ICAST and AKUA Marine Products

ICAST is holding its  trade show in Orlando, Florida on July 10-14.  From what I have read, it is going to be an extravaganza.  Beginning with a fishing tournament and a golf tournament the next day to new product demonstrations throughout the four days, there is a lot to do and see.  So much that I agree with Ken Duke's editorial in Fishing Tackle Retailer:  Go prepared with a plan and learn what you can from all the retailers, manufacturers, exhibitors, media, pro staffers, and friends.  I had to chuckle at Ken's comment: Be persistent, get to the point, say what you need to say, do what you need to do and be on your way. That is definitely good advice for me.  New products abound and it is always fun to see what is in store.

AKUA has been featured on Fishing Tackle Retailer's new products page and it is a definite sale booster. We considered it an honor and compliment to be featured.  It led to more sales and more interest from fishing retailers.  


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Customer Service

Recently, when reviewing our Facebook page, I noticed several wonderful comments about our customer service.  At AKUA we do take pride in doing the best we can as quick as we can.  Orders are mailed out promptly.  A typical order is mailed the day after we receive it.  Talking to boaters about which fender would best fit their make/model of boat is something I look forward to.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call and ask for Alan.

With summer here (some would say fast-approaching)  do take precautions to maintain your boat's finish.   There's nothing more disheartening than getting that first ding or scratch--especially when a fender would have prevented the mishap.

Thanks for all of your reviews and comments.

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The Super Bowl of Fishing

The Super Bowl of Fishing is just 3 weeks away. The Bass Masters Classic will be held at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Tulsa, Oklahoma March 4-6. I can’t wait. February’s issue of B.A.S.S. Times is chock full of details about Grand Lake, the top four anglers to look out for, and pictures of all of the fishermen competing. My mouth is watering just thinking about going. Bryan Brasher, in “The Editor’s View-Only One Super Bowl,” writes about the Classics of old--bringing back fond memories of our first Classic in 1996.

     2016 marks our 20th anniversary of attending Bass Masters Classics. Nothing compares to the first one. I thank Mickey Wood for taking a chance on a new idea and inviting AKUA Marine Products to be a part of the Ranger store at the Classic that year. With twelve fenders in our possession we displayed on the Ranger boats and promptly sold all but our display models before the Classic even opened. Mickey just shook his head and said, “Boys, the reason we bring our store to the Classic is because people like to buy stuff. If you don’t have it here, you can’t sell it.” We “worked the Classic” and came home with orders for 150. Such is the beginning of a 20 year relationship with Ranger Products that continues to this day. Again, thank you, Mickey.

     Besides the thrill of being a working part of the Classic was the excitement of our first Classic itself. The show actually closed for the extravaganza of the weigh-in each day. Walking into our first weigh-in gave us a taste of Americana at its finest. Families with kids, fishermen with their buddies, vendors, and manufacturers all gathered to a patriotic opening, hear a country western music show, and laugh as Dewey-the weigh master- and Ray Scott, the emcee, adlibbed and joked. We often repeat one of Scott’s sayings from that year: “Burn a picture of that in your brain.” The anglers were brought in riding in their boats pulled by shiny new Chevrolet trucks. That parade was amazing. The anglers returned Dewey’s and Scott’s banter and always held their biggest fish until last. George Cochran won the Classic that year. I still have one of our display models with his signature hanging in our manufacturing facility.

     What a wonderful memory. We were young; we were inexperienced; and we were excited. But, we’re still here and I can’t wait to get back this year!

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Fishing, Families, and the Future

I was going through my old supply of magazines, keeping some, tossing others, and perusing as I went. Two magazines went into the save pile when I realized that the two articles that I liked were by the same author: Robert Montgomery from Bass Times. (For more of his writings go to www.activistangler.com.) October 2015 has the article "....stokes kids' fishing fire" (I don't know the first word in the title-the corner was torn off!) and January 2016 has the article "Fishing helps families strengthen bonds". And those two articles reminded me of an article about the importance of encouraging young fishermen and fisherwomen for the future of the fishing industry itself in Fishing Retailer. (I couldn't find my copy.) By encouraging fishing we accomplish so much.

A person that deserves mention in encouraging young people in the fishing arena is Shane Wilson. Shane created Fishing's Future in 2007 to help in the sport fishing area and also to better the lives of families. "I founded Fishing's Future to save the family by creating an avenue for parents to engage their children via an educational angling experience," says Shane. More fishing, more fishing license and equipment sales, better health and wellness: save the sport and care for the environment. Is there a better combination?
In Missouri the Department of Conservation sponsers Discover Nature. Their programs are for young people interested in fishing but also other areas of the out-of-doors. Giving children opportunities in nature's arena is one of the best ways to strengthen family bonds and to foster new areas of interest. Competitive fishing is also on the rise for youth. High school, colleges, and universities are sponsoring bass fishing teams that provide wonderful experiences. By encouraging our young people we also perpetuate the sport of fishing and the future of the fishing industry.

So, head for the lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds (when the ice melts!). Should I also add ocean? Take a youngster with you and both of you will enjoy the bounty that nature has to offer.

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Website Changes

In August of 2011 akuaboatfenders.com was put on the world wide web.  It's hard to think that now, four years plus, we are in the beginning steps of revamping and updating that very website.  It seems like yesterday that we were looking for pictures, writing product descriptions, and taping videos to promote the various fenders. While we have updated periodically with pictures and various descriptions, now it is time for the big update to fit the needs of today's technology.  We're excited that we will have a new look and the fact that mobile devices will be able to order directly from our website. 

However, one thing that will not change is AKUA's primary goal: to protect your boat. The new aluminum boats with their exquisite graphics need as much protection from scratches, scuffs, and dents as the smooth glassy fiberglass boats.  We want every boat owner to protect their investment before damage occurs.  It's a fun conversation when a new boat owner calls and wants to get the fender that will be the right fit for their new boat.  

The second thing that will not change is AKUA's commitment to customer service.  We are very proud of the fact that every order is shipped less than 2 days after the order is received.  We also give personal service and advice for the boater who is not sure of which fender will best fit their needs. We want the boat owner to be 100% satisfied with our product. 

While the appearance of our website will be changed, rest assured that the product quality, service, and attention to detail will remain the same. 


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AKUA Boat Fenders
4650 W Rte K Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-445-5697

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