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Nantes sea fishing show celebrates 20th year in style

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Hobie Kayak Europe used a 50sqm test pool at Nantes to introduce the Hobie Pro Angler 360.

Last year’s Salon de la Pêche en Mer – which reported a 50% increase in attendance to 12,500 – was always going to be a hard act to follow.

But the organiser of the annual saltwater fishing and boat show in Nantes says that last weekend’s 20th anniversary event was another big success.

“It was a very good birthday for the show,” said Carole Gohel for events company, Exponantes. “Lots of people attended, which was very good for business. We do not have confirmation of the numbers yet, but the attendance seemed similar to 2019.”

Last year’s surge in attendance numbers was attributed to the increased use of social media in the marketing campaign – and the exercise was repeated this year.

Exponantes was also happy with the turn-out from exhibitors. “The majority of the key businesses were present and we had the pleasure of welcoming Flashmer for the first time, a good and long-established company. There will be more new exhibitors next year,” promised Gohel.

“We had very good feedback from exhibitors. Business was good and they were happy to be there.”

Gero Priebe, of Hobie Kayak Europe, endorsed Gohel’s view of the event. “It has again been a successful occasion for us. It is increasingly becoming one of our key events of the year, especially in France.  

“Last year we moved away from having a single dealer there and set up as a Hobie brand stand with multiple dealers in the area, which was a unique thing for us to do at a fishing show. This year we also had our own 50m² indoor test pool to introduce the new Hobie Pro Angler 360, which worked out great.

“Nantes has become something of a meeting point for the saltwater kayak fishing scene in France and therefore the show is dedicating quite a big area to kayak fishing, which is perfect for us. The Salon is providing the perfect platform to show our products at the beginning of the season. We’ll be back next year.”

Romain Arroniz, the agent for Chinese brand Maxel in France, said: “There was good participation from exhibitors, although some big brands were missing, such as Shimano and Daiwa. Maxel did good business, selling a lot of product through retailers.

“I took the whole range to Nantes – rods, reels, jigs, hooks and other accessories. Maxel’s Risky Player and Elemento slow jigging rods, Seawolf trolling rods, Rage jigging reels and Oceanic trolling reels were most popular with customers, as well as our range of jigs.”

Another exhibitor to enjoy a successful show was Pafex France. “It was a good show,” said President Henri Benech. “Many people visited our booth with questions and technical problems, such as which hooks for which lures, the diameter of the split rings, the difference between rubber mesh and knotless nets.

“We spoke about our artisanal production methods and that our products are made in France. We always try to have the best quality and provide a five-year guarantee. 

“We also talked to visitors about producing landing nets that fisherman need and our commitment to research and development. Every year we produce a new net that is tested by the ten guys in our pro team before it reaches the market.”

Filed In: Large Accessories, Lines, Lures, Product News, Reels, Rods