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EFTTEX Diary: Day two

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A poorly attended Annual General Assembly (AGA) kicked off day two of EFTTEX in Brussels.

The day begins early with EFTTA’s Annual General Assembly. It’s the opportunity for members to have their say on key issues affecting the Association and the industry. Sadly, as so often in the past, there is a paltry attendance, with the 13-strong Board outnumbering the member companies represented.

EFTTA’s Jan Kappel draws attention to a joint effort from the Association and the European Anglers Alliance to establish a Recreational Fishing Intergroup to create stronger links between MEPs and the EU angling community.

Following Kappel’s update on the continued pressure on angling to stop using lead, CEO Jean Claude Bel suggests that the industry should take the lead in driving a carefully managed, long-term strategy to move away from the toxic substance. Such a policy would support the industry’s pro-conservation stance, argued Bel.

Lucio Sirotti, of Italian company Plastica Panaro, is elected to the Board unopposed.

The show opens at 10am and Svendsen Sport boss Lars Svendsen drops by the Angling International booth and reports the continued progress of his Savage Gear brand in the US. The Danish company’s CEO confesses to having his ‘fingers burned’ at his first attempt to break into the huge North American market some years ago, but a fruitful co-operation with Okuma is meeting with success this time around.

Over at the Rapala booth we are given an intriguing insight into the company’s strategy to transfer production from China to Singapore. Faced with rising costs in China, the Finnish lure manufacturer has placed itself ahead of the curve and is enjoying improved production and improved quality, as well as gaining more control over its intellectual property.

Stepping onto the Boone Bait booth it seems strange not to see the familiar face of Peter Foley. The saltwater lure manufacturer is absent from his first EFFTEX since the event began, but the business is in the capable hands of Foley’s daughter TL who is delighted to have signed up new business in Egypt and Tunisia as well as renewing a partnership with a former Scandinavian customer. Boone’s new planers and fishing tools are among the products catching the eye of buyers.

Catfishing’s continued popularity is evidenced by the many new cat products at the show. The Clonk Teaser, a new lure in the MADCAT line-up, attracted plenty of attention in one of the Svendsen demo tanks and is hotly tipped as a contender in the Best New Product Awards. Lucas Van Der Geest, an old friend of Angling International, explains that the bait is the first of its kind to emit sound as it is raised and lowered just above the bottom. Available in four colours and two sizes, the Clonk Teaser will be in tackle shops from September.

Good to see Allistair Fergusson from line manufacturer Northern Sport. The Canadian company acquired Pure Fishing’s fly line operation in the UK in 2009 and experienced a couple of tough years before getting the business on track. Most of the lines from the Bromsgrove factory are sold in the UK, with some going to customers in northern Europe and France. Northern Sport also manufactures in Canada and now Fergusson and his partner Rick Tramer are tentatively considering the idea of launching or acquiring their own brand.

Next stop is the Livingston Lures booth (M17) where COO Basil Battah reports a fantastic response to Angling International’s article about the company’s Howeller lure, so named after Bassmaster Classic winner Randy Howell. Buyers from all over the west and east of Europe, Africa and Asia have been eager to do business and Livingston reveals that a new range of Howeller-type baits will be in the shops by October this year.

Daiwa returned to EFTTEX in Vienna last year and the Japanese company’s booth (M16) is a big attraction once again. The famous brand’s pedigree is evident in the array of quality reels on display. The focus on the amazing technology behind the brand, captured in a jaw-dropping 3D graphic that is a must-see for any visitor to the show.


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