Gramp’s Cramps

ICAST, Great show, but my feet hurt.

By Cliff Kunde

Each year the ASA (American Sportfishing Association), hosts a true ‘trade show’ for buyers and manufacturers called ironically, ICAST. This year it was held in Orlando, FL and it was by far the largest of any ICAST shows I have been to and I’ve been to 31 over the years. Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Orlando come to mind. This time they partnered up with ‘AFFTA’ (American Fly Fishing Trade Association) and ‘NMMA’ (National Marine Manufacturers Association). The combined effort kept an old man like me on the move. It was almost too much to see and experience, but worth the trip to see old friends and new products.

They have a “New Products Showcase” that allows a novice to get the flavor of the show and writers a chance to save a lot of time exploring the grounds for something NEW. These shows are not open to the public as a general rule, just reps, buyers, writers and manufacturers. As a rule I have to say that often the products are just a change in color or extra wiggle to a lure. The last half dozen years they have had little or no cooking products, but this year we were pleased to see some new products and a little cooking thrown in to placate guys like me.

New products I liked include the Electronic Flare made by WEEMS & PALTH (www.weems-plath.com). A  non-expiring flare that meets Coast Guard requirements, with only one per boat required. This is actually a great night time device, but is not good for the daylight hours. Worth looking into though.

The FIREXDISC portable propane cooker, (www.FireDiscCookers.com). This handy cooker folds up and stashes away quickly and provides a very real cooking platform for the woods, beach or back yard. If you like cooking on a wok then this one’s for you. It comes in different sizes from 24 inch to 36 and a taller or shorter stand. You’ll have your choice and application to consider. They have a ton of accessories to complement the product as well.

The PELICAN 20qt Elite Cooler, (www.Pelican.com). This new hard cooler will keep ice for a week, it is not very big at 20qt and is not light, but it works when you want it to. I’ll never forget the PELICAN case we took to Kuwait in 91’ with the US Air Force. It stored all my combat gear and some. A hard shell and secure travel handles made for excellent equipment transport. They also have a soft 20qt that does not leak all over the back seat of my truck. Only tried it once, but I’m sure it will be in my inventory soon.

My favorite came down to what my wife and I can enjoy. It has to be functional and efficient and be within the normal budget for most folks. The OUTDOOR EDGE, (www.outdoorEdge.com) had the ticket for us in their CUT-N-QUE line. It’s new and will be an improvement over our normal cooking gear. The set comes in a case and is not at all cumbersome. The tools inside is what got my attention, full sized spatula and tongs that can be extended for use on our big grill. The case has all you need for a trip to the woods or beach or back yard. Knives, sharpener, grill brush, meat thermometer, fork and marinade brush. The only thing that would make me more satisfied would be an automatic dishwasher, because we will surly use all of the items each time we use them. Most of the accessories can also be purchased separately, on line. Great stuff for the outdoor folks, yep, and an ‘Outdoor Edge’ to boot.

There were way too many items to bring forth in this short segment, so come back next issue to see if I have recovered and remember more. Tight lines and don’t forget to look around you, so much gets lost in the rush.

 

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