Perhaps each new product unveiled last week is already on tackle-store shelves, or fishing manufacturers were debuting a new item that will be available for purchase in coming months. Regardless, ICAST is the annual fishing tradeshow and the platform that introduces all of those new products to the fishing world.
Each company is allowed to select one product per category to enter in the show’s annual “Best Of” competition. The evening before ICAST officially kicks off, select members of fishing-based media entities gather together to preview and vote on what they believe is the best item for each specified category.
This year in Orlando, the renowned Wisconsin-based St. Croix Rods took top honors in all three rod categories.
The hat trick.
The rod categories included Best of Fly Fishing Rod, Saltwater Rod and Freshwater Rod. St. Croix won all three.
In the Freshwater Category the Legend Glass Spinning rod earned the top spot.
“During our development process at St. Croix, we began to call the rod our ‘unicorn,’” said St. Croix Marketing Director Jesse Simpkins. “It’s really a rod in it’s own class offering anglers a parabolic spinning-rod model featuring Linear S Glass on an IPC mandrel, which was born out of our engineers creative design.
“We’re very proud of this rod and think anglers across the country will love this addition to the already famous Legend Glass series of rods. “
In the Saltwater Category, the company won with a new rod series called Mojo Yak — a concept that designed to meet the needs of the booming kayak angling crowd.
“Knowing that kayak anglers almost always wear a PFD that can cramp casting technique, we built both casting and spinning rods with a shorter butt and realigned the guides to accommodate the change in balance,” Simpkins continued. “While this series fully fits the bill for all freshwater kayakers, the blank backbone and all the hardware and on the Mojo Yak is built to endure the abuse saltwater is known for dishing out.
“It’s an honor to have this new design recognized as Best of Category.”
St. Croix also won Best of Category in fly-fishing with the company’s Mojo Trout series.
“We used our SC3 material, which offers the highest performance standards in rod building,” he said. “The rod features a moderate fast tip, and is designed specifically for trout fishing. I believe those anglers who buy our rods will find the Mojo Trout to be the easiest fly rod to cast, which is our goal at St. Croix: To make fishing easier, to make anglers better and to make catching fish more enjoyable.”
“There are a tremendous amount of fishing rods at ICAST every year, and to take this level of recognition and these trophies home to Wisconsin where our brilliant staff and engineers can share in the success is the sweetest part,” Simpkins said. “Without them this just wouldn’t be possible. It’s humbling.”