What You'll See at the 50th Bassmaster Classic in Alabama

The 50th Bassmaster Classic bass fishing championship is March 6-8 on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. Here are some highlights from the outdoors expo.

What You'll See at the 50th Bassmaster Classic in Alabama

The new Legend Xtreme series from St. Croix Rod has been redesigned for better sensitivity and strength. (Photo: St. Croix Rod)

The 50th Bassmaster Classic returns to Alabama for its golden anniversary celebration, the ninth time Birmingham has played host to the annual championship bass tournament.

Based in the Magic City at the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex, the event's massive three-day outdoors expo and weigh-ins will draw thousands of fans to see boats, tackle, new gear and afternoon weigh-ins in Legacy Arena. 

This will be my 21st Classic and every one of them is fun. Fans are excited, kids are jacked, the anglers are out for one thing — the life-changing title of Bassmaster Classic champion — and expo exhibitors are eager to show or sell new products. I've seen fans with a handful of rods and couple of bags jammed with lures, caps and other goodies heading to their vehicles before returning for more.

While the anglers are fishing on Guntersville Lake, one of the best bass lakes in the nation, the show will be going full throttle at the BJCC. Here are some things fans will see at the expo:

Ranger Boats Returns as BASS Premier Sponsor

Ranger Boats is returning as a premier sponsor for B.A.S.S., covering the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens Series, Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series and the grass-roots B.A.S.S Nation regional tournaments.

Ranger and B.A.S.S. enjoyed parallel growth in the 1960s and 1970s as tournament fishing came of age. In 2015, Ranger joined White River Marine Group, part of the Bass Pro Shops family.

Ranger Boats Z521 L
Ranger Boats Z521 L

"Ranger Boats was there in the beginning when B.A.S.S. first became the leading tournament trail for bass anglers," said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, a five-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. "Since being named the 'official Bassmaster Classic boat' in 1972, Ranger and B.A.S.S. enjoyed a strong partnership growing the sport of fishing. We are excited to return Ranger to its roots and help inspire the next generation to get on the water."

Ranger is also set to introduce industry-first technology with the incorporation of lithium batteries as standard equipment on select models. Bassmaster Classic attendees can learn more by visiting the Ranger booth at the Classic expo.

Plano Edge Tackle Boxes

Plano designed its Edge Series Master Terminal Box with a "box within a box" organization system including universal fit interior boxes to allow for maximum flexibility.

The internal boxes lock in place, but lift out allowing for easily accessible organization. The Master Terminal Box includes molded finger slots and snap-shut interior boxes to securely hold beads, snaps and hooks.

Plano Edge
Plano Edge

Sinkers or weights get special attention with a unique high-density rubber inset to stop chipping and rattling. These interior weight boxes also feature an EZ label system. The smaller interior boxes can be removed and kept close at hand while the main box is stored safely and securely in a locker or tackle bag.

Every Edge series box has Rustrictor, a rust-preventing technology molded into the base of the boxes, along with a Dri-Loc watertight seal and water-absorbing Water Wic desiccant dividers to ward off moisture. The clear DuraView lid make it easy to identify contents quickly.

St. Croix Legend Xtreme Series

St. Croix's new Legend Xtreme rods incorporate a host of features including a specialized design to increase sensitivity and Daiwa’s AGSTM carbon fiber guides.

Creation of the blanks uses Integrated Poly Curve mandrel technology, which adds continuous tapers to eliminate “stepped” transition points and blanks St. Croix claims are smoother, stronger and more sensitive than traditional designs. They also feature an improved version of St. Croix’s Advanced Reinforcing Technology, a high-tensile high-modulus cross-grain material that reinforces the blank and allows for the use of less material while maintaining strength and decreasing weight.

Carbon materials are used in the Xtreme series, too. A super high-modulus SCVI carbon in the lower section joins high-modulus/high-strain SCV carbon in the upper section. St. Croix’s Fortified Resin System and improved curing cycle prevents microbuckling by keeping the carbon fibers in proper alignment throughout the process.

Blanks manufactured with this advanced manufacturing protocol consistently test out at 33 percent stronger than those built with standard resins and curing methods. The new Daiwa AGS carbon fiber guide train features a Fuji KG tip and torzite ring to handle all types of line.

The Xtreme rods will retail in the range of $630 to $650 and be available online here March 6.

Abu Garcia Zata Reels

Abu Garcia's new Zata baitcasting and spinning reels have a striking color scheme, but they're not just flash without substance.

The new Zata line includes two models of baitcasting reels, with right- and left-handed configurations, and three spinning reels (Sizes 20, 30 and 40). Additionally, there are four Zata baitcasting combos and two spinning combos.

Abu Garcia Zata
Abu Garcia Zata

The Zata baitcasting reels feature 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings, graphite frame and sideplates for additional weight savings, Carbon Matrix drag system and a Duragear brass gear. Zata baitcasting reels will carry an MSRP of $169.95.

The Zata spinning reels, which also carry an MSRP of $169.95, deliver 10 stainless ball bearings and an IM-C6 one-piece gear box with computer-optimized gearing. Built around a compact, lightweight aluminum frame, the reels feature Abu Garcia’s Rocket line management system and a braid-ready, machined-aluminum spool as well as a stainless-steel main shaft and components for additional strength.

The baitcasting and spinning versions also will be available as combos, with the reels paired with a lightweight and balanced graphite rod. The MSRP for the Zata reels paired with 24 Ton graphite rod is $199.99.

Daiwa Tatula SV Reel

Daiwa has redesigned its new Tatula SV TW103 reel to be the smallest, lightest reel the company has ever introduced at a featherweight 6.7 ounces.

The Tatula's SV Spool and Air Brake technology work together to reduce backlashes while improving casting distances and control thanks to magnetic breaking and centrifugal breaking. The Zero Adjuster spool allows for fine-tuning spool tension. A smaller, low-profile design is constructed of an aluminum frame and chassis.

The 100 size Tatula SV is available in Standard (6.3:1), High Speed (7.3:1) and Hyper Speed (8.1:1). And all gear ratios come in left- and right-hand models. MSRP is $199.99.


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