By Pete Robbins
A friend of mine who is a keen observer of the tackle industry has speculated that either the Savage Gear 3D Rat or the Savage Gear 3D Duck will win one of the annual ICAST awards. Fortunately the show is not in Vegas this year, because he’s so sure of his prediction that otherwise he’d be looking for a sports book in which to bet his house on this outcome.
Indeed, certain gimmicky products tend to take home the bacon from the big show (does anyone remember orange rods with nano carrot fibers?). Additionally, certain companies almost always seem to get some sort of recognition. I have no idea if that’s the result of stealth marketing campaigns, or if the fix is in, or if there’s any pattern to this process. I just know that every year some of the award winners turn out to be huge successes, others are moderate successes, and some are complete flops. I have not yet seen the Savage Rat or Duck up close, and certainly haven’t fished them, so I can’t opine on their likely utility. I have used some of the company’s other products and found them to be well-made.
As I’ve written before, the idea of voting on a “best in class” fishing product while it sits behind glass is a bit absurd – how can you know it’s any good until you’ve actually put it to the test under real life conditions? I’m reminded that ICAST is not fishing’s equivalent of the scouting combine. The fishing community isn’t there to decide any actual merits. Rather, it’s a showcase for sales, and in that case if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you’ll probably want to give it shelf space.