Classic Expo: 'Best fishing weekend without fishing'

Calling it the “best fishing weekend without fishing,” reader Bryan Taylor summed up a number of fans’ feelings about the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Asked for details of their best deals at a Classic Outdoors Expo, Bassmaster fans responded with why they enjoy attending the expo as well as the best deals they’ve scored. Many added that they’ve already made plans to attend this year’s Expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, March 24-26.

“Great bargains, great swag,” James Cleaver wrote. “Best part is meeting the pros close up.” Besides an autograph hound's dream, the Expo puts stars in the eyes of young and old. Fans take a lot of photos standing next to their favorite angler. 

The Expo runs in conjunction with the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The Elite pros who didn’t qualify to fish Lake Conroe, as well as a number of bass fishing legends and others in the industry, will work at sponsor booths and interact with fans. This year’s Expo will be the largest in Classic history, covering more than 300,000 square feet.

Among readers who found incredible sales items at Expos past was Gavin Beck.

“Best deals I found were Quantum EXO reels normally $249 for $99 and Revo MGX normally $350 for $199,” he said.

Brad Shepherd recalled he paid $20 for $100 rods in 2012. At Tulsa last year, Derrick Mclaren purchased a new Daiwa TWS reel and was given free rods to go with it.

“My son went with me last year and is constantly asking me to go Houston this year!” Mclaren said.

While the summertime ICAST tackle convention brings together many of the same companies introducing products, that event is for industry members only. The Classic Expo is free to the public, and fishing industry companies use the venue to introduce their newest products to bass fans. And yes, great deals are abundant. 

John Marshall reported an interesting occurrence from 2014. He said he drove up to Birmingham on that Classic's first day, checked out the aisles for new lures and tackle and bumped into a number of pros. He and his partner missed Day 2 to fish a local derby they’d already entered. They caught 18 pounds of spotted bass, their largest bag in a tournament, to win.

Back to the Expo on Sunday, Marshall and partner found $100 All-Star Rods on sale three for $100, and the DICK’S booth had $100 rods for $25 each.

“In total, I believe my fishing partner and I bought 27 rods,” he wrote. “The best part about it was … we ran into a group of about 10 other people we had fished against on Saturday and got to show them what their money had bought us.”

Hope you didn't rub it in too hard.

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