Two Northwest fishing tackle manufacturers won best of show awards at the recently concluded ICAST Show in Las Vegas.
Southwest Washington rodmakers Lamiglas won top honors in the rod and reel category for its part in a joint venture with two other U.S. companies on the Fishouflage Bass fishing combo, and G.Loomis took overall best of show and best freshwater rod for its NRX fly rod.
Lamiglas, based in Woodland, built the Fishouflage rod while Ardent, of Macon, Missouri, supplied the baitcasting reel and Outdoor Identities of Greenville, Wisc., creator and licensee of Fishouflage angler patterns which are derived from the freshwater aquatic environment, provided the finish.
The rod is constructed upon a 7-foot, fast-action Certified Pro XC 704 blank. Lamiglas’ most popular bass fishing rod, a custom split-grip handle design advances performance while the Fishouflage Bass finish creates a distinct identity.
John Posey, Lamiglas’ National Sales Manager, sees expanding opportunities for U.S. manufactured products.
“The value proposition continues to change at a rapid rate,” said Posey, “The incredible price differences that used to exist between domestic and imported product have narrowed dramatically. While avid anglers have always shown a preference for the technically-precise performance of U.S. manufactured Lamiglas rods, we’re now able to compete in the mid-range price points that have been driven up by the rising costs of overseas manufacturing.”
The Fishouflage Bass pattern cosmetically richens and unifies the Ardent and Lamiglas product. A mixture of green reeds and coontail, combined with broken grey and brown logs, laid over a natural background, the images of trophy bass hidden in the background are the icing on the cake.
“Our company is driven by identity,” explained Paul Bernegger, president of Outdoor Identities. “Fishouflage patterns serve a consumer base that prides itself on rugged independence. There’s nothing more independent than the American spirit that is the cornerstone of the Ardent, Lamiglas and Fishouflage brands.”
Another big winner was the Stormsuit FXE, which won Best of Show in the Apparel category, made by Frabill, a large advertiser in Northwest Sportsman.
Designed by Chris Leonard, an independent engineer based in Central Minnesota, the jacket-and-bib set builds upon his Snosuit, considered by some to be the benchmark in cold-weather gear for ice fishermen, and is Frabill’s first for open water fishing.
The biggest difference between the two suits, says Leonard, is that input from a team of 50 anglers – including Al Lindner – engineers and Frabill staffers went into refining the original design into the final waterproof, windproof, breathable shell sealed by DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protector.
“A lot of attention went into sealing this suit up to entry points for water,” he says.
Leonard also borrowed an idea from his firefighting gear – he’s a volunteer for the Crosslake Fire Department – for the Stormsuit’s bibs. “A cam buckle allows you to get in and out of the suit without having to unbuckle.”
But perhaps the Stormsuit’s most innovative design can be found at the crotch.
“Our patent-pending design … is a completely waterproof crotch and you’re able to take a pit stop without taking everything off,” Leonard says.
Think of the latter feature as dry-bag technology meets elephant trunk.
“Unroll the tube, pee, roll up and velcro back up,” he says. “Frabill broke the mold with this design.”
Other ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners included:
Electronics: Lowrance-Navico for the Lowrance Elite-5 DSI
Eyewear: Maui Jim Sunglasses for the Guy Harvey Collection
Fishing Accessory: Adventure Products, Inc. for the EGO S2 Slider Landing Net
Giftware: Boating Expressions, Inc. for the Fishfenders
Kids Tackle: Pure Fishing for the Pflueger-Spinning Combo-Apprentice
Line: Rapala for the Sufix 832 Advanced Superline
Soft Lure: Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation for the Live Target Hollow Body Frog
Hard Lure: Shimano American Corporation for the Waxwing Sub-Surface Swimming Jig
Marine: Minn Kota-Johnson Outdoors, Inc. for the Talon-Shallow Water Anchor
Freshwater Reel: Shimano American Corporation for the Stella FE
Saltwater Reel: Shimano American Corporation for the Trinidad A
Saltwater Rod: Shimano American Corporation for the Terez
Tackle Management: HYI, Inc. for the Openwater Tackle
BackpackTerminal Tackle: Sebile Innovative Fishing for the Soft Weight System