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Terminal tackle...maybe: Ok, ok, back to the business at hand. After we wiped the drool away and pried ourselves away (actually Toru had to pry us away) from the Gold Custom we turned our attention to some interesting terminal tackle. Daiwa is currently evaluating the need for specialty hooks and sinkers here in the US. This premium terminal tackle offering is currently sold in Japan, but is the US market big enough for another terminal tackle provider?


Daiwa has a whole bunch of terminal tackle they are considering


The offerings included special hooks designed for specific applications and a slew of tungsten weights. (We are currently field testing a number of these to see how they compare to current market offerings) Like the RPM crank the fate for these products in the US market is still undecided.


Their hooks are very application specific...will they be available in the US?

Only time will tell


The Daiwa Ayu Lureship: Finally a unique boat shaped product caught our attention. Our readers in Asia will immediately recognize this product, but our domestic readers (and us included) will do a little head scratching. Hiro, the designer of the product eagerly showed us the Tomofune 3X-750…..an Ayu lureship. That’s right, Ayu. We all have heard the name Ayu, and many of us know it as a pattern on Japanese lures, but it is actually a gamefish in Japan.


What the heck is this boat-like device?

So what is Ayu fishing? These popular gamefish actually reside in rivers in Japan and sustain themselves by eating vegetation that grows on rocks in the water bed. These fish treat each rock as their personal domain, and will attack any other fish that comes close to their personal rock. Their territory ranges from 3 to 10 feet in diameter and the minute another Ayu comes within that circle a fight ensues. Ayu attack each other by charging each other’s bellies, and this is how they are fished. Once the first fish is caught with conventional methods a line is rigged through their nose and a treble hook is dangled near their belly.

Meet the hydrodynamic Tomfune, a lureship for Ayu fishing

The fish is cast out on a long pole (no reel on this one) and is drifted near the territory of another Ayu. As he comes into the radius of another fish’s territory he is attacked and the second fish is hooked near the top. With two fishes on the line the angler lifts the pole and swings both fish up and out of the water where the angler catches them in a net like a baseball. Experienced Ayu anglers make this look easy.

This one way door makes it easy to insert landed Ayu


Now the trick is keeping the fish alive, and that is where the Daiwa Tomofune comes in. The lureship attaches to the angler and is drifted in the water. The ship is designed to quickly slip Ayu into the ship where fresh water passes through the ship.


A door makes it possible to change out fresh Ayu for the unique fishing technique


The hydrodynamic design makes it possible for anglers to still remain mobile in the water. Because Ayu fishing requires alert and healthy Ayu to send into the “battlefield” the fish are rotated out of the lureship on a regular basis. Keeping these aggressive fish alive is of prime importance.


A clip attaches to the clothing of the Ayu angler

The Tomofune is an example of a unique and innovative product designed for a specific application. While it is unlikely it will find many homes here in the US, it is nonetheless a very interesting product. After hearing Hiro and Toru tell us all about Ayu fishing we definitely have to add it to our list of fishing “must do’s.”

Hiro, the designer of the Daiwa Tomofune is also responsible for Daiwa's lure offerings, including the recently review DOA

Conclusion: Daiwa has some thrilling stuff coming for anglers this season, and this is just a preview of what we can expect to see at ICAST this year. We were very pleased that the new Steez rods are designed and built for US specific applications, and hope that the company will follow suit with more adaptations in their lure lineup as well. We want to thank the entire team at Daiwa for opening their doors for us and letting us have a peek at what is to come. Now only if we could sneak away for a week and practice our Ayu catches. Until then, Daiwa sure has given us food for thought in preparation for ICAST.











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