Innovation highlights from I.S.E. 2013
By Gary Heffley
01/24/13 -- With this year’s I.S.E. show in the rearview mirror it is fun to reflect on some of the new items, not necessarily those of the major manufacturers who update and offer upgrades to current product lines (although the new Lowrance touch screen “fish finders are kind of neat), but those that make you think, “Why didn’t I think of that.”
I mean where else can you see a hoodie with a pouch to hold your soda or beer? Genius, right? Bring on the Super bowl. How about a strap that would wrap around a tree and offer a “Green” alternative to driving a nail into a tree to hang things from or breaking off limbs to accomplish the same? There was a great looking fly/lure box that had a belt clip and opened to a completely flat position. The same company offered a fluted clear fishing float that offered neutral buoyancy to keep pencil lead down but off the rocks for steelheaders. There was also a fold out camp kitchen that is the size of a large suitcase, weighs 35 pounds and has wheels for easy movement. Who hasn’t wanted a floating fire pit that can double as a barbeque for pool parties, lazy river floats, or lakeshore romantic getaways?
Beer Buddy Hoodies offered the unique pouched sweatshirt that will hold onto your beer or beverage of choice allowing your hands to be otherwise occupied. A two-fisted sandwich or a reel screaming fish are easily handled without spilling a drop. Check out BeerBuddyHoodies.com for details. They also offer custom embroidered designs for the hoodie’s front.
Cinch to Hang offers the great strap with attached fold out hanging brackets for easy and green means to hang everything from towels, clothes line, back packs, tools or fishing rods just about anything you can think of in your camp. View all of the options at cinchtohang.com.
Ifish.com offered two kinda unique twists to float fishing and a belt attached fly box. Fishing floats are usually made of hard plastic. They will break if bounced off a rock and are just that “floats”, a bobber strike indicator or weighted casting float that enables spin tackle anglers to cast flies. What is unique about the soft plastic, fluted float, and that is unique in its own right, is that it can be weighted by a pencil lead or split shot and supplies a neutrally buoyant float keeping the weight just off the rocks below the surface. This will help supply a great bait presentation just off the bottom where most fish feed.
Ifish.com’s belt attached tackle/fly box does not need to be removed to access as most boxes do. The box will fold out flat offering the angler the ability to open either side, make a selection and then fold it back up. Everyone has struggled after taking a belt clipped item off and then trying to get it back on the belt. No worries as this stays on the belt the whole time.
Both items can be seen on the ifish.com website.
One of my personal favorites at the show is the Grub Hub Camp Kitchen. This compact fold out, expanding complete camp kitchen (does not come with a camp stove) is almost like having your very own Batman’s Bat Utility Belt. This thing has everything you need save the stove, pots, pans and food for a perfect camp kitchen. It only weighs 35 pounds and has wheels when compacted to be pulled and set-up most anywhere. It has a basin sink, bars to hang a lantern or camp shower to rinse dishes, a utensil holder and pouches for salt, pepper, spices, condiments or toiletries if you choose. Heck, you can even get a paper towel holder. No deer, fishing or family camp should be without one. Look at grubhub.usa to see this unit in action. It is truly remarkable to see one folded up and then one expanded next to it.
Another favorite is offered by accessories4h2o.com. The floating fire pit / barbeque is both ingenious and functional. The floating base resembles the old style donut shaped float tube adding securing pouches for a fire pit legs.
The fire pit concept has been further adapted to also serve as a barbeque giving the users dual functions if you will. The website even shows the unit in use on an icy lake. This should be popular with anglers as a safe and easy means to cook up a shore lunch. The floating fire pit can be used to warm up a cool evening of fishing off the lake bank with the added effect of the fire light actually serving as a fish attractor. And of course few things are more romantic than a lake side fire looking at the stars. The floating fire pit can set the mood for poolside parties or serve as the barbeque for a group tube trip down the river.Just like last year’s I.S.E. show when we were introduced to Bait Buttons and the Boomerang Snip that have become very popular fishing accessories, this year’s cast of unique items did not disappoint. Make sure if you get the chance to visit an I.S.E. show or one of the local regional sport expos, do so. You may just stumble on to one of these great innovations, or be inspired to develop one of your own
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