Fred Hall's famous Bongo Stage
where they feature many seminars and of course the Bongo Girls!
Demonstrations: People come to fishing shows not just to see the latest
tackle, but also to learn from the many
demonstrations that are available to attendees. At the Fred Hall show
there are a variety of seminars, some of which include fly casting 101, cooking on the Cabelas'
stage, lumberjack demos, and many pro angler demos. Along with these informative demonstration, Fred Hall & Associates
sets up the "Bongo Stage" which features the very popular Bongo Girls, which to
our dismay we unfortunately we missed this time.
There are many topics related to bass fishing
given by well known pro anglers like O.T. Fears, John Kerr, Bobby Barrack, Mark
Lassagne, and much more. These seminars talk about techniques used in everyday bassin,
tournament fishing, targeting bass 101, and tips on successfully fishing local waters.
O.T. Fears on the Procraft Bass
Tank demonstrating "Winning bass techniques"
For trout and freshwater lake and river salmon
anglers, there is also a heap of seminars featuring local waters including
Shasta, the Sacramento River, and Lake Tahoe. Topics include trolling,
tackle selection, and the best time of day to catch these fish.
Best of Show Tackle: Now let's get down to
it. Why does Team TackleTour go to shows like the Fred Hall? Three words....HOT
NEW TACKLE. While lots of worthy manufacturers showcased their latest wares
these seven manufacturers had something unique, exciting, or truly innovative.
sported plenty of new application specific rods including their top selling
drop shot rod, but what caught our attention were the new CrossCurrent
Saltwater Fly Rods, complete with new Nickel-Titanium "RECOIL" guides
Rods - GLoomis: GLoomis had plenty of
exciting new rods at the show. The company has really branched out in terms of
building application specific rods. Their new series of casting and fly rods
bring refinement to a new level, as each and every rod is designed with
characteristics to meet your favorite technique, like frogging or drop shotting.
While the rod racks were enough to make any die hard angler drool, the new
CrossCurrent fly rods are what really caught our attention. These incredibly
detailed rods are designed for saltwater anglers who demand the ultimate in
control, line speed, and casting accuracy. When we picked one up we just
couldn't believe how light these rods are! They feature a new take on the full
wells grip, much more ergonomic then those found on most rods, but what was most
exciting was the oversized nickel-titanium stripper and snake guide system!
These guides are extremely durable, you can basically step on them and they flip
right back into shape, but best of all they provide a noticeable reduction in
total overall rod weight, making it possible to cast longer and farther with
ease....a big advantage if your tossing long leaders and immense streamers.
Jason Fulton, Account Executive at
Accurate, shows off the TwinDrag design that puts out as much as 100 pounds of
Reel - Accurate: Saltwater anglers know
that fishing in the big blue can do a real number on your tackle. That's why
they demand performance and reliability in their reels. Accurate answers the
call by outfitting anglers with extremely high quality 100% machined reels. For 2004 Accurate has designed a very high
performing TwinDrag system that applies equal pressure on both sides of the
spool. A perfect balance is created through this design, and when
fighting big fish, the drag system remains strong and smooth, so you can do
exactly what their company slogan tells you to do..."FISH HARD!"
The Outboard Motor Shop in
Oakland, CA displays the Boston Whaler's new 170 Montauk, designed to be
unsinkable, and this year there are some new changes that adds to its overall
Saltwater Boats - Boston Whaler: One great thing about the Fred Hall
show is that they always bring in a large amounts of boats. At this year's
show there were multiple halls filled with boats. The eye-catcher at
the Fred Hall show in the Saltwater category was the new Boston Whaler 170
Montauk. The Outboard Motor Shop of Oakland, California, represented
Boston Whaler by showcasing their exciting new 2004 designs. The 170 Montauk
now has a
new modified V-hull design that cuts through the water much better than the older
models, but still maintains the stability and unsinkable performance of the
current Whalers. After seeing what the 2004 Montauk has to offer, TackleTour has
actually chosen this boat to be our Saltwater test platform for many of our upcoming saltwater
Triton adds new features for
better comfort and increased safety on their high performance bass boats
Freshwater Boats - Triton Boats: Today's
bass boats are technological machines, and the equivalent of sports cars on the
water. Few boats combine comfort and cutting edge features like Triton. Bass
anglers will love the innovative design features that come with the new
Triton boats. Tritons are aggressive from hull design to comfort and
ergonomic features are implemented throughout this entire rig. New and exciting are the
Attwood's new Centric S.A.S (shock absorbing system) bucket seats that
provide a much more comfortable ride when running in choppy water, Res-Q retractable
boarding ladder that's well hidden and yet easy to access in emergencies, and a recessed
well that holds the trolling motor foot control with an area right in-front of
it to flush mount a fishfinder. Plenty of new features that are very useful
for both tournament anglers and weekend warriors.
Roy Preston-CEO and Sidney
Silberberg demonstrates a truly innovative hook that's 100% knotless!
Terminal Tackle - Preston: We can't remember a time when something in the
terminal tackle category was awarded TackleTour's Best of Show. But this
year, and seen for the first time at the Fred Hall Show in San Francisco, a hook
design was worthy of our attention. Preston, makers of a very unique, simple,
and effective hook design that is completely knotless, yes knotless! This hook
design is truly innovative and very useful to those who have trouble seeing,
can't tie a knot, have cold hands, or just want to be able to put a hook on the
line in seconds. With about 12 to 14 turns of the line around the shank of
the hook and then tucking it into the "eye," the line stays put and will not
slip off!!! Roy Preston, the CEO and designer of the hook demonstrated the
design on a line tension machine. At 11.2lb's of pressure the line snapped, not at the hook,
but in the middle of the line! This design may be easy to use but it really
works! Our interest was so peaked that we will be doing further field testing on
this innovative new design and be posting an in depth review in the very near
Pro-Staffer and Pro Angler Mark Lassagne showed us the new high quality
spinners and attractive swimbaits soon to arrive in stores
Lures - Persuader: Persuader makes some of the highest quality spinnerbaits
on the market. Using only the best components these tournament proven lures are
highly regarded by the pros. Mark Lassagne a pro himself, showed us the new high
quality spinnerbaits which feature even more detailed finishes, attractive
holographic skirts, a long shank Mustad hook, and a vast variety of blades. In
addition Persuader fans will be happy to note that the company is also bringing
to market a new assortment of swimbaits. These lures are thinner and lighter
then most swimbaits and actually a lot more forgiving then some of the current
competitor offerings. The soft thin body makes it possible to vary the speed of
the lure and still generate good tail whipping action. There is even a small
rattle embedded in the tail of the swimbait to produce supplementary fish
attracting noise with each thrash of the tail.
Doc Waters lures deliver unique
action and light refraction
Lures - Doc Waters: We met up again with
George Ghilarducci, the founder of Doc Waters lure company and he showed us the
new advancements in his lure design, since we first caught eye of these sharp
new plastics at ICAST two years ago. The innovative Helix series of spiral
plastics is known for it's unique light refracting characteristics, and now the
tubes are being further enhanced with dual skirts. The second skirt is actually
inserted into the tube and glued in, so it stays put strike after strike. The
tube can be fished weightless or with Doc Water's very own swivel hook which
reduces line twist and allows you to match your weight, hook style, and color to
2004 Changes: There are some ownership and name changes that we thought
might be worth mentioning. First, Crave Bait has been bought by the
all-popular Eagle Claw. Aside from tools, lines, rods, reels, and hooks,
Eagle Claw expands their line of products by carrying all the Crave Bait products
and has introduced a gel like scent that'll stick to just about anything.
Eagle Claw makes a big move into
the artificial baits by acquiring Crave Bait
Sufix, a big contender in the fishing line
business, has changed the name of one of their high performing monofilaments
that we reviewed and have grown quite fond of. The Sufix DNA will be reintroduced into
the market as ProMix. Same quality and performance, just now under a new label.
Fred Hall Fishing Tackle & Boat show has always had a big presence down South,
but this year they teamed up with ASA and to the delight of Northern California
anglers they have brought the show to the Bay Area. The Fred Hall show is a
hotspot for boats and this year we
saw many at the show, whether your cup of tea is braving the ocean or flying
across lakes there is a boat that will match your personal list of requirements
at the show. Aside from 3 halls jam packed with boats, there are an
assortment of tackle manufacturers throughout the show. While the attendance of the companies
wasn't as high as the Long Beach show we covered last year, this partnership is
a welcome addition and has helped revitalize the show. This marks the first year
for the newly redone show, and we definitely like what we see. There were plenty
of boats that inspire dreams of perfect days on the water, and lots of new and
exciting tackle to help anglers gain that extra edge this upcoming season.
Congratulations to all our Best of Show picks, and thanks to the Fred Hall Show
for allowing us to get a first look at the seasons hot new products in our very
Thanks for the great show guys!