Featured Reviews

One of the pieces of equipment that has seen an explosion of R&D over the last several decades is the rod. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when you picked up a couple of rods that you threw every bait you had with.   Have things changed for the better in that regard? Unequivocally, yes!… [Continue Reading]

img_1321

At ICAST 2013 Daiwa debuted the Tatula and Tatula Type-R casting reels. At that time, they became the workhorse reels in the line up. They were affordable, durable, cast extremely well for their price point and built on some promising technologies including the T-Wing system (TWS). We have one of the original Type-R’s and it… [Continue Reading]

img_1315

Fall is a great time to fish shallow with a number of baits including crankbaits. The trick is to select one that not only mimics the size of the bait but also runs at the depth that you are looking to target.   Over the past several years, flat sided baits have become more popular… [Continue Reading]

img_3098

Daiwa’s new Cronos Rods A Cut Above

img_1321One of the pieces of equipment that has seen an explosion of R&D over the last several decades is the rod. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when you picked up a couple of rods that you threw every bait you had with.

 

Have things changed for the better in that regard? Unequivocally, yes! These days the materials used, the way they are used and how they are used are light years ahead of those old sticks.

Today, there are so many technique specific rods available that it’s almost too much. However, there are still many that are designed to cover a wide range of applications and bait weights. The Cronos rods by Daiwa are one such series.

[Read more…]

Daiwa’s Tatula CT Type-R Hits All the Right Notes

img_1315At ICAST 2013 Daiwa debuted the Tatula and Tatula Type-R casting reels. At that time, they became the workhorse reels in the line up.

They were affordable, durable, cast extremely well for their price point and built on some promising technologies including the T-Wing system (TWS). We have one of the original Type-R’s and it hasn’t skipped a beat over the last three years.

 

Since then, Daiwa has continued to build on those technologies with many of the reels in their current line of casting reels using the TWS as well as continuing to improve on other newer features.

This year, Daiwa chose the Bassmaster Classic as the venue to introduce their latest Tatula, the CT 100 and CT Type-R 100. The CT is a more compact version of the Tatula that has shed not only weight but girth while maintaining and building on the proven technologies of the original Tatula.

[Read more…]

Jackals’s Jaco 58, A flat Sided Contender

img_3098Fall is a great time to fish shallow with a number of baits including crankbaits. The trick is to select one that not only mimics the size of the bait but also runs at the depth that you are looking to target.

 

Over the past several years, flat sided baits have become more popular as they tend to put off more flash as well as a different vibration than a standard, rounded body bait will.

This seems to more closely resemble the frantic nature of baitfish in certain circumstances.

One of the baits that we always have tied on for this situation is the Jackall Jaco 58. This little bait has caught fish for us from So-Cal to Georgia, largemouth to spots, and some species that weren’t even on our minds at the time.

[Read more…]

The New Rapala Skitter V 10-The Best Rapala Topwater Plug Yet?

img_3089We’ve been fishing another new topwater bait literally since the day that we got it in the mail. It’s kinda fun to come home, find a new bait waiting for you on your doorstep and take it out that night with absolutely no expectations of any kind in terms of performance. Just tie it on, let it fly and see what happens.

 

Such was the case for us with the new Rapala Skitter V 10. We received the Bone Chartreuse color which doesn’t really mimic anything that swims in our local waters, but color is more a secondary consideration for topwater baits.

The real issue is the action, sound and the presentation that the lure is capable of once in the water.  Profile, especially in low-light conditions, is more important than color.

[Read more…]

Answering the $64 Question, How Good is the Duo Realis Popper 64

IMG_3084Since the topwater bite is still hot, it’s a great time of year to be throwing a popper. With that in mind we’re going to look at another bait that is always in the front of our tackle box for this season, the Duo Realis Popper 64.

 

We always like to have more than one choice in whatever genre of bait we’re using because the fish can get turned off to a particular action or color. When this happens, switching to something that has subtle differences will often get those fish biting again.

The Duo Popper 64 is 2.5” long and weighs in at .33oz. This bait has an unusually shaped cup that looks like a squeezed, rounded square with the smaller edge being the top while the longer edge is the bottom that protrudes out a little more than the top.

[Read more…]

G Man Could Not Be Stopped, Wins Second AOY Title

Gerald Swindle AOY ChampionOnamia, MN — Perennial fan favorite Gerald Swindle would not be denied in 2016. The Alabama native fought hard all year, and this weekend, received the payoff.

Gerald Swindle is your 2016 Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

While he failed to put a limit in the live well on day one, he would solve the puzzle, and bring a hefty 22 pounds to the weigh ins on the final day. The title is the second AOY in his career. [Read more…]

Ott DeFoe Hoists First Trophy In Wisconsin

80d837e2-ffd1-4a4a-b70b-28ff85349ba7-1473630574792La Crosse, WI – In 2011, Ott DeFoe won the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Five years later, and the Tennessee native gets to raise an Elite Series trophy overhead. A rabid field nipped at his heals to take home the final win of the season, but DeFoe was not going to be shaken, and he held onto that number one spot for three days. [Read more…]

The Boing Lures “Boinger” A Funny Name for a Serious Plug

IMG_3094We have had the opportunity to test some unique baits over the years that usually are made by small companies that are either just starting out or do things in such a way that it makes it more difficult for them to mass produce their baits.

 

Last year we were reminded of a company that we had heard of about four years prior but hadn’t had the chance to acquire and test any of their baits. Well, we don’t often miss out twice so we did indeed pick up a couple of the lures in question for testing.

Boing Lures are currently producing two topwater plugs that are made in the USA, each hand painted by Dwain Batey at Baitworks, and both feature their unique “Boing” sound.

[Read more…]

Dog eat Dog with the New Berkley Pitbull 5.5

IMG_3075Berkley has introduced a new line of hardbaits that includes versions of the most popular types of lures. The one that first caught our attention was the Pitbull Crank Bait 5.5.

 

We use a lot of square bills for several reasons. They deflect well off of cover whether the obstructions are bottom oriented or higher in the water column like submerged trees. These are the kinds of places big ‘ole bass like to hang out to ambush prey.

That’s why squarebills tend to be so effective. They represent both some form of food for the bass as well as have the ability to draw reaction strikes. With the latter in mind, one of the key considerations is the ability of a lure to both get through clutter without hanging up and get back on track after banging into something.

[Read more…]

The KastKing Stealth Casting Reel, Flying Under the Radar

IMG_2818Today, we’re going to take a look at another value priced reel from KastKing. We reviewed one of their first products, so when they came out with their light weight reel, we had to find out what it was like to fish.

 

This reel is named the Stealth. You’re probably coming up with images of aircraft, matte dark grey in color and insanely fast that avoids detection from radar. Okay, but we’re talking fishing gear here, right?

Yes, that’s correct. However, the Stealth does have that almost black, matte finish to it with the accents being a combination of brushed stainless steel and gold in appearance. It also sports a grille in the front that has something unique to casting reels. That being a line keeper in the same style of a spinning reel.

 
Yup, you don’t have to tie something to your line on this reel when you’re removing it from the rod. Instead, just tuck the line under the triangular keeper and you’re off to the races. [Read more…]