owner-partners Reeves and Remensnyder, dating back to the acquisition of the Lew’s brand in 2009 and the steady stream of new product introductions since.
ICAST attendance has also increased annually in recent years. The International Fly Tackle Dealer show became part of ICAST in 2013, the most recent time it was in Las Vegas. The NMMA Marine Accessories Pavilion, created by the National Marine Manufacturers Association in partnership with ASA, was new to ICAST 2016.
ICAST returns to Orlando in July 2017, making it four in a row for the venue. Attendance was reported as 11,000 then, in contrast to the 15,000 most recently.