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Featured Article: Show Coverage & Best of Show

The first Fred Hall Fishing Tackle & Boat Show for 2004 arrives in San Francisco (Coverage and Best of Show)

Date: 1/23/04
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Dates: 1/21-1/25
Admission: Adults: 10 Dollars 
Kids 15 and under: Free
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: In the past the Fred Hall Fishing Tackle & Boat show has always been in Southern California, but for 2004 a new partnership has brought back one of the largest outdoor recreational show in Northern California. The partnership between the American Sportfishing Association and Fred Hall & Associates is designed to build on the traditional Bay Area boat show by blending in the many elements of sportfishing. Now anglers from the Northern region can take a look at a variety of watercraft and also get a peek at what some of the top tackle manufacturers have to offer as well.


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.


GLoomis 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 pressure!


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 performance


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 tackle reviews.


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 future.


Persuader 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 your lure. 

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.
Conclusion: The 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 own backyard.


Thanks for the great show guys!









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