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Event Article

Wrapping up the regional ISE shows with some new products in Fly, Electronics and Watercraft


Date: 2/02/10
Location: San Mateo and Sacramento, CA
Event Date: Jan 14-24, 2010
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: Back at the show we meet with guides to plan our trips for our tenth anniversary as well as check out the latest in the fly, electronics and boating categories.


The show floor is filled with many guides ready to take you on a fishing adventure

Meet ATA, the Adventure Travel Alliance: Ready to go on a more exotic fishing adventure? The ISE is full of guide opportunities and one of the most exciting is the prospect of fishing for Peacock Bass in the Amazon. Peacock Bass are known for their incredible strength and viscous topwater strikes. ATA can take you there...

Steve Yatomi talks to anglers about special destinations including fishing for Peacock Bass in the Amazon and Tigerfish in Africa just to name a few


The ATA, also known as the Adventure Travel Alliance was formed by fishing partners Steve Yatomi and Larry Dahlberg, yes the same Larry Dalhberg that hosts his own show called “The Hunt for Big Fish.” After fishing in so many incredible destinations they decided to help promote developing places and to help steer fishermen towards some dream fishing trips. Steve helps set up every aspect of the perfect trip for anglers, everything from finding the right trip for you to the detailed logistics. They have flown the airlines you will fly on, slept in the rooms you will sleep in, eaten the food you will feast on, basically they have lived the adventure and can set anglers up on a once in a lifetime trip. Peacock Bass in the Amazon is just one adventure of many that ATA offers, they also plan amazing trips to Africa for Tigerfish, Perch on the Nile and even Golden Dorado in Argentina.


Zander holds up the K Lures "Rattlin Dog" a handmade wooden top water walk the dog bait designed specifically to target Peacock Bass


Originally we were all set to go to the Amazon to target Peacocks next weekend but low rainfall in the basin has pushed the trip out until November this year. Steve wants to make sure all his clients have the very best trip possible and goes out of his way to make each trip a truly once in a lifetime memorable experience. We look forward to a completing our scheduled tests in the Amazon come November. 


There are new warm water Sharkskin lines available this season


Scientific Anglers: 3M continues to expand their fly line offerings with a number of new Sharkskin additions this season. The new saltwater sinking fly line makes use of Sharkskin technology with a new clear tip. Making use of 3M's "microreplication process" through the entire circumference this line strips easily through the water and quickly sheds water for an easy back cast and quick cast to cruising fish. Also new is a Sharkskin Series Streamer Express line that utilizes the same technology in a 150 to 400 grain weight designation for five through twelve weight rods, these lines have an extra fast thirty foot sinking head to attain sink rates from 5 to 8 inches per second, taking flies down quickly from 6 to more than 20 feet. Both of these new lines will retail for $99.95 each and are available now.


There are many new options for fly storage with Scientific Anglers latest boxes, the new angled design on some of them make room for larger poppers


Scientific Anglers is also expanding their line of waterproof fly boxes with five new versions. The number on each box represents the maximum number of flies each box will hold. All boxes feature slit foam to align and hold flies firmly and a gasket design creates a watertight seal. One of the coolest boxes is the new "Compact Angled 164" which features a slanted center panel which enables medium size poppers to fit without getting crushed by the lid. 


John Mazurkiewicz shows us the latest Scientific Anglers has to offer


Penn Custom Shop: Penn goes one step beyond just building quality reels by making them more personal with new customization options. Penn is offering an array of colors ranging from "Gun Smoke" to "Tournament Pink" and there are seven colors in all. Anglers can even pick two colors and spread them out among the frame and sideplates and choose from six different engravings ranging from fish to the American flag or the Penn Logo. Anglers can then add personalized text to the sideplate, text color options in gold and black are available.


An example of the color options and engraving that can be done to personalize the International Series Penn reels


The custom finishes add a very personal look to each reel and will be available through authorized dealers like Hi's Tackle Box. The customization can only be done at the time of purchase and not on already owned reels, and is currently only available on the International Series.


Darin Houx shows us the new customization options


The cost for the customization is 100 dollars for a color change and 100 dollars for engraving or just 150 dollars for both. Turnaround time is approximately 30 days as each reel needs to be customized at Penn's own facility. At the show we checked out a few color combos and the reels look really slick, the custom options make the reels really feel personal and will stand out in a sea of "me-too" reels on that next long range trip.


Len Vinci shows us the new down imaging


Hummingbird: The arms race is accelerating, fish finder manufacturers are turning it up on all sides (literally) and Hummingbird continues to push the envelope when it comes to side and down imaging. The software has been refined and all the new units now support exceptional down imaging. This new down imaging delivers picture like images by using high frequency sounds emitted in thin slices.


Units like the 1197c now allow anglers to choose from a palette of colors and screen configurations


The result is an instant snapshot directly below the boat, the new software then analyzes the returns to verify the position of the echoes to ensure down imaging only shows anglers the structure and activity directly beneath the boat and not off to one side or another. The bottom line is anglers can see structure in stunning detail. 


Owners of existing units that support the higher end features can download and update their software to take advantage of the latest features...best of all it is free


Hummingbird units can also now split the screen view into multiple windows so anglers can view down imaging alongside 2D sonar or alongside the popular side imaging views or even all of them combined. Existing units can be updated with the software upgrade to improve the feature-set.


The Ranger 521 cockpit is stepped up and has plenty of room to mount electronics in clear view while driving


Ranger: The all-new Z521 Comanche continues to be the talk of the town among hard core anglers and features aggressive styling, an ultra-responsive feel and even more space, comfort, and customizable features including the ability to remove the center seat and drop in a real center accessory box, not some cheap plastic storage container, rather a fiberglass console that matches the rest of the boat down to the color flakes.


Jeff Huth shows us the center rod locker, this boat has tons of storage


The Z521 comes with a 250 horsepower rating and a massive 52 gallon fuel capacity for those long runs and broad 95” beam for exceptional stability. Inside the 21’ 3” frame, engineers have showered the Z521 with standard features.  Up front, the 24 volt Minn Kota trolling motor includes an available recessed trolling motor pedal. Flanking the factory-rigged Lowrance electronics and digital switching at the bow is a huge 8’ port rod box and 7’6” center rod box. Starboard storage is highlighted by another pair of locking compartments just forward of the helm.  Rounding out the front deck, a built-in cooler and integrated step offer even more insulated storage.


More storage and insulated coolers in easy reach near the consoles


The newly designed consoles are now larger and shaped with special contouring for the tips of longer rods stored on the front deck.  The taller consoles not only deliver more protection from the wind and weather but also provide more room for flush mounting today’s large-screened electronics. 


Tournament anglers rarely use the center seat, and it can be replaced with a high quality storage console that matches the boat


The Ranger 521 is one of the most advanced boats Ranger has ever designed and the boat features a balance of features to improve performance without sacrificing comfort. While many boat manufacturers are in a holding pattern as the economy has hurt boat sales Ranger continues to develop new models like the Ranger 521 Comanche that are intended for serious bass anglers.  


A look inside the storage console


On the side of the consoles are contoured cutouts to make it easier to transport longer rods


The Ranger 521 Comanche is loaded with performance features but not at the expense of comfort


Conclusion: The ISE shows are always a good opportunity to check out everything from tackle to new boats and even book that trip of a lifetime. While the San Mateo and Sacramento shows are now behind us there may be a show coming to a location near you as the season is just beginning. The Phoenix show runs from Feb 26th to the 28th and the Salt Lake City show runs from March 18th to the 21st. Each show has a unique "flavor" with offerings that reflect the local fishing applications. The one thing that is common among all of them is that there are plenty of manufacturers and guides eager to share their passion with anglers looking for the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.










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