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Fishing kayak rated best product at trade show

Each year during the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) Show, industry buyers and members of the outdoor media from around the world get a first-hand look at many of the newest products bound for the sportfishing marketplace. These products, appropriately enough, are displayed in the New Products Showcase.

The buyers and media get the chance to give these a products a thorough once-over, as well as to vote for the products they feel are the Best of Show in 24 specific categories. This year, 270 companies entered 889 products in the New Product Showcase, vying to be voted the best.

At the 2015 ICAST this month in Orlando, Fla., the overall Best of Show award went to first-time exhibitor Eddyline Kayaks and the YakAttack edition of the C-135 Stratofisher. This entry also won Best of Show in the boat category.

At 13-½ feet long and 34 inches wide, the YakAttack’s design reflects the increasing interest in kayak fishing and industry efforts to give anglers a stable platform on the water. In recent years, kayak manufacturers have moved far beyond simply placing an angler label on a kayak to actually designing kayaks specifically for fishing. Today’s top-of-the-line angling kayaks include multiple on-board storage options, platforms for accessory attachment and adjustable seats. The YakAttack follows suit and includes an adjustable multi-position seat that also is removable.

The biggest difference between the Eddyline product and other fishing kayaks is the manufacturing. Most kayaks on the market are made by rotomolding polyethylene, which creates a durable hull that is both heavy and difficult to repair. This is done by placing plastic pellets into two-part molds which are rotated in an oven until the plastic fills the mold and a hull is formed.

Eddlyline kayaks are made using a process called thermoforming, which involves placing a sheet of heated plastic over a positive mold and using a vacuum to pull the plastic tight into the mold. Eddyline uses a material called Carbonlite 2000, which the company says is not only lightweight, but durable, UV resistant and repairable.

Despite having a carrying capacity of 450 pounds, the YakAttack weighs in at only 69 pounds. The kayak is priced at $2,599 for the YakAttack edition and $2,199 for the C-135 Stratofisher base model. The boat comes in yellow, seagrass or silver, all over a white hull and will be available on the retail market Sept. 1.

Another Best of Show product that might grab bass anglers’ attention is the LIVETARGET Hollow Body Sunfish by Koppers Fishing. This item won the Soft Lure category and, as its name implies, is designed to imitate a sunfish or bluegill. In this case, it acts as a juvenile sunfish that is in distress near the surface or a fish that has been pushed to the top of weed beds by feeding bass or other predatory fish.

The lure is designed to be weedless, so you can work it across heavy cover without getting hung up. Expect to pay about $13 retail.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com.

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