Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 20, 2013

MATT WILLIAMS: ICAST 2013 announces Best of Show winners announced

MATT WILLIAMS
The Athens Review

Athens — The international sport fishing community was abuzz last week as more than 9,000 tackle manufacturers, buyers, industry representatives and members of the media from around the globe attended the 2013 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show held July 9-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Better known as ICAST, the show is recognized as the largest sportfishing trade show in the world. It is where everyone from lure and rod makers to apparel and sunglass designers go to unveil their newest wares in tackle, clothing and accessories and ultimately drum up some business for the coming year.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the annual show is the New Product Showcase, which gives show exhibitors the opportunity to see how their new products stack up against the competition in nearly two dozen "Best of Show" categories. Show organizers said the Best of Show competition was brisk as ever at the 56th annual gathering with some really cool (and useful) products earning top honors in a number of the showcase categories. All total, nearly 200 companies entered nearly 700 products in the Best of Show competition.

In reviewing the showcase line-up, one product that really grabbed my attention is the Power-Pole Micro Anchor by JL Marine Systems in Florida. The new shallow water anchor apparently caught the eye of everyone else at the show, too, because it was voted hands down Overall Best of Show winner by buyers and members of the media.

JL Marine in the pioneer of shallow water anchoring systems that give anglers the ability to stop their full size bass, bay and flats boats on a dime with the simple press of a button. The company's Micro Anchor is the newest spin on the useful technology in that it is designed exclusively for use with small crafts such as flat bottom jon boats, Bass Buster rigs and kayaks that cannot accommodate a standard size Power-Pole.

Unlike its big brother, which operates using a hydraulic pump, the Micro-Anchor is all electric. The unit operates via a hand held remote control. It can be rigged to work off a 12-volt battery or armed with an optional battery pack that is advertised to deliver 100 deployment/retraction cycles.

The anchor is lightweight, too, weighing in at a scant 7.5 pounds, yet it can stop boats weighing up to 1,500 pounds in water 8 1/2 feet deep in a matter of seconds.

Each unit comes with detachable spike and a fully-adjustable mounting bracket that allows for quick mounting to the transom or deck and easy removal. There are other mounting options available if the standard bracket won't suit your needs.

The new anchor will retail for around $600. To learn more, see power-pole.com.

Here is a full list of the ICAST 2013 Best of Show winners in their designated categories:

• ICAST 2013 Overall Best of Show – JL Marine Systems, Inc.

Product - Power-Pole Micro Anchor

• Best of Show – Apparel – Shimano American Corportion

Product - Dryfender Insulated Raingear

• Best of Show - Boating Accessory – JL Marine Systems, Inc.

Product - Power-Pole Mirco Anchor

• Best of Show – Boats – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft, Inc.

Product - Predator 13

• Best of Show – Combo – 13 Fishing

Product - White Out

• Best of Show – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors

Product - Humminbird Bow Mount 360 Imaging

• Best of Show - Eyewear – Costa

Product - Tuna Alley

• Best of Show - Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company

Product - Tidal Wave-Micro Wave System

• Best of Show - Fishsmart Tackle – Foreverlast, Inc.

Product - G2 Floating Wading Net

• Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory – Columbia Sportswear

Product - Henry's Fork V Vest

• Best of Show - Fly Fishing Reel – Beam Outdoors

Product - Elite 21 Reel

• Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.

Product - PRO4x

• Best of Show - Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation

Product - CHRONARCH C14+

• Best of Show - Freshwater Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.

Product - NRX Umbrella Rig

• Best of Show – Giftware – Rapala

Product - Original Floating Bottle Opener

• Best of Show - Kids’ Tackle – Pure Fishing, Inc.

Product - Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Combo

• Best of Show – Line – PowerPro

Product - PowerPro Zero-Impact

• Best of Show - Hard Lure – Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation

Product - LIVETARGET Baitball

• Best of Show - Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt

Product - Lunker Frog

• Best of Show - Saltwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation

Product - Stella SW 30000

• Best of Show - Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods

Product - Legend Xtreme Inshore

• Best of Show - Tackle Management – Plano Molding Company

Product - 3700 Guide Series Tackle Bag

• Best of Show - Terminal Tackle – Mustad

Product - Grip-Pin Swim