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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Rod Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 2 (Rods) - Perfectly matching reels in application, balance, and style

Date: 7/22/06
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

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 companies 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:


ICAST 2006 "Live" Rod Article

Page 1  Shimano wins best of show in salt with Tiralejo surf rod & new Crucials
Page 2  Daiwa put's the "Style" in STEEZ, Saltiga Ballistic, & the "Shorty"
Page 3  G.Loomis introduces new MossyBack rods, and Shakyhead rods 
Page 4  St. Croix goes Inshore & new travel rods become available
Page 5  Berkley, Fenwick, and AiRRUS rods does it again! (That makes 4!)
Page 6  Quantum PT rods, Fin-Nor rods, and yes...Van Staal has a new rod too!
Page 7  Kistler's new chatterbait special, and more Helium II refinements
Page 8  Powell shows us a new prototype of their newest high end rod
Page 9  Lipper... tools and rods go hand in hand
Page 10  Rogue Rods decides it is time to go "Blue" plus new inshore rods
Page 11  Discovering what Setyr rods is all about


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 'N' Grip" 


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 seat


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 possible


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 rod.


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 surf casts


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 sensitive

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 models


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









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