Fishing, Photography, Tackle

1 Comment

Osaka Tackle Show 2014- Part 1

For a tackle junky like myself, there is not much better than checking out a heap of new fishing gear. Some of the best new gear appears at the Japan Fishing shows, starting with the Osaka show in February each year. The first day of this show is for the trade only, which gives a great opportunity to get a handle on new gear. The following two days are open to the public, during which time tens of thousands of local anglers cram the large halls to check out the new gear, listen to presentations and maybe meet their favourite Pro-Angler. Some of the top anglers are treated like rock stars here, with fans lining up for hours for the chance to meet their fishing idols

The two biggest companies Daiwa and Shimano came out this year with all guns blazing. Daiwa has released a new Saltiga including the largest spin reel they have ever produced, Their Mag Seal technology has been extended into bail rollers and bearings. At the other end of the spectrum, Shimano released a new Stella in the 1000-4000 size range with new gears, improved body design and balance. In baitcasters, daiwa has released super tuned Steez models at the top end and Japan spec versions of the Tatula reels.

Shimano has a new Scorpion baitcaster and a new version of the famous Conquest reel. The Conquest has been significantly redesigned so that the new 200 model reel is as compact as the old 50 size!

Daiwa Stand

The Daiwa Stand stood tall amongst the others displays this year in Osaka

Daiwa Morethan

The new Daiwa Morethan will be available in 3 sizes and features a Zaion body and magsealed bearings making it lighter and more durable.

Daiwa Branzino

Daiwa Expedition Stand

The new Daiwa Saltiga Expedition in the 5500H & 8000H sizes

Daiwa Expediton Spool

The new Daiwa Saltiga Expedtion feature a new body, gearing and mag sealed bearings

Daiwa Ryoga Bay Jigging

The Daiwa Ryoga Bay Jigging reels were unveiled in a few sizes and speeds. They are a light jiggers dream reel!

Daiwa Namiki Steez

Daiwa has realeased two Steez limited reels and the Namiki custom model is a stunning reel.

Daiwa Steez Ltd

Daiwa SS SV

The new Daiwa SS SV is the new ultralight baitcaster weighing in at an impressive 150g!

Daiwa Tutula

The Tatula was released at ICAST last year and the new JDM versions were getting a lot of attention at the show.

Daiwa Tutula Range

Daiwa Steez Rods

Stella Stand

The new Stella was the stand out spinning reel at the show.

Shimano Stellas

Shimano Stella 4000

The new Stella was both incredibly light and smooth in the hand.

Shim Stella 2500

Shimano Stella SW

The full range of Stella SW reels were also on show

Shimano Cardiff

The Shimano Cardiff is a Trout fishermans dream reel

Shimano Scorpion Front

Shimano Conquest

The new Conquest is very compact. The new 200 size feels like the old 50 size!

Shimano Conquest 101

Leave a comment

Sea Bass- Part 1

Heading south for a seabass adventure. In the past 24hrs we’ve done the ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ and now we’re adding ferries to the list. Travelling through the countryside I’m amazed at the amount of forest there is in this part of the country. After spending time around Osaka to Tokyo region you could be forgiven for thinking the Japan is just one vast urban sprawl.


Kyushu, like much of japan is pretty mountainous: towns, cities, and farms all vie for space in what little flat areas there are, especially close to the coast. The steep hillsides are draped in many shades of lush forest green. There are bridges aplenty to cross on the way to the ferry, I soon loose track of which island we are on now. The islands are intersected by channels of deep, clear water and ripping currents. These channels are home to seabass as well as kingfish, while a multitude of little bays and harbours are home to kurudai (black bream). Eventually we run out of bridges, and reach a ferry terminal to take us to Hirasime island.



The trip on the old ferry takes around 2.5hrs with a couple of stops on the way. The weather is pleasant, about 12 degrees and fairly calm, but the forecast is foreboding. Strong winds and temps down to freezing are predicted over the next couple of days. The seas are predicted to rise to 3m as well, but Tsurusaki assures us that the island is fairly protected from the open sea swells.  Eventually we pull into the small harbour on Hirasime, seconds later we are driving up the gangway onto the narrow island laneways. The word ‘hira’ means flat, but I can see nothing flat about this place. Evidently it is all-relative; if you don’t need ropes and cranes to access the island, then it can be considered flat! The island used to have a busy industry quarrying sandstone but the only business remaining now are a handful of commercial fisherman, mainly chasing squid. Most of the younger generation have left the island for work opportunities elsewhere, leaving a few hundred hardy islanders behind.


It’s getting late so we hurry to catch last light on the rocks. Aside from a few half-hearted hits on the lures, there is not much action this evening, however, we learn a lot about seabass. Firstly, you need the rock hopping skills of a mountain goat to fish these ledges easily. Tsurusaki san has a few years on me and plenty over Brett, but he leaves us for dead over the boulder strewn ocean shore. Secondly, the rock fishing boots he procured for us are absolutely indispensable. The spiked felt soles grip like nothing else, and are certainly no relation to the cleated shoes I wore on the Sydney rocks as a teenager.

Duncan Rocks

Most importantly, we get a lesson in Seabass psychology. They behave a lot like a cross between an aggressive tailor and a cautious barramundi. The first one or two casts can be fished quite fast to get the attention or a reaction strike from the fish. If they do not bite straight away, you then switch to fishing the lures very slowly with an occasional pause. The seabass get attracted in close by your first couple of casts then they hide among the rocks waiting to ambush prey right in the wash zone. Most of the strikes come just as you are about to lift the lure from the water. It can be quite a challenge to slowly and methodically swim the lure in the washing machine at your feet, but using the surge to help swim the lures along the rock face is a deadly technique here.


We end the day camping by the harbour, demolishing our instant ramen in seconds, before a fairly rough nights sleep in the back of the car.

To be continued….

Leave a comment


Well this is the first post of what we hope can be an interesting and informative blog based around our fishing and travel experiences.

We will soon be jetting off to Japan for the 2014 Osaka Tackle Show to view all the new products that will be hitting the shelves in tackle stores around the world in 2014. In addition to emptying our wallets in camera stores in Osaka, we will sourcing new exciting tackle for Fish Head. Weather permitting we will try to fit in a fishing trip as well to experience what the south of Japan has to offer.

Welcome Japan Image

We will be posting plenty of updates from the tackle show and our fishing trips through out the year.