ICAST: Garmin claims Best of Show with new trolling motor

For the second year in a row, Garmin has won the Best of Show Category at the annual ICAST fishing tradeshow. 

The 2019 title went to the Garmin Force Trolling Motor. In a year when ICAST has been described by some as the “Year of the Trolling Motor,” it wasn’t a surprise that one of the three innovative trolling motors introduced this week won the Best of Show designation. If there was any surprise, it came from the fact that a trolling motor produced by an electronics company won.

“It’s amazing,’’ said Dave Dunn, director of sales for Garmin. “Up until last year we’ve never won any category. But people took our product seriously, and winning this designation has given validity to all the hard work that has gone into this product.”

Editor's note: See ICAST award winners.

In 2018 Garmin won “Best of Show” for its Pan Optix unit, a front and side-scanning sonar feature that attaches to a trolling motor. 

This season, they’ve added the opportunity to run the Pan Optix to their own trolling motor shaft in the form of the Force.

Carly Hysell, public relations manager for Garmin, provided a list of reasons why voters gave the nod to the Force. That list included:

  • A wireless foot pedal that is as responsive as a cable mounted pedal and powered by AA batteries.
  • It includes an “anchor lock,” that allows the user to stay in one spot.
  • A wireless remote that is programmable but also includes “gesture steering,” where a user can simply point the remote in the direction they want to go and the motor responds.
  • Brushless motor that is quiet above and below the water.
  • A motor that has 30 percent more power and efficiency than other motors on the market with speeds from 4.3 miles an hour to above depending on the boat, while not producing any sonar interference.

The Force is expected to be available on the market in August and will be offered in 50-inch and 57-inch shafts, retailing from $3,000 to $3,200.

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