Acme United’s Cuda Brand Makes Heads Turn at ICAST Show

Cuda, the fishing tools brand of Acme United (ACU – $21.28), again made heads turn at the annual ICAST show in Orlando, Florida. The event was a phenomenal success. Thanks to the introduction of more than 30 new tools, plenty of existing and potential customers stopped by at the Cuda booth.

In addition, the brand attracted the attention of the media, as it had around 20 appointments with magazines and trade journals. Consequently, some good editorial coverage is expected in the next few weeks.

The Cuda Pro staff was also well represented at the show. Having such celebrated and respected fishermen at the booth is priceless, as they engage with customers to discuss the product line and they attract lots of curious anglers. The Cuda representatives even scheduled a two-hour meet and great session with the popular Capt. TJ Ott from the hit National Geographic show, Wicked Tuna.

To ensure the highest quality and reliability of all Cuda tools, they are rigorously tested by the fresh and salt water Cuda Pros. So far, over thirty Pros have been hand-picked for their fishing accomplishments and dedication to the fishing community, and more are being added.

The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is the world’s largest sportfishing industry trade show. Over 15,000 people attended to learn about the latest products and trends in the domestic and international sportfishing and boating community. The show hosted 1,850 booths with an overall exhibitor count of more than 700.

Expanding Products Line

ICAST traditionally is about new gear, apparel and accessories that help make a day on the water both exciting and rewarding. Keeping up with that tradition, Cuda launched a series of new tools at ICAST that are now on the shelves of retailers and sporting goods chains. In addition, several DMT products were shown as some tools have a hook sharpener, specifically designed for fishermen.

Cuda, for example, introduced its first ever professional line of knives. The seven different knives feature USA CTS 40A Titanium NonStick Bonded corrosion resistant Carpenter steel blades and have full tang handles that fit comfortably in the user’s hand.

Cuda’s regular knife line for both fresh and saltwater fishing was also expanded with seven new models. Ranging from a marlin spike, to a wide, semi-flex fillet knife, the new line incorporates a number of advanced features, including Cuda’s signature visible full-tang construction, non-slip scale pattern grips and titanium-bonded stainless steel.

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In addition, Cuda introduced four gaffs ranging in length from four to eight feet, featuring carbon-fiber shafts, making them lightweight yet extremely strong. Each gaff featured a patented stainless steel hook with advanced corrosion and adhesion resistance.

Moreover, Cuda presented the new Cuda Fish Measure, designed with a removable straight edge starting point to ensure consistent measurements with each catch. As seen on the hit National Geographic television show, Wicked Tuna, the new fish measure features large, easy-to-read-numbers, and is made from durable, waterproof nylon.

Additional new items to the accessory line include the heavy-duty Cuda Sheath & Lanyard, which fits a variety of Cuda pliers and snips; a Cuda Ice Pick; and a Cuda Connect, which connects an action camera, such as a GoPro or WASP to a Cuda Tag Stick or Harpoon.

Finally, Cuda, for the first time, showed a new series of marine first aid kits designed specifically for the unique needs of anglers. Available in three sizes – personal, inshore and offshore – the kits are compact and constructed for easy stowage for a convenient onboard first aid center.

Included in the kit are first aid essentials for burn, CPR and shock treatment, as well as sunscreen, sting relief, aspirin and wound care necessities.

Commenting on the success of the new tools, Capt. Rick Constantine, vice president of marketing and general manager for Acme United said, “Cuda products are known for quality and performance. We design our tools in cooperation with the Pro Staff and the result is a powerful line, built with anglers in mind. There’s a tool for every task and each one is designed to make life easier and more productive on the water.”

Expanding Fishing Market: 60 in 60

During the ‘State of the Industry’ breakfast at ICAST, more than 550 industry representatives heard about how important it is to attract new people into the sport. Currently there are about 46 million licensed anglers.

The Recreational Fishing & Boating Foundation outlined an exciting and ambitious effort called “60 in 60” to engage everyone in the industry to get 60 million anglers actively engaged in the sport in 60 months.

That sentiment was echoed by keynote speaker, Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson executive and lifestyle branding expert, who asked the audience to remember that they are not just selling “gear and ball bearings” but selling an entire lifestyle and to remember that as a key element in their marketing and sales.

According to the 2011* National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more Americans fish than play golf (21 million) and tennis (13 million) combined. The anglers generate over $46 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

* The survey is conducted every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Conclusion

A major advantage of Acme United entering the fishing tools market a couple of years ago, is that fishing is popular in many parts of the world. Europe, for example, counts 25 million recreational anglers, while Canada has over 3 million. These are impressive statistics that immediately give an indication of Cuda’s potential. Moreover, thanks to the ’60 in 60’ initiative, the number of anglers is bound to increase.

When Cuda was launched in 2014, it had 24 different tools. Now, only two years later, it has about 70, and by next year, the brand plans to have 100.

Cuda continues to exceed expectations in both brand acceptance and placement at retail stores. This is largely thanks to the innovative design and quality of the tools. Acme’s Rick Constantine has been an avid fisherman for over 40 years. All his knowledge, combined with the use of the best materials on the market, and Acme’s patented coating technologies, have created a family of tools that provide consistent, high-end performance. ICAST proved that all of this is more and more recognized by customers and the media.

Also very helpful to the brand is its unique Pro Staff. Next to helping design and develop new Cuda fishing tools, these Pro’s are true evangelists for the brand. They use the tools at fishing tournaments or on their TV shows and they help spread the word on Cuda on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. All in all, they are very helpful to build brand recognition.

We’re convinced that Cuda will become an ever bigger contributor to Acme United’s results. Buy recommendation.

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