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Event Article: 2007 ICAST Reel Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 1 (Reels) - Better, Lighter, Faster, Cheaper

Date: 7/11/07
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

All ICAST shows are exciting on their own, but this year ICAST is celebrating 50 years of uniting the world’s sportfishing gear and accessories under one roof. In that very first year, the Associated Fishing Tackle Manufacturers’ held their trade show at the Sherman Hotel in Chicago, and a total of twenty-two companies participated in the event. For 2007, the list of exhibitors is approximately one-hundred-twenty companies. This benchmark is a sign of strength for the industry, and also a boon for anglers looking to expand their collection of all things fishing. Like kids in a candy store our editorial team was cut loose to report on the latest reel offerings from all the manufacturers.


Trends: Some of the trends we are seeing this year in reels are a drive for refinement by the manufacturers. The ante has been raised and manufacturers are extending technology and design of their popular offerings further and further down the spectrum of their line cards. No longer is it acceptable to sacrifice in one category to achieve another…for example anglers not only want lighter reels, but ones with more powerful gearing and drags. There are more subcompact reels this season, many of which use clever lightweight compact aluminum designs and others that make use of magnesium. All the manufacturers have echoed the same sentiment this year and that sentiment was, that in order to compete you cannot provide product that is just cheaper than everybody else, it has to be BETTER. But how well did the manufacturers meet this goal? Let’s find out!


Introducing the Core


Shimano - Core: In a total reversal of days past the Core looks more “enthusiast than its JDM sibling the Metanium Mg. The Core features an ultra lightweight magnesium frame and sideplates, that’s right all magnesium construction on both sides. The Core has a minimal thumbrest design, a brilliant red Magnumlite Spool, and HEG gearing… making this one very powerful yet lightweight reel.







The Core will be available in two styles, the 100Mg will have a conventional clutch and a FV (Flipping Version) with an Instagage II flipping clutch. The standard CORE will have a 6.2:1 gear ratio, 5 bearings and will weigh in at 6.1 ounces. The FV version has a 7:1 gear ratio and the the bar is designed ergonomically so that there is copious access. The FV version is slightly heavier (6.7oz) due to the brass gear design which deals with gear stress better over the long haul. Like the Chronarch Mg the core is also approved for use in salt water. The Core reels will retail for $349.99 for the standard version and $379.99 for the FV version.


Shimano had a little "display" going on at their booth to show the features of the new spinning reels



Complete Spinning Redesign: While the Core certainly is sure to be a hit among Shimano fans that have been waiting for a premium magnesium reel, the big story at Shimano is actually the spinning reels. Shimano redesigned their entire premium spinning lineup from the Stella all the way to the Stradic, and introduced a new reel under the Stradic called the Saros. All of these reels feature “Propulsion” line management and “Paladin Gear” Durability Enhancements. Let’s dive into the technology behind these reels.


The new Stella





Paladin Gearing: Updating the gearing in the Shimano spinning reels was the company’s greatest challenge to date. It was easy to sacrifice gear smoothness for strength, and the reverse was true as well, so how would it be possible to enhance the durability of the gears and actually make the reels more refined?


The new Stradic Mg



Shimano tested a great many materials (zinc, brass, aluminum, stainless steel) and different combinations for both the drive and pinion gear. Ultimately they discovered that cold forging was the key. Cold forging achieves original strength without sacrificing molecular structure, while increasing density (are we getting too techie here?) Each and every youth is cold forged for superior density and strength with a detailed shape, and unlike die casting there is no uneven density or varying tooth surfaces.



The Paladin gear durability enhancement utilizes a CF Aluminum Drive Gear and Special Hardened Brass Pinion Gear which Shimano found to be the best combination of process, metals and tooth design. The drive gear is cold forged out of the highest grade of aluminum available and gives exceptional density with minimal amount of metal to reduce the weight. The special hardened brass alloy used on the pinion gear is the perfect match for both smoothness and durability. So what does all this actually mean for anglers?



Reels equipped with the Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement will retain their out-of-the-box smoothness much longer than before, and testing has shown that this combination of metals is more durable than an all stainless steel drivetrain while maintaining the smoothness that Shimano has become famous for.



Propulsion Line Management: Unfortunately many anglers today have resigned themselves to dealing with line twist as a necessary evil with spinning reels. Shimano sought to address the full range of line management issues including Wind Knots,Backlashes, Loops, Casting Feel and Distance, Line Friction on multiple parts, Line Lay, and yes, the ever present Line Twist. These concerns are alleviated with the the 5 component Propulsion Line Management System (Propulsion Spool Lip, SR One-Piece Bail Wire, Power Roller III, a redesigned Bail Trip Mechanism, and the S Arm Cam. The most noticeable part of the system is the completely redesigned spool which is longer and features a reverse funnel shape at the end allowing the line to flow off of the spool in smaller loops which means less slap on the stripper guide.


Jeremy Sweet talks about all the new technologies in their reels


All of the features add up and the bottom line is that the entire Propulsion Line Management System provides longer, more accurate casts, with less effort, while drastically reducing the chance of backlash, wind knots or tangles.


Introducing the new Saros spinning reel


Aerowrap II: Aerowrap II is a worm gear oscillation system that utilizes 2 different speeds and provides a slight criss-cross pattern to reduce the chance of line dig. It provides uniform line lay and winding shape and helps prevent loss of energy during casts. Speeds are optimized for use with the Propulsion Spool design we mentioned earlier and because friction is reduced the efficiency is increased for longer, more accurate casts with less effort. This feature is available on the Stella through Stradic but Aerowrap II is not available on the Saros F.



There's a new Sustain as well, featuring the new technologies





Trinidad DC: Jeremy Sweet already has a lot to be proud of but he pulled out the clincher with the surprise introduction of the Trinidad DC, the first saltwater conventional reel to make use of the company’s proven Digital Circuit casting technology. “We’ve been working on bringing our DC technology to saltwater anglers since we first introduced it on the Calcutta TE DC, but the limitation has always been the DC’s reduced line capacity” Sweet tells us. “But with newer, smaller technology available, and a redesign of the DC circuit board, we figured out a way to house a new DC circuit right next to the spool and not sacrifice the capacity that’s so important to bluewater anglers.”


Here's the latest DC reel, the Trinidad DC







Saltwater anglers tossing everything from live anchovies to surface irons and heavy jigs to surfcasters trying to achieve maximum casting distance are sure to covet this new saltwater DC reel. The Trinidad DC looks and feels more like a high performance baitcaster than a conventional open faced reel. The reel features six shielded A-RB bearings, rubber shielded Super Stopper for no handle backplay, a rubber padded metal clutch lever, a cold forged aluminum drag star, a forged aluminum frame for strength and rigidity, and chrome plated sideplate screws to minimize the risk of corrosion. Each of the three reels in the series also includes a Redundant Anti-Reverse System, Dartanium Drag, stamped aluminum right sideplate, aluminum left sideplate and spool, and an ergonomic Power Grip.


The Trinidad DC will be available in three sizes (16, 20, 30) and will retail for $729.99-$749.99.


Jeremy Sweet proudly displays the Trinidad DC

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