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Event Article: 2009 ICAST Show - Orlando, FL

Damiki's Angel Blade Rods Are Finally Here

Date: 07/20/09
Location: Orlando Florida
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Damiki
Reviewer: Team TackleTour


Introduction: Last year, new kid on the block Damiki stole the show for us as far as Enthusiast grade equipment was concerned. This year, Damiki’s presence at ICAST was much more understated and the company concentrating more on enhancing their bait offerings for 2010 more than anything else.


Damiki extends their soft plastic line with the Hydra.


First up in Damiki's new collection of baits is the Hydra. This is a soft plastic lure reminiscent of Yamamoto's Ika, but with longer tentacles and an enhanced ability to flare its tentacles thanks to the inclusion of flotation balls at the end of each appendage. These balls allow the Hydra's skirt to float up and flare moving with the current giving the Hydra a much more lifelike appearance and larger profile. The Hydra will come in packs of 6 and will be available sometime in 2010.


The Hydra is shown here wacky rigged with a Damiki Nikko Head weight. Note the flare of the skirt thanks to the flotation balls at the end of each appendage.


Next in Damiki's collection of new baits is a collection of jerkbaits. The Striker is a 90 mm, 10 gram (~3.5 inch, ~3/8 ounce) bait made to cover depths up to about 3-4 feet while the Longbill is the same bait with a much longer bill, and three more grams made to cover depths down to about eight feet. Both of these baits are also slated for a 2010 release.


Damiki breaks in to the jerk/rip bait market with the Striker...


...and Long Bill (The Long Bill is not yet a definitive release for 2010).


The Wi-Grub is in prototype stages right now and is slated as a weightless bait and jig trailer that should be available in both four and three and a half inch sizes. No timetable has been given for the release of this interesting little bait.


Rodney shows us a prototype soft plastic, the Wi-Grub.


Zander checks out the pliability of this new soft plastic bait.


Of course, the product that generated the most interest with our readers last year were Damiki's bass rods. The company took the conservative route in introducing these sticks to North America sticking with the competitively priced Dark Angel rods for the first part of 2009. They look to extend this lineup immediately with a swimbait rod rated for 20-40 lb test line and 2-10 ounce lures. This new swimbait stick will retail for right around $210 and should be showing up in retail stores immediately. There are also plans for a 2010 release of a 7'9" flipping stick in the Dark Angel line.


Damiki's Dark Angel rods were the first out of their line to be introduced to North America.


They extend the lineup with a swimbait rod (available now) and a 7'9" flipping rod set for release sometime in 2010.


As Rodney Scott reviewed with us the new Dark Angel rods, Cal could be seen growing a bit agitated. He finally came out and asked Rodney what the hold up was with the Angel Blade rods - the sticks that really caught our attention last year. Rodney told us they had some challenges during prototype testing but that the rods are ready to go. The last remaining hold up was getting the official go ahead from Damiki Headquarters in Korea.


But the sticks we're interested in are these.


The Angel Blade rods have the detailing and refinement that excite Cal.


Then, as if by fiendish intervention, Rodney's cell phone rang and he excused himself for a moment as we photographed their new product. When he finished his conversation, Rodney was a bit puzzled and happy all at the same time. He had just gotten official notice that the Angel Blade rods were approved for North American distribution! Shipments were to begin immediately after ICAST!


Damiki had to make many adjustments to this line to make the rods suitable for North America...


...and as we were in the booth, the phone call came in to let Rodney and his team know, the rods are approved for distribution - finally!


Damiki Angel Blade Bass Rods
Casting Length Taper Line Lure Price
C691MH 6'9" Fast 12-20 1/4-1 $360
C691H 6'9" Fast 12-25 3/8-1 1/2 $360
S701ML 7' Fast 6-12 1/4-3/8 $310
S701M 7' Fast 8-17 1/4-5/8 $310
S701MH 7' Fast 12-20 1/4-1 $310


The initial Angel Blade offerings will include 2 casting and 3 spinning rods all listed in the table above. It is our understanding that they also have three six foot six inch spinning rods to match the specifications of the seven foot rods listed above. Release of these models is unclear.


Damiki has scaled back their introduction from what was promised at last year's ICAST, but that's because they were being careful and taking it slow. It looks like 2010 will be the year we can officially celebrate their coming out party.


Conclusion: Were there other worldly influences on the timing to make the Angel Blade rods suddenly available or was it just coincidence the phone call should come shortly after Cal's question? Whichever the case, to say it was spooky would not be an understatement. We look forward to checking out the other offerings in Damiki's new lineup and are happy to say our excitement over this new company's offerings continues.










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