Wild Chesapeake: Top Honors for Va. Reel-maker

Wes Seigler was a hard man get to the day after the New Product Showcase winners were announced at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world’s largest sport fishing trade show held last week in Orlando. And understandably so. For the second year running, a Seigler reel was named best in show in the fly reel category.

Seigler, the founder of Seigler Reels based in Virginia Beach, was good enough to carve out a few minutes to chat with CBM’s Bay Bulletin. Beaming with enthusiasm, he attributed the wins to his great team and loyal customers. Later, Seigler’s post on his Instagram account (@fishseigler) reinforced this: “We can’t believe we did it again! I want to thank everyone that has believed in us and our products.” He also shared with me that when the big moment came, he and his crew were back at their hotel. So, Annapolis-based AllTackle owner Keith Frasier helped out and accepted the trophy.


For nearly a decade, Seigler and his team have sweated the details to design and build innovative and very reliable conventional and fly reels. (See Made on the Bay: Reinventing the Reel, CBM April 2018) One of the keys, according to their website, is “eliminating unnecessary pieces that are often the cause of performance issues and failure and overbuilding every component to make a reel that is always up for any fight you choose to pick with it.” All Seigler reels are made in the U.S. using components also made in the U.S. Seigler and his team are customer-driven, taking suggestions on design from anglers and guides. They purposefully make a reel that’s easy to service and maintain, either back at the factory or by the customer. In fact, they encourage anglers to do just that.

Now it in its 60th year, ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). It’s the Super Bowl of the sport fishing industry with representatives from all over the recreational fishing world. I talked with folks from China, Australia, and the Netherlands who came to check out the hottest new tackle, rods and reels, gear, accessories, and apparel. ICAST sets the tone for the upcoming year in fishing product sales, a substantial economic driver. According to the ASA’s most recent survey, recreational saltwater angling generates $18.3 billion nationwide.

In the New Product Showcase, more than one thousand products were entered by 303 companies in 29 categories.

Seigler’s #madeonthebay ICAST achievement is impressive, and it couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of people.

-Capt. Chris Dollar


Recent Stories

VIDEO: Bald Eagle Found inside Va. Beach Tax Business

It's a sight a Virginia Beach man won't soon forget: a majestic bald eagle, sitting at the front window inside…

December 3, 2019

Md. Seeks Nominees for New Fishing Award

The state of Maryland has come up with a new award for an angler-conservationist who has achieved big things on…

December 3, 2019

Va. Shipbuilders Win Piece of $22 Billion Navy Submarine Contract

Hampton Roads’ Newport News Shipbuilding will deliver five new Virginia-class submarines as part of a whopping $22.2 billion contract awarded…

December 3, 2019

VIDEO: Making Memories in Boat Parade Season

From Middle River down to Yorktown, the Chesapeake Bay owns the lighted boat parade tradition. So what does it take…

December 3, 2019

VIDEO: Md. Dove Shipwrights on European Quest

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's rebuild of the Maryland Dove is well underway, and its shipwrights are committed to historical accuracy.…

December 3, 2019

Bay Freshwater Flows Hit Record High

By Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal News Service The 12-month “water year” that ended September 30 had the highest river flows…

December 3, 2019