Shimano had new fishing reels, rods, and lures at ICAST for 2010, no surprise there, but what is surprising is just how much new gear these folks introduced this year. A down economy? Says who? Certainly not Shimano! But here’s the real surprise: not only did they intro new gear, they also re-designed (and vastly improved) several existing models – Shimano didn’t hold a darn thing back! Here are some of the highlights:
- The Trinidad A – The Trinidad star drag reel has been around for years, and is an extremely reliable (though expensive) workhorse. Redesigned for 2010, it now incorporates all of the technology advancements Shimano’s made through the past decade. High efficiency gearing, the Dartanium II drag, EI corrosion protection, and so on. PS – this one won an award for best new saltwater reel.
- The Talica II – I got a sneak-peek at these while fishing with the Shimano guys in Key West this spring, and wrote up a review of the Talica II 10 at http://www.boats.com/boat-content/2010/03/shimano-talica-10-fishing-reel-test-light-tackle-high-speed/ The bottom line: this is a sweet little mighty-might of a reel, which packs one heckova punch!
- The Thunnus – This spinning reel is the heavyweight of baitrunners, and its redesign includes a new drag system, a weight reduction, and enhanced corrosion protection. It’s another reel with a high price point, but it’s a spinner that can conquer tunas and other large pelagics.
- The Wax Wing sub-surface lure – this is another one I got to try out in Key West, but was sworn to secrecy until it’s introduction at the 2010 ICAST. It’s similar to a crankbait but it has upper and lower fins instead of a lip. That gives it a quick side to side darting motion, while it runs just under the surface. The fish ate it up! (I have a super-cool video including underwater footage of a bonito busting on it, at www.Earthsports.com. Check it out!) BTW, this one won an award at the show, for best new hard bait.
- The Stella SE – This is Shimano’s top-end spinner, and it’s silky-smooth in the extreme. New sizes are available, and multiple upgrades over past models helped this one win the best new freshwater reel category.
- Terez rods – These big-boat rods are all-new, and they have several features you won’t see on others. The basic design theory creates an offshore trolling rod with no roller guides and half the weight of a traditional boat rod, but twice the power. They are amazing, period. On that trip to the keys I had the chance to fight a nice sailfish with one, and LOVED it. Yep, this one won an award too, for the best new saltwater rod. Added bonus: it comes in colors that match most boat hulls, from fighting lady yellow to sea foam green to creme white, so you can color match your gear to your boat.
Other Shimano companies like G. Loomis also introduced cool new gear for 2010 at ICAST, but there’s just too darn much to get into at this point – so stay tuned! Until next time, here’s a shot of that sailfish, coming in on a Talica II reel and Terez rod combination.