The Toronto Sportsmen Show is one of the longest running and largest outdoor show in North America. It is certainly Canada's best show. A lot companies were there that I missed or I caught them at a very busy time. If I missed you, I am sorry. Some companies had booths. Others were found in the many stores at the show.
The Toronto Sportsmen Show is always great fun. I got the chance to have dinner with Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine's Senior Editor, Gord Ellis from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is always interesting to talk with. He told me of a place he did a tournament in North West Ontario that is teaming with big smallmouth in standing timber. Sounds like a future road trip for ibassin.com. The show is always a great time to see old friends. Here are a few companies that had new and cool products for 2011 at the show.
Shimano Canada has some tough guys promoting their great rods and reels. Steve has the new Shimano Curado and Caenan reels and a look that telling you need one too. Steve's a great guy so mind the serious look. (Sorry Steve, the photo just was too funny to leave out.) Really, Shimano has been king in Canada for decades and their line of reels: casting, trolling and spinning are top notch.
The creator of the Punisher Mini Jig, Jarrod Dean, knows a good rod when he sees one and this year Shimano has a 7' 7" Cumara Punching rod. Whacking the heavy weed mats is a red hot technique and this new Cumara might be the answer this season. Not too sure if we love the winter look on Jarrod though.
Rapala's Clackin' Rap Crankbaits (top) are the bait of choice if you spend anytime listening to their pros. Last year they helped a few pro-staff guys put some big money into their pockets. This year, you'll have a chance to cast one. The Clacking Minnow Jerkbait (bottom) has been equally hot. It casts very well, stays deep and has a super loud knocker. Great colour patterns and good hooks will keep any wild smallmouth pinned.
Grant Mills (top)shows off Rapala's new Shift rods. Only available in Canada, Rapala has developed a great selection of Shift rods and reels. New Shift and R-Type rods and reels are hitting the stores now. Check them out. The price is a huge selling point but the quality is very good too. Their new R-type flipping rod (middle) is a sweet rod. American can jump the boarder to snag one for themselves. Shift Hero reel (bottom) looks like it should cost double than it does.
The Live Target Frog has gotten a lot of attention this year but it's not the only bait they make. Live Target is no longer a niche company. You'll see them popping up in local stores near you. They offer a line of cranks and topwaters in a range of interesting colours, profiles and depth ranges to fit your fishing needs.
Finally getting some much deserved attention from freshwater anglers, hollow braid is starting to trickle in. Hollow Ace is a hollow braid that allows Fluorocarbon leaders to be slipped into it to create a knotless leader connection. So far sizes are large to accommodate the leader diameter. Another neat idea to solve a major problem with leader material knotting.
The Talon is Minn Kota's answer to the power pole. Simon Frost, noted smallmouth angler, stands guard over this one. New this year, it is getting a lot of looks. Its main features is that it is super quiet, compact, ultra strong and very, very easy to install. Backed by Minn Kota's strong workmanship and serviced through their huge network of warranty centres, this might be this year's splurge item.
RAM Mounts have a huge range of great products for you. (top) Big water guys will love this trolling motor specific locking mount. For years, anglers have created their own motor mounting using the larger depth finder mounting brackets. Now, there is one custom make for your electric motor during wild rides in the nastiest waves. (middle) Cannot leave your hand held device at home? Now you don't have too with this suction cup mounting unit. It will work almost anywhere with almost everything. A super mount that will go with you from the bike, car, boat or plane or anything else you can stick it to. (bottom) Really, the only way to mount a big electronic unit, these ram units have the guts and glory to keep your unit safe and secure.
HAVOC has been a show stopper since the Bass Master Classic. A new approach to baits, Pure Fishing skipped the scent, an ingredient that put them on the map, to focus on the design of each HAVOC bait. Profile, size and colour is what drove the design of these baits. Expect a much expanded selection of colours than offered before by Pure Fishing. It is so new most local stores don't have all the models yet. (Please see the HAVOC & IBASSIN.COM'S VIDEO for more information)