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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Event Preview


The Return of the Show, looking forward to this season's outdoor events & tackle introductions
 

Date: 1/01/08
Location: Regional
Admission: Approx 10-12 Dollars (Fred Hall & ISE)
Reviewer: Zander








Introduction:
Happy New Year to everyone, it seems like just yesterday we were covering all the latest tackle from the 07 season, many of which made their debut at regional events and shows, all leading up to the big daddy of all tackle shows, ICAST. While ICAST may not be open to consumers, there are a great many shows that are, some of which might just be in your backyard. Regional shows like the International Sportsmen’s Exposition and the Fred Hall Show are prime examples of events that have continually expanded their formats to cater to the ever changing desires of anglers.

 


It is always fun to check out lunkers up close in the bass tank

 

When it comes to predictions for the coming season we expect yet another “big bait” year as new-fangled swimbaits and plugs will continue to be unveiled, both these giant lures and the complementary rods employed to toss them will be a hot commodity nationwide. Tier 1 and Custom rod manufacturers will further expand their offerings in both directions in an effort to find ways to make finesse plastic rods lighter and more sensitive, as well as introduce a slew of new big bait rods that weigh less and yet are still able to cast those full-size lures.

 


Just one of many show floors at the International Sportsmen's Exposition in Sacramento, CA

 

On the reel front after a relatively quiet previous season on the saltwater side we anticipate quite a few additions for inshore and offshore anglers. In the hotly contested freshwater reel market manufacturers are now facing the increasingly difficult challenge of differentiating new introductions from their already crowded lineups as well as from increasingly refined competitor offerings. What anglers can expect are new designs and use of innovative materials to create reels with even more sophistication and lighter overall weight as the emphasis will be placed equally on performance and quality ergonomics.

 


Learn from the pros, here Randy Pringle talks about fishing plastic craws with JIP at the Fred Hall Show

 

Just as rods became more application specific reel manufacturers will be releasing new products designed for particular applications, for example ultralight line baitcasters or more powerful reels for vertical fishing. Technology and even micro-computing will play an expanded role in the functionality and performance of future reels, and to some extent are already being employed in products like Shimano’s flagship Calais 4X8 DC baitcaster and Daiwa’s Dendoh Power Assist saltwater reels.

 


The sure catch ponds at the events are a great way to get kids into the sport

 

These are just some of the trends we expect to observe, and over the course of the next few months we will be covering a number of these shows and as well as the accompanying 2008 tackle introductions, but for those of you that are still contemplating whether or not to attend your local show here are a few of the reasons why you should consider trading a day on the water for a day on the show floor.

 


Manufacturers highlight their latest offerings, a few year's back Toru from Daiwa actually showed off Saltiga prototypes at the local ISE show

 

Starting with the obvious, outdoor shows are simply fun for the entire family. I remember the day that I took my five year old to his first show, the wide eyed look on his face as he gazed upon the equally bug eyed lunkers in bass tank was priceless. If you want to share your passion with your own children there isn’t any better place to get them hooked then at a show wetting a line in the sure catch pool. Between catching their first fish, watching the dock dogs get aerial, and let’s not forget the fantastic barbecue, it is sure to be a good day out.

 


Check out just how the pros work their lures, here Gary Dobyns gives a seminar on jerkbait fishing for bass

 

Another reason to go to the show is to learn firsthand from both professional anglers and regional guides about just what tackle and techniques are the most effective. After years of attending various shows I find that I still continue to learn something new at each and every show. Angling techniques and trends are constantly changing, and now more than ever new tackle is being introduced that changes the very way we fish. Take Shimano’s recent success for example, it took the clout of the reel giant to bring Butterfly Jigging into the limelight. Today the technique has spawned a completely new category of tackle. Whatever your favorite species to pursue is, it never gets old watching the experts perched over the edge of the test tank enlightening anglers on the very techniques they employ to catch fish.

 


Where else can you get a flycasting lesson from the master, Lefty Kreh, himself

 

When you’re done learning from the pros you there are aisles upon aisles of manufacturers, vendors, and guides, all of which are eager to talk to anglers. Some of the best fishing stories have been passed down at these events, but for tackle junkies like yours truly there is nothing better than talking to the actual tackle manufacturers, who are more than happy to give anglers the inside scoop on how to most effectively fish their product. While most manufacturers are on hand to simply educate consumers on their brands and solutions there are always a number of manufacturers that have partnered with local retailers to offer significant discounts on the latest products. So not only can you learn about the most up-to-date tackle, but can walk away from the show with a great deal and get right to fishing armed with both your new gear and newfound knowledge.

 


Let's not forget that awesome barbecue either...


Conclusion:
The allure of an outdoor show is different for everyone, but I think it is safe to say that these shows are a great way to spend time with others that share your enthusiasm for the outdoors, an opportunity to learn something that can potentially make yourself a better angler, and even “catch” a good deal on that rod or reel that you have been saving for. This season as the slew of shows ramp up let your inner sportsmen out and indulge in everything that these events have to offer, all the while supporting the industry that makes our pastime, dare I say passion, possible. Stay tuned for coverage of the actual events, starting with the International Sportsmen’s Exposition San Mateo next week, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming show!

 


 

 

 

 

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