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ICAST? You would be stupid not to go, says top retailer

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Tony Murphy, of The Saltwater Angler in Florida, says he would be worried if he missed ICAST.

ICAST veteran Tony Murphy gives it to you straight when asked whether fishing tackle retailers should attend ICAST.

The owner of The Saltwater Angler, based in Key West, Florida, says bluntly: “Why wouldn’t you go? You would be stupid not to. Anyone who is in the fishing tackle business needs to go to ICAST. It is a must on so many levels.

“I would be worried if I had to miss a year.”

Murphy told Angling International that he first attended ICAST back in 2007 in Las Vegas. “It was during a downturn in the economy and was pretty bleak in those days. You didn’t have any trouble negotiating the aisles. It was certainly easier to walk around.

“It took a couple of years to improve, but now it is a completely different proposition and an event not to be missed.”

Murphy adds that it is not just the fishing tackle on display that is a ‘must-see’, but the accessories and all the other fishing related products that make it a one-stop shop for everything a proprietor of a tackle store needs to make a business successful.

“When I first visited the show GoPro and Yeti were small companies and I remember being really taken by their products. GoPro was the first to come out with a tiny camera, while it was difficult to believe that Yeti’s coolers were for real. They had units that could keep ice for weeks. If I had not visited ICAST I would not have known about companies like them.”

He admitted that going to a show can be an expensive affair, but added that the outlay can be recouped through the many and generous show specials that are on offer. “If you take advantage of the deals they can pay for your trip.”

As well as viewing the products on display, Murphy says that there are other strands to the event that make it ‘unmissable’. On the top of the list for him is the networking opportunities it presents – especially with vendors. “It is very important to have a relationship with your suppliers and seeing them at ICAST gives you an opportunity to strengthen that bond. It can be a gamechanger.”

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