Romano and I will be jetting off to Vegas next week for the annual ICAST (fishing) and IFTD (fly fishing) trade shows. For the first time in a long time, they will be at the same place. I’m not usually thrilled to be in 114-degree weather in the desert, but this is an exciting event because we’ll get to see all the new products planned for 2014. And we’ll get to hang out with F&S fishing editor Joe Cermele, so that will be fun.

As with any trade show, this event is big on the hype factor. I’m getting about a dozen or so press releases and meeting pitches every day now, all promising the latest and greatest. Some of it really interests me, and some does not. I’m planning to wander around and soak in what I can. Inevitably, you’ll be hearing about much of what I see in the coming weeks. I promise, as usual, to carefully scrutinize all that promo-speak. I won’t write about a rod, for example, until I fish it, or at least cast it on the practice ponds.

But I have to wonder aloud how much of the hype do you readers typically buy anyway. Seems to me that anglers are usually very inquisitive by nature, and also skeptics–and tastes, when it comes to rod action, reel designs, etc., are very personal.

I am sure there will be rods that earn mixed reviews. Some will be absolutely thrilled with them, and others will think “no big deal.” Typically what happens, however, is that of the thousands of new gadgets and gizmos unveiled, there are three or four standout products that get everyone nodding in agreement. I’ll do my best to lock in on those things, tell you about them, and then ultimately let you pass final judgment. That’s how it should work after all.

Are there any particular things you are most interested in? What should I have as priorities on my radar?