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My ICAST tid bit

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ICAST 2006

By Tim Myers

If you ask me I don?t believe there were any winners or losers at ICAST. What I did notice was that if you had some recent publicity or a big name fisherman promoting your booth or your product you were voted as a winner.

I don?t think Spro?s Dean Rojas Frog is any different than the others but I did get four samples from four different companies and plan on letting them do there own little test when I get to some frog water. The Stren line was voted best new line, but was it because they had a fishing celebrity in their booth? Another line company was doing side-by-side comparisons and the Stren line lost. I think we all have at times made decisions on what works for us and what doesn?t, we just need these companies to continue making the products so we can express our freedom of choice, just don?t let the ?hype? make your decisions for you.

I saw many new fishing rods, but how do we decide who?s is better. I actually spoke in depth with two of the companies and admired most of the others. My choice if I had a $2,000.00 budget; a couple Rogues?, a few Kistler's a couple G-Loomis and a Diawa. I even saw a company that has a changeable rod called the FUSION. You can replace the rod from the handle. Although I had my concerns on ?feel? and they were by far the lightest rods I ever held. It all boils down to the budget. I don?t have 2000.00 to spend on rods and my questions to them were, which one of you are going to lower your prices first to start the price wars? Answer; we feel we are already too low. Doh! Are your products made in America? Ah the sounds of crickets.

Baits, shall we talk baits? Hello, my name is Tim and I love your bait. Ah yes, we discontinued that and here is our newer model. But it worked well I tell them. Ah, but this will work better. Can I still get the old one? You wont need it. Note to self, hit all the stores for close outs. Weather it is color schemes or a dimple here or a hump there, why would you discontinue something that works? Money, if you are told you have to have this new bait from company A, than you will buy it. So I asked myself, Will I? 88% of the time.

Two notables I would like to push as ?eye-catchers? is Zip Baits and a soft plastic jig thingy made by Barefoot Lures. I am sending some samples to Jerry but he would not give up the jig head, which ?is the key to the lure?. They ran a video that showed how this made for a pretty descent top water soft plastic.

All in all I had a good time roaming the halls of ICAST, how can you not after all, it is my definition of a kid in a candy store. I would like to end with my best of show.

Best Rod ? Rogue, Best Reel - Okuma freshwater V series, Bait - Chatter bait Jig

My best of show ? Bag-em Products They are fish and fisherman friendly.

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Tim,

Other than the FUSION.... what do you think was the lightest rod that you played with? I have never seen a Rogue. I see where they sell their blanks in catalogs, but I am not familiar with their rods. The old silver and purple Diawa light and tough were very light. So is the Gloomis and St Croix. I have also seen some of the new tour edition Quantum rods and they were very light also. Kistler is another rod that I have not had the pleasure of playing with. I want to build my own crankbait rod. I want the lightest blank that I can lay my hands on. What is your opinion?

Skeeter

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I bet dean still uses his trusty Boze Sumo frog rather than the copy that spro makes now unless they got really close and maybe incorporated some of his "tweaks" in the design. Speaking of frogs i was less than impressed with the ones I got from reaction innovations (swamp donkeys), i have 3 and they are now for sale lol.

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Sorry for the delay was playing in New York.

Skeeter,

The fusion rod was different as you can swap out the actual rod from the handle like the barrel of a shot gun. Jerry has the brochure on these and I think it broke down what they were made of. As for Rogue I was most impressed with the way they were built. I would recomend there blanks to try. I have used there Velvick swimbait rods in the past but they now have a larger freshwater selection. They were doing some brutal tests to them and they stood up excellent. As for the diawa rod you mention if it is the Folkestad IM6 drop shot rod, than yes the fusion was lighter but I doubt anything will take away the feel you get from that particular Diawa rod.

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Skeeter,

A few things I did not mention and probably should is when talking to Rogue, they were testing both salt and freshwater rods and even though I mostly liked the durablity they to price themselves out of range like most of the competition. Also, I did have a great talk with Trey at Kistler. If I had the budget, I would probably fish with them just for the customer service. He has an extremely nice and informative staff.

Last, and maybe you or anyone for that matter can answer this as no one was willing to, are all blanks made overseas and how much do they get them for?

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