The report of the International Sport Fishing Show 2006 in Yokohama
The largest annual fishing show in Japan, Japan International Sportfishing Show 2006 (Yokohama) was held Feb 10-12, and it showed off how the manufacturers are positive for future business.
Jan 10-12 2006
Report: Jun Sonoda
The Tackle Show was held in both Tokyo area and Osaka every year to release the newest tackle offerings, to accommodate talk shows by professional anglers, some high-class people in the industry to share the problems of the industry with wide range of participants. This year, we had more number of talks of pro-anglers in the Japanese tournaments, US BASS and FLW, and Kotaro Kiriyama was welcomed by hundreds of anglers seeking his signature.
And, overall, from the show 2006, I felt that the fishing tackle industry in Japan has managed the crisis of the political movement to exterminate imported bass from our water, and gradually strengthening their R&D effort. Big names like Shimano, Daiwa, Gamakatsu, Jackall, Smith ABU Japan and etc has unveiled numbers of new tackle, and fishing tackle industry will be still very exited here.
Let me start to talk about some new tackle I noticed. I mainly checked with reels this year.
Shimano: The major topic from the tackle giant is the Antares DC, and DC7. The digital controlled brake system is finally installed to the low-profile body of Antares( US Calais), and that is the reel most freshwater anglers has been sought after since the release of Calcutta DC in 2003. The sales of these super high-tech reels are expected to start in April for DC, and July for the 7.0 fast gear models for both right hand left retrieve. Mr. Hajime Murata demonstrated casting the DC, and I was amazed how the DC spool stops automatically without thumbing after cast. The new DC system will have 4 modes, long casting/middle range/short range/wind-against, and you may also set the strength by 8 notches by dial.
Speedmaster 200/201(in black metallic) with 7.0 gear in totally new body will be in market, in May for right hand, in August for the lefty. I assume it is one of Japan domestic version of US model, and I need to figure out what has changed from the export version soon.
Biomaster(Stradic) and TwinPower MG(Sustain MG) were replaced by 2006 new lines. There seems no noticeable change in mechanicals or function from the previous models.
Daiwa: Where is the 2006 collaboration with Megabass going? New TD-ito? Wow, my questions were almost meaningless before the a lot of NEW line-ups from Daiwa, both bait casters and spinnings. The new models are, from bait casters, TD-Steez 103H/103HL, TD Zillion 100SH/100SHL, Alphas Type-F 103/103L. And spinning reels follow, TD-Steez 2004/2506, Exist 2500, Certate 2500R-Custom 2006 model and TD Aegis 2004/2506.
Among these new models, I was most stunned by the color of the Certate 2500R-custom, metallic blue with frosted pearl finish. (In the photo below) The Zillion will be the first Japan reel to have MagforceZ brake, which is already installed to some US models. The red handle of the TD-Aegis is too much decorated,, to my taste. Daiwa will also release an exotic handle kit with red star knob, and black/gold pads.
And, is Daiwa still releasing new ito reels this year? Daiwa rep smiled to decline, they have no time to prepare for the limited models. Umm, we should still keep eyes on the company, because Daiwa loves to release limited models, and it may not change the style of business easily. AND, I found a special painted Certate2500 in metallic orange at the I'ze tuning reel section booth. The rep in the booth was sure it sells well and I may expect such limited color models at least.
Megabass: I sniffed around to find any clue for new ito reel, and found one easily. The silver round reel with a plate, reading ito-P200XR, looks like the tuned model of Daiwa CV-Z round bait caster. The reel is still under development, and a Megabass rep confessed it is hoping to release the model around October, at the earliest, though some magazines reported it would come out in June. Daiwa has the control of the production(re-production) of the 2003 TD-ito, and the possibility will be low, to his opinion.
ZPI: Now the very famous carbon handle manufacturer will release quite exotic handles soon, platinum carbon handles. The carbon material shines like platinum in silver.
Ever Green: Last year, the company has released a lot of swim bait rods, and attracted great attention to the BIG BAIT tactics. And, the new comer is a spinning reel, Opus-1, built like Leica camera from Germany. All components are precisely machined and anodized beautifully. The reel will surely attract attentions from the customers who was not the customer of previous EverGreen, the bass-tournament tackle supplier. It comes with special carrying bag and aluminum suite case. Expected price is less than $900. Hew!!
Summary: Daiwa has been expanding its line-ups very aggressively for last few years, and the momentum is still very strong for 2006. More and more tackle will be on the shelf of your local tackle shop this year. Shimano keeps its steady development cycle, and seems a little conservative for its new offerings compared to the bull rival. The new Ever Green reel is very interesting, but it will not much affect the business of either Daiwa or Shimano.