Went to the show this morning and through a good chunk of this afternoon. Thought the attendance was down from other years, but for me that isn't really a bad thing - if I was a retailer I wouldn't be as happy. I got to meet a few people that I haven't had the opportunity to introduce myself to. Thank you Juro and it was nice to meet Dave Rimmer from CCA. It would have been better to have the seminars in the same building as the show, as I would have been more inclined to check them out (it was cold on that walk...whine
), but that is a limitation of the set-up. No REC components, too bad as I was looking for a rod tube and to check out there reel seats. Also no Orvis, which was kind of a surprise, but I'm sure not heartbreaking to a lot of people. With the proliferation of breathable waders there were not too many waders on display (neoprene either). Another item that we thought would sell okay were T-shirts with good fish prints on them and things like ties, polo shirts, etc. - I was hoping to score a tie with a fish theme for the occasional presentation.
My buddy Chris and I got to check out a number of rods (all 8wts), which was definitely the highlight of the show for us. It is nice to have the opportunity to cast a variety of manufacturers offerings, something that isn't easily accomplished at just one shop. I was really impressed with the Diamondback Backwater for a SW rod. It fit my average casting ability and I felt it could boom the line out there, something that I feel is a plus in blind casting for stripers, maybe not ideal for casting to nearby bonefish though. Another factor going for it was the price, approximately 40% of the SAGE's, T&T's, Scotts. The SAGE RPLXi 3pc was a dream to cast and was finished nicely, it was a beauty, but a little steep at around $550. The legend Ultra 3pc 8wt was great, offering great performance at an equally great price - it came in 2nd place to the other two (with them really being 1a & 1b), but that may have been do to the line we had it strung up with (60' starter line).
Not to brown-nose, but Bob D and the guys at Blue Northern were great. Bob took the time to find the Diamondback in the pile of rods and let me know when I came walking by later in the day. Thanks for the effort.
I only bought a net, but left with a burning "need" for another rod. I now have a much better idea of what matches up well with that "need"