Japan’s fishing trade shows are canceled this year. Where can we see the latest and greatest releases in the fishing tackle market now?
It is at this time of year when every tackle nerd in the world gets hyped up, as January and February are when Japan showcases the freshest tackle from Japanese tackle manufacturers.
The Japan Fishing Show in Yokohama goes first in January, followed by the Okinawa Fishing show in February (almost) every year.
Tackle Manufacturers from all over the world heavily invest in getting a spot at either or both shows to showcase their tackle in front of the fishing-crazy nation and international fishing press.
Being the first shows of the year, manufacturers race to get their new products up to international standard in time for the trade shows.
And if you are a fishing tackle manufacturer, you must show off your latest and greatest product here!
Why should you attend the show?
These trade shows are held every year to help manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers connect and encourage constructive learning from both sides.
Manufacturers get to learn about the gripes from last year’s models, and sellers get to learn about the new products in person and in hand.
If you’re none of the above and are just fishing-crazed individuals, it is still worth it to travel to Japan to experience these shows firsthand. It is amazing!
The trade shows are run for 2 – 3 days and are held in humongous convention halls and are filled to the brim with fishing tackle booths of all sizes.
Show attendees get to be part of product launches and new product announcements, which usually include contests with prizes for attendees to win.
The trade show booths are creatively built to fit their respective brands perfectly. A plethora of lights, colors, and sounds may overwhelm you at first, but once you let go and let the vibe penetrate your soul, you’ll get used to the commotion in a jiffy.
If you’ve been into the fishing lifestyle for a while now, you may know quite a few Japanese fishing legends and you will be able to rub elbows with them or attend some or all of their fishing lectures, considering you can speak and understand Japanese.
You also get to inspect all these new goodies in your hand! Feel free to spin the reel handles, twist the spools, test the drags, smell the scents, and so on.
Looking at and feeling the products may tempt you to part with some cash, and these trade shows are no different from the others. Most but not all products will be available for purchase.
Rods and Reels
Popular brands like Shimano and Daiwa offer rod and reel trials, where you get to try any rod and reel you want, hook it up to their fishing simulator and test them out in a simulated setting. Really awesome stuff.
The brand experts at the booths will happily explain the features of each product they have on offer.
With the recent explosive growth of the sport, major brands will bring in their pro-staff from the rest of the world to help communicate the message with the international attendees.
They’ll also have some internal parts of the reels displayed for the public to see. Confidential stuff will be kept under wraps, but the main stuff like gears and drag washers are free for public inspection.
Product prototypes will also be showcased, keeping us interested and hungry for what’s to come.
Thousands of spools of fishing line displayed and free to be felt and tested.
From monofilament, fluorocarbon, braid, fused lines, and leaders, you will see them all.
Experience different textures, breaking strains, knot feel, and diameters. You’ll be surprised at how much time you spend at one of these booths!
Ah yes, lures. I estimate close to 6 digit numbers in terms of the number of lures showcased at one of these shows.
Hardbody lures, soft plastics, jigs, spinnerbaits, and so much more to inspect and potentially buy.
There are big fish tanks where you can see pro anglers demonstrate the new lures’ swimming actions.
Terminal Tackle and Accessories
Moving on to the smaller stuff, terminal tackle manufacturers may have some of the most organized booths in the convention hall.
All their products are arranged and categorized according to use, accompanied by information cards showing how to use them.
To be honest, there is so much ingenious stuff in these booths that I haven’t even seen or even heard of that makes fishing so much easier and efficient!
Daiichiseko is one of the most popular and their products just radiate awesomeness.
It is so hard to walk away from these accessory booths as you can imagine how useful their products are. And they don’t cost much either.
We can’t forget about the food! We’re in Japan of all places!
Trade show attendees and exhibitors will eventually get hungry, and once you do, get your taste buds ready for a truly Japanese gustatory experience!
Booths offer different kinds of food, from traditional ramen, sushi, donburi bowls, bento boxes and even Japanified western food like burgers and hot dogs!
Your taste buds will be in for a treat!
These are just some of the reasons why you should consider visiting Japan one of these days and attend one of the two major fishing tackle trade shows.
The 2020 Effect
Due to the recent disease control fiasco the world experienced, these eagerly awaited shows have been canceled for public health and safety reasons.
This is sad news and is not the kind of news that I want to share at the start of the year.
The shows’ cancellations were announced mid-year last year so I kept my fingers crossed that the pandemic situation would improve to maybe allow the Okinawa show to proceed.
Alas, even with Japan opening its borders for international travel, the shows are still canceled and we would probably have to wait for 2022 to experience the amazing trade shows that Japan organizes.
New Tackle Announcements
Still keen to learn about the latest product releases from major fishing tackle manufacturers?
With so much time spent at home, most of us would have developed a knack for social media and the internet. Most announcements and product launches are being made available to watch or read online.
Instagram and Facebook have provided manufacturers and end-users an invaluable way to communicate with each other.
If you’re still not sold on the benefits of social media, head over to our website and subscribe to our web magazine, where we regularly post the latest news in the fishing industry, review tackle, and provide educational articles to help you improve your fishing skills.
We are still feeling the effects of 2020 and we may still experience these after-effects until the middle of 2021.
On the bright side, we’ve learned how to adapt to the current situation and are moving forward fast, allowing the majority to get back to some sort of normality.
Flights around the world are slowly but surely returning to normal operations, allowing tourism operators like us an opportunity to get back on their feet.
Amazing experiences like the Fishing trade shows in Japan may have been canceled this year, but with the bright future ahead, let us all look forward to next year and we may see each other over there in the land of the rising sun!
PS: ICAST 2021 is set to go on July 20 – 23. Expect it to be an awesome comeback as we missed the 2020 ICAST.
Would you be interested to attend the Japan Fishing Show in 2022?