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Event Article: 2008 ICAST Show - Las Vegas, NV

Wrapping up our Event Coverage of ICAST 2008

Date: 8/06/08
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour


Introduction: This year, with our manufacturer-centric coverage, the challenge to cover everything that the various brands had to offer was even more daunting but we're determined this time, to leave no stone unturned and so here we bring to you our potpourri article full of miscellaneous reports.


First time ICAST Exhibitor Pallatrax wins Best Terminal Tackle with their Stonze product.

Stonze: Speaking of turning stones, a new entry into the North American Market and first time ICAST exhibitor is Pallatrax with their terminal tackle solution titled "Stonze". It is an entirely natural, lead-free solution to weighting your baits down to the bottom.

A complete line of NATURAL sinkers made for fishing.


These are not synthetic replicas of rocks with artificial weighting system. No, the Pallatrax Stonze System are actual rocks quarried specifically for their product and drilled, bored, and modified to behave as weights at the end of your line.


Available with swivel...

They may seem like somewhat of a gimmick, but think of the environmental impact and natural camouflage effect this system can have on your presentation. Simon Pomeroy, creator of the system explained to us that because the rocks are porous, they will take and hold scent. Furthermore some people in the UK are even soaking them for extended periods of time so the rocks develop algae to blend in even better with the natural bottom of the waters they are fishing.

...or as an inline sinker, the Stonze product is not only the ultimate camouflage for your sinker, but also, infinitely more environmentally sound than lead.

The Stonze System weights are available in both swivel and inline versions in sizes ranging from one to three ounces. The Mini-Stonze, weighing approximately three eighths of an ounce on up to half an ounce each are available as in-line versions only. Lastly, there is an oversized, swivel version "Boulderz" available in sizes up to six ounces.

Simon Pomeroy (left), John Mazurkiewicz (center), and Tim Hodges (right) introduce us to Pallatrax's Stonze System.

Suggested retail price on the Stonze System ranges from $1.95 for the standard 'Stonze' to $2.25 for the 'Boulderz'. For more information on this product and where you might be able to purchase it, contact Pallatrax USA at 1-360-666-1695.

Grant Olguin of Black Dog Baits working the floor enroute to wrapping up the final details of a to be announced project...

Black Dog Bait Company: Our friends at Black Dog Bait Company did not have a booth this year, but they attended ICAST 2008 nonetheless walking the floor, socializing with old friends and making new ones. Grant Olguin managed to track us down to share news of some really exciting new projects they have in the works, but of course, we can't share this news with you just yet. Stay tuned for news of what's to come from Grant and Jeremy in the near future.

Meantime, Jeremy Andersen meets one of his idols, a JDM lure designing and big bait fishing icon, but who could that be (more below)?

Toray / Blackwater International: When we came across the Blackwater International's booth at ICAST this year, the number one product we wanted to see was the much talked about Bawo Braid. As revealed in our preview article last month, this product began distribution in the United States in June. The line is a dark mossy green and features a white strike indicator every two or three feet.

Toray's Bawo Super Power Finesse Braid is finally here.

Well, the good news is that the Bawo Super Power Finesse Braid is here and that it is very thin and supple off the spool. The bad news, of course, is its price. Precision wound with 8-strands of fiber, and carefully wound onto the filler spools in a manner to minimize crossing which creates flat spots and inconsistent performance in the line, the Bawo Braid comes in 75 meter spools that run from an MSRP of $28 for the 10lb test on up to $48 for the max, 66lb test.

Vishaal Melwani walks us through the Toray product.


We certainly welcome the introduction of Toray lines into the North American market and look forward to bringing you more on their product as we sample them ourselves. Speaking of which, Cal is busy finishing up a couple of reviews on their fluorocarbon and nylon lines now and we just added the Bawo Braid to our queue for 2009.


Introducing Uncle Josh's new Bump N' Run series of buzzbaits and swimming jigs

Uncle Josh: New for this year at Uncle Josh is the Bump N' Run, a series of swimming jigs and buzzbaits with a tune-able head that an angler can use to modify these baits to swim either left or right depending on where he or she wants their bait to run.

Adjustment is easy. Simply pull the head of the bait out...

... and turn it to the desired angle.


To enact this feature, you simply pull the head of the bait straight, turn it the desired degree, and return it back to the main body. Notches hidden behind the head ensure calibrated adjustments. The diving lip then does all the work driving the bait left or right depending on the direction you want it to go.


These notches inside the head serve to calibrate your adjustments

With this little tweak, anglers are able to cast their baits a good ten to twenty feet away from a rock wall, dock, levee, etc., and on a long cast, have the Bump N' Run swim right over to this structure, bump it, bounce of and well, run! The baits are expected to ship by the end of this year and will be available, at first, in one size, three eighths of an ounce for $9.99.

Matt Bichanich, Sales Manager for Uncle Josh shows us the new Bump N' Run

Sunline: Sunline's most popular Fluorocarbon undergoes a repackaging facelift for 2009 with filler spools being raised in capacity from just over 100 yards to a full 200 yards. These larger filler spools will be presented at the same price point as the previous filler spools of FC Sniper. That's great news for fans of this line!

Sunline introduces new packaging and filler spool sizes for their FC Sniper product in 2009

New for this year from Sunline is a high quality monofilament called Sunline Super Mono. Available in clear and in 330 yard filler spools for $11.99 each.

Sunline's new general purpose Super Mono

Also new for Sunline this year will be a finesse fluorocarbon product designed specifically for spinning reels. Available in 6, 7 & 8 pound test only, the FC Biwako Guide Special comes in 100 meter spools for $21.99.

Sunline's new Guide Special FC for finesse applications

Each of Sunline's product's are available immediately save for the new FC Biwako Guide Special which the company expects to begin shipping in September.

Vince Saiki (center) shows Zander KIR's lighted baseball cap

As we were hanging out in one of the aisles debating which direction to head next, the folks at Keep'n It Reel approached us wanting to know more about TackleTour. They were impressed with the amount of gear we had in tow to cover the show.

At first glance, it looks like any other baseball cap...


...but thanks to these two, concealed watch batteries, there's something more to this product.

Naturally this lead to our discovery of their product. Primarily a clothing company, Keep'n It Reel (KIR) is the brainchild of Vince Saiki and Jason Wood who together channel all their energy and love for the sport of fishing into their company that not only produces outdoor wear, but also runs a few big game fishing tournaments out of southern California.



Two of the items the team at KIR had to show us were a unique, headlamp baseball cap, and a new Show Time chugger with an interchangeable skirt and concave head featuring side jets that takes water in from the head and shoots it out the side to create a bubble trail that wahoo, marlin, and dorado can't seem to resist. The Show Time chugger is still in early development stages, so no final pricing is yet available although the company does plan 22 different skirt colors.


KIR also makes a big game, interchangeable skirt chugger titled Show Time

The lighted baseball cap features two LED lights right at the rim of the hat to illuminate whatever a fisher person might be trying to see. Available in a variety of colors and logos, these hats retail for $19.99 to $24.99 depending on the color, logo, and pattern combination of the hat itself.

Available with twenty two different skirt colors pricing and distribution are still TBD

Powered by two watch batteries cleverly concealed in the hem of the hat, KIR's version of a headlamp has the potential to be a very big deal for fisherman, campers, hunters, or even kids having a great time at their favorite amusement park after dark.



Introducing the Gene Larew Biffle-O Lizard with unique design features


Gene Larew - Biffle-O Lizard: Gene Larew, a company well known for it's innovative plastic baits, introduced the Biffle-O Lizard. The Biffle-O Lizard features Larew’s patent-pending Biffle-O design, consisting of a hollow tube body with a long and flexible cup-shaped tail protruding from it. Though its body is hollow, it has a solid plastic head which will better hold a hook in place and still remain durable. 


The legs consist of a paddled feet for greater action


The plastic bait has a tail that produces incredible action and the lizard has four unique paddled feet on all the legs that adds even more motion as it moves through the water.


Solid plastic head but it has a hollow body


The legs are broad at the shoulders to provide stability to keep the lizard riding level during retrieve and at rest. Then the legs thin from the shoulders to become more flexible to make them swim with the slightest of movement. The Biffle-O Lizard’s tube body improves hookset percentages simply from its hollow design.


The innovative lizard comes in all the popular patterns


The Biffle-O Lizard is available in all of the top lizard colors including Watermelon Pepper, Watermelon Pepper Neon, Junebug, Black Neon, Black Midnight Blue, Green Pumpkin, Red Shad and others. But it also comes in some of Larew’s hottest new El Salto Grande big worm colors like Jalapeno Pepper, Navidad Lights, Montezuma’s Revenge and Hot Salsa. The new 8.5” Biffle-O Lizards are packaged 6 baits per re-sealable bag, and a package retails for around $5.49.


George and Pat Toalson along with Gary Dollahon shows us the new Biffle-O Lizard


Panther Martin - Hard Head Vivif: Panther Martin isn't all about its popular inline spinners and this year they are introduced a unique swimbait called the Hard Head Vivif. The rigid "Hard Head" front portion features a diving lip that gives this lure a crankbait-like action. But the most innovative part of the Hard Head Vivif which features a slide-in locking channel that allows an angler to instantly change the tail. Each swimbait comes with three replaceable tails and it can be swapped out in seconds.


Panther Martin's new swimbait, the Hard Head Vivif


The Hard Head Vivif comes in two sizes, 6 inch 1.2 ounce and 9 inch 3.8 ounce, both designed to swim 12 to 16 inches below the surface. The swimbait features a single treble hook on the front portion of the lure, and it also incorporates a steel rattle for added attraction. The HH Vivif comes in five exciting colors: Spotted Trout, Rainbow Trout, Red Head Pearl, Silver Shiner, and Bunker.


Unique slide-in locking channel to easily change tails when they are damaged


The package comes with 3 tails and it can be changed quickly 


Recognize these gentlemen posing with Cal? How about the braintrust of one of our favorite JDM tackle companies Evergreen International! Jun Yoneda (left), President Toshiya Hashimoto (back), Business Division Manager Toshifumi Kikumoto (center) were all on hand at ICAST 2008. What could Evergreen International have up their sleeves? Stay tuned as TackleTour investigates...


Zander with Randy Pringle (left) and Mark Lassagne (right) talking business on the floor of ICAST 2008


The party is over...as the crates move back in to pack up the booths. ICAST 2008 is officially a wrap, but the work of your TT Editors has only just begun...


Conclusion: For some reason, this year's ICAST was particularly hectic. Not once did we have a breather to gather ourselves set up our next destination booth. Instead, we were traveling left and right, up and down, and across the showroom floor at all times. To the handful of vendors we failed to come back and visit, our extreme apologies. We simply ran out of time. Never before have we covered an event the way in which we did ICAST 2008, and hopefully you, our readers, enjoyed the coverage and are as excited for what 2009 will bring us in terms of tackle as are we. 2008 has already been a banner year for us in terms of reviews and from the looks of things, 2009 promises to be even better! What could possibly top this? How about ICAST 2009! See you there!











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