ICAST – Sport Fishing Show 2009 E-mail
Saturday, 24 October 2009 10:08

The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST held the world’s largest sportfishing tradeshow this past week at theOrangeCountyConvention CenterinOrlando,Florida– not a bad place to have it considering thatFloridaspends more dollars on sport fishing than any other state.  

As usual the show was loaded with cool new lures of every configuration, lots of state of the art rods and reels and other gear to help us catch more fish or at least think we will catch more. I set out scouring the show to see what new products the kayak angler might be interested in and it was nice to see that there was a definite kayak fishing presence at the show.  It was easy to find other kayak fishermen as all you had to do was hang around the kayak companies booth’s and see who would show up. It was nice to see people like Chris Holmes (Louisiana Sportsman Magazine), Jerry White (Paddling.net kayak fishing writer) and to finally meet Mike Kogan from Jacksonville Kayak Fishing, a guy who I have to spoken on the phone with often  but for at least 6 years now, never met.  

As I said before there was a strong kayak fishing presence at the show and guess nothing underscores that more than the fact that Hobie Kayaks New Pro Angler took top awards for “Best of Show” and “Top New Marine Product”. I guess because I have seen this kayak for months now it has lost some of the “wow factor” for me but everybody who sees it for the first time is quite impressed – just as I was.

hobie Proangler
Hobie Pro Angler all rigged up

  Another big hit at the show was the new Freedom Hawk 12’, this new smaller and lighter version is still the cream of the crop when it comes to stand up fishing. Some new features for this model are the trolling motor option, 2 positions setting on the outriggers (for more paddling performance when paddling with outriggers deployed) and the kayak will now come in 2 versions, a single-hull and a sit-on-top (self bailing). Retail price for this kayak will be under a $1000 – pretty impressive! For more info on this model visit

New Freedom Hawk 12'
New Freedom Hawk 12'

Outriggers
Outrigger system of the new 12'

  Another company trying to break into the U.S.kayak fishing markets is Viking Kayaks. This Australian company is now distributing through Viking Kayaks US and is run by Sal Cardaci of Miami, Florida. The Viking fishing line is made up of their Tempo Angler and the Profish 45, they’re both set up to handle motors and built to accept either their top of the line Torqueedo motor or a Minn Kota. The kayaks are also available without the motor options and both models are nicely laid out for fishing for those of us who still like to propel ourselves around. 

Viking Kayaks
Viking Profish 45

 

New motor

Torqueedo Motor

 

It was also great to see the Emotion line of kayaks up close and personal.  The new Grand Slam has been out for a while but I never got a chance to really check it out. It has a nice layout and the hull reminds me a lot of the Heritage Redfish which I still say is the ‘paradox kayak”, a kayak that has good performance but really shouldn’t when one takes into account its size and the stability it exhibits. They also have a new 10 footer with an integrated seat that looks sweet and according to Tom Strauss (Emotion Kayaks owner) can handle paddlers pushing 275 lbs. The emotion kayak line is also being distributed through Shakespeare line of fishing products just in case you notice the similarities of the company’s kayaks. 

 

Humminbird introduced their new 385ci Combo Kayak Fishfinder/GPS - finally a company realizes that kayak fishermen actually use electronics and such products should be designed with the kayak angler in mind. This new unit comes with everything you need to install the unit on your kayak, which means transducer, battery with charger, battery bag and all connectors - it even has a unit cover to protect when not in use.  I think this will be a very hot seller this year. Retail will be $399, which is pretty good when you consider you are getting a Fishfinder and GPS integrated unit with all the extra stuff to install it on your yak.

 

 

Fish finder for kayaks
Humminbird 385ci

 

There is no shortage of smaller items that are targeted at the kayak angler; The Rod Oar is paddle blade that goes onto the butt of your rod and acts as a paddle to help position yourself on the water without putting the rod down and reaching for your paddle. For more info

 

Rod Oar
Rod Oar

 

Perry Pole, makers of push poles and push mounts for boats has focused their efforts into making poles and pole mounts for kayaks. These new mounts work well to hold your push poll on the outside of the kayak and makes deploying it as easy and silent as possible.

 

Perry pole
Perry Pole setup on a kayak

 

  Another item of possible interest for the kayak angler is the Rod Guard, this little light cushion/float goes over the butt of your rod and if it goes overboard, it keeps your outfit afloat.

 

 

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