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!