American Tackle Company wins “Best of Show” at ICAST 2023

Innovative carbon rod construction component takes home top honors in Orlando

A decade of design work paid off Thursday as American rigging company took home “Best of Show” honors at sportfishing’s largest trade show with a sleek and nearly weightless custom rod component: the Tsuka 2 Complete Carbon Handle.

“Components are often overlooked,” said Darrin Heim of American Tackle Company. “But at this point, it’s hard to miss because it’s a real innovation.”

The Tsuka 2 full carbon shaft is a masterpiece from the Florida-based custom shaft maker, known for introducing the MicroWave guide system about a decade ago. Heim said the company has been working for nearly ten years to refine the manufacturing process for its carbon rod handles, first working with reel seats and rod ends before finally borrowing a blown carbon construction technology from the rod industry. bikes to create the new ICAST Best of Show. champion.

According to Heim, carbon rod handles have been available in the fishing industry since the 1980s; However, his team believes the time has finally come for the material to be seen as a widespread replacement for traditional handles made of cork.

“In my opinion, this is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon and push carbon,” Heim said. “There is a demand, but there has not yet been the same appreciation for carbon in this industry that we see in others like cycling. People are used to using cork, which is essentially tree bark, and have been using it forever. But we believe that carbon will be the preferred material of the future. It is lightweight, it is extremely durable and strong. It’s lovely. It’s sensitive and we think the time is right for carbon to be widely accepted.”

Previously, Heim said that most carbon products in fishing were cylindrical products that were cut by hand, fired, and then sanded into shape. Now, using blow molding, more products with curves and ergonomic designs are coming to the show floor.

This years ICAST New Products Exhibition presented 1,087 new products from 292 companies. After 37 category winners were crowned yesterday, American Tackle Company came out on top as sole “Best of Show” owners. Heim said the business has won category awards before, but this is his first Best of Show win at ICAST.

“It’s great to represent the rest of the custom bar manufacturers and bar component companies in the industry,” added Heim.

ICAST 2023 New Product Showcase Best of Category Winners

The best of the fishing lifestyle

News and Wellness
Product: The GoMist Drinking and Misting Bottle | ExtremeMist Personal Cooling Systems
Contact: Devin Holmgren

Motor navigation accessories
Product: PowerPole Move ZR | Power-Pole®
Contact: Curt Hill

Non-motorized navigation accessory
Contact: Suzy Hunt

Boats and Vessels
Product: Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+132 | Johnson Outdoor Watercraft, Inc.
Contact: Alex Sherbino

Product: Nautical Ankle Boots – Black | AFTCO
Contact: Denny Le

ice fishing
Product: LiveScope™ Plus LI Ice Fishing Package with ECHOMAP™ UHD2 93sv | United States
Contact: Carly Hysell

Product: King Tide 8, Black 580G Blue Mirror | Costa sunglasses
Contact: Hannah Trotter

Lifestyle clothing for women
women’s dress | Huk Performance Fishing
Contact: Bobby Lader

lifestyle clothing for men
Ocean Bound Hooded Performance Shirt | AFTCO
denny le

Women’s Warm Weather Technical Clothing
Product: Mojeaux 1/4 Zip Performance Shirt | AFTCO
denny le

Technical clothing for warm weather for men
Product: Channel Performance T-shirt with hood | AFTCO
denny le

Women’s Cold Weather Technical Clothing
Product: Women’s Barricade Rain Suit | AFTCO
denny le

Men’s Cold Weather Technical Clothing
Product: Gale Jumper | black fish gear
Contact: Addy Hansen

Best of General Tackle

soft and hard coolers
Product: Flop Box 10 | failed industries
Contact: Kyle Dougherty

Product: Westin EscapeCam | western fishing
Contact: Michael Trost

Cutlery, Hand Layers or Tools
Product: BUBBA Pro Series Smart Fish Scale | BUBBA
Contact Matt Kinamore

fishing accessory
Product: ENGEL USB Rechargeable Lithium Ion XL Live Bait Aerator Pump | ENGEL refrigerators
Contact: Chris Holloway

children’s ticket
Product: ProFISHiency Next Gen Crazy Combo | Anything Possible Brands
Contact: Amanda Rispoli

tackle management
Product: Pontoon Boat Tackle Center | boat suppliers
Contact: Jared Walton

terminal input
Product: VMC Swingin’ Ned Rig Jig | rapala
Contact: Matt Jensen

Custom rigs and components
American Tackle Tsuka 2 Full Carbon Handle | American rigging company
Contact: Kevin Landers

Fishing line
Product: Fluorocarbon Mastiff | Shimano
Contact: Cory Van Auken

The best of fly fishing

Fly Fishing Waders & Waders
Product: G4Z Stockingfoot Wader | Simms Fishing Products
Contact: John Frazier

Fly lines, leaders, tippet and line accessories
Product: BUZBE Colony 8T (FINE) | BUZBE
Contact: Caleb Sutton

Fly Fishing Packs, Bags & Luggage
Product: Flyweight Vest Pack | Simms Fishing Products
John Frazier

Technical Clothing and Accessories for Fly Fishing
Product: Master Edition M6014 | Renzetti, Inc.
Contact: Lilly Renzetti

fly fishing reel
Product: Cheeky Spray Fly Reel | cheeky fishing
Contact: Peter Vandergrift

fly fishing rod
Product: Heavy Duty Z Pull | pure fishing, inc.
Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

The best of lures

freshwater soft lure
Product: Berkley PowerBait Nessie | pure fishing, inc.
Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Saltwater Soft Lure
Product: Mulletron LT (Line Through) Swimbait | Z-Man Fishing Products
Contact: Cory Schmidt

freshwater hard lure
Product: ChatterBait Elite EVO | Z-Man Fishing Products
Contact: Cory Schmidt

saltwater hard lure
Product: MIrrOlure The Dog Duke | L&S Bait Company
Contact: Michael Tennian

The best of reeds

freshwater reed
Product: St. Croix Mojo Bass TRIGON | Santa Cruz Rods
Contact: Josh Lantz

saltwater rod
Product: Inshore NRX+ | Shimano
Contact: Cory Van Auken

Rod and reel combo
Product: Abu Garcia ZATA Baitcast Combo | pure fishing, inc.
Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

The best of the reels

freshwater reel
Product: Stradic FM | Shimano
Contact: Cory Van Auken

saltwater reel
Product: Seapower 1200 | Daiwa Corporation
Contact: Chip Cone

Navigate the ICAST Show with the ICAST App

Loaded with useful features, the ICAST mobile app, sponsored by ANYTHING Brands possible, is a one stop shop for maps, event schedules, booth locations and exhibitor listings. Available on Android and Apple devices, the app is a convenient digital companion for keeping a busy week organized.

Keep up with ICAST

ICAST can be found on social media at: Facebook – @icastfishing – Instagram – @icastshow and Twitter – @ICASTshow. When posting, use hashtags: #ICAST2023 #ICASTshow #ICAST.

Thanks to the sponsors of ICAST 2023!

ASA extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to our members for their generous support of ICAST 2023.

Platinum:Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, under armor and Wired2Fish

Gold:, Coastal Conservation Association, crocodile bay, Engel Refrigerators, Fishing tackle retailer, garmin, Major League Fishing, KastKing, Shimano, Santa Cruz rod, VisitOrlando and way point tv

Silver:AFTCO, ANYTHING Brands possible, Bonnier Corporation, Get Folks Fishing Foundation and swamp wear.

Bronze:beer stopper, Hook + Bullet and hook and tackle