Cuda, the fishing tools brand of Acme United (ACU – $27.10), has a habit of each year becoming bigger and better at the ICAST show in Orlando, Florida. This year was no different. From distributors to buyers and media, representatives from the domestic and international fishing community, all visited the attractive 20’ by 30’ Cuda booth (see image slider below).
Only three years ago, Cuda was brand new and practically unknown. Since then, there has been a tremendous increase in brand recognition, thanks to the flow of exciting new tools that Cuda has brought to the market. Cuda has truly grown into a lifestyle brand.
At this year’s ICAST show, Cuda introduced more than twenty new tools, including several items in completely new product categories, such as nets and gloves. In addition, as Cuda aims to become a lifestyle brand for anglers, it also launched bracelets for men and women, and microfiber towels.
Another factor that has helped gain the brand a solid name in the fishing community is the Cuda Pros. Right from the start, Cuda attracted several well-known fishermen to design, test and represent the brand. The stars of the National Geographic hit show “Wicked Tuna”, star of the “Real Fishing Show” Bob Izumi, Mariko Izumi from “Hooking Up”, and David Dudley two-time FLW Bass Champion all tested the initial tools extensively.
Since then, the Cuda Pro Staff has continued to grow to more than 40 ambassadors today. In fact, several well-known anglers stopped by at Cuda’s booth asking if they could join the Pro Team. They continue to suggest improvements to prototype tools, so that when they go into production, the products are the best on the market.
Also the promotion that the Pro Staff provides is priceless. One pro has close to 300,000 Twitter followers. So when he tweets information about Cuda, all his followers get to see it. While visiting the booth at ICAST, several Pros shot Facebook Live videos about the new products and posted lots of Cuda content on their social media outlets.
The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is the world’s largest sport fishing industry trade show. The 60th edition of the show hosted 582 exhibitors in 1982 booths covering almost 200,000 square feet of the Orange County Convention Center. The show attracted close to 15,000 attendees, including 1,156 people from 73 countries.
Wide Assortment of New Tools
ICAST is the ultimate showcase for the latest innovations in gear, accessories and apparel that help to make a day on the water both exciting and rewarding. Keeping up with that tradition, Cuda launched many new tools at the show with unique features and benefits. Most tools are scheduled to be available in stores from fall in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
The brand is, for example, expanding its product offering with a complete new line of fishing nets, which are available in small, medium and large sizes and feature telescoping handles that allow the length to be adjusted from 4ft to 7.75ft. All Cuda fishing nets integrate a zipper for easy net attachment and removal. There’s no need to restring a replacement net around the hoop, simply zip and go. In addition, each product includes a mesh-coated net, which helps preserve the longevity of the fiber while making it easy to clean with nothing more than fresh water.
A second brand new category for Cuda is a line of saltwater and freshwater fishing gloves that meet the needs of both salt and freshwater anglers. Available in three styles – bait, wire wrap and offshore – the gloves are constructed from puncture-resistant, quadruple-layer Kevlar. For added convenience, the gloves also incorporate touchscreen capabilities so you can operate a smartphone or other electronic devices while wearing the gloves. Due to the Kevlar construction, the gloves are extremely durable and protect the user from cuts and abrasions, while remaining lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Cuda is also rolling out an innovative tool containment system, called the Cuda Tackle Center, which is designed to keep important tools organized and within reach. It conveniently fits into most standard size boat and kayak cup holders. Accommodating tools and knives up to 7 inches long, the system utilizes a unique patented containment fitting system to secure tools. A small net that covers the system can be fastened via clips on all four sides so that the tools are kept in place even in the roughest of waters.
Moreover, Cuda has developed a corrosion-resistant, spring-action hook cutter that easily slashes through the toughest hooks and is built to withstand harsh conditions. After all, when a fish swallows a hook, or you’ve accidentally set a hook in your hand, a quality hook cutter becomes a ‘must-have’ for every angler. Since the hook cutter cuts by friction vs. sharp edges, the tool will not dull or let you down when it is needed most.
Finally, Cuda is introducing a premium line of knife and hook sharpeners designed specifically for fresh and saltwater anglers. To meet a wide range of fishing needs, Cuda created three sharpeners – developed in cooperation with newly acquired DMT – with grits ranging from fine to extra fine. The entire collection – which includes a bench stone, knife and hook sharpener and cutting board sharpener – features rust-proof construction and is made in the USA. Especially the Cutting Board Channel Sharpener, which will fit right on the back edge of a marine cutting board, proved to be extremely popular and convenient.
With all the additional tools, Cuda now has over 100 different products in its range. Making it an amazing achievement in just four years since the brand was launched. Regardless where you are fishing, Cuda has a tool that will satisfy every freshwater, saltwater, inshore, offshore or river bank angler.
60 Million Anglers By The End of 2021
60 million anglers by the end of 2021 that is the goal of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, which is implementing programs and expanding staff to attract new people into the sport.
Also Cuda is contributing to this goal, as it donates a portion of its net sales to benefit families who might not otherwise be able to “get together and fish”. The brand’s goal is to bring families closer through fishing and to help educate those who might be new to fishing with helpful tips and techniques from the Cuda Pros.
With 47.2 million licensed anglers today, more Americans fish than play golf (21 million) and tennis (13 million) combined. Anglers generate over $46 billion in retail sales annually with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.
During the ‘State of the Industry’ breakfast at ICAST, more than 600 industry representatives heard about how the new administration is supporting expanding recreational fishing opportunities in both freshwater and saltwater, which is very encouraging to the industry.
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. The knowledge and experience of all Cuda Pros, 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. The new tools presented at ICAST are no exception to that rule.
The brand has signed several new distribution agreements the past few months in the U.S. and abroad. In Europe, for example, Cuda will soon be available in almost every country. In the coming months these agreements will undoubtedly start contributing to Cuda’s growing success and Acme’s financials. Recommendation BUY.
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