A great show, nothing but salt water unlike the other big shows that are mostly hunting guides and lodges with the occasion saltwater oriented booth tossed in.
I had a blast, everyone was there. Wasn't 5 feet from my car when I ran into my friend Matt, aka Chumbucket. Once we got in Chum and I couldn't go 50 feet without running into someone we know.
The most interesting conversation I had was with Robert Koelewyn. Bob was the creator of the VS reel and has now come out with the ZeeBaas reel.
I spent 1/2 hour with him and his partner today discussing and fondling the new reel. All I can say is OH BABY! Just a little larger in the body then the VS 150 but it compares to the VS as the VS compares to the Crack. Cranking the reel it's as smooth as butter. The closest thing I can compare it to in feel are the highest end DigiGear equipped Daiwas like the Certate or the Saltiga. Extremely delicate and exact drag control and best of all, TOTALLY SELF SERVICEABLE. Looks pretty cool too. Even mixed in a case with a bunch of VS's it caught my eye from a few booths away and drew me in like a magnet.
Is it worth $1,299.00 ? Yes probably.
Will I ever bring myself to justify paying the same for one reel as for 2 VS's or 2 Saltigas or 11 Penn 706's and go buy one myself - not a chance. (At least not unless this million dollar lottery ticket in my pocket hits)
I also had the opportunity to hang out with Crazy Alberto for a while and check out the new offerings from Tsunami. Their new offshore strength 7" (+/_) swimshads (like Storm shads) are definitely going to be finding their way into my bag. I really like the superheavy duty hooks they're using in them, think 10x hooks, tough enough for tuna. Tsunami's also coming out with a line of swivels that will be challenging the Spro swivels. They're a little bit larger then the Spros for the same strength but for 1/3 the price I thing I may have found a new swivel. Maybe not for my plugging leaders, I still like the super tiny 90# Spros, but for bait fishing where you need a swivel large enough to act as a stop for a fishfinder they're going to be perfect.
Also, make sure to take a look at their holographic eels. I discovered them last fall and the 3 and 4 inch models make absolute killer teasers Zap a Gapped onto a 1/0 or 2/0 SS hook or as a sand eel imitation on a small ball jig.
I also spent a lot of time in the Daiwa booth, there was quite a bit to fondle there icon_thumright.gif . As soon as I got to the show I made a beeline over to them to check out the new Certate series spinning reels. I think I can honestly say that after playing with the Certate 4000 I was sporting wood. There is no question that it's the smoothest, most solid feeling sub $400 reel I've ever had in my hands. Unfortunately the biggest one they offer, the 4000 is still too small for my use. It's a perfect fit on an 8' to 9' rod but I spend 90% of my time with a 10' rod and for that it's just a little bit too small. They are talking about coming out with a 5000 size. If it's true I'll be putting in my order ASAP.
I also got to check out the Luna series of bait casters. Very nice, in fact if they had been out I would have saved myself a lot of money and would have bought one of these rather then spending almost twice as much for the Shimano Conquest that I picked up last fall.
Here's an interesting tidbit. It seems that Shimanos bait runner patent runs out this year. Shimano owns the patent for the action that automatically flips off the bait runner function when you turn the reel handle. Get ready for a flood of new bait runner reels by all the major manufactures. In anticipation of this Daiwa has already discontinued all their current bait runner reels.
The last place I spent any time was over at the Suffix booth checking out their new braid. I finally learned what the difference is between Spectra and Dyneema (sp?) I always knew they were both made from high molecular weight polyethylene fiber but other then that I'd no clue to the difference. According to the Suffix rep, Dyneema filaments can be miles long while Spectra is rather short filaments. The Dyneema can be braided into extremely long tight lengths while the Spectra has to overlap the ends of the fibers in places, thus the little bumps you find in PowerPro line, this are where the fibers overlap. (I do not take this as fact yet as it was told to me by a guy with a financial obligation to the line company he's repping. This info needs to be confirmed - he was very convincing though)
I'll have to pick up a spool and try it out.