ORLANDO, Florida – Over 255 industry attendees at the International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) cast their vote on favorite new products debuting in 2016. It was fly reel manufacturer Abel Automatics, Inc. who took top prize in its respective class. Abel, known for its legendary reliability and high-end finishes, took home Best New Fly Reel in the Saltwater category for its all-new SDS series of fly reels.
Held annually in July, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), in conjunction with IFTD, awards the trophies. Voting occurs in a secure space separate from the manufacturers. Results are then calculated by code, ensuring the integrity of the vote and keeping winners in suspense until the very end.
This year, AFFTA Vice-chair Michael White announced the winners at the annual “Party at the Pond” event on Thursday, July 14th.
The 2016 IFTD show also attracted a best-ever crowd of 15,000 attendees, confirming its status as the worlds biggest and fastest growing tackle-trade show. The show hosted 552 companies in 1,850 booths, with a total combined exhibitor count of over 700 businesses.
“It’s an honor to win any IFTD award,” said Jeff Patterson, EVP of Abel. “Our sincerest thanks go out to our dealers and industry media.”
The awards are even more meaningful since it was Abel’s first fly reel accolade from IFTD in its storied history. “We’ve be fortunate to win several awards recently for our special finishes and accessories,” added Patterson, “but we’ve never won for a fly reel. It’s very special.”
The Abel SDS will be available in January 2017 and can be pre-ordered through any Abel Reels authorized dealer or by visiting www.abelreels.com. Pricing is expected to begin at $895 for a 7/8 weight reel.
Pictured (L to R) Jeff Patterson, James Thomas, and Bart Larmouth