One of the perks of the job is getting to visit the big tackle industry trade show (ICAST) out in Las Vegas every other year. It’s almost the perfect event for any fisherman – Las Vegas and tackle. I can only think of one thing that would make it better, and it turns out they have plenty of that there too! I was accosted twice in the elevator on the way back up to my room. Once by a very pretty lady who addressed me with a “How ya doin’ gorgeous. Ready to have a good time?” The “gorgeous” through the whole thing off the track – she has to be a working girl to call me gorgeous and I scuttled by with my head down as fast as I could walk.
The second lady was quite robust and stuffed into a very small, dripping wet bathing suit. When I declined her polite offer of another good time – feigning lack of funds as I hastily made my escape – all I heard in reply was “I’m reasonable.” Indeed.
But I digress. ICAST is all about the tackle and there was plenty of new stuff to see. I was really impressed with the new saltwater reel offerings at Okuma and Daiwa and I’ll showcase some of their new offerings in upcoming issues. While Shimano and Penn have dominated the big game market for decades, a host of manufacturers have narrowed the gap considerably. Fin-Nor has even risen from the ashes to once again become a player in the big game market with the introduction of their new 130-class reel. Our equipment is getting better and better with every passing.
I got to go out to eat with a gang of Shimano engineers and I can tell you that these boys are also working hard to bring innovative new products to the market. I was given a brief description of one new product on the horizon that might just revolutionize sport fishing.
A new Ilander head and color is coming out soon as well, and I’ll have that bugger in one of the next issues. For some reason, I always start drooling when I see that L&S booth filled to the brim with Iland Lures and MirroLures … two of my favorite brands in the saltwater market. They just make great, high-quality products with no shortcuts, and you’ve got to respect that.
Well, I’m trying to take the rest of the week off to spend some time with my boys and their Grandpa up in Tennessee, then I’ll be heading straight to Madeira for a Marlin U session. I’ve never been to Madeira so I’m really excited about this one. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see one of those granders they got swimming around out there sometimes. We’ve heard the fishing has been slow, but that’s always a good omen for us – I hate to hear it’s hot as fire two week before I leave. You know a hot bite won’t last.