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




Featured Article: Show Coverage

The International Sportsmen Expo is back in town, and so are the crowds

Date: 2/06/05
Location: San Mateo, CA
Event Dates: 2/03-2/06/05
Admission: Adults: 12 Dollars 
Kids 12 and under: Free
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: The ISE show is back in town, and with it come many of the latest angling products and innovations that are either available now, or soon will be offered at your local tackle shop. This year anglers and sportsmen came out in droves to see, learn, and take advantage of great show deals. We arrived before the show opened at noon and found ourselves at the back of a long line of eager attendees. The reason the show attracts so many people is due to the diversity of offerings. This year's Western Tour truly had something for everyone. Whether you are an angler, hunter, enjoy camping, or simply love traveling to exotic outdoor locations, odds are that you will leave the show pumped up and ready to roll into your next wilderness adventure.

The San Mateo ISE was full of life, and scores of sportsmen lined up to get into the fairgrounds each day

Some of the show highlights included the high flying splash dogs, countless seminars where anglers and sportsmen could learn firsthand from the pros, a huge sportfishing boat selection, and some of the best tri-tip barbecue we have ever had. But TackleTour wasn't on hand just to take in the sights and fill our bellies, no...we were here for the tackle, and lucky for us there was a lot of it to see. N
ow on to the best of show: The following manufacturers had something distinctive and exciting to offer anglers this season.

John Mazurkiewicz (left) and L2L inventor John Stark (right) showed us the smallest and most innovative product of the show, the L2L System Connector

Scientific Anglers:
The ISE show boasted a healthy fly fishing turnout with many companies showing off their latest rods and reels, but the real highlight was showcased by none other than the fly line experts at Scientific Anglers. Scientific Angler's new L2L system connector is the most innovative thing to happen to fly lines in a while. L2L stands for "Line to Leader" connector. When surveying fly fisherman the biggest complaint about the sport was the knot tying. SA's L2L system makes changing leaders faster and easier than ever, and offer a variety of advantages over traditional nail knots and loops.


The new L2L system is easy to use, and offers many other practical benefits to fly fisherman including improved line handling, better casting, and enhanced presentation

How does it work? We got a first hand lesson from the inventor of the system, John Stark, 3M's Technical Manager. The L2L connectors come on a card and you simply insert your fly line into the end and tie a normal knot. The system is capable of accommodating standard weight fly lines from 7wt and down. Once the funnel is on your main line it is time to attach your leader. SA packages convenient L2L leader connectors with the other half of the system already fused on. Once you select the right leader you simply use the tool on the card and snap the two together. This connection boasts a break strength greater than 10lbs, and when we took our turns tugging on the L2L in every case the leader would break before the connection would pop. Besides the obvious benefit of easy implementation the L2L slides through guides with less resistance than a traditional knot, has a more hydrodynamic shape than knots making it easier for pickups resulting in smoother longer casts, and adds the same floating technology as SA's own fly lines keeping the tip higher than any nail knot or loop connections. How do you make this already winning system even better? John Stark showed us an unreleased prototype that will allow anglers to actually insert and remove leaders. This will allow anglers increased flexibility change out leaders on the water in seconds.


The new Pflueger WLP offers increased line capacity, and Shakespeare's Supreme lines offer anglers a new alternative to spool up with


Pflueger/Shakespeare: After releasing the very popular President LP baitcast reel, the momentum continues for Pflueger. The new President WLP baitcast reels sport a wide spool design which holds more line for anglers targeting river salmon, steelhead, and any species that require increased line capacity. The President WLP is slightly wider than the original, but remains true to the formula that made the original a top seller....excellent performance at an exceptional price. Of course Pflueger hopes that you will spool up your President reels with Shakespeare Supreme fishing line. This new monofilament fishing line is available in two variations, super smooth and super tough. The Supreme Super Smooth features low memory and surprisingly supple characteristics making it a versatile line for everyday casting. Supreme Super Tough on the other hand offers anglers high abrasion resistance, low stretch for instant hooksets, and high sensitivity for feeling both structure and strikes. Both variations are available in clear, green, and light blue.


Okuma's flagship Catalina is striking and offers anglers some exclusive new features like SLG Technology and a self lubricating oil system


Okuma: While freshwater anglers fervently await the new low profile Nemesis and VS reels to make their public debut, saltwater anglers can already take advantage of the precisely machined Catalina. This recently updated flagship casting reel now features Okuma's SLG system (Speed Loc Gear System), which helps deliver instant gear engagement for rock solid hooksets. SLG technology incorporates a dual step pinion gear system that allows positive engaging at extreme high speeds. This function is ideal for anglers targeting speedsters such as Wahoo, Kingfish and Sailfish. The SLG allows for instant gear engagement from freespool to strike at amazing speed of over 50 MPH. The Catalina's entire frame is machined, and the reel contains a clever self-lubricating gear system that has a impregnated bearing that releases oil to moving parts when they become heated during long bouts with fish. These reels feel extremely well refined, and come in an ample assortment of configurations from completely open faced reels to smaller levelwind models. There is a Catalina for just about every casting and trolling application with gear ratios ranging from 4.0:1 on the largest model all the way to a blazing fast 6.3:1 on the CT-25S.


Cal compares the different GLX Jig & Worm rods at the GLoomis fishing dock


GLoomis: GLoomis always seems to find imaginative ways to present their offers at these shows, and this year the rod giant displayed a complete range of rods including their complete lineup of new GLX Jig & Worm rods. We are currently field testing some of these new rods, but it was nice to be able to compare a broader sampling at the show. Anglers familiar with GLX level rods will notice that the three major differences with these application specific rods and the traditional GLX models are the recoil guides, the slightly added stiffness, and the overall reduced weight GLoomis offerings could be found in both halls and their premium Stream Dance, Cross Current, and new RoaringRiver Spey Fly rods were all on display. G.Loomis' very own Steve Rajeff, arguably the best fly caster in the world, was on hand talking about the latest G.Loomis innovations and sharing tips and techniques to aspiring anglers.


Roy Hastings (left) owner of Hastings Rod Manufacturing, and Fidel Moreno (right) showed us the unique taper of their Graphite USA rods. JIP tests the blank's tolerance (lower right)

Have you heard of Graphite-USA? Maybe, but odds are you will be hearing a lot more about this emerging brand in the very near future. Hastings, the parent company of Graphite-USA has been in the blank business since 1970. It is only recently that the company decided to introduce its own lineup of rods, hence Graphite-USA was born. These rods make use of innovative "Dual Helix" ply construction which produces a rod blank that has outstanding resistance to both crushing and twisting when compared to the competition. Graphite-USA products are now popping up in local stores and the company offers a wide range of rods ranging from saltwater to trout sticks.


P-Line isn't just about lines and Ray Niford showed us the new Predator and Sunrise Squid lures, as well as their new strike trout bait


P-Line: P-Line makes some darn good lines but many anglers don't realize that the company also sells a number of worthwhile lures as well. The P-Line Predator is a deep diving broken back minnow designed primarily for deep trolling. Interestingly this lure can be combined with a cut P-Line Sunrise Squid on the end. The sunrise squid acts as a great skirt for the bait, and because there are over 50 colors and patterns to choose from you can endlessly customize your lure combo. What was also surprising was P-Line's entry into the scent market with a "PowerBait" like dough simply named "Strike." This new formula is completely bio-degradable unlike some of the competitor offerings, making this a better solution when it comes to preserving the more delicate trout habitats.


The big dog...this Yamaha VMAX HPDI cranks out 300hp and catapults bass boats well over 70mph on the water


Yamaha: While Mercury has garnered the bulk of the powerplant attention with the successful launch of their Verado series of surcharged 4 strokes, the Yamaha VMAX HPDI remains the big dog on the water, beating both Mercury and Honda in the sheer muscle department. This potent 3.3 liter engine cranks out 300HP, and is able to get bass boats over 76 miles per hour effortlessly. A special ion plated piston ring reduces oil consumption by 20%, and even though the motor is a beast waiting to be unleashed it still is capable of exceptional fuel economy and also manages to qualify for a 2 star CARB ultra low emissions rating. To properly harness all this power Yamaha designed a unique concave shaped skeg that helps reduce steering torque, enabling the lower unit to track straighter during acceleration, top-end and deceleration.

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 2000-2022 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information