Winn grips share ICAST spotlight as Lew’s garners three ‘Best of Show’ awards in New Products Showcase competition

ICAST 2016 ‘Best of Show’ awards

The eyes of the fishing tackle industry converged on breakthrough new products from Lew’s at the ICAST 2016 show in Orlando. The Springfield, Mo.-based maker of premium rods and reels took home three ‘Best of Show’ awards at the New Product Showcase to lead all tackle manufacturers.

All three award-winning products – two rods and one reel – featured critical components from Winn Grips.

Lew’s Mach II SLP Baitcast Combo -- The Best Rod & Reel Combo award continued a string of victories in this category for Lew’s, which took home combo trophies in the 2014 and 2015 New Product Showcase competition as well. At the seat of control are colorful split grips made from WinnDry polymer, a patented material that maintains its tacky feel even under adverse weather conditions and promotes angler comfort and control. The new Super Low Profile (SLP) reel design with lightweight graphite frame features a 10-bearing system, double-shielded stainless steel bearings, bold chartreuse reel knobs that match the Winn split grips and anodized aluminum star drag and rod trim. Retail price: $179.99

Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool – Key features of this Best Freshwater Reel award winner are the elegant black Winn reel knobs and the 32 mm double anodized aluminum spool that brought the Super Low Profile (SLP) concept to fruition. The lower center of mass delivers better balance and enables easy palming for better angler control. “We spent a lot of time on the style of this reel,” explained Dave Hinke, product specialist. “Our test anglers absolutely fell in love with the Winn reel knobs with Lew’s Logo and the control over the reel they give the angler…We think it is one of the mostly stylish reels we have ever done.” Retail price: $259.99

Lew’s Mach Speed Stick Inshore – Inshore saltwater is a tackle segment as loaded with action as the Inshore sport fishing game itself, and Lew’s Mach Speed Stick Inshore was the cream of that rod crop at ICAST, earning Best Saltwater Rod honors in the New Product Showcase. The strong, lightweight rod with IM8 graphite blank boasted the same bold Winn split grip colors and matching anodized aluminum trim as the Mach II Baitcast Combo. “We found that this is a look that people really like,” noted Bob Brown, product specialist, long recognized for his innovative rod designs and use of advanced material technology. Retail price: $79.99

“Lew’s has always been an originator of innovation, and that is evident in the products that we brought to the New Product Showcase this year,” noted Hinke, who designed the Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool.

Both the Lew’s Mach II SLP Baitcast Combo and the Lew’s Mach Speed Stick Inshore stand out in eye-popping color. The electric chartreuse rod grips and reel knobs from Winn are emblematic of the bold, refreshing aesthetic that Winn has brought to fishing tackle.

“We put Winn grips and reel knobs on our upper end products now, and the fishermen like them,” said Brown, designer of the Mach series. “They find out Winn polymer handles are more comfortable for them, and we are tickled to death that we can put them on our product. We have been working with Dr. Huang (Winn founder) for years, and we will continue to do so. You will see more new products from Lew’s with Winn components in the future.”

Lew’s three-peat win in the Rod and Reel Combo category brought particular satisfaction to the Lew’s team and its Winn partners.

“When people walked up to the Lew’s booth, the first thing they looked at was this combination. It is that outstanding,” said Brown. “The Winn grips just make it the perfect combination. It’s like if a young guy went out and bought a new truck and wanted to put new wheels on it, but instead he found that this purchase came with the wheels already done! This really is an outstanding product.”

Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer magazine, the New Product Showcase is the perennial highlight of the American Sportfishing Association’s ICAST exhibition, the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show. More than 1,000 products entered the 2016 New Product Showcase competition, which honors products voted as best in defined categories of gear, apparel and accessories.

For more information on Winn grips, check out the Winn Grips website ( ) or contact Elmer Alfafara, business development manager, 714-373-6271; email: or Mike Coelho, national sales manager, phone: phone: 714-373-6271; email: