Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Featured Article: Show Coverage

Hooked on Tackle at the 2004 International Sportsmen's Expo

Date: 1/31/04
Location: San Mateo, CA
Event Dates: 1/29-2/2
Admission: Adults: 10 Dollars 
Kids 12 and under: Free
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: The alarm clock sounds and we briskly jump out of bed, put on our well worn jeans and lucky cap, hop in the truck with keen anticipation, not to go fishing, but rather to drive to this year’s ISE show. For 29 seasons fishermen, hunters, and outdoorsmen have all flocked to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition. Often finding themselves just as eager to learn, try, and buy the newest and most exhilarating tools that the new season has to offer, as they are to spend a day fishing on the lake. The ISE show attracts a complete range of tournament pro’s, outdoor media, and weekend warriors, all searching for the fresh new tackle and techniques to help tighten those lines.

Anglers at this year's ISE can get valuable fly-casting tips from the man himself, Lefty Kreh (right)

Some would say that fishing is just a diversion, and to those people I say hogwash. Fishing is an enduring tradition that enriches the lives of countless individuals in immeasurable ways. For many of us fishing has been a lifelong pursuit, a profession, or even more importantly, a refreshing escape from the monotony of ordinary urban life. It is for these anglers who are continuously searching for effective ways to catch more fish that manufacturers continue to design and produce innovative new products that raise the bar in terms of quality and refinement. Vast advances in today’s tackle offerings enable anglers to pursue fish with even greater gusto, and at this year’s ISE show we took a look at some of the latest and greatest fly-fishing and sport fishing offerings.

The show was filled with anglers wanting to learn the latest tips and tactics. One of the biggest draws was the Shimano Knot tying clinic

Whether you are looking for that one rod to fish multiple species, or a shiny new fish hauling reel, you can be sure that at least one of the manufacturers at this year’s International Sportsmen’s Expo has something that you are certain to be hooked on. This year the Best of TackleTour Show Winners were dominated by strong showings from the top Reel and Rod manufacturers, if your looking for a new outfit for this season then rest assured these top manufacturers have you covered.

Best of Show Winners at the 2004 International Sportsmens Expo:


Woody Wood holds up the top selling Takota and showed us a ton of new and exciting Shimano offerings including the brand new Trinidad Narrow (upper left), Shimano Calais 100A (lower left), and new rod identification system (upper right)

Shimano: Shimano pulled out all the stops with their gigantic booth filled with exciting new 2004 offerings. Woody Wood showed us current top sellers including their new Takota reels, and highlighted the complete range of newly redesigned Shimano rods, which are an amazing value for the price. But what really caught our attention was the brand new Trinidad Narrow Specials! What's that? Trinidad Narrow? Yes, you read it right! We got to see the very first prototype firsthand! The new narrow reel will be perfect for saltwater anglers who love the proven performance of the Trinidad and desire a more narrow frame for faster more efficient line pickup. The high efficiency gearing generates a bounty of torque, and the oversized Dartanium drag provides a complete range of settings to handle immense fish.

Freshwater anglers will be pleased to note that advancements in Shimano's saltwater lineup are now making their way into low profile baitcasters. Enter the new Calais 100A, a smaller, lighter, more advanced version of the already premium Calais. This new flagship baitcaster features everything the old Calais offered plus a more compact body, tapered design levelwind, easier to access sideplate, and most importantly HEG (High Efficiency Gearing). Making this a monster of a Bass hauler.


Daiwa has plenty of new reels this season including newly updated Procaster reels (lower left) with an enhanced feel and finish and limited edition Saltiga reels


Daiwa: Daiwa wowed us and our readers last year with the introduction of the amazing Saltiga, and this season they up the ante one notch with exclusive colored Saltiga reels. These extremely limited reels are machined out of attractive gold or blue aluminum and sold through exclusive distributors here in California. While it may be challenging to get one, the avid tackle collector doesn't want to miss out on this short run beauty.

Daiwa's booth was crowded by anglers who wanted to crank one of the new Procaster reels. The new Procaster is a completely new design from the 2003 model and features an upped bearing count, attractive new finish, and much improved ergonomics. The design of the Procaster is a departure from the traditional symmetrical design found on most Daiwa low profile reels and instead makes a bold statement with it's aggressive angles. The reel felt smooth and is designed to deliver even greater casting distance and accuracy, and is sure to garner a lot of attention once it hits tackle stores shortly.


Darin Houx, District Sales Manager, showed us the very attractive Pflueger President Series baitcasting (lower left) and spinning (upper right) reels


Pflueger: Pflueger has been in the tackle business for over 120 years, and put all this experience into the design of their stunning new President reels. The President LP baitcast reel sports one of the best freespools we saw at the show, and seemed to spin forever. The President LP features 9 stainless ball bearings, a titanium line guide, 6 pin centrifugal brake system, machined and anodized aluminum spool, and a sturdy cold forged aluminum handle.


The President Spinning reel features a 10 bearing system and felt extremely fluid with each turn of the handle, but is quick to stop thanks to a exceptional instant anti-reverse, guaranteeing solid hooksets. But what really makes these reels stand out is their mind blowing value! The President LP Baitcaster retails at 129.99, while the 10 bearing President Spinning reel is only 59.95! That's a lot of reel for the money!


Dan Kadota holds up one of the new Bronzeback rods from Loomis, the Bronzeback rods (upper left) are uniquely designed from a blend Loomis graphite to have a super quick responsive tip and powerful mid section


GLoomis: We were greeted at the GLoomis booth by Dan Kadota, the current IGFA line-class record holder in California. We didn't ask Dan if he caught that legendary 19-lb largemouth on a Loomis but we could tell that Dan was excited about all the new application specific rods that Loomis is offering for 2004. Hard core Loomis fans have noticed recently that more and more technique/application specific rods are being introduced rather then the standard GL2/GL3/IMX/GLX series rods that we have become so familiar with. The contemporary rods actually use a combination of these proven graphites to generate the perfect attributes to effectively fish a particular technique. A great example are the striking new Bronzeback rods. Finally a rod designed just for the smallmouth angler! These rods feature a super sensitive quick tip to help anglers cast smaller lures and feel the most subtle of bites. Once hooked up the lower portion of the rod delivers a great deal of power thanks to GLoomis's proprietary high-density graphite blend. While there are going to be a ton of these exciting new application specific rods coming in 2004, Loomis die-hards can rest easy knowing that the company plans to continue producing GLX favorites.


Simon Chan proudly holds up an example of a high quality River2Sea lure, the dragonfly (upper right) topwater lure highlights remarkable detail in design

No longer are fish or anglers satisfied with lures that “resemble” bait in terms of profile, finish, and action. The newest lures are either dead ringers for prey that gamefish pursue, or exhibit fantastic new actions and resonance never before presented to fish. With great success in Australia and in Asian countries, River2Sea is now moving into North America and the rest of the world. They offer a large variety of fishing lures designed for saltwater and freshwater anglers that are among the most exotic we have ever seen, examples include a assortment of highly detailed bug/insect and goldfish lures. All the lures are very high quality and use extremely sharp hooks.

Pablo Ramirez Jr. the designer of the Pole Pack demonstrates the products easy portability


The Pole Pack: When you spend so much money on high quality rod & reel outfits it only makes sense to protect them. That's why Pablo Ramirez designed the Pole Pack. This protective carrier allows you to carry your combos to and from your destination, keeping your hands free to carry your tackle box or cooler to the water or boat. This bag can be folded or rolled up and is constructed from water resistant polyester and comes in 5 and 7 foot lengths, and can carry 3-5 rods safely.


John Sherman (left) and John Mazurkiewicz (right) showed us the technologically advanced Streamer Express and beautifully crafted System 2LA Fly Reels


Scientific Anglers: Only one fly manufacturer made it into our list, but they simply blew us away. Mix the art of fly fishing with the newest technology, and fly anglers find a greater offering of high quality, application specific, fly lines then ever before. Scientific Anglers is the most respected name in the industry when it comes to the most advanced fly-lines, and accomplishes this through countless hours of field testing and listening to the requirements of experts in the field, then bringing all this information together in their hi-tech labs.


Time spent in different regions has led to the design and manufacture of new and improved technique specific lines that are perfect for West Coast fly anglers. A great example is their brand new Mastery Series Streamer Express line which allows fly anglers the advantage of getting their flies down deep in both fresh and saltwater situations. This line sinks faster and deeper then the current Wet Tip Express lines and features an intermediate sink running line with 3M's patented (AST) Advanced Shooting Technology coating process and extra fast 30-foot sinking head to attain impressive sink rates from 5.5 to 8 inches per second!


Scientific Anglers also showcased their highly refined new System 2LA fly reels which are true large arbor reels, feature excellent disc drags, and are among the most lightweight on the market! We couldn't believe how incredibly light these distinguished reels felt in the palm of our hands!

Bob Strickland is passionate about the good causes that United Anglers fights for, and anglers up and down the coast are grateful

A Good Cause, United Anglers: Its the first time we have awarded a Best of Show to a organization at the ISE. As we walked down the aisles we couldn't help but be intrigued by this worthy cause. Formed in 1981 due to a decline on the West Coast fisheries, United Anglers was founded to ensure proper management of our fish and their natural habitats. Joined by a large group of anglers, businesses, and the general public, our voice is heard when new laws are needed to be put in place to save the sport of fishing. United Anglers participates in meetings and discussions by the Department of Fish and Game, follows the laws and regulations closely, they promote the preservation of our environment to keep our waters fishable, and much more. For 2004, United Anglers are taking part in re-introducing the White Sea Bass back into the West Coast region which is very long-awaited to anglers in our area. For more information or to join UA, visit their website.

Conclusion: As you walk down the vivacious aisles at this year’s ISE show, and stop to examine those polished new reels, robust rods, and undetectable lines, remember that these are more then just mere fish catching tools, these are the instruments that help build the dreams and lasting memories that keep us all hooked on the sport which we are so passionate about. So the next time that alarm sounds and you don that lucky cap and grab that brand new rod and reel outfit, you can be sure that you are indeed outfitted with the right tools and techniques to hook more fish, and make each and every trip a memorable angling experience.


Congratulations to all our "Best of Show" winners, all of which showcased extremely exciting product offerings...some of which will be chosen for in-depth product reviews.











Copyright © 2000-2023 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information