Skeet at ICAST
Well, here it is, my first blog on Bassmaster.com. Ken Duke, senior editor of BASS Publications, finally busted my chops enough to share my stories with you.

What is a blog anyway?

Apparently I’m supposed to spill my thoughts out as they come to me, and you guys will read them. OK. Sounds like tons of fun, so here it is.

I’ve spent the last couple days at the Orlando Convention Center basically screwed to the floor of booths. But, instead of it being a chore, the whole thing was really exciting.

I went on behalf of my new sponsors Wright & McGill Co. and TroKar hooks, as well as Lucky Craft, Pure Fishing and Wiley X.

The launch of my new Wright & McGill Co. Skeet Reese signature rods was something I was looking forward to since we first decided to do the project. I got even more excited about it when I received my first shipment of production rods before the show. They are everything I wanted them to be. The actions are perfect, the materials are better than that, and they are black and yellow — I know I don’t need to explain that.

We also released the new TroKar hooks. We had been working on these hooks for quite a while; in fact the company has been working on the project for more than three years, under closely guarded secrecy. The press releases are absolutely correct, TroKar hooks are freakishly sharp.

When I first got them at Kentucky Lake, I cut myself on them so bad that I was bleeding like a stuck pig for a while. During practice, I was fishing another wide gap hook, and was missing four out of every six fish that bit. I tied on a TroKar, and caught every one after that. This hook is the deal.

The release of the hooks was cool, the buildup from the ads that went to the secret lazertrokar.com page only made people wonder what it was, and when the opening day of ICAST came, the site went live, complete with video and graphic descriptions of the hooks. Chris Russell at TroKar and Doug Long at 5 Stone Advertising did a great job with that. It’s not every day you get to be a part of something so cool.

Everything about putting these projects together has been amazing. Wright & McGill Co. has made Kim and I feel like family, which is really important because that is exactly how we see them. My sponsors are more than business partners to us.

I spent a little time at Lucky Craft on the second day showing off the new larger sizes of my SKT series crankbaits. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on these. They give me another tool in my arsenal that only Lucky Craft can provide.

I also spent some time working with the folks at the Pure Fishing booth, mainly talking about future bait designs, which is something I always enjoy. Some of those projects will be the baits I use to compete with in the not too distant future. No matter how long I’ve been doing this, it’s really cool to see baits you’ve helped design out on the market; Berkley is really good about that stuff.

Wiley X released the glasses that I wore when I won the Classic. Of course they were prototypes then, but they look pretty cool and have all of the famous Wiley X features. I even hear they may have some other new things in the works for the near future.

All in all it was a really cool experience, and releasing new products that I’ve worked so hard on is almost as exciting as winning the Classic again. OK, maybe not that exciting, but it was fun.