This years International Sportsman's Exposition was a huge success drawing large crowds to the event all 4 days. Lots of new vendors displaying their new products to the masses this year, along with the usual ones. I found myself walking around the Expo happy to see some very cool new additions to the show. I think I might need me one of those inflatable Hobie kayaks or possible one of those powered tank like ice fishing sleds. Love seeing some new fishing products that are manufactured right here in Colorado. Cool stuff.
This year at the Colorado Convention Center the Denver Boat Show was also taking place. I know I absolutely need me a New Ranger Z185 bass boat with a bad to the bones Evinrude E-tec G2 on the back to guide from. The good folks from Crowley Marine had the best display of fishing boats at the show by far. No surprise as all of the Crowley guys are hardcore anglers at hart, but it did surprise me how few fishing boats the other dealers had on display. Mostly ski and cabin cruisers. No wonder myself as well as most the other anglers I know in this part of the world suggest Crowley Marine to those asking about were to buy a new rig or get their current one serviced. Last thing I want to do is have to explain all the options I'm looking for in a new bass boat or what need to be fixed in my current one to ski team sales men. No I don't need 10 inch subwoofers strapped my my tower so the whole lake can hear my current iPod selections. Nor do I need to light up the boat with colorful LEDs so the astronauts on the space station can see I'm out late on the Tooth. The light coming off my HDS 9s, front and back of the boat navigation lights and possible a head lamp will do just fine.
This was my 9th year off attending and working at the ISE show and year 2 of doing Tank Demos. My tank demo topic this year was 1 Rod, 1 Reel, 10 Lures. The idea behind this demo was a few things. Fist and foremost it was about helping people catch more fish. This is at the hart of everything we do at Fishful Thinker. All the guide trips Chad, Dan, and myself do each year, all the TV shows Chad produces each season and all the radio segments we all three take the time to do are focused on educating new anglers and instilling confidence so folks can have successes fishing on there own. Also I wanted to help people to see its not a race to see who can acquire the most tackle, rods, or reels, but that often less is more when it comes to fishing.
I started off by showing the audience my choice for the most versatile rod and reel set up I have in the arsenal. Opinions will certainly very on this topic but here is my selections. As far as the rod goes, a 7 ft medium power fast action spinning rod is about as universal as it can get. Yes i have a whole mess of fishing rods in the garage that cover the gambit of length, powers and actions, but the set up I have to most off is the 7 foot med power fast action rods. For me and my clients they cover the widest verity of pretensions and situation on any given day. While brand of rod wasn't really the focus of my demo, I did opt to use one of my Abu Garcia spinning rods. I'm a big fan of these rods as they come in at a very reasonable price point. They are constantly innovating and offer a wide selection of rod models to choose from. Hard to beat for the money.
Next was my spinning reel of choice, and this was something a lot of people wanted more info on at the show, a 2500 size high gear ratio spinning reel was my choice. For me the Penn Fierce II 2500 is hard to beat in my opinion. Built for salt water, these reel are very easy to recommend to people. The generation II model of this reel has been in my arsenal of reels for the last 2 to 3 years and I have yet to have one fail. The power handle on this reel is key for me. No losing the grip on a hard strike or hook set. Strong yet super sensitive drag is a calling card for all the Penn reels. Braid ready spool and 6.2:1 gear ratio, I have these reels in sizes from 2000 to 3000 with my 2500 size being the most versatile for me and my clients. $59.95 retail is what got most everyone's attention. I'll take 3 off these over one $180 dollar reel any day but that's just me.
Next was what type of line to run. I run all types of different line geared toward different pretensions but if I'm narrowing it down to one that I can do most everything with it would be a 14 or 15 lbs super line of some sort be it a true braid, extruded line, or the new hybrid of the 2 Fire Line Ultra 8. With this line I can cast pretensions as light as 1/16oz or as heavy as the rod power will allow, in this case 5/8oz or so. I can tie lures straight to the braid or in a lot of situation add a leader of appropriate size and length to match the situation and presentation I'm fishing. Now I do a lot of finesse jigging where I prefer a straight fluorocarbon line in 6 or 8 lbs test so another suggestion I made was to have an extra spool of fluorocarbon or mono for your reel with you if your traveling with just one rod. I always suggest if your buying spinning reels to by more then one of the exact same reels so you can switch spool out our carry them as back up with on trips.
Next I covered the 10 lures part of my demo. The idea behind this was a few different things. First I wanted multi species presentations,10 Lures that can catch largemouths, smallmouths, walleyes, trout, pike as well as many other species of fish. Next I want them to cover a verity of fishing situation and conditions and depths so if someone was traveling and didn't know exactly what they might come across these 10 lures could put them in the hunt. I also wanted them to be fairly easy to use so that new anglers could have success trying these pretensions on their own. I also wanted to save people money in the long run by giving them a starting point when buying tackle as new anglers or if they are building a gift tackle box for a youngster. Narrow the selection down, get proficient with these 10 presentations and expand from there was the idea. It wasn't about the brand lure or color or size of the lures I focused on, however most all my lures were Berkley hard baits or soft baits. I just wanted to give folks a starting point on buying tackle. I also wanted them to be able to present these 10 lures on the aforementioned rod and reel set up. Not to heavy not to light. Not delving into specifics here's my list of 10 pretensions I did demos with on the tank this year at the ISE. In no particular order.
A Square Bill Crank Bait
A Deep Diving Crank Bait
A Lipless Crank Bait
A Medium Diving Suspending Jerk Bait
A Surface Popper
A Minnow Body Soft Plastic
A Soft Plastic Grub
A Soft Plastic Tube
A Spinner Bait
That's my list, lets see yours below. Think multi species and 1 Rod, One Reel, 10 Lures.