<
>

ICAST Best of Show 2008

LAS VEGAS —What does it mean to be a product showcase winner at ICAST? More press, industry recognition general eyes on your product. But how often do those products/companies succeed?

To try and get a grasp on what it means to be honored in one of these categories, we looked back at past winners and looked for trends.

Shimano

They didn't just clean up this year. Their new freshwater reel — Curado E Series Baitcaster — we their third Best of Show in the last five years (2005 Torsa Reels, 2004 Chronarch B Series Reel).

In that same time frame, the company has won a product category 15 times. The four categories they won this year (freshwater rod, saltwater rod, freshwater reel, saltwater reel) is their best showing and last year's two category victories (freshwater reel, saltwater reel) was their leanest year.

Since the ASA separated saltwater and freshwater in 2006, Shimano has won both reel categories every time except for when Penn Fishing Tackle took the saltwater honors in 2006 with their International Torque 300.

Expanding categories

There were only 12 categories in 2004 (including Best of Show), and they added Rod/Reel Combo in 2005 to make 13. In 2006, they broke up salt and freshwater rods and reels, separated eyewear from clothing and added electronics to make 17 categories.

In 2007, ICAST separated boating accessories from giftware, which created the same 18 categories as they have in 2008.

Winners since 2004