History: The Top 10 Products

July 16, 2008 - Las Vegas, NV — Ten influential fishing products created over the past 75 years — from rods to reels to electronics — have helped make fishing the great sport it is today, according to a new survey from the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

ASA, the sportfishing industry's trade association, today released the country's first Top 10 list of the items that have changed the way people fish, as determined by a survey of the nation's most avid anglers. The Anglers' Legacy Innovations Awards were unveiled at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world's largest annual sportfishing trade show. More than 7,000 members of the sportfishing community are gathered in Las Vegas to see the latest innovations in gear and accessories.

"We're thrilled to be commemorating the way that fishing has endured as one of America's favorite pastimes," said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. "The sport has touched the lives of so many people, thanks to the number of great inventions that have revolutionized angling over the past seven and a half decades."

ASA partnered with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation to survey the foundation's thousands of Anglers' Legacy Ambassadors, who voted for the products they feel have been most instrumental in shaping the sport over the past seven and a half decades.

The final top ten list spans six categories, including accessories, electronics, lines, lures, reels and rods:

Original Floater Minnow (1936) remains one of the most successful and widely copied hard lures in sportfishing's history.
Original and current manufacturer: Rapala

Spring loaded Bobber (1947) made suspending a baited hook at a desired depth simpler and easier. Even today this item is virtually in every angler's tackle box.
Original manufacturer: Nibble Nabber
Current manufacturer: Various companies

Mitchell 300 (1949) was the first commercially successful spinning reel, and is still one of the most common reels used today.
Original manufacturer: Mitchell
Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing

Creme Plastic Worm (1949) changed the sport forever as the first — and still famous — long-lasting artificial worm that both looked and felt real.
Original and current manufacturer: Creme Lure Company

Closed Face Spincast Reel (1949) made fishing easy and affordable to everyone regardless of age, size, gender and expertise.
Original manufacturer: Zero Hour Bomb Company
Current manufacturer: ZEBCO Brands

Lowrance Fish Lo-K-Tor (1957), the "Little Green Box" introduced anglers to the use of sonar in locating individual fish.
Original manufacturer: Lowrance Electronics
Current manufacturer: Lowrance/Navico

Monofilament Line (1958) improved the durability, affordability and casting ability of fishing line while reducing its visibility to fish.
Original manufacturer: DuPont Stren
Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing

Minn Kota Trolling Motor (1958) was the first electric gear-driven trolling motor gave anglers the ability to quietly maneuver and position their boats.
Original manufacturer: Minn Kota
Current manufacturer: Johnson Outdoors

Fenwick High Modulus Graphite Rod (1972), with its super-sensitive carbon (graphite) fibers, revolutionized the method of making fishing rods and how anglers fished.

Original manufacturer: Fenwick
Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing

Shakespeare Ugly Stick (1976), with its special construction, created an affordable, unbreakable and dynamic fishing rod still in use today.

Original and current manufacturer: Shakespeare

"We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate a milestone anniversary than to pay tribute to the landmark innovations that have helped shape fishing," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "What makes this list so great is the fact that it was determined by anglers themselves."