The Spro BBZ-1 Rat 25 – Mighty Mouse?

This time of year we are usually testing a bunch of new topwater offerings that debuted at ICAST.

This year has been no different and we have discovered that there are several gems.

 

Today we are looking at something that is truly special and has been putting fish in the boat since the first trip.

We’ve now thrown this plug on every subsequent trip and have never failed to catch fish with it. It’s a fish magnet, plain and simple. [Read more…]

The Jackall Firecracker High Impact Buzzbait – Compact Thunder

It’s often said, “Summertime is buzzbait time!” Yes, summertime can be a great time to throw a buzzer but don’t limit yourself to the dog days.

 

We’ve been using the Jackall Firecracker High Impact Buzzbait for a several months now and have caught fish with it from spring to fall. We still haven’t put it away because it’s still generating strikes.

The Firecracker has some interesting design features that give it a unique sound that seems to either goad bass into biting by irritating them or by drawing them in from a distance. Whatever the motivation is for hitting this bait, the result is the same—heart racing, explosive strikes. [Read more…]

The Nichol’s Elite Lo-Pro Double Willow Spinnerbait

The spinnerbait bite is  just plain fun when it’s on. Sometimes however, just like any other genre of lures, the fish can turn off to a particular size of blade configuration, vibration, color or action which requires you to change it up.

One of the ways you can do that is carry different profiles including some that are smaller. The Nichols Elite Lo-Pro Double Willow Spinnerbait is one that we’ve been using a lot this season because it’s been catching a lot of fish for us and matches the forage in the early part of the year.

The Elite Lo-Pro does indeed have a smaller profile than the average spinnerbait but doesn’t sacrifice castability. You can get them in either 3/8 or 1/2 in the double willowleaf configuration in a variety of colors. [Read more…]

Custom Lures Zero Gravity Jig – Defying Tradition

IMG_0290We’ve been fishing a not so new jig for several months now that for some reason, just hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. Like you, we’ve got our favorite jigs, swim jigs, bladed jigs, football head jigs etc. But we’ve never had one with a sink rate this slow.

 

We’re talking about the Custom Lures Unlimited Zero Gravity Jig which has a sink rate of about 1foot every 3 seconds even with a trailer. Yup, you heard right, this is not a typo. This jig sinks slower than molasses in January even though it is a “full sized jig”.

How? Here is the simple answer. The Zero Gravity Jig uses a non-metal arkie style head that is so light the overall weight of this jig is a published .21 oz. That is with the skirting material, hook and weed guard factored in.

Traditionally, if you wanted to change the rate of fall on your jig, you would switch trailers to bulk it up which in turn provided more resistance in the water slowing the descent. Yes, this works to an extent but let’s get real, a 1/2 oz. head falls like a 1/2 oz. head. This also dictates the swimming motion of the typical jig.

[Read more…]

The New Bagley B Minus Lipless Crankbait

IMG_8136This spring we ran across a new lipless plug, the Bagley Rattlin’ B Minus. A shallow sinking, full-sized lipless crankbait that defies the old notion of the proverbial “idiot bait.”

 

They were called, “idiot baits” because most anglers simply threw them out and wound them back in. When fish were aggressively biting these lures you could fill the live well quick, fast and in a hurry. Not to mention that when this bite is on, you’ll get some of the most bone-jarring strikes you’re likely to experience.

[Read more…]

The Line Cutterz Ring, simplicity on your finger

IMG_0181We spend the bulk of our time discussing rods, reels, line, baits of all sorts, terminal tackle etc. But we don’t often talk about accessories. There are plenty out there, some good … some not so hot, some useful … others, not so much.

However, once in a while a product comes along that gives you one of those “aha!” moments based on a lot of factors but usually grounded in simplicity as well as utility. Such is the case for the subject of this review. The Line Cutterz Ring.

One of the fundamentals in fishing is learning to tie good strong knots. In doing so, you inevitably have to cut some line. You can use scissors, nailclippers, pliers or possibly the worst alternative, your teeth.

Obviously all of these have some built in drawbacks. Rust, accessibility, dulling easily, inconvenient to carry, easy to lose or even requiring an emergency trip to your dentist. None of which add to the pleasure of a day on the water. [Read more…]

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…]