I left Farmville, on Sunday, around 9am for the 12 hour drive to Orlando, Florida to attend the 2014 ICast Trade-show. ICast is touted as the largest sport-fishing show in the world. It's designed for retailer buyers and media to see new products in the fishing world. This was Appomattox River Company's first time attending. I was psyched! Many of the kayak vendors we deal with would be on hand with their latest and greatest. I also would have the opportunity to scout out other interesting gadgets and to hang out with a bunch of cool people. Â But first, I decided to head to Titusville, to do a little fishing in the Indian River. I also hit the Banana River and the Mosquito Lagoon for a few hours, after the show.
Back to ICast, I rolled into Orlando on Tuesday, and headed to the Orange County Convention Center to see the New Product Showcase. Â Buyers and Media personnel could vote on different Best In Show categories as well as overall Best of Show.
Best in Show Boats.
Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota
Wilderness Systems Ride 115 with the new AirPro Max seat.
Hobie Pro Angler Tandem 17T Kayak
Wilderness Systems Thresher Kayak
The FeelFree Lure series was also represented by the Lure 11.5, but the talk of that brand was the new Lure 13.5. FeelFree Kayaks had one in their booth and it generated some buzz. You can see a stand-up bar, the Gravity Seat and the new FeelFree cooler. The Lure 13.5 also has outstanding deck space. This kayak will be a great boat for many fishing applications.
The new Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak was on display in their booth space. It was a tight little ride that looked ready to rock out. The Native Watercraft Propel series is expanding and the future looks good!
Here are a couple more shots of the Hobie Pro Angler Tandem 17T Kayak. It has a 900lb. carrying capacity and weighs around 22olbs. You can paddle tandem, social tandem and solo. Plus Hobie has a new LiveWell.
As the show rolled along in the following days, I walked many laps around the floor. ICast is an amazing show. Many friends were on the floor, in different vendor booths, working media angles, etc. It's a virtual who's who of the fishing world and kayak angling has taken over a big portion of the show. I had an amazing time. I'll post pictures of some of the things that caught my eye and more photos of the kayaks that were featured and we'll post more detailed info on the kayaks as they become available.
The Wilderness Systems Thresher Kayak looked very good! This will be a hot ticket for fishing the coastal waters. It looks sleek and fast with a lot of great features. The Thresher comes with a center hatch and a removable electronics console.
The new AirPro Max seat, for the Ride 115 series, looks really awesome!
Advanced Technology Paddles are releasing a new line of digital camo Quest paddles, etc.
Astral Buoyancy was at ICast showcasing their fishing PFDs and watershoes. The new Hiyak bootie looked real good!
The redesigned VEight PFD looked very breathable and comfy with a lot of mesh and high back.
Mark and Kris Lozier, of 1st Landing Kayak Fishing Services, were in the Astral booth with Bryan Owen and Will McKenzie and it became my de facto staging area. These guys had the booth rocking and sold a bunch of footwear to many industry insiders.
Dinver McClure from FeelFree Kayaks is a musky hunting madman who makes his own lures. While hanging out in the busy FeelFree booth I snapped a pic of one of Dinver's creations.
There was even music in the aisles. First day at ICast was hugely overwhelming. There was soo much stuff! I had a great time bumping into everyone in the kayak fishing world and meeting new folks in the fishing world.