2006 ICAST Rod Coverage
ICAST Coverage Day 2 (Rods) - Perfectly matching reels in application,
balance, and style
Introduction: This year looks like a it will be a golden year for rods,
as manufacturers release an exciting array of new sticks that target specific
applications as well as usher in superior ergonomics. More and more reel
are solidifying their position in the rod market, and many Tier 1 reel
manufacturers are now introducing rods specifically designed to match up with
their premium reels in terms of style, balance, and application. In turn custom
rod manufacturers have had to improve their rods, and focus on differentiation
and innovation to attract consumers. The result is a dizzying assortment of new
solutions that highlight the very best that the industry has to offer.
Easy Navigation: Because this is live
coverage and we adding to article every minute we have provided quick-link
navigation to the individual featured sections:
Robby Gant introduces the new
Tiralejo surf rod
Shimano: Shimano took home the big
saltwater prize this year, winning "Best Saltwater Rod" for their new Tiralejo
surf rod. This rod was specifically designed to address surfcasting by Robby
Gant, Shimano's Rod Product Manager.
The key feature on this new rod is
perfect balance for any reel, and this is achieved with the innovative "Slide
It has been a while since surf fishing has been
addressed, and Shimano surprised many this year by once again introducing
products that will change the way you approach the sport itself. Last year the
Trevala jigging rod and butterfly jig system was a huge hit, and since then has
spawned a new market for jigs and stinger hooks. The Tiralejo looks to do to
surf casting what the Trevala did for jigging.
A close up of the adjustable reel
Built to address the needs of surf anglers who
chase bluefish and striped bass from beach and jetty's these new rods are not
just a cosmetically new introduction. In fact they sport innovations not found
on any other rod....period.
For the ultimate total rig balance
Robby has created a innovative adjustable multi-weight counter balancing system
All rods feature Shimano's TC4K construction,
which is a complex blend of carbon fiber and high modulus graphite. This
combination makes these rods lightweight, strong, responsive, and very
sensitive. But let's get into just what makes these rods so exciting....and that
is the new "Slide 'N' Grip" custom reel seat which slides up and down the butt
of the rod allowing anglers to position their reel anywhere on the grip!
The counter balance weights attach
and insert into the base of the rod
This is a very innovative feature, as surf rods
are among the biggest grinders out there, and vary greatly in both size and
weight. With all other surf rods anglers either have to buy a reel to match
their rod, or live with a combo that doesn't balance out. In most cases it is
near impossible to balance out your rig perfectly.
The counter balance kit is sold as
an accessory, because some anglers will still want only the lightest rig
But the balance system goes beyond just a moving
reel seat on the Tiralejo. Robby wanted to give anglers even more casting
distance, and that required the ideal rig balance from butt to tip. Thus he
created a new counter balancing weight system that features four weights (15,
25, 50, and 70 gram) that can be linked together and secured into the butt of
The adjustable casting reel seat
Because surf fishermen are whipping their rods
during cast at such high velocity these weights are physically screwed into your
butt cap. If loose this weight would act like a bullet and blow right through
your shaft! As a failsafe Shimano puts a protective foam stopper inside the base
of the blank, so even of the weights become loose they will remain exactly where
they are supposed to.
A innovative reversed guide helps
prevent the line from shooting backwards or bunching during ultra high velocity
The Tiralejo will be available within the quarter
and come in both spinning and casting variations ranging from 5 to 7 feet in
length. The rods will retail for 199.99 for the shortest model up to 329.99 for
a 7 foot two piece casting model. All rods feature Shimano's very convenient
over the counter lifetime warranty.
A matte section of the rod makes
it easier to separate the 2 piece versions
For boat anglers Robby introduces the new
Talavera. The Talavera is a durable new rod that is designed to compete with
much more expensive competitors. Selected models feature Aeroglass construction,
which is a ultra tough graphite blank and Fuji aluminum oxide guides.
Robby shows Zander the new
Talevera boat rods
Both casting and spinning versions are available
and retail for only $69.99 to $89.99 depending on length. Which is an extremely
aggressive price for such a strong and versatile rod.
Aeroglass is both strong and
When it comes to innovation its easy to see why the Tiralejo won in the
saltwater rod category. This year Robby also wanted to introduce new Crucial
spinning rods for drop shotting.
The new longer Crucial drop shot
The new rods are 7'2" and 7'6" inches in length
and feature a new clicking drag seat. They are designed to be serious drop shot
rods for heavy cover, with a light tip ideal for bringing baits to life, but
plenty of power for hauling fish out of the weeds.
Some of the new models feature a
clicking locking reel seat
Shimano has definitely made major strides in their
rod design, and the latest rods are engineered to address specific angling
applications. Best of all these rods match up perfectly with Shimano's best
selling reels, making them a even more attractive total package.
Next Section: Daiwa puts the Style in Steez