Featured Reviews

We’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… [Continue Reading]

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This 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… [Continue Reading]

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We 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… [Continue Reading]

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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.

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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…]

The Jackall SK-Pop Grande, Small but Loaded for Bass

IMG_2490The topwater bite is really starting to heat up in this neck of the woods so we always have several styles of baits ready to go. One of those is a popper.

Like any genre of lures, having different sizes, colors and actions is the key to maximizing the amount of bites you get. Obviously, it helps to have the ability to present the fish with an alternative when they get shy or turn off on a specific plug.

One of our go to poppers is the Jackall SK-Pop Grande. It has caught a ton of fish for us over the last few seasons.

The SK-Pop is on the smallish side in spite of its name weighing in at 5/16 and measuring only 2.6 inches in length. However, this little bait packs a lot of features into the diminutive frame.

[Read more…]

Native Eyeware: All Day Wearability and Clarity

image_177902gray_1_retina.151218172344A lot of people only have one name in mind when it comes to performance eyeware.

You see them wearing the shades, the hat, the shirt—it’s like a uniform for people who want to make sure other people know they fish once in a while.

You know the brand already, don’t you?

If performance is your thing though, you’re open to something new. If you have to be able to peer into the water, endure long fishing days, and get fish to hand, you want something that works.

Enter Native Eyeware. [Read more…]

KVD Does It Again, Hackney Dq’ed, Cayuga Gets Wild

Kevin-VanDam-Wins-Cayuga-LakeUnion Springs, NY — KVD needed to come from behind to get it done, but the living legend did so to take his second Elite Series trophy in six weeks.

Coming into Sunday, VanDam was in third place and two pounds out of the lead. 15 pounds, seven ounces later, KVD hoisted his 22nd Elite Series trophy, further extending the record he set in May. [Read more…]

The Phenix Vibrator Jig 3, why it’s breaking the mold

IMG_3003While we were down in San Diego we happened to run across the folks from Phenix Baits. They had a booth at the Fred Hall Boat and Tackle Show and were very engaging where discussing their baits was concerned.

We were particularly taken with the Phenix Vibrator Jig Version 3. The reasons were several.

The shape of the head of the jig was rounded in a way that was evident it would slide through grass well, the quality of the skirting, the precise cut of the blade, the components that all attach to the blade, the different blade colors, the conical bait keeper on the shank of the hook, the sharpness of the hook and last but not least, the color and weight choices.

Yeah, that’s a run on sentence but all of those features are immediately evident as soon as you pick up the bait.

Here’s the scoop

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