ICAST 2009, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, the world’s largest sportfishing tradeshow, took place from July 15-17, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fl.


According to a release issued by the American Sportfishing Association, over 7,200 representatives from the sportfishing industry, including over 2,200 buyers and over 500 media representatives, gathered to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear and apparel and network with the global sportfishing community.


The sportfishing industry’s premier trade event is produced by the (ASA), the industry’s trade association which is headquartered in Alexandria, Va. This year, the 52nd year of ICAST, the New Product Showcase, which is the tradeshow’s flagship event, was more competitive than ever. Sponsored by ESPN Outdoors/BASS, 208 exhibiting companies entered 600 tackle products and accessories into the New Product Showcase.


The product category with the most product submissions was the hard lure category. This year the Hobie Cat Mirage Pro Angler, both a boat and a kayak, was voted by buyers and media as the most innovative product in the ICAST 2009 New Product Showcase in both the Marine category and the overall “Best of Show.”


This year’s New Product Showcase winner’s also included first-time ICAST exhibitors Cablz, Inc., USA Custom Rods and Better Bait Systems. Eight returning ICAST exhibitors were also first-time winners. They are: Durasafe, Master Vision, Ross Reels USA/Ross Worldwide Outdoors, Sebile USA and Hobie Cat. Three 2008 showcase winners – Shimano American Corporation, Pure Fishing and Plano Molding Company – also won won Best of Show honors in 2009.


“Each year, I am amazed by the quality of new products that are unveiled at the New Product Showcase and this year was no different,” said Mike Nussman, ASA’s president and CEO. “I congratulate all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase, from the companies who worked hard to develop these innovations to the buyers and media who served as judges.” Making up a special section of ICAST’s 400,000-square-foot show floor, the New Product Showcase provides special visibility for the industry’s latest innovations in gear and accessories. Buyers and media representatives judged the products based on their levels of innovation, execution, workmanship and practicality to select “Best of Show” honors in 17 categories, as well as the overall “Best of Show” winner.