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The report of the International Sport Fishing Show 2011 in Osaka

Feb 4 - Feb 6, 2011

Osaka, Japan

Reporter: Jun Sonoda

  I am reporting the 2011 International Sport Fishing Show, held in Osaka, Japan. This is the first time for me to visit the show in Osaka. This year, the show in Tokyo area will be held in late March, and I decided to take Shinkan-sen bullet train to Osaka to check the 2011 new tackle.

  To my surprise, the show in Osaka, which is the second largest city in Japan, seems larger than show in Tokyo. Economy might be getting better. It also hosts a lot of small tackle manufacturers, which I have never seen in Tokyo, and I learned the tackle industry is stronger in western Japan.

  One of major discoveries from the show is that super finesse tactics with bait casting reels, so called "bait-finesse" in Japan is becoming large. The new tackle in the category are seen at booths of both major brands, like Shimano, Daiwa, ABU, Skeet Reese, Jackall, Megabass, as well at minor brands. The tactics employs very light, 3g or 1/8oz light rubber jigs and no sinker plastic baits, 8-12lb test mono lines, and rods with a lot of super small guides. To be matched with the rod, reels will be super tuned, shallow spool models are used. The tuning spools we dealt were for anglers with very specific requirement in the past, but now they become in a major stream.

Let me introduce some new tackle from Shimano.

Shimano booth is packed with so many people, indicating the popularity of the brand. It hosts a talk show featuring Mr. Hajime Murata. His talk program attracted a lot of visitors.
This is the Scorpion DC reel. The size is in Scorpion 1500, or Curado 200. Its right hand model will be released in April 2011, and left hand model in May. This DC model will be priced much lower than other DC models, and I expect it sells well. Shimano also unveils Conquest 50 DC, the smallest DC.
Mr. Matsumoto, a Shimano rep holds All new Twin Power 2500 spinning reel. The largest improvement was made at gear efficiency, and X-SHIP gear system is now employed to the reel. It is super smooth, even at high load. Its improved gear efficiency is apparent, and I realized it from a demonstration cranking the same load at spool. New Twin Power cranks with much less power than previous Twin Power.

Next is Daiwa.  It released a lot of new tackle in the last year, like New Certate, PX68, Ryoga1016 series, New Saltiga 4000-5000 models and etc. What is new at the giant? Wow, T shaped level winder,,

Booth of Daiwa is ordinary construction this year. Last year, it was like a huge stage.
A rep shows new Saltiga 4000H high gear model released last November. Small 3500H size is also in market. It will replace larger 6000 sized models in coming September. The new model has light weight hollow aluminum knobs, and it looks great.

Prototype "T3"  It will be for sale from June 2011. It has T shaped level winder, and the thumb rest popping up in casting. The level winder reduces line friction in casting. It is a totally new model and I can't wait to see it in my hands.

I like the under-covered looking of the T3. The low thumb rest will pop up at clutch down.

Alphas Finesse Custom starts delivery in March 2011. The super shallow spool suits great for the bait-finesse tactics.

The development of non-tangle K guides from Fuji was the largest news around rod industry in a couple of these years. I will see more rods with the Fuji K series guides this year.

Fuji K guides and a rep from Fuji.

Megabass will energetically introduces its ultra customized reels 2011. Reels from Megabass are all one time production only. I personally like the purple Viola.

Megabass ZONDA 68R/68L with purple accent. Cool! Megabass Racing Viola
Megabass Racing Condition HG Megabass IS 71 with purple metal parts

Poison, a new tackle brand from collaboration between Shimano and Jackall. Mr. Kato, president of Jackall, former chief designer of Lucky Craft, has talk shows and demonstrates new rods.

Skeet Reese booth with yellow rods. Micro guide models attracted attentions from visitors.


There are a lot more booths with new products, like line, hooks, wears, nets, custom built rods, magazines and etc, but I have to wrap this report. The bait-finesse tactics are all where I visit, and industry is now moving with strategies. After some period of very hard time, freshwater game fishing industry in Japan started again and I am very pleased to see it. I am very excited to see the new tackle in my hands soon, and deliver them to anglers world wide.

For saltwater fishing, we had an expanding boom in top-water game fishing for yellowtails and tunas last year, and it will keep going in 2011. These games are very exciting and I will soon expand the tackle select for the fishing.

Demonstration of cleaning Tuna for Sashimi.

Hope you have great fishing season.

Tight lines,

Jun Sonoda