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High-quality fishing tackle directly from Japan to worldwide. All prices are in US$.

The report of the International Sport Fishing Show 2005

Japan International Sportfishing Show 2005 (Tokyo) saw brilliant new offerings, but future business environment is in chaos.

Jan 27-29 2005

Chiba, Japan

Jun Sonoda


The Tackle Show is held in Tokyo and Osaka every year to release the newest tackle offerings, to accommodate talk shows by big names, and to share the problems of the industry. This year, about 130 booths welcomed anglers, and most of them were from tackle manufacturers.

Megabass booth

Daiwa's new Ayu rods in 30-33 ft

Many new tackles are unveiled at this show, but the lure-fishing is not in good mood, actually in an emergency. A few days before the show, Minister of Environment has just indicated to specify bass as �gharmful foreign creatures.�h This movement might end with extermination of bass from all waters in Japan. Therefore, many of the talk shows dealt with the problem to appeal government to stop it.

Trout fishing is the target area of 2005. I also noticed tackle customization is getting bigger.

Anyway, let me start to talk about some new tackle I noticed.


Shimano: The giant tackle manufacturer keeps releasing new reels to replace outdated models, but the impact is not much for this year. Its new releases in 2005 are new Metanium XT, Twin Power2005, Biomaster L rear drag, and etc. These new models are all expected, and I had no surprise to see them. The Twin Power (1000-4000) has new SR body, and more direct feeling. The bail wire is one-piece to prevent troubles. The long sought after new Metanium XT, has a little larger, lower aluminum body than previous models, and weight is 230g. It is targeted for a little heavy duty than Scorpion models. Shimano has Cardiff series trout rods, and welcomes Monster Limited, and Stream Limited rods. They have super gorgeous burled Karin real seats. Shimano will release new models during year, and we should keep eyes on it.


Daiwa: Collaboration with Megabass goes on in 2005! Daiwa is releasing tons of new reels this year. And the new limited of the year is Alphas-ito Ai and Millionaire Lite 103 I�fze in red. Alphas-ito has polished aluminum body and transparent side plates. Spool should have some modification on stock. The limited Millionaire has super light-weight body. Caldia KIX spinning reels will come out in April, to sit just below Luvias at price. The model has real four concepts, succeeded from Certate. Certate adds 2506 and 2004 finesse models in March. TD-Z bait caster also adds Big Bait Special model in black and gold, with deep flat spool. I found a very unique reel, Smak in orange. You may wind about 4 �gof lines by clicking the lever on the top by thumb. This will make great finesse fishing arsenal. Other new models are Pixy Airy Red, US Advantage (TD Advantage), Millionaire Black Sheep 250, Power Surf QD special models, and etc.


Smak with wooden wooden knobs

Megabass: The specialty tackle manufacturer unveiled a few new lures and about a dozen super decorated rods, including inshore fishing rods. SR-X Cyclone, MR-X Cyclone are the up-scaled models of the originals, weighing at 3/8 and 1/2oz respectively. Instead, new Baby Griffon weighs at 3/16oz. Anthrax has minnow shaped body with lip at fore head. It should scrawl on the surface, but I may not easily imagine how it works.

Rods add Paniga top water series, Shoreluck UL inshore rods, Orochi Heavy rods and etc. Recent new models have offset rear grips with cranked aluminum joints.

Rods and year model lures (2005 is the year of birds)

Mr. Ito, CEO, designer of Megabass was talking in front of the booth.


ZPI: The famous magnesium tuning spool manufacturer will release super tuned ABU, IM-AE-74 in March. Base is Morrum SX series. Production is upon orders, limited to about a couple of dozen. The magnet brake system for Conquest 100 reels are also released. Mr. Kato, CEO of ZPI, told me that it has started testing 7.1 gears for TD-Z100 reels, but sales is not yet scheduled at this moment.


Ever Green: Ever Green�fs name comes the center as the large bait, swim baits are more often used in Japanese waters. Its power fishing rods are very highly praised. Instead of its rival Megabass, its new Crossfire rods have a little conservative looking. Esdrive surface swim baits, Timberflash Jr. and Tmberflash Noisy Dachs are added to Ever Green�fs swim baits collections.


Uo-ya: 3 pieced version of Monster Jack will come out. The original model attracted much attention for beautiful finish, and it has been back-ordered for long time. The new model will also see long back-orders.


Jackall: On the boom of large baits and swim baits, Jackall releases Flat Bone Clicker swim baits (1 1/2oz), 180 pencil bait( 2oz), Mikey Slim swim baits(3/4oz), and etc.


Jackson: It reinforced its trout rods line-ups by adding a few ultra finesse rods, Monster Brown series, and casting model for Trout Unlimited steelhead rods. The grips of them are finished with burled maple.


Smith: High-quality tackle dealer, also known as Heddon dealer in Japan renewed its high-end trout rods by Troutin�f spin Inter-Boron X series. The new trout rods have boron graphite blanks and solid tiger maple reel seats. Its Heddon collection adds sway back Zara spook, tuned Baby torpedo, tuned tiny crawler, and etc.


Toray: The line maker released two lines, Super Hard Strong fluorocarbon lines and Solaroam Super Strong nylon lines. The fluorocarbon line has the more abrasion resistance, and softer body than the Super Hard natural.


Others: I noticed Okuma and unknown Chinese rod manufacturer had booths in it. I know Okuma sells inexpensive reels in the US, and it might have more visibility in Japan later.


Overall review: Great tackle, but see the world outside Japan!

The fishing show was successful to accommodate tons of new great, beautiful tackle, talk shows and demonstrations. However, it seems the time has come, for lure-fishing industry to see oversea market. I surely see the shrinking lure-fishing industry in Japan, and the trout fishing seems the only hope for them. Is it true?

The industry has already made large industry efforts to expand lure-fishing market in Japan, mainly after year 2000. And the efforts didn�ft see much result so far. The first target was seabass fishing in metropolitan bay area. However, the target population was very limited, and it saw small peak a couple of years ago. Later, industry focused on fishing for squid from shore. The fishing is the mixture of traditional lure �gegi�h and western tackle. It sees slightly increased population, but it is still very small compared to the bass fishing. The number of pay fee area limits the expansion of trout fishing, and I may not expect too much on the winter-spring limited fishing.

Many professional bass anglers will go overseas to find better opportunities in 2005. Why not tackle?

Hope 2005 is the great year for all anglers in the world.