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

The report of the Japan Fishing Show 2018 in Yokohama, Japan

Jan 19- Jan 21, 2017, Yokohama, Japan

Reporter: Jun Sonoda

I am reporting Japan Fishing Show 2018, mainly with new fishing reels. I visited the show on Jan. 19 at dealer session before puplic are pouring in.


Japan Fishing Show hosts more than 200 boothes at Convention Center in Pacifico Yokohama, on port side area. Premise is 20,000sqm wide. Almost all fishing tackle brands sold in Japan release their 2018 new products at the show. Participated brands are Shimano, Daiwa, ABU Garcia, Rapala, Gamakatsu, Toray, Owner, Maru-kyu baits, Kureha Seaguar, and etc.

For this year, I noticed two major things, one is anniversary celebrations, and the other is hera-buna freshwater fishing.

For the annyversaries, I will write on each booth later.

Category-assemble section for Hera-buna traditional fresh-water fishing is added. Some manufacturers related to the category are assembled to make one section, and some classic bamboo rod manufacturers are participating. One question came to me, whether hera-buna, bream, fishing is popular in the way people spend on quite expensive hand-crafted bamboo rods? The kind of fishing is popular only in Eastern Asia like Japan, Taiwan, China and Korea. I am very interested in studying in the business opportunity of the category. 


Daiwa Japan. It celebrates its 60th year in business, and red logo on black looks so nice. I am excited to see 60th anniversary limited models to come out. 10 years ago Daiwa released some 50th anniversary limited Exist. I should keep watching its new models.


Daiwa 2018 Exist spinning. All models have monocoque scew-in bodies. Spool diameters are reduced to make reels lighter. Gears have smaller gear tooth to offer more smooth operation. Spools of new Exist and older models are no longer compatible.

Daiwa SLPW offers new tuning spools and handles to the Exist.


Daiwa NEW Ryoga bait casting reels.

Black, solid bait caster with very light cranking. Gear efficiency has increased.

Zillion HD

Daiwa Zillion HD, heavy duty model has metal gear cover and metal palming cup side spool holder for more rigid opertions.

These two components on Zillion 1516TW are made of Zion engineering plastic and regular plastic, and you might have felt added load in cranking when fish is pulling hard. With the metal housings, gears will be held square to load and reel will have less gear efficiency loss.


Shimano booth. It is releasing new Bantam bait casting reel and Stella spinning. These two reels are enought to make many anglers visiting the booth.

I found G-Loomis booth in a different place. Its business is under Shimano. Conquest rods from G-Loomis has Shimano logos.


2018 NEW Stella spinning. Gears on new Stella is reinforced to stand larger load. It is done by 1. smoother gear surface, and 2. secret at surface treatment or something. Shimano R&D rep on photo didn't answer to my question how it is done.


This is Shimano New Bantam. All aluminum metal body with advanced SVS infinity brake system.


Shimano Aldebaran 30. It is to cast from 5g-10g rigs. This may be the best for most finesse fishing. BFS reels fine for 3g may be lacking line capacities.

 Other boothes.


Jackall is one of the most, and possibly the only active brand in tournament bass fishing in Japan. Booth is filles with many well-known, and un-well-known tournament anglers in tournament shirts. A few video interviews are taken when I visited.


Lumica the manufacturer of Chemi-hotaru is celebrating its 40th anniversary in business. Chemi-hotaru is tiny Cyalume product, often used as marker at night fishing and deep bottom fishing to attract fish. Its Dai-sen-koh super lights are the must at music conserts of some pop-stars.


Tenryu, medium-sized rod manufacturer in Nagano.


Gamakatsu, the largest hook manufacturer in Japan, as well mid-sized rod manufacturer. Very famouse for its AYU rods in 9-10m, 30-33ft long.

 Something else.


ABU Garcia, Berkley under Pure Fishing Japan.

Gulp plastic worms are very popular to replace live worms in traditional fishing. Plastic won't bite! 


I found two exotic reels at Daiwa SLPW booth. One has chrome blue pait, and the other has Togi-dashi paint, this side. Both are not for sale. The togi-dashi paint is often used on traditional lacquerware, and many layers of natural lacquer paint in different colors are polished to show exotic patterns. 

This year I notice each booth is quite large and sophisticated. On the other hand, the number of small ventures is decreased, and show premise looks a bit vacant.

What is going on fishing tackle industry total? Giant getting more big?

The total market size of Japanese sport fishing tackle is 1.9 Billion US$ (100JPY/1USD) and it is gradually increasing. Shimano is selling 600M, Daiwa is 500M. (2015) Not much excited by the industry and innovation wanted heartly.

This is quite brief report for the show.

2018 new tackle are now ready to ship. Be prepared.

Keep casting, keep fishing.


Jun Sonoda/ Japan Tackle Ltd. Co.