REPORT: AFTA Tackle Show 2012

THE annual Australian Fishing Trade Association’s Tackle Show was held on Queensland’s Gold Coast this week. The trade-only event showcases the latest in upcoming tackle and gear releases for the upcoming season.

Here’s a rundown of the 2012 show’s award winners and some of the gear you should keep an eye out for in your favourite tackle store.

Shimano dominated the tackle awards this year, taking honours for best reel (Stella SW 4000) and rod (Ocea Switch Bait). The best hard-bodied lure was won by Cranka for its innovative and highly popular “Crab”, while Queensland-based L. Wilson & Co took out the soft plastic category with the Zerek Live Shrimp.

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Cranka’s new lifelike Crab lures.

Best Line Award was shared by Platypus (Platinum Braid) and Shimano (Power Pro Bite Motion).

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The new Jinc blades from Jackall.

Tackle Tactics won the Best Terminal Tackle section with its Headlockz Jigheads; Jarvis Walker won the Giftware award with its Fisherman’s Bucket List; BLA won Best Boating Accessory and Electronics Award for the Minn Kota iPilot; AFN took out the Environmentally Friendly section with its Dri Screen Sunscreen; and Spotters won Best Clothing and Accessories Award for its Pivot Halide sunnies.

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Shimano’s John Dunphy with one of the company’s tackle awards.

Melbourne-based JM Gillies scored big time with three awards including Best Kids Tackle (Plano Boys & Girls Kit), Best Tackle Management (Plano tackle box) and Best Fishing Accessory (Frabil Hiber-Net).

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Rex Hunt (left) and Pat Levy of J M Gillies – the company took out three awards at this year’s show. 

The always competitive stand awards were this year judged by Bob Baldwin, who told Fisho he was hugely impressed with the professionalism of the Australian tackle industry. Mr Baldwin, a dedicated marlin angler who runs a 32-foot Albermarle gameboat out of his home town of Port Stephens, awarded Tassie-based lure company Cranka the Best Small Stand award, TT the Best Medium Stand and Frogleys Offshore the Best Large Stand. Best Stand overall was taken out by Rapala for its impressive display which included a tank for lure testing and a boat suspended from the ceiling.

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Rapala took out the award for the Best Stand Overall at this year’s show.

In other awards, WA Angler editor Scott Coghlan and Fishing World’s Jim Harnwell were both honoured with the inaugural “media contribution to recreational fishing” presentations.

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Fisho’s Jim Harnwell with Bruce Alvey of Alvey Reels Australia.

Fishing industry veteran Len Wilson received an ovation for his 60-plus years in the tackle trade. Another industry veteran, Trevor Stevens, who spent many decades working for Queensland-based Tacspo, recently retired and was likewise honoured for his long service to the industry.

On a sadder note, tackle industry legend Jack Erskine, who died recently while on a business trip to America, was given a moving tribute by AFTA president Bruce Alvey.

Stand by for more reports and videos detailing hot new gear that should be soon available at your local tackle store!
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The Stratos 2000 TS two-speed spin reel.

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Halco’s new Roosta Popper 160 features a new cupped face.

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State of the art squid jigs from Gancraft.

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Shimano’s new TranX mega baitcaster.

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