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Zebco veteran bows out at Weihai CGC with a prediction for the show’s future


Jürgen Masuch (above), who has spent 30 years visiting China for Zebco Europe, is planning to retire after his final visit to the recent Weihai CGC show.

“I had no special objectives this time, it was more of a farewell visit to say goodbye to all my old friends,” the Senior Product and Sourcing Manager told Angling International.

“The show looked bigger than before, partly because of the integration of domestic sellers which have previously been outside the halls. I had the feeling that many factories came here to get a bite from the very small cake the fishing business currently offers. Probably they would not have been there if the market circumstances were better.

“I reckon we will see the same at China Fish in Beijing next Spring, maybe the last chance for some to find customers and survive, but most companies are still digesting their big stocks, so where will the business come from?

“The general quality of exhibitors in Weihai was much better than in the past. I was surprised by the improvements, especially in reels, lures and hooks. The lower-price reel factories from the Ningbo/Cixi area have improved their quality over the last three years.

“Hard baits from several factories have made good progress in design and brilliant coatings. There are loads of opportunities for smaller companies now to source good quality lures. Hooks have been always prominent at the shows in Asia and here I saw that increasing, although the Mustad booth looked smaller than before.

“The Weihai show will certainly become more important in the future and probably steal a lot of customers’ attention from China Fish. Weihai is cheaper and the timing for new products is way better than February.”

OEM line maker FirstDart also attended the Weihai show last month. The company’s Sandy Ogata (left of picture) said: “The CGC Weihai show in the Autumn is usually a more international show than its Spring version, which we also attended to kick off our return to international exhibitions after the pandemic.

“The Autumn event is a better representation of how international this show is. In that sense, our objective was to reconnect with customers we have not seen in person for a long time and that was achieved.

“The show was more of a trade-only exhibition rather than a place where consumers will also show up to shop. We were pleased by this format as it better suits our OEM business.

“Weihai and China Fish work for us in different ways. We have met different sets of customers at these shows. In the past, Weihai was the place where we would do a follow-up on existing projects and meet new people, while China Fish has always been the platform for us to start our sales year with new product launches.

“However, with China Fish being absent for the last three years, we have launched products throughout the year by personalised contact with customers and in some cases through advertising.”

• Read more views from the Weihai CGC in the November issue of Angling International

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