Yesterday, we ran through a few of the Best of Show categories at ICAST, including overall Best of Show, rods, reels and lures. Here, we’ll finish the rundown, but with a historical and trend analysis you can’t get anywhere except Fishing Tackle Retailer.
In the Fishing Line category, G. Pucci & Sons, Inc., were the winners with their new P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon. Pure Fishing is the giant here, with nine wins in the last 15 years. The win is a first for P-Line and very poignant since it comes less than two months after the death of Giampiero (John) Pucci, founder of the company.
Three years ago, ICAST split the apparel category in two, dividing it into Lifestyle Apparel and Technical Apparel. This year’s winners are no strangers to the awards. In the Lifestyle category, the new Under Armour Men’s UA Fish Stalker SS was the winner, marking two in a row for that company. Plano Synergy’s Frabill I-Float Suit won for Best Technical Apparel. Frabill now has three apparel awards, but this is the first since 2011.
Best Footwear went to Shimano American Corporation for their Flats Wading Boots. It’s Shimano’s first win in this category which has only existed since 2014. What’s remarkable is that it was the only award Shimano received this year. Historically, the company is one of ICAST’s biggest winners.
In Eyewear, Costa won for the sixth consecutive year, this time for their new Rafael. Only one company has dominated its category as thoroughly as Costa has “owned” Best Eyewear in recent years (see Electronics below). Not only have they won six in a row, but in the 11 year history of this category, they’ve won nine times.
In the Boats category, the Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Old Town Predator PDL took top honors. It’s Johnson Outdoors’ third win in four years and all of them came from their Predator lineup. In 2014, the Predator XL even claimed Overall Best of Show.
The YETI Coolers’ Hopper Flip 12 won for Best Fishing Accessory, a category that has been wide open throughout its history. With so many entries, it’s almost impossible to dominate. It’s YETI’s first win at ICAST.
Best Fly Fishing Accessory went to Boomerang’s Retractable Fly Box. In six years, this award has gone to six different manufacturers making everything from waders to fly vests to tackle management systems.
Speaking of tackle management, the Cobra Garage Door Storage Rack won for Best Tackle Management. This category has been more wide open than you might expect, with only one win by industry leader Plano in the past five years.
Best Terminal Tackle honors went to a new company, Trapper Tackle, for their unusual-looking DropShot/Live Bait/Finesse Hook. With its deep, right-angle bend, there’s certainly nothing else quite like it on the market. Maintaining the momentum of an early ICAST win is always a challenge for a new company, and it will be interesting to see what Trapper can make of it.
For the sixth year in a row the Electronics award for Best of Show went to Johnson Outdoors and Humminbird. This time their winning entry was the HELIX 10 SI. It’s the second HELIX offering in a row to win the honor. Last year it was the HELIX 7 SI.
Also going back-to-back was Steinhauser in the Kid’s Tackle category. Last year they won for their Tangle-FREE combo. This year it was the 48-inch Starter Rod Combo.
In the FishSmart category, honors went to Adventure Products for their EGO Kryptek S1 Genesis Medium Clear Landing Net. They also won for Best Fishing Accessory in 2010 with another landing net.
Finally, Weego won for Best Giftware with their Weego Jump Starter 44. It’s their first ICAST award.