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

The report of the Japan Fishing Festival (Tackle Show) 2020 in Yokohama, Japan

Jan 17- Jan 19, 2020, Yokohama, Japan

Reporter: Jun Sonoda

I am reporting Japan Fishing Festival (Tackle Show) 2020, mainly with new fishing reels. This year the Tackle Show has changed its name to Fishing Festival. I visited the show on Jan. 17 Friday at dealer session.


 Fishing Festival 2020 in Yokohama Japan. 

I see so many manufacturers offering saltwater fishing products, even from used be bass fishing tackle brands like Jackall, EverGreen, and etc.

A dealer tolds me now about 60% of sales is for saltwater, among the tackle sales of game fishing using artificial baits. 

Japan is sorrounded by oceans, and it is natural to go fishing in saltwater.

 Daiwa New Tatula SV

Let's start with Daiwa.

Left: A Daiwa rep is holding all new 2020 Tatula SV bait caster.

The previous 2016 model was not much selling well for us, but this 2020 model is surely much better.  Its body is a little smaller than previous Tatula SV, and its spool is also smaller in diameter to improve casing performances for light rigs. 

Which gear ratio is the most popular for bait casters do you think? Ultra-fast XXH 8.1? Answer from Daiwa rep is 7.1:1 SH for Daiwa bait casters. The next is 6.3:1. Ultra high speed like 8.1 or 9 is limited to plastic worm rigs and swim baits, and people finally choose relatively moderate gear ratios. Quite interesting. 

 Tatula bodies

Left: Body comparison of New and Old Daiwa Tatula SV reels. Left 2020 new Daiwa Tatula SV, right 2016 previous Daiwa Tatula SV. New model has smaller body.

Daiwa releases smaller Steez Air 500 with 28mm dia small spool, 6.6g. With it you may cast 2g easy, and you may cast even 1g rigs! Wow, ultimate finesse tackle ever.

 The demands of bait casting reels divert to opposite ways, finesse and super heavy duty. Ultra light finesse rigs and huge swim baits are leading the ways.


 Daiwa subsidiary SLP Works, tuning parts manufacturer

It will release new spools for both bait casting and spinning reels.

A rep told me it will accept special order Daiwa reel from around 1000 pcs. Japanese giant tackle dealer Taniyama every year releases limited models through SLPW. Umm, we may not handle 1000,,,


Daiwa Luvias spinning (sorry, photo is from Daiwa web)

The first lot will be manufacturered in Japan for sure. Later it will be manufacturered in oversea factories, but not sure for when. 

There are too many new tackle to share, but lets move to another booth.



Left: Shimano booth.

Major new models from I want to share with you are following from top.

Stella SW 4000-6000, 18000-30000


Conquest DC 100

Exsence DC SS

Twin Power 1000-4000



Shimano Stella SW 4000XG

Shimano has released Stella SW8000-14000 models in 2019, and releases other models this year for 4000-6000, 18000-30000 models. 

Major difference is at lighter cranking at load. Slipperly engineering plastic collar is installed at mian shaft guide to reduce dragging when lines are pulled. Rep on the photo tells me I may feel the difference in deep sea jigging, jerking heavy metal jigs from bottom all day, but all new 19/20Stella leaves little fatigue on arms. Humm, deep sea jigging is what I am not much good for actuary the reason, and I should try with this Stella SW, say 8000PG.

conquest DC

Left: Conquest DC 100 with i-DC5, the most advanced computer brake system. Body is machined to very thin and it is very light in wieght. I feel real craftsmanship in these Conquest reels.

Another rep explains me the differences of DC systems on Shimano DC reels. And new SLX DC has simplified i-DC4 without line mode. It has only 4 dials, but software was upgraded to apply better brake when spool is accelerated, and it casts very well. Let's see how it goes. 


 Shimano 2020 all new Metnaium. One-piece frame holds machanicals square and it feels silky smooth. It weighs only at 175g even though it doesn't use plastics in structual component. This should be the must buy for freshwater anglers.

I have placed orders for  2020 Metaniums in advance, but I have to increase the numbers of orders as many customers will like to purchase this Metanium.

Exsence DC SS

 Unexpected new model, Exsence DC SS. 

Modified Curado DC to cast 7-30g rigs with PE braid the best. Its DC brake has 4 dials, 1, 2, 3, and F and F should be used when you spool fluorocarbon lines. You may use nylon lines with 1-3 dials.

2017 Exsence DC based on 2016 Antares DC is quite high spec and you may adjust settings from 32, but for this SS, you have only 4 dials to choose and it is easy.

Smith booth

coax Smith 2020 new model D-COAX trout baits. It has weight moving system to cast  
rods Smith new trout rods with wooden reel seats. Smith has offered high-end rods with wooden reel seats for long time, and this one is one of them. Dark wood looks cool!

Other brands

Varivas Varivas booth. Its saltwater fishing lines have been praised quite high for GT fishing anglers world wide. It selebrates its 40th anniversary in business this year.

Left: ABU Revo Beast Rocket 9.2:1 gear ratio. This 270g, relatively large bait caster serves well for swimbaits especially with fast retrieve tactics. 

ABU Japan is releasing 2020 new Revo signature reels.

Revo Deez  by Daisuke Aoki

Revo IKE by Mike Iaconelli



ABU Ambassadeur 6600CA Factory Tuned 

Thumb bar clutch model 6600 with brass side frames. This model will be popular for snakehead fishing anglers.

A rep answered to my question that would ABU release new 2500C reproduction models in near future, to say, management is considering toward to it. Wow not bad answer!

I have been asking ABU Japan to reproduce 2500C reels for long time since 2008, the last production of 2500C, and this was the first time to hear a little better answer than previous management refused. Hope I may offer new 2500C reels to my customers in a few years.

 Imakatsu  Revo Imakatsu tuned prototype. ABU Revo Imae Katsutaka signature model might come out in 2020.



YGK, Japanese PE braid manufacturing leader, changes its brand to XBraid this year, and it will change product packages to new ones.

I was thinking applying the suarface coating of G-soul Upgrade X8 to other YGK braids to make them better for deep sea fishing, but it is not the case. Upgrade X8 has the tightest braid construction and it gives the line a little limpy body making the best line to cast. It will release Upgrade X8 based bass fishing braid in dark red Olltolus series soon. 

Ultra Castman will be colored in white, without green/orange markings, which was on the current models.


New package of XBraid Upgrade X8, currently named YGK G-Soul X8 Upgrade will look like this.



jackall Jackall booth. About a half of the booth is for saltwater fishing tackle. Even a famouse bass tackle manufacturer is now dealing with saltwater fishing tackle like metal jigs, large minnows and etc. And I don't see the water tank to demonstrate its baits by its supported professionals this year. 

Let's wrapped it up.

Many attractive new products will be released in 2020, and fishing should be more fun with those advanced tackle.

Last year, here in Japan we had a lot of Typhoons hitting to this small country causing a lot of deaths. I sincerely appreciate quite a few customers emailed me, worried by the world-wide news about the big typhoons. Such typhoons should be due to climate change and we should take much more actions to stop it for sure.

Climate change is not always bad, and in recent years we may enjoy tuna fishing just out of Tokyo bay all year. Tuna started to show up around here about 10 years ago only in later summers. Now water temperature is a little high in winter, and tuna will not swim south away when it is getting cold. Tuna fishing is now getting more popular, and tackle will be more advanced with more experiences. I will keep offering the best tackle in Japan to world wide.

Hope you enjoy this very brief report of the show.

Keep casting,

Good luck in 2020.

Jun Sonoda and team Japan Tackle