Las Vegas, Nevada – Déjà vu in the desert. Like last year, near closing time of the show on opening day, two peppy ASA (American Sportfishing Association) representatives appeared at the Frabill booth to deliver an official looking letter. Well, either the Jackson, Wis. manufacturer was being subpoenaed for crimes committed in Las Vegas or in follow-up fashion to last year, would soon be collecting a ‘Best of’ award in the New Product Showcase. As it were, the latter was true. But again, suspense hung in the air as the correspondence didn’t stipulate ‘which’ category Frabill had swiped.
The titanium, fly-reeled Straight Line Combo – a techy ice fishing wand – was entered in the ‘Rod & Reel Combos’ category; undoubtedly a dark horse to win in an arena dominated by long freshwater and saltwater rods. Then there was The Shuttle, a game-changing storage solution and transport device for ice fishing gear. No doubt, it will make its mark on ice fishing in 2011-12, but earning ‘Best New Accessory’ at ICAST? Probably not with so many voters – writers and other media members – making livings south of the ‘Ice Belt.’
Last but not least was Frabill Suit, a bonfide contender for ‘Best New Apparel’. It stood a chance coming off FXE Stormsuit’s stunning victory at ICAST 2010. Frabill, a trusted fishing company since 1938, has rapidly rooted as a serious fishing-specific apparel manufacturer, with product introductions like ICESUIT, FXE Snosuit, and a wealth of companion headgear and handwear accessories.
Ultimately, the question would be answered at the New Products Showcase reception gala. Drum roll please… The guessing game came to a quick end when ASA President & CEO Mike Nussman announced that indeed Frabill Suit had earned the rights to thump its chest as ICAST’s ‘Best New Apparel’ for 2011.
The award was graciously accepted by Frabill’s Marketing Director Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski, who then posed for photos with his boss at Frabill and ASA Chairman of the Board, Jeff Marble. You can imagine the pride blended with adrenaline racing through those two guys. Here, a company recognized as the definitive manufacture of landing nets, livebait care products, and ice fishing gear now stood immortalized as a premium name in fishing apparel.
The trophy was delivered in the dead of summer, but ice fisherman will have to bide their time until the Frabill Suit becomes available in October. In fact, you can go to the Frabill website and sign-up for automatic notification when it hits the warehouse.
Anticipation builds amongst the ice fishing brethren to see this waterproof, windproof and breathable bibs and parka set with all its layerability and ergonomic quotients. And while sporting goods stores are making space for this preordained hot seller, know that the Frabill design team partied hearty that night in Sin City, but is already back in the lab engineering the next big thing in cold weather outerwear.
For more information on the functional and fitted Frabill Suit, go to www.frabill.com.
Frabill, Inc. (Jackson, Wis.) is in its 73rd year of engineering premium, trusted fishing equipment. Frabill’s ice fishing product lineup consists of portable ice fishing shelters, rod and reel combos, tip-ups, bait containers, portable aeration, and premium ice fishing apparel, including FXE Snosuit. Openwater products include landing nets, portable aeration, bait containers, bait care, bait traps and seines, accessories, and premium openwater apparel, such as FXE Stormsuit. Visit www.frabill.co