Plano, Ill.– Besides being the greatest ice show on earth, the recent St. Paul Ice Fishing Show serves as a general barometer for the ice fishing industry. With a large and diverse swath of ice anglers in attendance, product popularity is easily judged by booth traffic and cash register tape.
Several of the most talked about and purchased items came from the ice fishing leader, Frabill.
“People were absolutely ranting and raving about SideStep,” said Frabill Marketing and Pro Staff Manager Ben Royce. SideStep™ is the clever new sidewall door system on three of Frabill’s new flip-over ice shelters: The 2- to 3-angler Fishouflage® Ambush with padded bench seat; taller Fishouflage Ambush DLX with boat-style swivel seats; and Fishouflage Thermal Ambush DLX – the warmest and coolest looking shack on the lake. (The Ambush series completely sold out at the show, but are still available at retailers across the Ice Belt.)
Speaking of Fishouflage, Ben Royce heard constant buzzing about the fishing-fashion pattern. “Fishouflage is a long ball, walk-off homerun. Anglers love sporting their passion for the sport on the biggest canvas of all: their fish houses.”
While shacks went from semis to pickup trucks on the loading dock, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl held court inside, showcasing the wildly popular Straight Line 261 Reel and Combo. “Straightlining is all the rage in ice fishing, and the 261 does right by the technique,” said Bro, who was giving live demonstrations all weekend. (Straight Line 261’s sold out at the show, too, but still hang in a few retail locations.)
Yet another ‘Sold Out’ sign went up on the FXE Snosuit rack. Best in its category by a long shot, the premium jacket and bibs set is the warmest and most functional ice fishing outerwear ever. Apparel designer Chris Leonard saw a certain trend with the purchasers of FXE Snosuit. “They were upgrading. More and more anglers are stepping up to FXE Snosuit after wearing out one of the cheaper suits out there; sort of like trading in the Pinto for a Porsche.”
Meanwhile, Frabill prostaff Pat Kalmerton stood in the limelight with his new Straight-Line Tip-Up. Widely known for his savvy use of tip-ups, Kalmerton entertained sometimes 20 show-goers at a time with advanced tip-up techniques for panfish and perch, all incorporating the new Straight-Line Tip-Up.
Frabill’s ice fishing extravaganza is back on the road this weekend in Duluth, MN, at the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show. Pat Kalmerton, along with prostaff Chris Bressler and Jon Bloom, will be on the floor pitching product and sharing their ice fishing insights.