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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Working the Booth at Outdoor Retailer  (Read 1170 times)

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Here's an interview with Scott Macgregor, the publisher of Kayak Angler Magazine.  In a nutshell, it's why I decided to rep and endorse RTM Kayaks after 17 years of recommending all the best fishing kayaks to anglers, as I knew them. 

I'm surprised the trade shows generate so much press to the consumer section these days, I think those guys have their work cut out for them finding fresh news for the saltwater scene.

I saw "fishing kayaks" that wholesale for $80-$150, that look bitchen and are complete pieces of junk.  "Entry level" kayaks is what I heard them called and there are buyers out there looking to purchase that stuff by the thousands.  I don't know who ends up with these boats, maybe inland fisheries and purchases by the big box stores and Bass Pro Shops but I've yet to notice these off-brands on the water in California. Stick to the names you know that are proven by anglers.   On the premium side, it's clear that companies are targeting the areas we don't think about much and from what I saw, it felt like lots of kayaks for bass, muskie and mostly fresh and skinnywater markets.

As far as new product targeting kayak fishing at this retailer attended show, not a lot.  I was impressed with Yak-gear.com, an accessory company, like Scotty and Ram, from Houston who started their fishing accessory line with a focus on kayak anglers as they evolve into the private boater cross-over.  Lots of techy accessories and a few glitchy ones too (track lights for the kayaks).Yak-gear.com also has a very fishy crew who fish their kayaks together.  That's a really good sign.  While sponsons aren't big on the Pacific, they are in many kayak fisheries across north America and they have a successful outrigger setup.

The "specialty fishing kayaks" from Hobie and Native made a good showing, I didn't see any of the smaller manufacturers of those or manufacturers of motorized kayaks or motor accessories.

Windpaddle.com-This company's been around awhile and took off with their hand held sails to recreational paddlers. For some reason, the sails have never generated much interest from kayak anglers.  They came out with a canopy for kayaks that you can actually fish around, a really nice specialty product.

Ribz angler packs and Looprope were among the few things that grabbed me for kayak fishing and we hooked them up to sponsor the Fall Classic with raffle donations.

A big part of this paddling show emphasised Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs), the new darling of the paddlesports industry.  That said, the paddle manufacturers I saw were focused on new product for SUPs, not kayak fishers.  Is bending Branches the only paddle manufacturer that makes an angler paddle with a ruler on the shaft?

Kind of a dismal report from the New Product Pavilion.  RTM Plans on exhibiting next year if the show can get us back in the main hall.  I'm looking forward to the tackle shows that clearly hit the sport closer to home.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 03:15:22 PM by Spike »


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Sweet! It looks like the show went well Spike. Your interview was one of the better ones I have seen from rapid media. It is so true about the kayaks being geared towards bass fishing and inland fishing. As far as paddles go I think bending branches is the only one with the ruler and they are the only company that has a few different angler models. It seems like this is the year of fishing kayaks, lots of different companies getting their share of the market.
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Thanks for the report, Spike.  Way to represent your line and the community.   :smt001
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Nice write up. CraZ how big this sport has evolved. Good and bad.