Press Releases

Top 10 Products That Transformed an American Pastime
Anglers' Legacy Innovations Awards Announced Today at ICAST

LAS VEGAS, NV (July 16, 2008) - The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced that the Anglers’ Legacy Innovations Awards were unveiled at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world’s largest annual sportfishing trade show.

RBFF and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) partnered to survey thousands of Anglers’ Legacy Ambassadors who voted for the products they feel have been most instrumental in shaping the sport over the past seven and a half decades. Ten influential fishing products created over the past 75 years were chosen - from rods to reels to electronics - items that have helped make fishing the great sport it is today.

"We are excited to pay tribute to the landmark innovations that have helped shape the sport of fishing, voted on by our Anglers' Legacy Ambassadors,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “As ASA celebrates 75 years of serving the sportfishing industry, this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the items that have changed the way people fish today." 

The final top ten list spans six categories, including accessories, electronics, lines, lures, reels and rods:

  • Original Floater Minnow (1936) remains one of the most successful and widely copied hard lures in sportfishing’s history.
    Original and current manufacturer: Rapala 
  • Spring Loaded Bobber (1947) made suspending a baited hook at a desired depth simpler and easier. Even today this item is virtually in every angler’s tackle box.
    Original manufacturer: Nibble Nabber
    Current manufacturer: Various companies
  • Mitchell 300 (1949) was the first commercially successful spinning reel, and is still one of the most common reels used today.
    Original manufacturer: Mitchell
    Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing
  • Creme Plastic Worm (1949) changed the sport forever as the first - and still famous - long-lasting artificial worm that both looked and felt real.
    Original and current manufacturer: Creme Lure Company
  • Closed Face Spincast Reel (1949) made fishing easy and affordable to everyone regardless of age, size, gender and expertise.
    Original manufacturer: Zero Hour Bomb Company
    Current manufacturer: ZEBCO Brands
  • Lowrance Fish Lo-K-Tor (1957) the “Little Green Box” introduced anglers to the use of sonar in locating individual fish.
    Original manufacturer: Lowrance Electronics
    Current manufacturer: Lowrance/Navico
  • Monofilament Line (1958) improved the durability, affordability and casting ability of fishing line while reducing its visibility to fish.
    Original manufacturer: DuPont Stren
    Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing
  • Minn Kota Trolling Motor (1958) was the first electric gear-driven trolling motor gave anglers the ability to quietly maneuver and position their boats.
    Original manufacturer: Minn Kota
    Current manufacturer: Johnson Outdoors
  • Fenwick High Modulus Graphite Rod (1972) with its super-sensitive carbon (graphite) fibers, revolutionized the method of making fishing rods and how anglers fished.
    Original manufacturer: Fenwick
    Current manufacturer: Pure Fishing
  • Shakespeare Ugly Stick (1976) with its special construction, created an affordable, unbreakable and dynamic fishing rod still in use today.
    Original and current manufacturer: Shakespeare

“We’re thrilled to be commemorating the way that fishing has endured as one of America’s favorite pastimes,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “The sport has touched the lives of so many people, thanks to the number of great inventions that have revolutionized angling over the past seven and a half decades.”

About ASA
ASA is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. ASA speaks out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA also invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America.

About RBFF
RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers' Legacy.


Heather Sieber