not really fair to you, the angler, to read the report below, and
it isn't really fair to the vendors, distributors, wholesalers or
retailers either. Maybe next year they really should not let the
media in (just kidding) to ICAST. In a sense, it really is an
insider show for tackle vendors and tackle buyers, not the
general public nor the media.
New Bass Tackle for 2007
Among other things, ICAST assists
the new product introduction cycle for next spring. Many of the
new products you will read about below do not exist yet, not in
production. Many are the final development versions, but a few
are in the late prototype phases still. It's important for
vendors to show these products and prototypes now to large
distributors and their biggest buyers especially. Those
distributors and wholesalers can then give lucky vendors a feel
or commitment for how many units they would need allocated for
their 2007 mail-order catalogs or distributor's dealer-only shows
late this fall and early next spring, so production can ramp up
and the new products can be on local dealers shelves, available
online or in mail-order catalogs for you by the time bass fishing
season opens next spring.
With traditional media, meaning
fishing magazines, you wouldn't normally hear of most new
products below until the December issue, which traditionally has
been earmarked on magazines' editorial calendars as the "new
Then, the top tournament trails
start in earnest in January. Top pros, sponsored by tackle
vendors, start whacking winning bags on the latest and greatest
tackle the industry has to offer (see below). Based on the pros'
demonstrated successes, you can then readily buy the new tackle
they're winning with at many of your favorite local tackle shops
by next spring.
That's an overview of the
industry's annual new product introduction, distribution and
sales cycle in a nutshell.
The Internet has short-circuited
that traditional product and information dissemination cycle.
Now, you are going to hear of the new products below even before
many big players within the industry do. There are new products I
had to pull from this report since the vendors had not yet shown
those new products to their biggest customer buyers yet. They
didn't want the customers (multi-million dollar accounts) to read
this report first before the vendors met and presented their new
products to their biggest customers. It's nobody's fault, just
So you're privileged now to be on
the inside track, the fast track, to be able to read this... but
keep in mind, most all of the new products below are not yet
available, and will not be available for many months. Look for
them to be at your favorite fishing shop by the time the
honeysuckle and lilacs waft over the water next spring, and bass
fishing starts anew in 2007.
One other foreword you need to
know not every vendor attends ICAST. It's hard to estimate what
percentage of bass tackle vendors go there, but I'd say less than
half of the major bass tackle vendors attend ICAST. So, we just
don't know what that other half are coming out with yet? We'll
have to wait for the fishing magazines' traditional new product
issues in December for that information.
One final caveat before I let you
enjoy reading the report is that ICAST is all about business. Las
Vegas, the gambling, betting against the odds, the hopes and
dreams, hitting the jackpot or going home with your hat in your
hand, wondering how you're going to pay your bills with all the
money you dropped attending ICAST, it's all part of the ambiance
at ICAST. It fits right in, especially for the little vendors
hoping to make it big. ICAST. It's business. Money's at stake. In
three intense days, fortunes can be won or lost at the tables at
ICAST. It's about vendors who sell tackle and distributors,
wholesalers, middlemen and retailers who buy it in bulk, for you
to enjoy fishing with it by next spring and beyond. Point I want
to say is not every tackle vendor has the time to meet with the
media or me at ICAST. This year, more than prior years, big
business was being done on the ICAST show floor. More than a few
vendors appeared too busy with big buyers in order to speak with
me when I stopped by their booth this year. So I haven't any
information to pass along to you this year about those busy
vendors' new products. Fortunately, I did speak with about sixty
or so bass tackle vendors (listed alphabetically below) who gave
me a moment of their time to help produce this report for you.
Thank you all in the tackle industry who spent time with me at
Dear reader, thank you for letting
me speak that foreword. Now, on to the report!
Revo, a tough new low profile
reel, appears heavy duty. Solid and quite rugged is the way to
describe it. It has a low profile for easy palming yet does not
compromise on an incredibly powerful main gear system. The main
gear housing is underslung, extending (on the side) beneath the
reel seat. The no-compromise oversized gear system should put the
new Revo among the toughest bass reels you've ever used. Need
something to winch log-sized lunkers out of the worst junk? Need
to bump-and-grind big-billed deep-diving crankbaits in 15 feet of
water day after day? Stuff like that can make mincemeat out of
reels. You may want to look at the Revo. There are several
models, all about the same size, weight and line capacity, but
varying in features and gear ratio, starting from $99 to $199 for
the feature-rich STX model.
AiRRUS continues to maintain its
leadership role in the rod building industry.
This year, Ken Whiting earned the
Best Freshwater Rod award at ICAST again. And again. And again.
And again. Whiting's won four of the last five years to be exact.
That's quite an accomplishment considering all the stiff
competition. In only 4-1/2 years that Ken's company, AiRRUS, has
been part of the tackle industry, it has quickly developed a
reputation as a leader, not a follower, in innovation and
technology. Continuing in that tradition, Airrus introduced its
second generation Carbon Nanotube Composites by way of its
totally new Pulsar GL series. Typically the weakest areas in
carbon fibers are the tiny spaces between the fibers which
contain only resin. To radically improve strength and toughness,
Airrus has replaced the weakest link in a rod with an innovative
enhanced resin system containing nanotubes which are 200 times
stronger than titanium and 450 times stronger than steel. So Ken
has turned the weakest part of a rod into its strongest part.
Lighter, stronger and more sensitive than any rod even Airrus has
developed in the past.
Whereas some companies just put
rods together, Ken is more of a perfectionist in overall form and
function. With Ken, it is a pride and a passion he has, that you
can see in his product. Based on all the awards he has won, not
just at ICAST, but awards throughout the industry, it's obvious
that Ken's passion and perfection has not gone unnoticed and is
The award-winning Pulsar GL rods
combine multiple modulus sections of graphite in the tip and
midsection plus the butt and grip sections contain a blend of new
S2 fiberglass, all effectively unitized from tip to butt with the
nanotube resin epoxy.
Ken's the industry leader in
radical new handle - or shall we say, handleless (as in less
handle) design. There's very little reel seat. It's a split
reelseat, with barely nothing but the reel chocks. There's no
cork or foam grip, the rod blank itself is the handle. Where cork
or foam would otherwise be, the blank flares out in those
sections to fit the hand in lieu of a grip. Due to the fact that
the rod blank and grip are fused together, with the same epoxy
used in their construction, the grip is a part of the blank and
affords the same related degree of sensitivity you would expect
if you were gripping the blank. (You really need to see this.)
You also need to see the new hook
keeper wrapped onto the rod. It's just about the best hook keeper
ever. With a Texas-rigged worm with the hook buried in the worm,
you can clip it right onto the bend of the hook without pulling
the hook point out of the worm to stow your rod. This new hook
keeper will handle all set-ups, including dropshot sinker rigs.
I've not seen better.
Another feature, new this year,
that is incorporated in the PULSAR GL is locking wraps on all of
the guides. The wrap goes around the blank and guide foot, then
up around the guide stem and then back around the blank, so these
guides will never come out. You read that right. The thread wraps
the foot of the guide, and then up around the top of the guide
too, so it can never loosen and pull out from the top, says Ken.
The guides themselves are TiCH frames and inserts which are
extremely light and the TiCH inserts will never crack or fall out
and are well suited to braided lines of all kinds.
To say these rods (and Ken) are
great is an understatement. Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
The new Pulsar GL series will be
available in four baitcasting and three or four spinning rod
Bassdozer and Ken Whiting heft
award-winning Pulsar GL rods
Contact: Ken Whiting, Airrus Rods,
Las Vegas, NV 702-395-2173 www.rodsbyairrus.com
Mike Rogan unveiled Bagley's new
injection-molded hard plastic bait series.
"Bagley's roots are in the
balsa market and tell me what other company has lasted nearly
four decades in balsa," says Mike Rogan, "but there's
not a lot of growth. There's a limit as to how many top quality
balsa lures an angler owns. Good quality balsa is expensive to
make, and even top pros, they already have an arsenal of Bagley
balsa baits amassed over the years."
"So I needed to get Bagley
back into the weekend angler's arsenal," says Mike, adding
these new baits will be around the $5.99 to $6.99 range.
Bagley's new injection-molded Top Gun
"Working with Woo Daves and
Tommy Martin, we came up with a distinctly Bagley design. It has
a very lifelike baitfish appearance, throws great distance, is
5/8 ounce 3 inches. This is a sinking lipless crankbait. A sink
rate of one foot per second is a standard sink rate for other
lures. The new Bagley Top Gun Baitfish sinks twice as fast - 2
feet per second. So it saves a lot of time in a tournament. It
sinks nose down so as soon as line pressure is applied, the bait
is already in position to vibrate," says Mike.
"We've developed our own
plastic injection plant, which has been three years in the
making. Fifteen years ago, Bagley started to carve balsa baits on
CNC machines. So we developed advanced machinery skills
internally long ago, and we have been building in-house
competencies with the plastic injecting machines for two years
now," says Rogan adding that more new injection-molded
plastic baits are forthcoming. "The Top Gun Baitfish is just
the first of a whole series of injected baits not just for bass,
but walleye stickbaits, saltwater lures and more," says
In terms of paint and finish, it
appears to me that Bagley has taken a similar approach to
painting the new plastic baits as with their legacy balsa wood.
The new plastic baits almost looks like wood, due to the paint
finish, and it's hard to tell at first whether they are plastic
Bagley also introduced their new
Shakey Jig Head in 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, and 3/8 oz sizes, all
with Gamakatsu flat eye Sproat style hooks.
Bagley's new shakey jig head
"The first feature is the
flat spot on bottom gives a balance point to support bait,
combined with the 60 degree bend hook, the flat spot provides the
adept shakey head angler with the best control available to
effect their shaking style," says Mike Rogan. "There's
more individual style possible than with any other soft plastic.
The shaking tactic allows an angler to demonstrate more of his or
her personality to the fish since the worm stands up, and the
movement can be controlled better, thanks to the flat spot
(actually a balance point) on the bottom of the jig," claims
"The second new feature is
the separate worm stopper cone molded on the hook shank. Simply
pierce a worm straight in the bottom and straight out the top
about 3 or 4 ribs back from the nose (about 1/4 inch back from
the tip). Go in one side and right out the other. (Note: worm in
photo is rigged differently.) Since the rubber worm is elastic,
and already pierced through, the stopper cone momentarily expands
but does not increase the hole size in the worm. Once pushed over
the stopper, the pierced hole in the worm slams shut. So there is
minimal damage done to the worm, and the stopper is like a one
way baffle. The worm goes on easily, not getting torn, but cannot
be backed off easily," says Rogan.
"It's also important when you
bury the barb in the worm to Texas rig it, leave next to no
concave or convex play in the worm as this robs freedom of motion
from the back end of the bait," claims Mike. "Mount the
bait properly, and you'll get the maximum freedom of movement in
"Although not new, Bagley's
DB3 Mag is enjoying a renaissance in Japan. Last summer, a high
profile pro won a prestigious tournament in Japan with the DB3
Mag. By September, two cargo container loads of them were on the
way to Japan to fulfill renewed demand for the bait. When it
comes to crankbaits, a little known fact is Bagley outsell most
all USA lure companies in Japan," says Mike Rogan.
"Bagley even outsells seventy-five percent of the Japanese
crankbait companies," says he.
"It's a little known story
that Jim Bagley helped stock bass and start bass fishing in
Japan. There were no bass boats, no fishing from boats for bass
in Japan then. The DB3 Mag was developed by Jim Bagley for shore
fishing in Japan. That was around the late seventies. For shore
fishing in Japan, it was essential to have a crankbait that could
cast farther and dive deeper," relates Mike. Even to this
day in Japan, many bass tournaments still have a shore fishing
contingent, a separate competition and awards for shore
"The DB3 Mag is Bagley's
finest deep diver. It's bigger and heavier than the standard DB3
with a different action, and you can whack one out of the park
like Babe Ruth swinging for the fences. Yet is the USA, no one is
buying them. You get increased distance without moving the boat,
without starting the trolling motor, you can cover more area with
less boat maneuvering, with less alarming the fish, and there's a
lot to be said for that."
Husband Robin and wife Teresa
Shiver operate Bass Assassin. Teresa says, "Our son was born
and raised around the shop, and he's been creating all kinds of
baits forever with his Dad." With the creature and frog bait
craze lately, their son combined both these bait types into one.
His Dad, Robin, said "You may be on to something here, son.
This new bait won't roll. It comes in straight as straight can
"Our son's nickname is
Logger. He got that when he was born because he would stretch his
neck and he looked like a turtle, so we called him Loggerhead or
Logger for short. So we're going to be call this new
creature/frog bait the Logger Toad," says Teresa proudly.
The prototype was nice and soft and floppy, and it is designed to
be fished across the surface like a soft plastic frog/toad bait,
yet with more action legs.
Prototype of Bass Assassin Logger Toad
"Bass Assassin is also the
new source for BANG Fish Attractants," says Teresa. There is
still (and always has been) a strong contingent of anglers who
prefer to use BANG, but it has not been so easy to get it in
recent years. So it's good news now that Bass Assassin has become
the new source for BANG.
Bass Assassin also has teamed up
with Will Thompson to market the new Odor Assassin. "It does
not cover up odors but eliminates them," says Will Thompson
who is known for his Blue Wonder gun care products. "The
product was originally invented to solve a stinky problem with
bullet proof vests and body armor being used by our soldiers in
Iraq. Problem is that you cannot wash these items, so you could
imagine in the heat and all. The product worked so well, our
soldiers were using it in their boots, in the military vehicles
they drove, everywhere. It's a great product for anglers to use
in live wells, rod lockers, and yes, you can apply it on your
hands to eliminate odors," says Will.
Will Thompson presents new Odor Assassin to
Tim Rizzi, a representative of
Pure Fishing, walked me through the new products of interest to
me, starting with new fishing lines such as:
- Berkley Vanish Transition Crimson
Red is 100% fluorocarbon that's hi-vis above water. This enables
an angler to control his or her presentation by sight and to see
unfeelable strikes via line movement. The company claims its not
lo-vis but "no-vis" underwater.
- Berkley FireLine Crystal is the
world's first semi-translucent braided superline, and improves
braid with low visibility. Persons who have tried it report the
line is not entirely clear but tends to appear a muted white
color. Ads show a dark background being visible behind the line,
so I presume FireLine Crystal may allow it to blend in somewhat
more naturally with any water conditions or background versus
more solid opaque braids.
- Berkley Trilene Maxx has the
castability and good spool manners of Trilene XL plus the
durability and abrasion resistance of Trilene XT, says the
company about its new MAXX copolymer line.
- The new Spiderwire G-String,
although not a Berkley product, is an affiliated brand. So please
don't mind if I include it here. This is a new monofilament. The
company claims it is specially designed for extreme shock
strength (when setting the hook), abrasion resistance and pure
strength. That makes it ideal for power fishing such as flipping
and pitching in gnarly cover for big bass. Since it is a
monofilament, it has the good handling characteristics and spool
manners that mono is known for.
Berkley Vanish Transition Crimson Red,
Fireline Crystal braid and Trilene MAXX copolymer
G-Man Gerald Swindle strums his new
Spiderwire G-String monofilament.
Next, Tim Rizzi
showed me Berkley's new marker buoy. If you're not fishing with
marker buoys, you're not maximizing your catch. With two
fishfinders on my boat, one on the dash, the other up front, I
always have marker buoys handy to drop anytime I see points of
interest on the graph - or get a hit in the proverbial
"middle of nowhere." There's just no way you can
recover the exact spot again. No matter how much you think you
do, you don't. Boat drift, using the trolling motor puts you off
a spot quickly. With a market buoy, you have a better chance to
pinpoint a spot, and to dissect the area radiating out from it.
There are many spots you can idle over with the big motor, then
turn around and just never find again - unless you toss a marker
buoy. One small problem is, most marker buoys are too small and
lay flat on the water. Being bright orange doesn't seem to help
once you let them out of your sight. I recall being in a big bay
late last fall. I had dropped a typical flat and orange marker
buoy on a nice hump, whacked a lot of fish there, and left the
buoy so I could return to the spot later. There were no other
shore ranges or landmarks to let me return exactly to the spot.
Try as I might, I never could relocate that marker buoy when I
came back to try the spot again. Many months later this spring,
in a tournament, I ran past the area, saw a flash of orange and
sure enough, my marker buoy had stayed on the spot about six
months. Unfortunately, I was on plane as I ran past it and did
not want to stop to retrieve it at that time. On the way out, I
could not relocate it again. So it is probably still there, and
hopefully, some lucky anglers have found it and pulled fish off
it. Point is, typical marker buoys are hard to see. I'm certain
you've lost a few of them same as I. The new Berkley Premium
Marker Buoy has a bullet design that is easier to see and floats
high above the water line for greater visibility. This seems to
be a marker buoy you will be able to return to after a while, and
still find it - and find the fish under it!
With an industry-wide
movement toward affordable, high quality entry level tackle, I
was pleased to see the new Berkley Culling Scale System priced
from $29.99 (without culling clips) or $39.99 with clips. The
company claims it is accurate to 1/4 of an ounce, thereby the
most accurate digital scale on the market, claims the company. It
is commendable since it puts a sophisticated culling system
within the reach of entry level tournament anglers who are on a
budget. So novice tournament anglers can enjoy the advantages of
a low-priced culling system with features that would otherwise
cost hundreds of dollars.
representative Tim Rizzi's presentation on Berkley's soft baits -
PowerBait and Gulp - was deep and quite insightful. "We talk
to our pros and key opinion leaders in the industry. We invite
them to partake in lure design and development focus groups at
our facilities. Some of the findings from these sessions are
fundamental but so important," explains Tim. "When it
comes to tackle, bait is always the first consideration an angler
makes. What bait you plan to use defines what rod, reel and line
you will use. Through these focus group sessions, we've
delineated Berkley's two soft bait product lines - PowerBait and
Gulp - according to the two styles of bass fishing which are
power fishing (PowerBait) and finesse (Gulp)."
"In each product
line, there are baits that are 100% power (PowerBait), 100%
finesse (Gulp) or some that we call crossover baits that may be
used as either power or finesse."
"The reason we
designate PowerBait for power fishing is because PowerBait
doesn't dry out, it can be used for fishing fast, leaving it on a
rod on the deck, in run and gun type fishing."
all about fast-moving, search baits. PowerBait can be quickly
used to find an area or location that's holding fish. Once you
accomplish that with Powerbait, then you can pull out the Gulp to
slow down, finesse and really maximize your time (with Gulp) in
the fish-holding area you found (with PowerBait)."
comes in 13 new shapes and sizes for 2007. PowerBait is favored
by anglers worldwide for its potent scent and powerful flavor
formula molded right into the plastic. Crack open a fresh bag of
PowerBait in a room full of anglers, and they'll know what you've
done just by the powerful, permeating PowerBait scent. Anglers
often debate endlessly whether scent and attractant matters to
fish. Obviously the folks at Berkley feel it does, since both
their soft bait product lines are so heavily infused with scent
New PowerBaits for
2007 are the Sabertail Bug, Sabertail Grub, Sabertail Worm, two
sizes of the gliding, slow-falling Powerbait Beast designed by
Mike Iaconelli, plus the Bat Wing and Floating Bat Wing Frogs,
two sizes of Power Shakey Worms, the weighted Sinking Minnow
stickbait, and Chunky Trailer.
Click here to watch
Martin fishes the new PowerBait Sabertail Bug
Larry Nixon demonstrates the new PowerBait Shaky Worm
Iaconelli speaks, designer of the new PowerBait Beast
PowerBait Sabertail Bug
Gliding PowerBait Beast designed by Mike
PowerBait Chunky Jig Trailer
PowerBait Sabertail Grub and Sabertail Worm
Also, for the first
time ever, Berkley introduced two sizes of triple color-layered
PowerBait Hand Pour Finesse Worms in 4" and 6" sizes.
The photo below really doesn't capture the rich "triple
pour." These baits are supersoft, with all the backbone (or
lack thereof) of overcooked linguine. They seem as soft or softer
than some other hand pours I use. The softness of hand pours
tends to let them gyrate and flex in ways harder soft baits will
not flex. So this is a PowerBait, but a finesse one.
Triple color-layered PowerBait Hand Pour
Now let's shift the
discussion to new Gulp models for 2007. Berkley debuted 8 new
sizes and shapes of soft baits made of Gulp. Gulp is 100%
biodegradable, made of all natural ingredients with no plastic
ingredients. Gulp disperses 400 times more scent than traditional
scented plastic baits, leaving its scent like a blood trail in
the water, claims the company.
There was a new Gulp
Punch Craw which is a stubby, sleek craw for punching through
thick grass mats with a heavy sinker. Plus the Gulp Wicked Wing
Jig Trailer, two sizes of Gulp Shakey Worms, which Mike Iaconelli
uses often. The Gulp Float Worm, Gulp Floating Nigthcrawler, Gulp
Jerk Shad and Gulp Shakey Shad round out the 8 new Gulp
freshwater models for 2007.
"Once you speed
fish or find fish with PowerBait, then you can focus more on
finesse, more on the shakey worm tactics, the slow floating
worms, the floating crawler, the Gulp products. Slow down once
you get in front of the fish and use Gulp," says Tim Rizzi.
"Gulp for bass is getting stronger and stronger. Overall,
the industry grew 16%. In comparison, PowerBait is up 18%, above
industry average, and Freshwater Gulp is up 58% in sales - and
getting stronger. Berkley Gulp is the fastest-growing soft bait
in both freshwater and in saltwater Gulp sales are up 1,500%.
Gulp has a natural attraction, is made of scent and flavor and
has 400 times more scent dispersion. Anglers, and most
importantly, fish, want Gulp."
Ike likes Gulp at ICAST
Gulp Shakey Worm (in two sizes) is favored
by Mike Iaconelli
Gulp Float Worm
Gulp Jerk Shad
Gulp Wicked Wing Jig Trailer
Berkley's third bait
platform is called "speed and convenience," says Rizzi.
Most bass anglers aren't tournament anglers, they may not know
who the hottest pros are, but clearly enjoy getting out once in a
while as much as anyone. This is where "speed and
convenience" is so important, meaning Berkley's prerigged
baits, soft baits prerigged on jigs, with packaging designed in
order to preserve perfect shape and proper action without any
kinks or bends caused in the package, ready to fish. New in the
speed and convenience category for 2007 from Berkley is the
Weedless Power Rig Worm. This "new but old" 3 weedless
hook design has a spiral swimming action that bass can't resist
and rarely see," says Tim.
In hardbaits, Berkley
has a new 3/4 oz Rattl'r, a lipless crankbait with a very big
profile. Ripping large lipless baits in grass has been productive
on the pro tour in recent seasons, therefore this new and bigger
rattlebait is very timely.
In terms of rods,
Berkley's new Tactix series of rods are commendable. They're good
examples of a trend in the industry toward high quality,
affordable entry level tackle. The Tactix series has
tactic-specific rods (wacky rigging, dropshot/finesse, flipping,
spinnerbait, etc.) for the entry level angler looking to fit
specific techniques into his or her budget. These are
good-looking rods, made of IM7 graphite with carbon fiber
orientation, according to the company. The rods have many of the
features of high-end, high-priced rods, but at an entry level
price in the $49 to $59 range. Now, even novice anglers can
better afford to have a tactic-specific rod or two!
The new Balsa Model B features the
buoyancy and action of balsa, without balsa's shortcomings. The
lip and hook hangers are integrated into a one-piece "Tru-Track"
Polycarbonate Frame. that runs through the bait from line tie to
tail, integrating the belly hanger and lip into the frame too.
It's kind of like a solid polycarbonate skeleton with all the
vital aspects on it. The lip can never be put in crooked nor
loosen. The hook hangers can't get loose or tear out like screw
eyes do. The hook eyes can never be put in crooked or out of
place. The baits are very consistent in action from one to
another. They're not as irregular from one bait to another in
terms of action. As any good balsa angler knows you need to go
through many balsa baits due to the individual actions of each,
in order to find the "good ones." The frame on the new
Balsa Model B makes them more consistent and reliable from one to
Company spokesman Jeff Samsel says
these will not be as expensive as other balsa baits either.
"The shape and buoyancy of balsa causes this shallow runner
to swing widely with hard tail kicks that let it roll off of
cover and deflect off timber," says Samsel.
The Bomber Balsa Model B is 2-1/2
inches long and weighs 1/2 ounce.
New Bomber Balsa Model B
The new BOOYAH Counter Strike Buzz
is designed with a triangular head to plane to the surface. It's
made with a similar flat-bottomed arrowhead design as BOOYAH's
Swim'n Jig so it cuts through the thickest cover. The multi-step
painting process results in a booyah-tiful bait, including scale
finishes, multi-colored painted-on eyes (will never pop off). Two
counter-rotating blades create straight-ahead stability and
neutralize blade torque to either side.
Booyah Counter Strike Buzzbait
The BOOYAH Boogee
Bait is also new and representative of the new style of
hard-vibrating blade jigs that became tremendously popular since
earlier this year. A unique feature is it deploys a Leverage
flexible hook system, meaning the hook is not fixed or rigid, but
connected by a solid yet flexible steel cable. It weighs 3/8
ounce (one size only).
Booyah Boogee Bait
PT-1120 Outdoor Labeler: Brother
launched its newest P-Touch labeling system - model PT-1120 -
designed for organizing outdoor gear and fishing tackle. It is a
compact labeler that's easy to use. I got it right, printed a
label the first time I tried it, and nobody explained to me what
to do. It's simple. You just type in the text, see what you typed
in the digital display area, and press print to get an adhesive
label cut to the perfect size every time. It's that easy.
Spokesperson Mike DelVisco says,
"It helps to have all your gear organized, especially in
tournament fishing where every second counts. But whether I am
fishing for fun or competition, time on the water is precious.
Having all my tackle neat and organized helps me focus on fishing
and saves me time locating the things I need. I can color code
all my boxes with labels, allowing me to find exactly what I need
in an instant. I have a color label system - different color
labels for different lure types - so I can recognize different
boxes by color of the label tape.And the labels have an extra
strength adhesive, so I don't have to worry about the labels
getting wet or falling off. It's a great tool every angler should
have to organize their equipment to get the most out of their
time on the water. The labeler is under $50 and comes with a
starter roll of extra strength tape that's better for outdoors.
$16 per additional color or replacement tape."
Bassdozer and Mike DelVisco love Brother's
Outdoor Labeling System
Tungsten weights are becoming
mainstream now. It wasn't too many years back when tungsten
sinkers were new to the industry, and new start-up companies were
among the first to introduce them. Today, tungsten sinkers are
mainstream. Joe Crumrine of Bullet Weights summed it up best when
I asked him why an angler should use his new tungsten sinkers
rather than the other brands? "Because of our name, Bullet
Weights," answered Joe. "We're simply recognized as the
fishing sinker company, and we expect our tungsten sinkers will
sell better than others due to our name recognition."
To me, it signals that tungsten is
no longer a specialty or innovative sinker material, but
The new tungsten sinkers are
available in regular "worm weight" models and tungsten
screw-in models, unpainted and in lustrous baked-on PermaColors
that last a long time and won't chip easily - blood red, black,
purple, brown, watermelon pepper, transparent metallic red and
transparent metallic purple.
"The Teflon tube inside our
Screw-In sinker is important but no one else may use it since
Bullet Weights holds the patent for it," says Joe.
"Without the tube, the line can get twisted in the wire
coil." Plus the tube cushions the line from the hard metal
sinker surface, and helps it slide up the line out of the way on
a hookset and during the battle. Plus the tube is like a center
pin that helps you screw a worm on straight.
"Our Screw-in sinker in Ultra
Steel is also new for 2007. Ultra Steel is an inexpensive
environmentally-friendly material that sells at the same price as
lead," says Crumrine.
Tungsten bullet, tungsten screw-in and
Ultra Steel screw-in sinkers
You may not know it but Cast
Industries designs, molds and paints many of the best
spinnerbait, buzzbait, jig, jigging spoon, specialty sinker and
cast metal bass lures in your tackle bag. Cast Industries had not
a booth at ICAST but their products appeared down every aisle in
dozens of booths. The company's lengthy client list reads like a
who's who of many of the most popular fishing lure brands in the
USA. Reason why is that everyone at Cast Industries are extremely
talented at prototyping and producing premium lures for the
industry. The best in the business.
Group hug! Bassdozer with Karen Rummelt and
Joe Rummelt, master lure modeler.
Jason Scott proudly showed me the
new Platinum Series Real Baits for 2007. Engineered for realistic
action to swim like a real baitfish.
Overall, there are three sizes in
the series (6", 8", 10") and there are six new
6" lures for 2007 in baitfish-imitating models such as
Threadfin Shad, Gizzard Shad, Rainbow Trout, Hitch (a California
baitfish), Sunfish and Baby Bass.
6" Threadfin Shad
6" Gizzard Shad
6" Rainbow Trout
6" California Hitch
6" Baby Bass
The belly has a magnetic hook
holder and a newly-designed Platinum Treble Claw to not tear up
Jason Scott, Bassdozer and Mark Mendez,
owner of SwimbaitNation.com
Jason says, "An important
consideration in creating these lures was the action as seen from
behind and what the fish will see." Jason showed me a video
of the lure actions as seen from behind, the tail view going away
from a fish, and the action looked awesome from that angle.
"Every tine on our
newly-designed Platinum Treble Claw is on the bottom plane,"
says Jason. On a normal hook, at least one tine rides up and
that's often embedded in or rides up against the bait's body
where it can't help hook a fish and it tears the bait up. With
our new hook, all barbs are down and we haven't lost any fish yet
with it We're finding a high frequency of two barbs sunk in the
mouth and a fish is not able to get leverage by playing a barb on
one side versus a barb on the other side, as in a normal
Newly-designed Platinum Treble Claw
Castaic also debuted their new
Swimbait / Big Bait Rods. This is a new line of swimbait rods in
3 styles. Who would you rather buy a swimbait rod from? Someone
who makes rods or makes swimbaits? The three styles correspond to
Castaic's three series of Platinum Series Swimbaits in 10",
8" and 6" sizes. There's one rod specific to each size
"Okuma did them and did a
good job," says Jason. "Most rods that guys use are
just too stiff to throw swimbaits. The force of most rods causes
swimbaits to tear apart on a cast. These new Castaic rods have
the right action for our swimbaits."
Is it live? Or is it Castaic?
"The original 6" Creme
Scoundrel worm and the company's Lit'l Fishie type swimbaits are
our two top sellers," says Leslie Thompson. The number one
color in the Scoundrel is the original earthworm tone, now
available in Creme's Whacky Stick. This earthworm color is pretty
unique to Creme. With the recent move that many top pros are
making toward larger worms, the 8' Creme Scoundrel in earthworm
looks to be a natural (pun intended).
8" Creme Scoundrel, 6" Creme
Scoundrel and Whacky Stick in original Earthworm color
Daiichi offered several new
convenience hook kits. One with multiple sizes and styles of
their most popular red worm hooks. Another kit had 40 of
Daiichi's top-selling trebles for crankbaits, spoons, topwaters
and all bass lures that use treble hooks. In one convenient kit,
an angler can get most all the hooks he or she may need to
refurbish all their lures - or to replenish all the worm hooks
they may need for the season.
Bill Liston had two new reels to
talk about at ICAST. First, the new TD Zillion model, including
Daiwa's first ever reel with a 7:1 speed ratio that eats up 28
inches of line with each handle revolution. It's priced in the
$259 range. Daiwa also introduced accessorizing kits and
components to upgrade and stylize the Zillion, including add-on
reel handle grips, oversized drag star and more parts upgrade
Much of the focus at Daiwa's booth
centered around Daiwa's new top-of-the-line Steez reel, rod and
line for 2007. Weighing only 5.5 ounces, the Steez baitcasting
reel is the lightest in the business. "As far as we know,
nothing else comes close in lightness, no other reel,"
claims Bill Liston proudly. "We also feel the Steez may be
the lightest spinning reel on the market in its size range."
Both make maximum use of magnesium frames, rotors and spools
wherever possible plus titanium parts and other lightweight
components. The Steez baitcaster is in the $459 range and $499
for the spinning Steez.
Daiwa's Steez Baitcasting Reel
Daiwa's Steez Spinning Reel
"Steez" is a hip hop
term meaning "Style with ease" says Bill Liston. The
reels have matching Steez Rods to go with them. They are
extremely light weight rods. The blanks have an extremely low
resin content. "There's a unique way only we have to
dispense maximum adhesion of the graphite fibers with minimum
resin and therefore, minimum weight. It's hard to get data on
other brands of rods, yet we believe the Steez rods are some of
the lightest around," says Bill. "All the rod fittings
are lightweight aluminum, and the trigger grip and reel seat are
hollowed out except in areas where structural strength is needed.
Even the foam used feels very dense to feel it, yet the foam grip
is lighter in weight than even Hypalon," reveals Liston.
Daiwa plans for about 5-6 Steez rod models for spinning, and as
many for baitcasting.
Bryan Yamane showed me Daiwa's
matching new Steez fluorocarbon line, which is weed green
colored. This tone is the favorite color line of many anglers,
myself included. It's just a very natural color, unobtrusive, and
belongs there. Noteworthy, as far as I know, is the Steez line
may be one of the first of (the only way to describe it) a kind
of co-fluorocarbon in that it has a soft outer fluorocarbon layer
for ease of casting and spool control, plus it is more abrasion
resistant outside, and an inner core of fluorocarbon that gives
tensile strength. The Steez fluorocarbon will be available in 5
to 20 lb test sizes.
Bryan also showed me a new style
of Daiwa braided line that the company plans to market for
saltwater surf fishing first. However, the line will be made
available for freshwater bass fishing at some time in 2007 too.
This is a new style of braid that is silky soft, super flexible
and incredible smooth. The line almost floats in the air. Have
you ever seen spiders "flying" by using a piece of
spider silk to get across a lake or from one place to another.
That is the only way I know to describe the softness and
smoothness of this new braid. It's not like any other braided
line you have ever seen before. It's radically different, and if
it works, will almost be a new kind of superline. Comparing it to
"traditional" braids seems to be the proverbial
"apples and oranges" comparison, although the abrasion
resistance is about the same and knot strength about the same,
says Bryan Yamane.
Daiwa has recently lowered it's
retail price on its premium TD series of hard baits such as the
TD Vibration, TD Minnow and others. The TD line of hard baits are
great, but also hard to afford, until now. Recently, prices have
been reduced from the $19 range to the $14.99 range, making the
fine TD lure series more comparable with price levels of other
premium hard baits on the market
New lures that Bryan showed me in
the TD series include the TD Double Clutch which was developed
5-6 years ago and a hot-seller in Japan. This suspending jerkbait
is called the Double Clutch because if you give it a slight jerk,
it will work down to 3 feet. If you give it a harder jerk, it
will work down to 6 feet and suspend at either level. This one
lure does the work of two - a shallow and a mid-depth jerkbait.
A second new TD jerkbait is called
the Stop and Go. It appears fairly similar to a Pointer, but the
main difference is the thinner lip and internally, fixed weights
that cause a slight wobble to materialize on its own before it
stops so it wobbles on its own even after an angler has paused
it, claims Bryan.
Another new feature in the TD
line-up are new finishes, some of which have internal painting,
or the color patterns painted on the inside, not on the outside.
So the paint or finish can never weather or get scraped up by
hooks, fish teeth, etc.
New TD Double Clutch (top) and new Stop and
The Mouthwash Popper is already on
the market since earlier this season, says Bryan. The body style
is very artistic and in a sense, it is a Japanese art style lure.
It has a big lip and makes a big, big sound as it really moves -
and churns - water, says Bryan. It has a through-hole in the
lower lip, that jets water out its gills. The Mouthwasher is a
little bigger and better casting than a standard size popper.
As if that wasn't enough, Daiwa
has introduced a new series of six affordable hardbaits that will
sell in the $4.95 price range. One, the "Peanut"
crankbait is already famous in Japan where it has been producing
many fish for happy anglers for 15-20 years now. The Peanut
rattles and has a tight wobble. There's a shallow-diving Peanut
that gets 3 feet deep and a longer-billed Peanut model gets 5
feet deep. The new series includes the Shad Master deep diving
crank, the Dr. Minnow floating rip bait, and more. These baits
are customized all around, have premium finishes, VMC hooks, and
it will be hard for the average angler to really see the
difference between these new baits and our TD line, says Bryan
Yamane. "What lets us offer these baits at a much lower
price level is they are not as heavily optimized with the
sophisticated internal weight transfer systems and such that puts
the premium TD series in a class by itself. Otherwise, it's hard
to look at them and see a difference," explains Bryan.
Dr. Minnow (top), Game Vibe (second), Shad
Master (third) and venerable Peanut (bottom)
Last but not least, Daiwa's new
Dead or Alive swimbait swims like a dying trout. Inspired by
following the hatchery truck. If you watch when they dump fresh
stocker trout in, there are always some that do not make it, that
appear in bad shape, not very happy, swimming on their sides on
the surface. They can't even maintain their equilibrium. These
are always the first to go, the easiest pickings, and what the
new Dead Or Alive is designed to look like. Will retail in the
$34.99 to $39.99 price range.
Dead Or Alive swimbait acts like it just
fell off the hatchery truck
Deps, from Japan, presented
several of their new products for 2007 in the booth of their US
distributor, Optimum Baits.
These are beautiful
lure designs with unique actions. Two of the lures, the Basirisky
hollow rubber frog and the bigger Buzzjet 96 debuted at ICAST
last year. However, all Deps lures have only recently become
available in the USA. Brand new product introductions this year
at ICAST include the smaller Buzzjet Jr and the multi-talented
Radscale which can be fished either as a popper or a walk-the-dog
type bait. The Radscale is two baits in one!
First shown at ICAST
last year, the Basirisky hollow rubber frog has just entered the
USA. It's two curved legs look like flukes on a pirate ship
anchor - and they cause the Basirisky to crawl across the surface
in a manner remindful of a Heddon Krazy Krawler or an Arbogast
The Basirisky comes
in two sizes. Both have a molded-in belly weight. The larger
Basirisky 70 is 3" long and weighs 3/4 ounce. I guess you
can consider the 70 to be your standard size grass mat frog.
The smaller Basirisky
60 is 2-1/2" long and weighs 1/2 ounce. This is the size
that many anglers are favoring for clear water, open weedless
water, and calm water. More of a finesse frog shall we say.
What I appreciate
most about the Basirisky is that its design is so fresh and new
and different - and solves a serious problem with frogs. Most
anglers cannot easily work a frog to make it "walk" but
all one needs to do is reel the Basirisky, and it does the
walking for you!
A typical frog bait
require skilled rod action to make them move in an enticing
lifelike manner. On the other hand, the Basirisky will crawl
across the surface in an active paddling type motion just by
reeling in line slowly. No rod action is required. All the action
is built in to the Basirisky. Just reel slowly, and the Basirisky
provides all the action.
This is a new style
of grass frog bait, and the difference in action has not been
seen by bass in the USA before. In the short time that they have
been in the hands of anglers here, a growing number of local
tournaments have been won on the Basirisky... and won with the
Click here to see
the Basirisky catch fish on video.
Basirisky debuted at ICAST last year, but
has only recently become available in USA
Next new Deps lure
style is the bigger Buzzjet 96 (first shown at ICAST last year)
and the debut this year of the smaller Buzzjet Junior (shown
below) both of which have recently become available in the USA.
The Buzzjet is a brand new and unique style of topwater lure. It
has been voted Japan's number one wake bait by Japan's Lure
Magazine readers. The Buzzjet waddles desperately on the surface,
like a wounded, exhausted, flopping and gasping baitfish that
can't recover and can't swim back under the surface to get away.
The Buzzjet mimics a big baitfish pinned helplessly on the
surface. It's such an easy meal for big bass.
It has a crankbait
type lip... most unusual for a topwater, and the pork chop-shaped
body is quite different. Throw in the tail prop, and it becomes a
lure in a class by itself. The fact the Buzzjet can be classified
a topwater, a big swimbait, a wakebait, a propbait and has a
crankbait lip indicates just how unique this bait is. There's no
easy way to describe it, except to say it looks like a ham hock
with hooks. Fish in the USA have never seen anything quite like
Whereas the bigger
Buzzjet 96 has been available in the USA for several months now,
the smaller Buzzjet Jr. hasn't been available here even that
long. The Buzzjet Jr. works equally as well and has the same
action as the bigger Buzzjet 96. The Jr. attracts more and
smaller fish - not only trophy bass, but average size bass. It is
not overly long - about 3 inches - but very thick across,
deep-bodied and weighs 1/2 ounce. It is a compact, stubby bait
that casts well, has incredible action, and is the perfect size
to appeal to good-sized, chunky largemouth, smallmouth and
Out of the package,
the Buzzjet Jr. arrives with one size smaller hooks than most US
anglers like. This is not an issue for Japanese anglers who tend
to use lighter tackle than their US counterparts, and the bass in
Japan have no objection to securely holding onto the smaller
hooks either. However, US anglers have been switching out the
hooks for larger ones, with no depreciable effect on the
bass-attracting action of the Buzzjet Jr.
Deps Buzzjet Jr is new this year
Next new lure from
Deps is the multi-functional Radscale. Like the Basirisky and the
Buzzjet, the Radscale also is quite a marvel. It too demonstrates
thinking outside the box. Several other brands of walking
baits have cupped or scooped or flattened faces to push water or
make a head splash as they walk. Really however, the Radscale
appears in a class by itself because it alone (among
"walking" baits) can truly be used as a popper or
splasher or spitter. Other walking baits used in the USA cannot
really act strictly as poppers (although a few do have faces to
make splashes). The Radscale seems unique in that it can be used
in either a popping retrieve or a walking retrieve, depending on
what the angler wants to do with it.
At 4-1/2 inches long,
weighing 3/4 oz, the Radscale is a fairly big, heavy,
distance-casting topwater lure.
As you'll see if you
click on the film clips below, the Radscale walks-the-dog about
as good as many other high end Japanese walking baits. It has a
more sinuous, snake-like or S-shaped surface walk than most
others. It's not a mechanical, stiff, side-to-side metronome.
And that's not all
the Radscale does. The Radscale sits tail down in the water with
it's broad flat face poised right on the water line. This makes
it splash and spit like a popper. This means you can walk it
along the surface, and when a fish rises behind it, stop the
Radscale and pause it and pop it to finesse the following fish.
That's tough to do with most other walking baits.
Or, you can strictly
use it like a popper, not walking it at all, just popping it
along. The Radscale will splash and spit. That's almost
impossible to do with other walking baits.
Click below to see
Radscale walk the dog
second clip of the Radscale walk the dog
Radscale worked like a popper
Radscale combining walking, popping and a whole cacophony of
Enter the Radscale!
It's two lures in one. You can walk it or pop it. Or you can
combine walking and popping. Try that with any other topwater
lure! It's a new design, a new twist.
The latest import from Deps - the
multi-talented Radscale is two lures in one
Falcon Lures did not get to go to
ICAST this year but Bill Sattler sent word of a new size jig
added to Falcon's jig line-up for 2007.
It's no less than a 2 oz jig
they've added because of requests from fishermen in need of a
heavier weighted jig to penetrate heavy cover and hydrilla mats.
Nicknamed the “Brick," this heavy jig is designed to
penetrate the heaviest matted vegetation or cover and to fish
deep grass. It features a weedless head design, heavy duty weed
guard and two magnum rattles, armed with a Mustad Ultra Point
extra strong 7/0 hook.
Make a wish list of everything you
would ever want in a kayak, any feature, accessory, convenience,
plus the ability to stand up in it. You've got it. The stern
section of the Freedom Hawk Kayak has opening sponsons that
stabilize the kayak, and a football field goal-shaped metal tube
that you insert upright into the hull on both sides (ahead of the
seat) to brace against to stand up to cast. When you're paddling
or not standing up, the sponsons can be closed up, effectively
like a standard kayak. The sponsons are detachable for cartopping
or stowing the kayak in between outings.
But that's not all. It comes with
a two-piece joinable push pole (12' when joined) that clips out
of the way into a recessed slot in the deck when not needed.
Side-mounted paddle clips keep the paddle out of the way when not
needed. Two flush-mounted rod holders are within reach behind the
seat to troll or prop a rod up while changing lures. Two
watertight storage compartments (one in each sponson) for all
those things you don't want to get wet. A front anchor boom that
allows you to put down or pull up the anchor while seated. The
anchor boom folds in when not needed. Heavy-duty adjustable foot
braces on both sides you can position exactly where you want
them. It's a good 'yak.
Reacting quickly to the growing
popularity of shakey jig worms, G. Loomis introduced two new
Shakey Head Spinning Rods - the SHR821 (6-10 lb test) and SHR822
(8-12 lb test). As popular as shakey jig fishing has become (it's
very popular), there aren't many tactic-specific rods for shakey
jigs yet. After reviewing these two new Loomis Shakey Head
Spinning Rods at ICAST, I certainly would like to get one of my
Ripping lipless crankbaits in
grass is also a hot tactic for top pros in recent years. Always
on top of the changing trends in fishing, Bruce Holt showed me
the new CBR906 medium/heavy crankbait series rod. "This rod
is almost an oxymoron (opposite) to the normally soft action
graphite we put into our crankbait rods," confessed Bruce.
"We were thinking we still had more work to do, but our pro
anglers who were ripping Rat-L-Traps and lipless crankbaits in
the grass to get a reaction bite told us, 'No, you nailed it.
Don't change a thing.' This is the perfect Rat-L-Trap ripping
rod," admits Bruce.
Bruce Holt holds new Shakey Head Spinning
Rod (top) and new crankbait rod for ripping lipless baits
On other news,
Loomis' entire new Mossy Back Series mirrors the higher quality
series of 19-20 higher-priced rods, yet at a mid-price range,
about a $100 lower price point. "We've identified a new
manufacturing process that permits blending of IMX sensitivity
and GL3 strength at an economical cost," says Holt. That
enables Loomis to offer a more affordable series of rods that
mirror the actions and many features of their higher quality,
higher-priced rod series at about $100 less per rod.
It's tough enough to skip a soft
bait under docks and overhanging trees even if the bait stays in
place, even if it never did ball up in a wad on the hook... but
that's often what happens when skipping. So it was great to find
out about Gamakatsu's new Skip Gap Hook. The company claims you
can throw it hard, slam it off the water when skipping, bounce it
off stuff on the way under. It's almost impossible for soft baits
to come over the offset and down the shank of the hook, boasts
the company. It has a unique offset shape, called a V Bend, that
holds soft baits firmly in place so they do not come off when
skipping them under docks and bouncing them through thick cover.
Baits last longer and work better, and the hook even keeps those
super soft baits from sliding down, says Gamakatsu.
Gamakatsu's new Skip Gap hook
Another great new concept is
Gamakatsu's Ringed Superline EWG. It's the company's famous
Superline EWG with a solid one-piece ring attached that gives
soft baits a lot more action when rigged on heavy line. Yet it
gives the angler a solid connection to the bait. What a great
Gamakatsu's Ringed Superline EWG hook
I caught up with Byron Childers,
Gambler's Sales Manager at the new product showcase. "The
Swim Blade and Cane Toad have been on sale since earlier in 2006.
In fact they are currently our two top sellers," says Byron.
The Swim Blade is a skirted jig
coupled with a split ring to a swimming blade. The Brush Blade is
the Swim Blade with the addition of a brush guard to let one fish
it in very snaggy places.
Cane Toad: "Chris Lane has
had fantastic success with the Cane Toad, finishing highly in top
events this season. Chris has really helped us propel sales of
the Cane Toad. Plus once people try it, they keep on using it.
It's that good. The best-selling colors of the Cane Toad are the
green pumpkin/pearl swirl, black/white swirl and bullfrog
colors," says Byron.
New also is Gambler's Loco Lizard.
It's not your typical slender, slinky lizard. The Loco Lizard has
a heavily-ridged body and legs remindful of the Cane Toad, except
in a compact lizard shape. "Overall it's a smaller package,
but still a bulky, very active bait," says Byron. The Loco
Lizard comes in some of the same swirl colors as the Cane Toad.
Gambler also introduced a longer
8" size of the company's popular 5" Flapp'n Tail Worm.
"The new, larger 8"
Flapp'n Tail Worm is more of a swimming worm when used with say a
3/16 oz Florida Rig sinker. It's an excellent big fish bait"
Byron Childers smiles over Gambler's Cane
Toad's market success
GYCB's Larry Evans (left). Gary Yamamoto
(third). Eliud Garcia (second) and Jose Garcia (fourth) operate
Best For Bass, GYCB's distributor in Mexico.
The new Swimming
Senko is the Yamamoto bait that everyone wanted to know more
about at ICAST. Gary Yamamoto has designed and tested the
Swimming Senko with high-scoring results on the FLW Pro Tour in
recent months during which Gary has uncovered and refined several
hot rigging methods that he finds work best with the new Swimming
Senko. He uses it differently than the standard Senko. In-depth
information from Gary about how best to rig and fish the Swimming
Senko (plus the lure itself) will be made available to customers
later this year, says the company.
Sensational Swimming Senko
Although designed for
saltwater, Yamamoto's 5 inch Swimbait will be a boon to anglers
seeking big bronzeback and oversized spotted bass everywhere.
There's a lot of plastic put into this bait. It's one of
Yamamoto's largest offerings to date in terms of plastic injected
into it. I feel it will hold a special appeal to big smallmouth
and large spotted bass everywhere, especially in clear to stained
water. Oh yes, largemouth will love it too! If you want some
good-sized spots and smallies (largemouth too), toss this baby.
It's everything a Yamamoto bait is, but even better because it is
connecting the tail to the body is so thin as to be a hinge,
causing tremendous flopping, even corkscrew twisting and
untwisting action of the tail. The innovative tail is sharply
chiseled into stairsteps. So there's half the plastic chiseled
out of the tail yet twice the surface area of traditional
swimbait tails. Less tail weight. More surface. A thin hinge.
More wobble, even on super-slow falls.
5 inch Swimbait ~ not just for saltwater
The new Shad Shaped
Worm is a finesse bait for dropshot, shaking or any form of
finesse. It's not big at all, except on results. Shin Fukae used
it to win $200,000 first place prize in the FLW Tour event on
Beaver Lake, Arkansas in April.
Shad Shaped Worm
Here's an excerpt
from an article by Ned Kedhe, a well-respected outdoors freelance
writer. It's about Shin Fukae prefishing on Beaver Lake, Arkansas
while practicing to win the FLW event there. Kedhe's article
appeared in The Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper.
amazing sights were watching him catch bass, including a 3-pound
smallmouth bass, inside a labyrinth of flooded cedar and oak
trees with light-line methods.
When Fukae probed
the flooded timber, he used 3/32-ounce shaky-head jig adorned
with a four-inch green pumpkin Yamamoto 68L [Shad Shaped] worm on
a ES50MLF St. Croix spinning rod and STL300FB Shimano Stella reel
spooled with eight-pound test Duel monofilament. When he worked
terrains devoid of timber, he switched to an ES66ML St. Croix rod
and six-pound test Duel fluorocarbon line, and the other
components were identical to the ones he used in the timber.
Fukae has a unique
approach to retrieving his shaky-head jig and worm, which is
implemented by not allowing it to touch the bottom. Throughout
the retrieve, he attempts to keep it slowly swimming or gliding a
foot or two above the bottom. As it swims, he occasionally lifts
and drops the rod about a foot, causing the jig and worm to rise
and fall. During the entire retrieve, he shakes it about 70
percent of the time by twitching his wrist, and the bulk of the
bass are beguiled when the jig and worm is falling."
Shin Fukae propelled the new Shad Shape
Worm to the winners circle before the product is even released!
Rich Lillard showed me Hart's new
X2 Spinnerbait. It incorporates an additional wire arm instead of
the traditional single arm, allowing for multiple blade
combinations and presenting the appearance of a school of
baitfish. I like the looks of it. It certainly appears to stack
up to four blades in a better presentation that stringing them
all on a single long arm. Nice concept, Rich!
The photo of the new Wooden Magnum
and Super Magnum Zara Spook simply doesn't do it justice.
Designed for musky and peacock bass, but I can't envision any
other lure I'd rather see a huge bass smash. This is a big bait.
You'll need a heavy rod to jerk it all day you'll be tired.
Actually, I don't see how you can work it for too long without
collapsing in an exhausted heap on the casting deck! There are
two enormous sizes, 7" and 8" long. Hand-painted and
equipped with multiple loud rattles, heavy hooks and
I've admired Kanji's lures the
past few years at ICAST yet it seems to me the company has a low
key presence in the USA. Of most interest to me this year was to
see Kanji's new Accel 70 Jerkbait. It's the first high-end
jerkbait I've noticed with a circuit board lip. Internally, it
has a weight transfer system for action and casting distance.
Kanji's new Accel 70 Jerkbait has a circuit
The Kanji Frog also
appeared to be a good one, and had an angled-down line tie eye
and concave cup type shape underneath its chin to make it walk.
Most other frogs are not optimized to walk like that.
Scott Smith was excited over
rolling out the company's new carbon steel tube covering that
slides right over the top of an existing boat seat pedestal base.
It comes with a black insert sleeve for highlighting and inner
bushings for a snug fit. It's called the XPC or Xtreme Pedestal
It has a company name (or can have
any name) cut into it, and is layered in lustrous triple chrome.
"Originally, we marketed the product to boat companies, to
have the boat company name displayed. In the future, we are
figuring out how to offer custom lettering cut-out at the
customer's request," suggests Scott. "the possibility
hit us when we demonstrated the product on TV on Bass Center. Top
pro Gerald Swindle, one of the Bass Center hosts, asked if we
could make a pair saying "G-Man" (his nickname) that he
could put on his boat seats."
|Lake Fork Tackle
Kits were a new theme in the
industry at ICAST this year, and Connie and Tommy Kilpatrick
kicked off their company's first ICAST appearance with Lake Fork
Tackle Repair's Reel Maintenance Kit including all the
lubricants, tools and materials to perform anything from
between-trip grooming to major overhauls on your reels. Included
with every kit is Lake Fork Tackle Repair's industry
award-winning video on how to maintain and service your reels
like the professionals do.
Bassdozer and Connie Kilpatrick
For over thirty years, Lee Sisson
has lead the way in wooden lures. One of his latest creations is
the P-20 balsa crankbait which weighs one ounce and dives an
honest 20 feet, says Lee.
"I created a way to be
certain how deep a crankbait dives under actual fishing
conditions," claims Lee. "I strung a metal pole between
two ropes, suspended by buoys on the ropes on each end to hold
the pole up. The pole suspended horizontally underwater between
the two buoys. The ropes were marked so I was able to lower each
side into the water foot by foot, lowering the suspended metal
pole deeper each time. You may think of it as kind of like a
football field goal post, except underwater and the lowering
lines were marked off in one foot increments," explains Lee.
"I cast the crankbait between the buoys. Each time I felt
the crankbait hit the metal pole, I lowered the pole another
"After 17 feet, there was so
much bow in the line that you would lose touch with it. After 17
feet I never felt the thump of this big crankbait coming over the
iron bar," says Lee "I was about to give up since I
just couldn't feel it. Then the crankbait got hung up as it was
actually going deeper than 17 feet, deep enough to loop around
the bar, wrap around it and get stuck. That gave me the idea to
take a monofilament line and string it across above the metal
pole, so as to intentionally catch the crankbait with the mono
line. That worked. All you feel is a little added pressure,
almost none. But what you can see are the buoys on top start to
jump and move like a bobber cork when the crankbait grabbed and
flipped over the strung mono line," says Lee.
"I couldn't believe the P-20
crankbait! It was hitting an honest, measured 20 feet! I had to
make sure it was really true. There are a couple of reasons that
allow the P-20to go so deep. First, the lip goes into the body on
a pretty straight plane. The straighter you can get it, the
deeper it will go. I figured out how to make the lip join the
body, make it all work to maximize depth. Second, the bill itself
is longer, deeper, thinner, and has less drag so it doesn't pull
too hard. It cuts the water."
"Another benefit of the long
square lip is it protects the lure, deflects off wood, especially
when fishing deep timber. When the lip hits wood, it flexes and
bounces the crankbait back off like a springboard."
P-20 Deep Diver
Lee's best tips to get crankbaits
- A long cast gives more
opportunity to get deeper.
- Use as light a line as you can.
The difference between 10 and 14 lb test was 2-1/2 to 3 feet with
the P-20. Lee assumes you may get deeper with a thinner diameter
line, but line surface and drag also factor into the equation.
All tests were done with mono. Lee didn't try any depth tests
with braid or fluoro.
- Hold rod tip just under the
surface. Having the rod tip an inch below the surface, you can
gain 8 inches to a foot of depth because of the surface drag
where the line cuts through the surface tension of the water
throughout the entire retrieve.
- The truer (straighter) you get
your crankbait to swim, the deeper it will dive since it is not
putting all that force into fighting to go sideways.
Next, Lee's Drop Shot Crankbait
was also designed for fishing deep water, by weighting it with a
dropshot type sinker affixed to the belly hook. "Thirty
years ago, crankbaits only went six feet deep. There was no such
thing as a deep-diving crankbait that had been invented yet. So
we would take a big bell sinker, loop it on the line up front of
a crankbait, so the line ran freely through the sinker eye. That
way we let the crankbait float up and then work it back down to
the sinker, which was when you would use the crankbait to move
the sinker forward a few feet, let it float up again and crank it
back down until a fish hit. So that gave me the idea to use a
sinker again to sink a crankbait," says Lee.
By the time I got the Drop Shot
Crankbait built, the Florida spawning season was done. Fellows up
north took some of the first Drop Shot Crankbaits, and went bed
fishing in 2 feet of water with them. So that blew my whole idea.
My bait that I designed for 30 feet of water may now become
better known for catching fish in 2 feet of water," laughs
Lee. "On a bed, it just kind of bobs there like a duck
hunter's decoy. The way it works is it almost wants to float just
up off the bottom, and it will raise up the front of the weight,
which almost causes a pivot point for the crankbait to bob in
"Getting back to it's
intended use in deep water, I like to sweep the rod, feel it
working, scuttling along. Then I like to let it stop which is
when it often gets hit." Lee thinks vibration patterns are
real important to catch fish. Whereas a jig just kind of hops or
a dropshot worm just waves, the Drop Shot Crankbait gives off
vibrations that fish haven't felt coming from a lure down that
Sisson's Drop Shot Crankbait
WP2 Weedless Premium Shallow.
"This is the old PB2 (old BB2), a crankbait that is already
known for coming through grass and brush better than most. Still,
weeds would get on the lip and hooks. I've developed light wire
weedguards to protect the lip and hooks from collecting
weeds," says Lee. Especially the lip just sheds weeds off it
by the shovel-load. There have been some wireguard hooks like
this on the market in the past, but those were way too stiff (the
wire). The light wire I use, it doesn't take much pressure to
collapse it. 90% of the time it just comes through weeds with no
build-up on the hooks. In wood, there's nothing to get hung up
on, except if you get it squeezed into a notch in a V limb or the
line gets buried under the peeling bark and splintered end of a
stump, it will get stuck. Otherwise, there's no real loss in
hook-setting ability due to the very light wire," says Lee.
WP2 Weedless Crankbait
Three more new wood baits by Lee
- Twitchin' Balsa Stick Bait.
"Somebody will win a tournament at the right time, write a
great story and this will be the next new thing, although
twitching lipped minnows on top is over thirty years old,"
says Lee. "This is one of my personal favorite ways to fish,
twitchin' minnows on top, and I just wanted to share that joy
with everyone, hence this new bait," says Lee.
- Balsa Walking Stick. "Casts
like a bullet. Made of balsa. Really good action. It casts so far
it is really mushy and hard to work the bait properly from such a
far distance at first. It casts so far out there, it's like the
rod tip's too soft, just too much bow and drag in the line to
work it right until it gets closer at a normal distance"
says Lee. "Then it walks great."
"Everybody has a frog these days. This one kicks up a
commotion like a buzzbait but when it gets to holes in the grass
and pockets, you can work it more slowly like a regular
frog," smiles Lee.
Twitchin' Balsa Stick Bait (top), Balsa
Walking Stick (center) and Turbo Frog (bottom)
There are not many who know as
much about wood lures as Lee Sisson.
Lucky Craft continues to pile on
the premium hard plastics with new signature series hard baits
signed off by Gerald Swindle, Skeet Reese and Marty Stone. At
this time, Lucky Craft has something like 12 topwater hard baits,
20 hard jerkbaits, 22 lipped and 9 lipless crankbaits, 2 jointed
swimbait models for bass, plus a couple of wood models. That's
somewhere around 67 premium hard baits for bass fishing from
New for 2007 are Skeet Reese's
"Skeet Trap" tight-wobbling square-billed crankbait.
Marty Stone's new crankbait is remindful of a smaller (1/4 oz)
BDS series crankbait. Gerald Swindle's wide-wobbling crankbait
comes in a shallow diver and a deep runner. Also, a new Fat CB
BDS 0 wakebait style lure is new.
New Skeet Reese Signature Crankbait
New Marty Stone Signature Crankbait
New Gerald Swindle Shallow Runner
New Gerald Swindle Deep Diver
New Fat CB BDS 0 Super Shallow Model
In it's Ultimate Real Bait series
of jointed swimbaits, Lucky Craft offers two models for 2007. The
very latest, the 1 oz Real 130 has a realistic face, open mouth,
makes big use of balancer fins all the way around and a
And you thought those high-end
crankbaits cost big bucks? Have you ever seen a million dollar
fishing lure? That's just one of the many stunning fishing lure
jewelry creations that Macdaddy's had on display at ICAST this
MacDaddy's precious metal and
stunning gemstone lures are not only magnificent works-of-art
jewelry, but are also designed to catch fish - even the million
dollar lure can be fished with! How good is your knot? MacDaddy's
willput the bling on your string. Precious metal lures (platinum,
gold, silver) are inlaid and set with diamonds, rubies,
sapphires, emeralds and cubic zirconia (for budget-minded
Teri Conrad, Beverly and Gary Yamamoto pose
with MacDaddy's million dollar lure, over 2 pounds of gold and
encrusted with 4,000 diamonds and rubies. This lure will actually
be fished with in an offshore tournament in October 2006!
Teri and Beverly sparkle in beautiful gold
and gemstone fishing lure necklaces. Mac McBurney of MacDaddy's
presented Beverly Yamamoto with the necklace she's wearing as a
special tribute to honor the many fine contributions her husband
Gary Yamamoto has made to promote sportfishing.
One of my favorite
fish attractants (MegaStrike Fish Attractant gel) was Bobby
Uhrig's initial foray and success in the bass tackle market, when
Bobby launched the product a few years back. A year or two ago,
Bobby acquired the Cavitron Buzzbait company from his friend, pro
angler Lee Bailey Jr, in order that Lee could leave his company
in Bobby's good hands while Lee focused on pro fishing.
However, the new
Evolution Jig really is Uhrig's first shot at creating a brand
new lure concept, and what a shot it was! The Evolution Jig won
the award for the Best New Hard Lure this year.
"It's hard to
break into the jig market because it's so easy for almost anyone
to get started, there is so much competition and essentially
similar jigs from many companies. I knew in order to be
successful that I needed to differentiate myself with something
new and evolutionary, a quantum leap in form and function"
The award-winning Evolution Jig
falls horizontally and when it hits bottom, the "skid
plate" underneath acts like a fulcrum. "Every time you
lift it or crawl it, the head lifts up, and when you relax the
line, the head drops but the tail raises slowly, like a flag
going up," says innovator Bobby Uhrig. "All you have to
do is move it 1/4 of an inch, and it stands up again. The
weedguard, being fluorocarbon, disappears underwater, and the
skirt is put on over the front of the jig head, where the skirt
sits ahead of the weedguard."
"In testing all my products,
MegaStrike attractant, Cavitron buzzbaits, and in developing the
new Evolution Jig, I spend an awful lot of time underwater in
scuba gear swimming with the fishes, and with underwater fish
photographer, Tim Simos, my best friend since boyhood,"
"What we witnessed when
testing the Evolution Jig is that, in dense cover, when a fish is
holed up in there, and you drop a jig on it, the strike is an
instant reaction strike. Think of this, someone suddenly tossing
a softball to you when you do not expect it. Without thinking,
you're going to catch it. It's an instinctive reaction, and
that's just what Simos and I see bass do when a jig suddenly is
tossed at an unsuspecting bass holed up in heavy cover. The bass
instinctively reacts to stop it, catch it in it's big baseball
mitt of a mouth. We feel the fish primarily wants to stop it from
being able to dart away into a nook or cranny in the thick cover
where the bass is too big to follow it. It has not yet had any
time to validate whether it is edible prey or not. Remember when
the softballs tossed to you out of the blue. There's no time to
think. You just catch it. So we feel bass holed up in heavy cover
react like that. They just catch the jig," suggests Uhrig.
"In open water however, Tim
and I don't always witness that same thing. In open water, a bass
can follow a jig for a long time, circle around it to see it from
several angles, turn away from it, turn around and come back to
it and so on. It's for these jig fishing situations especially
that we've refined the profile, fall and action of the Evolution
Jig. In studying fish and jigs, I felt the profile is always
important, even in thick cover for a reaction strike, and
especially in open water. I felt the traditional fiberguard was a
negative on most all other jigs. Not part of the profile the bass
wanted at all. To eliminate that negative, we came up with the
concept of an invisible fluorocarbon fiberguard, moved it
underneath the skirt to make it an even more hidden aspect of the
profile, yet its still weedless and snagless. Next, we moved the
skirt far forward. Most traditional jig heads disrupt the profile
also. So we hid most of the jig head under the skirt where the
fiberguard is also hidden, and the hook is hidden too. Now, the
profile is mainly the skirt and choice of trailer. We eliminated
the unnatural, negative aspects of the head, hook and fiberguard
from the profile. They effectively don't appear there to the
Uhrig continues, "Now we had
the profile perfect, but that only gets you to first base with a
fish, maybe second, which is very important. You do have to get
the profile accepted first. Once you get that, the clincher with
a fish becomes action or movement, ideally enhanced with scent
that validates, yes, this is alive, and it commits to eat it at
that point. The action we developed to get the fish to validate
and commit to the Evolution Jig is that every time you move the
jig and let it rest again, it seesaws from head up with line
tension to tail up with line looseness. You can do it with rod
movement, or you can just drag it, and it will do it on its own.
You can say it looks like a craw raising its pincers in a
defensive stance, or you can say it mimics a baitfish or critter
"tailing" to root something out of the bottom. Bass
hate to see anything feeding in front of them. It peeves them.
Most other jigs just kind of lay there like logs," winks
There are two styles, three sizes
of lighter finesse heads and three sizes of heavy cover heads
(3/8, 1/2, 3/4). All made of environmentally-safe and non-toxic
tin, not lead.
The Evolution Jig comes 2 per pack, both
dressed with skirts (trailers not included).
The Evolution Jig won the Best New Hard
Lure award at ICAST 2006
New hook designs from every hook
manufacturer get better every year, but it's my impression (or
opinion) that no hook company has improved as much or as quickly
as Mustad in recent years. The major success Mustad has had in
the bass fishing market revolves around its UltraPoint series of
hooks. Mustad began it's Ultra Point launch in the USA in 1997,
and UltraPoint's reputation and success is still growing strong.
In 2006 so far this year, UltraPoint sales are up 25% over the
prior year - a sizable growth rate.
One of Mustad's best-selling bass
hooks so far this year (shown below) is for fishing soft plastic
frogs. The black bayonet style gripper holds frogs securely, as
good or better than any other attachment method. The weight on
the shank (either 1/16 or 1/8) has a silicone insert, making it
movable, yet grips it in place after it's moved. For frogs, the
best position for the weight is shown below. This acts as a
counterbalance to keep the frog from spinning, a common problem
with frogs which this hook helps correct.
Mustad's best-selling bass hook in 2006,
for frogs. Model #91768UB
New bass hook models from Mustad
for 2007 include a new red weedless wacky hook, a thing of
New red weedless wacky Ultra Point hook
Also new for 2007 is a red version
of Mustad's Ultra Lock Light Wire Wide Gap rigging hook.
"The first time I used this new red hook was around thick
lily pads," says Harry Simmons. "On the third cast, I
found out how well it can hold up. I will admit I was a little
leery of the light wire, but I pulled a seven pounder out of
thick lily pads with no problem," boasts Harry. Hooks like
these leapfrog past hooks from only a few years back in that the
length of the shank between the eye and the offset bend is longer
than before, meaning it "freezes" more of the head of
the bait, helping prevent the bait from pulling back down the
hook. The "Z" bend is more extreme, also making it more
difficult for the plastic to pull past it, and the angle of the
hook point is canted a few degrees higher than the angle of the
pull point (line tie), making for better hook-ups. All these and
other new concepts were not found or not designed or not
expressed as well in hooks just a few years ago. New models of
all hooks from all manufacturers improve every year.
New red version of Ultra Lock Light Wire
hook for soft bait rigging (#38106R)
Another new hook from
Mustad for 2007 is this super heavy duty Ultra Point treble shown
below. I'm not so sure this monster hook for the biggest bass and
bass baits even has a hook model number yet. New hooks like these
have a habit of rendering prior hook models obsolete. Just look
New super heavy duty Ultra point treble for
the biggest bass and bass baits
The "jig hook
with no name" shown below is... "so new we do not have
a name or model number for it. We plan to produce it in standard
wire sizes like 3/0 and 4/0 for instance. Also in 4/0, 5/0, 6/0
heavy wire for them old boys in Texas, for getting under grass
mats," winks Harry Simmons. "We feel one of the hot
baits for this type jig hook is going to be the football jig in
2007," says Harry. "We expect the third generation of
shakey jigs heads will evolve in 2007 too, with much better
shakey jig head designs - and shakey jig hooks - than we've seen
so far," adds Harry knowingly.
Jig hook so new it hasn't a name or model
Steve Tagami also told me much
about Mustad's new Activate. This is Mustad's third generation of
pheromone-based product development. Mustad has a
pheromone-specific formula for walleye, trout, catfish and so on,
but the one we are interested in is the bass stuff.
"Kevin Van Dam and Denny
Brauer, the two all-time money winners on BASS have both done
pretty well with Activate during its developmental stages. They
have absolutely played a huge role in development of
Activate," reveals Steve. KVD loves it when sight fishing.
"I believe in it 100%. If I see a fish and have Activate
spray on the boat, I’ll catch that fish every time,” states
In his recent BASS win on Lake
Champlain just the weekend before ICAST, Denny Brauer used
Activate, feeling it helped him get dialed in, and Brauer was
even seen spraying it on his jig on TV coverage of his $102,000
Both environmentally and
ecologically safe, Steve says Activate is a scientific blend of
pheromones, fish oils and attractants proven to trigger a feeding
or strike response.
"Activate is not available
yet, but product formulations are finalized and should be
available on retail shelves by January 2007," explains Steve
Harry Simmons smiles over Activate bass
pheromone formula in aerosol spray and gel tube.
Northland is well known in the
north central region of the USA, yet not as well known in other
parts of the country
Nevertheless, John Crane showed me
two neat new items that are simple pleasures to me, probably two
of the nicest things I saw at ICAST this year, since both items
are for fishing methods I enjoy much.
John Crane wows the Dozer with two nifty
First was the new Sling Shot
sinker. The Sling Shot system has a barbell-shaped hollow rubber
core. You thread your line through the rubber core, tie on your
hook and bait up with a soft bait of your choice. Next there are
five weights - 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 ounce slotted bullet
sinkers that all fit onto the same one size of barbell-shaped
rubber core. So the sinker weights are quickly and easily
adjustable, even from cast to cast. The position of the sinker on
the line is also instantly adjustable - and locks in place by
twisting the two ends of the rubber barbell. What this does is
twist the rubber. it never twists the line, and the line never
comes in contact with the metal of the sinker. I can't think of a
problem with it, nor can I think of a more perfect method to put
a bullet sinker on your line. Can you? You don't have to cut and
retie to change to any size sinker from 1/8 to 1/2. All take the
same insert. No line nick. No toothpick. No threader tool.
Instantly adjustable. Just the rubber twists, not the line. Thank
you for showing me that, John Crane.
The Dozer's never seen a better
sinker-rigging method than this!
Next, John Crane wowed me with a
new style of silicone skirt that Crane claims has all the good
properties of living rubber - but it's silicone. It has the
lively action of living rubber but won't fade, it won't get old
and brittle, says John. The skirt blends two sizes of a new and
different durometer (softness) of silicone material. Two different size and style strands are used, same as the old
time rubber skirts. First, the underlying strands are wide and
flat spears with pointed ends, just like the old time rubber.
Next, the outside strands are thin cut silicone. Both the outside
and underlying strands are of this new and different durometer
softer silicone, called "Super Silicone" for short. To
feel them, they are lighter, more airy, more quiver, stretchier,
softer, more rubbery than standard silicone skirts. Great going,
The look and feel of "old time
rubber" is back again - as Super Silicone
Matt Paino and Chinami, Matt's
lovely new bride of several months and father Tony Paino
journeyed to ICAST to introduce the industry to "Furbit the
Frog," Optimum Bait Company's furry new amphibian.
New product competition was
intense, not just among frogs but all soft lures. When the dust
settled, Optimum Baits and Furbit won Best New Soft Lure of 2006!
Matt Paino is perhaps the most
worldly, experienced and savvy young man I know in the tackle
industry today. Having grown up in his Dad's shop, innovating the
original and subsequent waves of swim baits and soft baits for
Southern California's big bass, Matt spent the last 5 or 6 years
in Japan, gaining a deep comprehension of the Japanese fishing
tackle market, securing a lasting place for Optimum Baits in that
market, and cementing genuine relationships with many tackle
industry leaders and company owners within Japan. Matt's destined
to go far in the tackle industry. Bringing home the Best New Soft
Lure at ICAST in 2006 is just the beginning.
Matt, Chinami and Tony Paino
Winners! Poppin Furbit (left) and Furbit
In a watery world of
look-alike hollow rubber frogs, "Furbit the Frog" (what
a name!) is a refreshingly individual amphibian. Many other
hollow rubber frogs you see out there today look a lot like each
other, and perhaps Furbit does too.... until you get to its legs!
It's two legs are soft supple strips of rabbit fur. Furbit's legs
ripple and flutter in a manner that synthetic rubber or plastic
legs never will.
The long soft thin
rabbit fur legs flutter and shudder, wriggling in an S-like
movement of the two tails. When you move Furbit in short stops
and starts, the many individual hair fibers puff out separately
and then pull in tight again, like a breathing action. Nothing
artificial even comes close.
Furbit has a
molded-in belly weight and weighs 5/8 ounce. As if its rabbit fur
legs weren't unique enough, Furbit also comes with a ball bearing
swivel and Colorado spinner blade attached beneath it. The
Colorado blade adds flash, vibration and best of all, the small
blade causes Furbit the Frog's entire body to tremble
uncontrollably due to the blade's vibration.
Furbit sits high on
the water. When you twitch it, Furbit has a nervous,
nose-twitching action that is most lifelike. Even when paused,
any slight ripple or chop on the water causes Furbit to bob back
and forth. That causes the spinner blade to flash and wobble
which is a natural attraction. You'll attract a lot of panfish
that like to take pecks at the spinner blade and at the legs. Not
only do you have Furbit as the main course for a hungry bass, but
the dangling, flashing spinner blade helps gather panfish schools
around the frog.
Do you see small
panfish swirls underneath or around your frog? Do you see the
bait tick or shift sideways from panfish tugging at it? All this
is good! It means a big bass may be under your bait, under the
panfish, tensed up and ready to pounce when next you move Furbit.
Just twitch it slightly - and expect an explosion as Furbit gets
plowed by a big bass.
"Furbit the Frog" tricked out
with trimmed legs and an oversized Deep Cup Colorado blade
"Poppin' Furbit" wins top prize
among new soft lures at ICAST
Next new lure, the
Optimum Poppin' Furbit is a weedless popper that can be thrown
into the densest cover and thickest grass where it will remain
snagless. With any other popper, you'll be sorry if you even come
close to a blade of grass or a twig. That's because most popping
lures have exposed treble hooks and they catch instantly on any
little thing. That's no fun. Most poppers cannot be thrown in or
around heavy cover or grass. But not the Poppin' Furbit! It's
designed to get into the nastiest snags and thickest slop
possible and to pop its way out of there... if it can make it
back before a hungry bass hammers it!
Weighing 5/8 oz, the
aerodynamic Poppin' Furbit casts like a dream, splats down loudly
and thanks to the belly weight molded onto the hook shank, it
never lands upside down. It's balanced to float high on the
surface. It sits practically level with its big bowl-shaped mouth
always poised to scoop up and splatter a ton of water in an
Snagless, yes, but
the new Poppin' Furbit is heavily armed with an Owner super sharp
6/0 double hook. A bulge molded in the body shape protects the
hook from snags, but the hollow body collapses easily out of the
way when a big bass chomps down on the Poppin' Furbit.
Poppers are not only
exciting for an angler to use, but the noise and commotion of a
popper can be highly excitable to bass as well!
An angler can use the
splashing sound of the Poppin' Furbit to excite and call bass in,
much like a hunter can use a turkey call or scrape old antlers
together to make sounds that excite and call in birds or bucks.
In thick cover with
limited visibility, the Poppin' Furbit sends out the right
signals. The sound and splash of the Poppin' Furbit brings fish
up from their hidden lairs deep in the grass and dense cover, and
when they see the whipping action of the rabbit fur tail, they
How this works is
simple. You pop the Furbit to make an attractive sound. The
dished face sprays water out to the sides. The Poppin' Furbit
moves forward into the sprayed area, which helps obscure it from
view. The Furbit also pushes a wake off its sides as it moves
forward, further obscuring it. Then there's the pause after the
splash. Perhaps only for a split-second, but sometimes longer. In
the pause as the commotion settles down, that slinky rabbit hair
tail works its magic, fluttering and twisting, hairs pulsing open
and closed, and practically breathing. Any bass that had been
called over by the splash now sees that rippling rabbit hair tail
coiling and uncoiling, and blasts it!
As if that wasn't
enough, the Poppin' Furbit comes with a ball bearing swivel and
spinner blade to add flash, vibration and action. These are all
good things to have in a bass lure. Whether it's the loud splash
of the Poppin' Furbit or the rippling, breathing action of the
trailing rabbit fur tail or the flash and wobble of the attached
blade, the Poppin' Furbit is perfect right out of the package.
Just add water... and pop loudly in the densest cover or thickest
grass where the big ones lounge.
They say a picture is
worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a bazillion.
Click below to watch:
the Fog's Shivering Escape
Walking with Furbit
Hopping with Furbit the Frog
Furbit doing the "Kaboom"
Furbit being a little (not much) more subtle
Hoppin' with Poppin' Furbit
Note: Set the video
screen size to a smaller size to see a sharper picture - and keep
your eye on the whipping rabbit hair legs in the videos. They're
Contact: Matt Paino,
Optimum Baits, Temecula, CA 951-676-6384 www.optimumbaits.com
Tony Shitanishi explained Owner's
three new hooks for 2007 to me. "Although hooks are
constantly getting better, the biggest problem with soft baits
and hooks remains in that soft baits have a tendency to slide
down while casting, if a fish even sniffs at it or if the bait
bumps off weeds or obstructions, the head slips down the shank
ruining the presentation. Owner decided to assist anglers in
solving this problem entirely with our three new wire coil style
hooks that permit perfect, practically permanent rigging."
The three new hooks are:
- TwistLOCK Open Gap 5136. This
worm hook is extra strong for rigging bigger baits. It features
an XXX-strong, forged shank, Cutting Point, and Owner’s unique
TwistLOCK “Spring-On-Shank” soldered to the hook eye for
incredible “non-slip” bait-holding power when fished in cover
for hard-hitting bass. The nose of the worm is “permanently”
secured by screwing it onto the coil spring before the final
positioning of the hook point.
- TwistLOCK Open Gap 5135. This is
Owner's standard, all-purpose forged hook with a Super Needle
Point. It too features Owner’s unique TwistLOCK “Spring-On-Shank”
attached to the hook’s eye.
- TwistLOCK Open Gap 5132. This
hook is unique with its TwistLOCK “Centering-Pin Spring”
flexibly attached to the hook eye. Baits can be “permanently”
secured by inserting the pin in the center of the nose of a soft
plastic, which can then be twisted (screwed) onto the coil spring
so that any bait will rig perfectly every time. The
self-centering pin is new. Without it, baits can get skewed, go
in crooked, and end up going on sideways, which ruins the
presentation before you even get started. However, Owner's new
self-centering pin helps to rig baits straight, which is so
important. Ideal for big tube baits and beefy soft plastics.
Features a 30 degree eye, extra strong forged shank and Super
"All three of these new hooks
feature Owner's new concept of an 'open gap' which allows for
more positive and effective hook sets. What this means is we made
a conscious effort to put the hook point above the eye. This acts
more like a straight shank worm hook and lets you set the hook a
lot better. When the point is above the hook eye, you get
leverage. Very effective once they strike. Yet unlike a straight
shank hook, which holds bait poorly, the TwistLOCK holds bait on
like crazy. We're pretty excited. We think it is going to do
good," exclaims Tony.
Heavy wire TwistLOCK (top), standard wire
TwistLOCK (center) and TwistLOCK with “Centering-Pin Spring”
The Oxygenator was a new product,
at least to me, at ICAST. The Oxygenator Flush Mount Livewell
system has been installed in the Triton Boats supplied for the
Bassmaster Classic for the past two years, and it is now
available for do-it-yourselfers to install in their own boat
The product photo below shows
another small, portable version that has less oxygen-producing
capacity and runs off four AA batteries for 2-3 days of
continuous operation if need be. The company suggests one use may
be for oxygenating tournament weigh bags during weigh-ins.
Compact, portable, battery-operated model
Penn debuted a new Rod and Reel
Cleaner that means longer casting, smoother retrieval and
superior protection against the elements. The Rod and Reel
Cleaner has corrosion inhibitors for use with all fishing tackle.
It removes any build-up on all internal and external parts. Spray
on all types of rods, reels and line then lightly wipe down after
every trip to help prevent moisture and salt or mineral deposits.
No adverse effect on any line or composite material used in rods
or reels, claims Penn. Use on anything around your boat, your
trailer or your tow rig that might rust, claims the manufacturer.
Penn also introduced a new Anglers
Combo Pack of Synthetic Reel Oil and Precision Reel Grease, in
small portions perfect for simple on-the-spot or at-home
If ICAST gave an award for Cutest
New Lure, Persuader's new Baby Duck would win feathers down.
Cliff Liddy showed me a video of the Baby Duck rolling
side-to-side, and an angler is able to make it dash across the
surface like ducklings do as well as bob its head like a feeding
duck pecking at underwater vegetation. Yes, the video included
bass "quacking" it on the surface and being caught on
it. Real feathers (pheasant) are layered underneath the top coat
on the ducks back.
Quantum updated its Tour Edition
PT Signature Rod Series with one Gerald Swindle, two Tommy Biffle
and one Greg Hackney signature rods.
The new Gerald Swindle baitcaster
rod is a 6' 6" short-handled popping rod designed
specifically for lightweight poppers. There was a limber tip but
enough backbone to set the hook effectively.
The two Tommy Biffle baitcasters
were both fairly heavy actions. His new heavy action 7' 6"
felt more powerful than many other models of flipping sticks I've
used. Biffle also has a new 6' 10" deepwater heavy action
rod for fishing jigs and soft baits at greater depths. It too was
Greg Hackney's new all-purpose
7'11" jig rod is ideal for use with braid for jigs from 1/4
to 3/4 ounce. Unlike other jig rods, this one features a
parabolic bend and slow action to make it more forgiving when
fishing lighter jigs on braided lines.
Swindle's short-handled popping rod (left)
and Tommy Biffle's two heavy action rods.
The new Minnow Rap 09 is kind of a
cross between a Shad Rap's tight wobbling action plus the
Original Floater's slender minnow shape. There's something about
a long, slender minnow profile that fish love in a lure. You just
can't beat the shape. The Minnow Rap is constructed of balsa wood
for the best action of any hardbait material. It has the same
action and depth (gets down about 7 feet) as the Shad Rap but the
look of a floating minnow lure. Several new color patterns have
transparent red diving bills. This was something only a few
sharpies would do, using transparent red nail polish to paint the
clear diving bills on crankbaits and jerkbaits. Now, Rapala
offers transparent red bills right out of the box.
Transparent red-lipped Minnow Rap
Rapala also added two
new models of X-Rap Slashbait to this highly successful bait
series. The two new models are the bigger profile X-Rap 12 which
is a shallow swimmer 4-3/4 inches long and a hefty 3/4 ounce in
weight. Also added the X-Rap Deep 10 which gets down at least 6
feet or more and weighs 7/16 oz.
New X-Rap 12 (top), X-Rap Deep 10 (center)
and Minnow Rap (bottom)
The Original Jumpin' Minnow is
back. This old time topwater is a real high-running, gliding,
easy to walk, almost a finesse walking bait. "The baits have
not been made in so long that they were just about gone,"
says Jeff Samsel. "They had quite a following in sections of
the country such as the Southeast. Anglers in those regions were
hiding the last few in existence in their sock drawers. The
Jumpin' Minnow was regarded as a special lure for smallmouth and
spotted bass in deep clear impoundments."
The Rebel T10 Jumpin’ Minnow is
2 1/4 inches long. Despite its small size, the Jumpin’ Minnow
casts like a bullet, and it ranks among the easiest to work of
all walking baits. It weighs 3/8 ounce.
K.K. Chan spoke very highly of the
new Croaker, a hollow rubber frog available in 3 versions. What
makes the Croaker so special is it walks from side to side very
easily due to its keel-shaped chin. Several independent anglers
(friends of mine) who have tried the Croaker backed up K.K.'s
claim as to its easy walking ability.
The new Croaker series: Crawlin'
Croaker (top), junior Croaker (center) and standard Croaker
"With the Crawlin Croaker, we
use high end technology to mold the jitter lip onto the front of
the Crawlin Croaker body, effectively making it one-piece so the
lip can never detach" says K.K. The jitter lip lets it walk,
pop and jitter across the surface simply on a slow, steady
The ridged chin makes the Croaker walk
River2Sea's new Hula Shad
spinnerbait has a crankbait-like body encased in polycarbonate,
and a double-layered skirt tied on in two separate sections.
Originally "hidden head" spinnerbaits were conceived as
a way to hide the mass of weight under the skirt, making it less
visible and smaller in profile. However, hidden head spinnerbaits
are also evolving to become more visible nowadays, to present a
bigger body size, to make the elongated body more visible, like a
billboard for creating true crankbait color patterns on
Hula Shad's bigger body is a billboard for
true crankbait color schemes
River2Sea has gotten big into wake
baits with three new styles of wakebaits for 2007," says
Daniel O'Sullivan. The three new wakebaits are:
- First, the small yet chunky 2-3/4
inch long V-Crank Wake weighs 1/2 oz and is jointed behind the
head. "This waker only gets under the surface at most 6
inches. Because of the way it really roils the water and the
jointed pieces clack, it works incredibly well, it's at its best
in dirty water," says Danny O.
- "The S-Waver is another new
wake type bait from River2Sea that swims across the surface in a
serpentine S-motion with no rod action required to be made by the
angler," says O'Sullivan. the rod. This is representative of
an entire category of big surface baits with S-action that is all
the rage in Japan. Yet anglers in the USA hardly know anything
about them yet.
Yet another new
surface wakebait for 2007,the V-Joint Wake Minnow comes in
3" (3/8 oz) and 3-3/4" (3/4 oz) sizes. This three-piece
jointed bait has a bulging underbelly (hard to see in the photo)
that makes it quite a bulky mouthful for any bass.
New V-Crank Wake
S-Waver is 6-3/4" long and weighs
New V-Joint Wake Minnow
Two smaller sizes of
the Tungsten Vibe are new, and again representative of a lipless
rattle bait concept conceived in Japan whereby an external
tungsten chin keeps the bait in a nose-down posture, which better
prevents the treble hooks from getting snagged in cover.
Two new junior sizes of the Tungsten Vibe
You may have seen some of Roger
Briles products around. You may even have them on your boat. This
was the first time in fifteen years that Rogers has had a booth
at ICAST, so some of the products were new to me, and worth
sharing with you.
Roger's Marker Buoys can be locked
and stacked together. There's a buoy bracket that uses
double-sided adhesive tabs (no screws or other fixtures) to
attach to any flat surface on your boat. The buoys simply slide
in or out of the bracket when you need them, yet otherwise are
held securely. Two buoys can lock onto each other securely, yet
snap apart easily when you need one. It is the most
space-efficient, out-of-the-way yet handy marker buoy set-up I
have ever seen. For lowlight or night fishing, Roger's boys have
a pocket to insert a light stick. The weight is non-toxic.
Roger's Plug Rug was nifty too, to
install under the hatches of rod lockers or on any flat surface.
Roger recommends using 3M weather stripping adhesive to attach
the plug rug. "It's made of reclaimed rubber, and you can
trim it to whatever size you need. It will not flake or tear even
with years of use. Some customers have had Plug Rugs on their
boats for fifteen years, and the Plug Rug's still as good as new,
Another item that was inexpensive
and at times I wished I had one is the Wheel Loc, a
doughnut-shaped holder to help keep your front trailer wheel from
rolling (Note: not for use on steep grades).
Patrick Sebile and Dave Maynard
introduced a whole new concept in hard baits that contain a
unique glitter-filled fluid that resembles scales coming off a
wounded baitfish, they say.
The fluid movements inside also
create ultra-low frequency sound waves, and the movement of the
fluid gives the illusion of muscle movement, a baitfish on the
run, says the company. The oil and glitter within moves and flows
Triple-jointed Magic Swimmer (top) and
glitter and fluid-filled Bonga Minnow (bottom). Sharp keel on
bottom causes Bonga Minnow to slice into the water, and causes a
huge swirl when jerked, says Dave.
"The three-piece Magic
Swimmer has caught almost every fish that swims for me,"
says Dave Maynard. The Bonga Minnow also is one of Dave's
favorites, but that's not all. The entire new product line
includes over 12 new shapes and actions of topwater, lipped
minnow and lipless crankbait lures.
Glitter and fluid-filled Splasher (top),
Koolie Minnow (center) and Stick Flat (bottom)
Magic Swimmer (first two). Stick Slim
(bottom two). With a very exaggerated but tight walking action,
the Stick Slim pivots so easily it can even be made to walk
backward, claims Maynard.
Shimano won Best New Freshwater
Reel award for the new Calais 200 DC. Casting is
digitally-controlled by a waterproof circuit board inside the
reel. The initial moment of each cast generates the power needed
to charge the circuit board for the rest of cast, and from there,
the pre-programmed digital control helps manage and control spool
revolution for longer, better casts. The system lets the spool
accelerate to reach maximum RPM's before the smart system engages
the brake. It can apply the ideal level of braking at intervals
of up to 1/1000th of a second, almost instantly adjusting the
amount of braking required.
"In developing the Calais DC,
we analyzed the casting mechanics for various conditions to come
up with four different braking profiles, with 8 settings in each,
or 32 different brake settings in all," says Jeremy Sweet.
He's the Product Manger for Shimano reels. Sounds complex, but
trust me, the braking system is just too easy to use. It will
take about 2 seconds to learn how to use it.
The four different braking
- Extreme distance (the
"X" setting inside the side plate) sounds like its for
showing off in the parking lot to your girl or your buddies, but
also useful for professional distance casting competitions, not
really for fishing.
- Long distance (the "L"
setting inside the sideplate) is for those aerodynamic or
ballistic baits with low air resistance that just seem to cast
the furthest or when there are calm conditions and maximum length
casts are needed to not spook fish. Just click open the sideplate,
put the dial on "L" and you're good to go the distance.
It's that easy.
- Accuracy mode (the big
"A" on the dial) is ideal for close-in accuracy with
flipping, pitching, skipping lures and for parabolic rods that
have a slow action such as fiberglass, Shimano's TC4 construction
rods or other graphite composite rods typically used for
crankbaits, buzzbaits and the like.
- Wind mode (the big
"W"). The wind is your friend when you have the big
"W" dialed in. As you watch other anglers suffer to
cast, you'll be casting long and smooth into gusts or heavy
headwind conditions - something that has never been possible
before with a baitcasting reel.
It's just too easy. Simply dial to
L, A or W, click the sideplate shut, and then you have a dial on
the outside of the spool, to click to any one of eight finer
degrees of the same setting. Suggested retail price: $649
Oh yes, tell me if this next trick
isn't slick. A unique feature in Wind "W" mode is when
you see a fish jump or want to hit a spot downwind, just set the
outside dial (there are settings numbered 1 to 8) to
"1". This puts the reel into Long Distance
("L") mode without having to click open the sideplate.
So you can instantly fire a cast downwind in Long Distance mode!
Jeremy Sweet, Product Manger for Shimano
reels demonstrates Calais DC. It's...(what else?)...Sweet!
It has digital control, 32 distinct brake
settings and other highly advanced features, yet the biggest
breakthrough is ease of use and effortless casting for long
distance, close-in accuracy, or when faced with a stiff breeze.
It's the Calais DC.
Like many other rod
manufacturers seem to be doing for 2007, Shimano filled in just a
few tactics rods that may have been missing or that became hot
tactics used by top pros so far this season. Shimano expanded its
top-of-the-line Crucial Bass Rod series with four new spinning
rods as follows:
Two new rods for
smallmouth anglers, especially those in the Great Lakes region
where dragging tube baits reigns. Shimano added the 7' 2"
CRS-X72M and 7' 6" CRS-76M. Both deploy highly-sensitive IM9
graphite blanks designed for dragging tubes and grubs.
Two new rods for
crankbait and jerkbait anglers. Shimano added the 7' CRS-CX70ML
and 7' 4" CRS-C74M spinning rods constructed of Shimano's
TC4 slow-action blank material. Bass anglers rarely use spinning
rods for crankbaits or jerkbaits, but walleye anglers sure do. So
take a tip from the walleye guys. Try a spinning rod to toss your
lighter and smaller cranks and jerkbaits longer with less line
tangles, especially when windy. You'll be glad you did!
Shimano's 2 new IM9 split-grip spinning
rods to drag tubes and grubs (left) and two new cork-handled TC4
composite spinning rods (right) to easily toss light crankbaits
and jerkbaits, even into the wind.
"Totally waterproof and will
never leak," is what designer Ted Sakei had to say about his
new Shimano Bristol Bay Dry Bag. "The big, roomy inside
pocket is not stitched, there are no holes. The inside is a
durable heat-pressed soft pocket."
There is also an extremely tough
outer layer to the bag, which is stitched, but has a grommet with
a drain hole on bottom to drain out in between the outside bag
and the inner stitchless pocket which is totally waterproof.
In between the inner and outer
layers are 3" thick styrofoam in the bottom, sides ands top
for flotation. The top flap seals the inner pocket, making it
completely waterproof. So if it goes overboard, it will float
with up to 40 pounds of gear inside, and if the flap was closed
properly, everything inside will remain dry, even when the bag
gets submersed temporarily, or rained on, or splashed in sloppy
water conditions. This makes it ideal for kayak fishing, canoe
portage trips especially. There's no sticker shock here either.
It's affordable. The three Bristol Bay Dry Bag sizes run $39, $49
and $59 respectively from small to large size. Great bag, Ted!
Oh yes, the thick insulation lets
you use the Bristol Bay Dry Bag as a cooler if you wish, for
keeping beverages and food on ice inside the waterproof inner
But that's not all. Over the top,
there is an optional route to insert a pump hose, and an outside
pocket to hold a battery-operated aerator. So it can be used as a
livewell (say in a kayak or small boat fishing competition), or
as a live baitwell or - the ultimate aerated weigh-in bag! What a
Shimano Bristol Bay Dry Bag designed by Ted
Ted Sakei also won the Best New
Clothing award at ICAST for Shimano's Evair fishing boots.
"I designed these boots to be a big hit for the bass guys
who stand on their trolling motor all day. Big thing is you
always have to hold your toe up to control the foot pedestal, so
most important was to make the Evair boots extremely light
weight, especially in the front. The boots weigh less than 10
ounces (size 8). They're 100% waterproof, won't slip. Molded as
one piece. No stitches. No way for water to get in. They clean
easily with soapy water, inside and out, and dry fast. There's a
long-lasting, removable inner foot pad made of the same material.
On the bottom inside, underneath the removable pad, Ted made a
deep air channel system underneath the insole to prevent
overheating. Boots usually get hot, that's normal. The deep air
channels helps to reduce overheating and sweaty feet on hot days,
and also creates an insulating air layer that helps keeps feet
warm in cool spring and chilly autumn weather when you don't want
Shimano Evair Fishing Boots
Best New Clothing award at ICAST 2006
Snag Proof bloodied up their new
Bleeding Frog series with red blood spots in some of the new
color patterns, plus neat-looking custom red Owner double-tined
Snag Proof also presented the new
Frog Works Kit, a do it yourself customizing kit to modify any
soft hollow plastic frog or lure. Pro doctoring tips included!
Everything you need to make your own secret weapon, says the
Spike-It's new Dippin' Kit has a
stable, absorbent dipping platform built right into the kit. So
if there are any dipping mishaps or spills, the sponge platform
should absorb it, not your boat carpet of your wife's lovely new
living room shag rug!
New is a smaller size Dean Rojas
Signature Series Bronzeye Jr. in a 1/2 oz size that's leaner and
smaller. The company claims the smaller target maximizes the
hook-up ratio, since the fish must strike more accurately and can
engulf it more completely. It comes with a 3/0 Gamakatsu, which
is a beefy hook, but also svelte enough that now even anglers who
use spinning gear will be able to fish with hollow rubber frogs.
Most other hollow rubber frogs on the market have hooks too heavy
for a casual angler with spinning gear to ever be able to set the
hook. Not so with the new Dean Rojas Signature Series Bronzeye
Jr. It's a great move on SPRO's part that will open up frog
fishing to the masses. Any angler regardless of their skill level
or equipment will be able to fish the new Dean Rojas Signature
Series Bronzeye Jr.
Beautiful new Dean Rojas Signature Series
Bronzeye Jr. opens up frog fishing to the masses.
Next, I heard from the man in the
big bass zone, Bill Seimantel about his new SPRO Signature BBZ-1
Swimbait. "I've put 20 years of hard work and reflection
into fishing swimbaits, what makes them work, what makes them
better, and poured all that into 2 years of development effort
building this new beauty for SPRO," says Bill proudly.
Bill Seimantel and his BBZ-1 Swimbait
The hard body almost has the
appearance of soft plastic (which the tail section is) and an
overall blended, continuous appearance, even at the transition
from hard to soft in the tail. "The soft tail is attached to
be shock-absorbent, so there's a transfer of energy and force on
the cast that is absorbed and dissipated without tearing the tail
off, a problem all too common on other brands of swimbaits,"
"The body fins are urethane,
which is neither hard nor soft, meaning they cannot easily crack
(too hard) nor rip (too soft) off the bait, but urethane is just
right," says Bill. "If the fins do get bent or take a
set from being stored improperly, put them in the sun for a while
or under a blow-dryer, and the fins will pretty much return to
their original proper alignment," says Bill.
"There are three models that
all look similar, yet have different fishing characteristics.
First, a floating model. Second, a slow sinker. Third, a fast
fall model. That lets you cover the top, middle and bottom of the
water column," explains Seimantel
"The front section (with the
open mouth) has a stationary weight to be the stable center of
balance for the entire bait," says Bill. "The back
section (to which the soft tail is attached) has a movable weight
inside it to create a knocker sound in the tail section, and to
add a semblance of variable, unpredictable movement to the
overall swimming action. The middle section is a bladder that
adds upright stability and controls the floatability or sinkage
rate," says Siemantel.
In terms of color, Bill favors
three most of the time. "I like the glossy rainbow trout
color for the occasionally overcast days, the matte rainbow trout
color more for every day. That's in California and other places
trout are stocked." However, Bill expects the black and
silver pattern to be the most used everywhere. "It's
universal," says he.
Siemantel expects the black and silver
color to be the most used everywhere.
As much as he loves
big bass and swimbaits, you'd be mistaken to think that Bill
Siemantel fishes exclusively with big swimbaits alone. At the
other end of the spectrum, Bill designed these new,
awesome-looking light tackle "Float & Fly" jigs for
SPRO. The synthetic hair is nice and soft. The colors are subtle
with a well-blended appearance overall. I like the looks and hair
texture of these.
Other good news from SPRO is the
new Aruku Jr. 3/8 oz lipless crankbait was added this year after
its full-sized version was so successfully introduced last year.
New Aruku Jr. 3/8 oz lipless crankbait
Strike King dips its toe in the
pool of premium balsa wood lures this year with two new
crankbaits, the Flat Shad and the Stealth Shad. Both have circuit
board lips and are labeled as Strike King's "Custom
Shop" line of lures. The Flat Shad runs up to 4 feet deep.
Stealth Shad dives to 6 feet. Made of balsa wood.
Strike King offers two models of balsa
baits for the first time, with circuit board lips.
What I appreciated
most at Strike King's booth were the two great new sizes of
Elaztech soft baits. This material is much softer with more
flexible action and is more durable than many other soft baits,
says the company. Strike King already has a bigger and smaller
lizard on the market, but to borrow a line from Goldilocks, the
new 8" Iguana Lizard seemed to me the one that's "just
right" out of the three lizard sizes. Ditto for the new
3-3/4" size of Denny Brauer Magnum Chunk. It too seemed
"just right" - a meaty morsel. Denny Brauer Chunks have
the rich color and glitter options of soft plastic, but being
Elaztech material, they won't easily tear off like other soft
plastic chunks. They have the staying power of pork, but won't
dry out like pork. Now that's a good chunk there. I don't care
who you are.
The new size of Elaztech Lizard and Chunk both seem "just
New bladed jigs shown at ICAST by Strike
Strike King's new "King Shad"
swimbait is 5" long with flat sides.
Strike King's new Red Eye Shad is a junior
size lipless crank weighing 1/2 oz
Steve Bullard gave me an overview
of Strike Pro's new line of flexible swim baits, called Flex
Phantom and Flex X. There are three sizes overall.
The articulated body is connected
and linked together using a patented chain like a bicycle chain.
Strike Pro recently won the Best New Visitor's Choice Award for
this new lure type at the European Fishing Tackle Trade Show.
The way the bike chain joint
system connects the lure segments gives these lures the most
realistic swimming action available in a hard bait, claims the
"Other companies with
articulated body baits are using through wire or hinges to link
the sections together. However, the chain type linkage used by
Strike Pro just has better action. Just better motion," says
Indeed, a video Steve showed me of
the lure in motion looked like a live fish in frantic action.
"Many who see the video mistake the lure in the video for an
actual gamefish chasing the lure," says Steve. "People
see the lure swimming, thinking it is a fish that's chasing
something, and keep waiting to see it strike the lure."
I watched the video, and it
certainly looks like Steve says.
The Flex Phantom also has a unique
fish attracting internal flasher embedded throughout the
articulated body parts, which reflect light throughout the water
The blade on Storm's new Spin Tail
Shad is unique and gives it maximum flash while allowing it to be
fished at slow speeds, says the manufacturer. Might be something
to hold the rod tip high and try buzzing or bulging the surface
with it, eh?
Masa Nakatani introduced me to
Swans sports glasses. Import/export manager for Popeye, a
prestigious angler shop in Japan, Masa says, "We have just
started to solicit interest in Swans sports glasses in the USA
and other countries outside Japan. We are seeking distributors,
wholesalers, retail establishments and consumers who wish to try
Swans eyewear made especially for fishing."
"FLW Pro Shin Fukae uses our
glasses to the greatest degree," says Masa. He may use as
many as four different lens colors and several different styles
for different degrees of shading and eye coverage. He uses these
during practice to thoroughly study and familiarize himself with
the landscape above and under the water. "At Beaver Lake
where Shin recently won the $200,000 first place prize, Shin saw
fishes during practice that other guys couldn't see or can't find
them," reveals Masa.
"With our glasses and
especially our goggles, Shin can see in the water even when
driving the boat."
Not sold at ski shops! The Swans boating
goggles were developed for added safety and advanced ability to
see while on a high speed motor boat. There are two lenses, both
polarized, for added optical clarity. The goggles fit easily over
my prescription eyeglasses.
For fishing, Shin
Fukae favors the "Warrior" style of Swans glasses
(shown below). The lens is angled down at 16 degrees to enhance
optical clarity while fishing and looking down in the water. The
inside of the frames are painted black on the inside to reduce
any reflection caused by the frame. Gary Yamamoto prefers the
model #5020 (shown below) with its larger oval shape, frameless
on the sides and bottom, and close-fitting to the face all around
in order to reduce glare or ambient light that can't enter from
below or from the sides. The lenses wrap way back on the sides
for unparalleled peripheral vision to spot jumping bass or bait
out of the corner of your eye. Being frameless on sides and
bottom, no part of the frame ever obstructs your vision or
detracts from your concentration when looking in the water at any
Shin wins with the "Warrior"
style. Gary goes with the full field of vision in model #5020.
Swans Model 5010 available in black, silver
or red frames and 3 lens colors
Swans Model 5020 (preferred by Gary
Yamamoto) comes in black, silver, red or blue frames and 3 lens
Swans Model 5030 available in black, silver
or yellow frames and 3 lens colors
Mike Dauphin of
Tattoo's Tackle was not at ICAST but released a new product the
same week. Tattoo's new Surface Swimmer causes an action swimming
across the surface unlike anything freshwater bass have seen
before. It establishes an entire new bass lure category called
Famous for crafting
wooden surf fishing plugs, this is the company's first parlay
into freshwater lures.
Now, surface swimmers
have been around saltwater since 1944 which was when Bob Pond of
Attleboro, Massachusetts created the first of what Pond called
his Atom Forty (40) Surface Swimmer. It was called the
"Forty" because Pond built it for massive striped bass
of forty inches or longer that were marauding on the surface in
Cape Cod Canal. Interestingly, Cape Cod Canal anglers of that era
held a notion that striped bass couldn't be caught on lures, only
live or dead bait. Pond's wood creation went on to become perhaps
the most famous saltwater striped bass lure of all time.
So surface swimmers
have been used in saltwater for over sixty years. Yet, they are
virtually unknown in fresh. It's a bridge many great lures never
get to cross, until now.
First of its kind for
freshwater bass, Tattoo's Surface Swimmer is not nearly as big as
the original, the Atom 40. Tattoo's Surface Swimmer weighs 5/8
ounce, is made of wood, and measures 4-1/2 inches long. It's
through-wired from nose to tail with stout stainless wire, and
the belly treble hangs off a heavy duty (220 lb. test) swivel.
The line tie eye and metal lip are both adjustable, enabling an
angler to create an infinite variety of surface swimming actions
ranging from a tight, fast wriggle to a slow, sweeping, last gasp
kind of death roll across the surface. The
action has never been seen before in a freshwater bass lure.
The best way to
describe the action of a surface swimmer is to visualize a
"walking bait" action. For example, think of a Heddon
Super Spook or Lucky Craft Sammy zigzag action, yet softer or
smoother. The surface swimmer is still an aggressive, exciting
non-stop action, except not as splashy, albeit every bit as
deadly. Tattoo's Surface Swimmer rolls and roils the surface as
opposed to frantic splashing.
There are two big
differences between "walking baits" versus Tattoo's
First, no rod action
is required to make the surface swimmer zig and zag. Just steady
reeling is all that's required to create the side to side walking
Second, whereas other
walking baits usually lose some of their effectiveness under
bright sun on calm surfaces, Tattoo's Surface Swimmer keeps on
producing even under bright skies, clear water and calm
It certainly does
fill a niche that's sorely missing in the topwater lure market
for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.
Tattoo's kicks off a brand new freshwater
lure type - the surface swimmer.
Colors shown: Blue Herring (top). Ayu (center). Chartreuse Shad
lip and line tie eye are adjustable to fine tune a variety of
Colors shown: Ayu (left). Chartreuse Shad (right).
Ron Troyer was quite proud of the
new Full Nelson. "This is a true wake bait, with a more
severe lip angle so it stays right on surface. It's great for
calm water. If you're on a morning topwater bite, and it dies by
9 o'clock with more aggressive lures, you can switch to the Full
Nelson and that will extend the topwater bite until 10 or 11.
Fish will keep coming up and hitting this when they've stopped
hitting other topwaters," says Ron. That's so true of
certain wakebaits or surface swimmers that can extend the morning
surface bite. If you get nothing else out of this 100 page ICAST
report, you can take Ron Troyer to the bank on that valuable tip
right there. That's no lie.
Full Nelson can extend morning topwater
bite for hours.
"Next, the new Hybrid
Morehead has more head than tail," chuckles Troyer.
"But the tail is more important since that's what really
kicks up a storm on this lure. It works great fished quickly in
open water. With rod action, it can be made to walk side to side
- on the surface or subsurface - or you can slow down and it will
take on a lazy head down swimming action. Yet it's the tail
that's the kicker," explains Ron.
"The Weedless Morehead gets
in places few other crankbaits dare go. You can walk it over a
thick weedbed, and when it gets to the edge or to a hole, just
let it drop down. It has that tail kick all the way down,"
"The heavy Depth Charge sinks
since its made of Brazilian cherry wood that has almost zero
buoyancy itself. Once you add weight in the belly, it sinks
quickly. It has a circuit board coffin bill shaped lip. Reason I
developed it is that I wanted a crankbait to get deeper but did
not want a big bait. Usually, the only way to get a crankbait
deep is to make its body and its bill both very, very big. Even
still, the most depth you may ever get is rarely ever even 20
feet. I routinely fish the Depth Charge down to 30 feet,"
reveals Ron. "Let it drop down to the desired depth. It
sinks at over one foot a second. Then drag it with the rod tip
first before you reel the slack like you would a Carolina rig. As
soon as you start retrieving, the lure's inclination is to come
up due to pull of the line - so stop and go is better to maintain
depth with a sinking lure like this at such great depths. That's
actually a blessing in disguise since fish often strike
crankbaits better on a stop-and-go retrieve than a steady
one," admits Ron Troyer.
Full Nelson wakebait (top). Hybrid Morehead
(second). Weedless Morehead (third). Depth Charge (bottom).
Triton Mike Bucca informed me of
Chum Line leader infused with bait flavor and amino acids in the
line. "The chum effect can last up to 90 minutes, but
maximum effectiveness is in the first 15 to 20 minutes,"
says Tee Mike. "For Carolina rigging or any time a leader is
required, this is the stuff to use. The line spool is a
UV-resistant casing, so there's no deterioration from being left
out in the sun."
Dave Burkhardt adds, "We're
going to go down to 6 lb test with this flavor-enhanced leader
line. The chum is infused under pressure. To spray or wipe it on
would not be adequate. This line is monofilament and as with all
mono, it is open and porous. That's the reason why potential
records must be tested by IGFA with both wet and dry line
strength tests. Especially mono absorbs a lot of water. It can
absorb up to 15% of the line volume in water. What we do with
Chum Line is fill those open pours and indentations in the line
under pressure with amino acids."
Bassdozer and Triton Mike Bucca with Chum
Line fish-flavored leader.
The "Hack Attack" Frog
Hook seems to be the new Tru-Tungsten product that anglers are
most interested to see. Tom Branch Jr explained to me that,
"With the double-tined 'M' Bend hooks, they keep soft frogs
in place better and help to prolong the life of frogs since the
plastic around the hook doesn't get as worn out and 'hook tired'
Greg Hackney Frog Hook
Tom continues, "Another
problem is rolling over with many soft plastic frogs and toads.
Many may land upside down for starters, and it can be difficult
to aright them, or they may loop, roll over or up on their sides
in the water on the retrieve. The Hack Attack Hook helps
stabilize frogs, almost like a keel. It helps prevent them from
looping in the water, and whether or not one lands upright, just
be patient for a few seconds, and let the Hack Attack Hook help a
frog to right itself."
Also new are the single
"M-Bend" hooks that help keep all kinds of soft baits
New M-Bend Hook rigged behind a Tru-Tungsten
weight pegged with Tru-Tungsten's Smart Peg. A shatterproof Force
Bead adds sound. Smart Pegs (bottom) come on a kind of key chain
lanyard for quick and easy rigging.
Also new was the Nail
Weight which allows the nail to be smaller and less intrusive in
a bait since it's heavier tungsten alloy. Nice anti-slip sharp
corners keep the nail from slipping out.
New Tungsten Nail Weight
Ron Stallings was excited about
the new Aaron Martens Rollin' Runner that features a ball-bearing
swivel and Gamakatsu hook. "Most often, a soft jerkbait is
used as the tail dressing and slow steady retrieves are most
effective. On a slow retrieve, the Rollin' Runner falls naturally
into the depths." Ron has noticed that, " An occasional
pause while reeling is often followed by a sudden hookset."
Aaron Martens (left) and Randy Howell
(right) Rollin' Runners in hot new colors
TJ Stallings, says
"In the Rollin’ Runner photo, there’s one with a
Bleeding Bait Hook. That one is new and will be released as Randy’s
Rollin’ Runner (Randy Howell)."
"Randy was one
of the first pro’s to 'discover' Bleeding Bait Hooks,"
recalls TJ. "Being the great guy he is, he shared his secret
with everyone. So it just seemed fitting that we name this
version for him."
New Randy's Rollin' Runner named for pro
Uoya Company, from Japan,
presented several of their new products for 2007 in the booth of
their US distributor, Lobina Lures. I'm not certain just how the
naming or branding of these lures go, but they are also referred
to as Fish Arrow brand or series. Also, whoever names them must
know Jack about fishing, since many of the products are named
Jack this or Jack that!
First new item this year is the
Cover Jack, a hollow rubber frog with sophisticated body color
patterns and instead of threaded-on legs, an interchangeable
silicone skirt used as a hinged tail. 3" 5/8 oz.
Next, the Slide Jack is the first
wacky-rigged swimbait to hit the USA from Japan. Tie your line on
to the mid-body right or left tie ring to swim to the right or
left. The body rolls side to side as the soft tail slides the
entire lure under overhangs, docks and other hard to reach areas.
The Spooky Jack Jr. is a new
junior size that epitomizes the industry-wide trend toward junior
size swimbaits today. Junior size swimbaits are still pretty
beefy baits, but not as oversized as the prior generation of much
bigger swimbaits on the market.
Prior generation Spooky Jack (top) and new
generation Spooky Jack Jr. (bottom)
Cyrille Mathieu was ecstatic about
the new BugEye Fast-Grip Vanadium wide gap hook with a weighted
realistic lead and high density epoxy body. Whereas there are
many other weighted wacky or weighted worm hooks on the market,
this is the first that treats the weight on the hook as an
attraction to fish. It's a great evolution in weighted hook
"We were not sure how it
would be received in the market, but 'Wow' is all we can
say," marvels Cyrille.
"Using this hook wacky style
is very popular. A number of top pros, like David Fritts, are
using it. The big bug eyes become a target, when the hook is
waving around under a wacky worm. Bass act awfully aggressive
toward it. It drives fish crazy," exclaims Cyrille.
"With standard Texas style
rigging of weightless topwater stickbaits like Flukes and Senkos,
the BugEye hook lets you work them a little faster and with a
little crisper action. They dart and shoot instead of flounder,
and taking the time to add a separate weight is not
necessary" says Mathieu.
When it comes to rigging a
stickbait, the ornate belly looks bulky, but the surface is a
super-slick finish and when wet, rigging a stickbait or other
meaty worm by sliding it right over the belly goes very smoothly
and easily. Yet the bait's nose can't easily slide back down over
the bulging bug eyes once rigged.
"Top sellers have been the
red and the black, mainly the 2/0 and 3/0 in 1/8 and 1/16 oz
sizes," informs Cyrille.
The clear and silver-bellied hook,
in the 1/8 ounce size, can be presented alone on light tackle to
match the hatch of inch-long young-of-year shad or other newborn
baitfish or "no see 'um" minnows that bass have a
vexing habit or popping off the top. It seems no lures work when
bass are doting on these tiny types of baits, but the
clear-and-silver BugEye hook alone is one of the few baits you
can catch these fish with. The black and red colors work alone
too, without any soft bait added, and imitate a wide variety of
nymph and crawfish hatches when those tiny types of aquatic life
infest brush or cover the bottom, bass get fixated on them.
Bigger baits won't work, but match the hatch with the VMC BugEye
and you can be a hero.
Also totally new for VMC are
several multi-sized jig kits. "VMC has never been in the jig
business before, and these jig kits are a great way for us to
enter the jig market with minimum SKU's (individual products),
less inventory management, less peg space taken on a store shelf,
and more customer satisfaction. It's just better for
everybody," confides Cyrille. "What I mean is, take our
two new Tube Jig and Round Ball Head kits. The conventional way,
we would need to manage 8 SKU's, the store would need to stock 8
SKU's and the customer would need to buy 8 items. Now, all that's
done in just 2 kits," explains Mathieu. It helps the
customer a lot. Many customers may not know just what size tube
jig head they need for instance. So we have put the 4 most
popular sizes of tube jigs in the kit. Now, the customer is sure
to get all the best sizes in one buy. It's ease and convenience
for anglers, and ensures the customer's tube jig fishing
experience will work out swell," smiles Cyrille happily.
In our Round Ball Jig Kit, we used
the Barbarian design hook, because we found it helps keep a
rigged soft bait perfect every time. We found the crook in the
shank of the Barbarian hook helps hold the top of a soft bait's
body right there. So when a soft bait starts to slide back off
the jig head, the crook in the Barbarian hook helps the body stop
right there. So you will catch more fish simply because your soft
bait is presented properly. The tube jigs also have the Barbarian
hook and the same bait presentation benefits. Fish love a
properly-presented bait," says Cyrille.
"We envision kits like these
will become key for VMC to bring out new products. Oh yes, notice
the clamshell box does not have only one lid, but four separate
fliptop lids, one for each compartment. You can have one lid
open, and three lids remain closed. It's good for the angler, and
we like offering it too," says Cyrille.
Kits like these new VMC jig kits create
higher angler satisfaction.
kits, are great for customer satisfaction, to get everything a
customer may need in one buy. We are introducing flipping and
Texas rig kits with our very best styles and sizes for those
tactics. Have you ever been in a two-day tournament, and you
start to run out of the hook you need by the end of the first
day? So the advanced angler gets a few of everything he needs,
just to make sure he does not run out over the weekend. It's like
a comfort blanket to ensure a good weekend. No matter what size
or shape soft bait or what hook you may end up needing, you've
got it all covered. You've got the best VMC's possible. The
novice angler, who may not be sure exactly what hook he or she
needs, also gets all the bases covered with our very best sizes
and styles. From novice to expert, at VMC, we very much like this
approach to satisfying customers" states Cyrille.
"We have our
Sure Set hook kit this year. It's a new hook concept for
crankbaits developed by David Fritts. Anglers and retailers who
desire to give SureSet hooks a try, do not have to buy multiple
items or spend time figuring out exactly what size, color they
need. Now an angler (or retailer) who wants to give legendary
crankbait master David Fritt's new hooks a try, they get
everything in one item. The kit includes the sizes you need, in
red, black nickel and a few dressed with tail feathers... and oh,
yes, you need split rings, the right size rings, to change out
your crankbait's trebles too, so they are in the kit for you. It
is ease and convenience, and everything one needs to upgrade
crankbaits to David Fritts' SureSet hooks," says Mathieu.
Everything you need to flip or upgrade
hooks on crankbaits - no more, no less
VMC's newest worm
hook, the extra long barbed locking bend, wide gap #6319 is
representative of what's going on with all hooks of all brands.
All hooks are getting better, getting better all the time. You
wouldn't think so, but it is true.
readers, editors and a panel of experts recently ranked the fish
hook as one of the top 20 most important tools of all time, in
terms of its impact on human civilization. You wouldn't think so,
but it is true. As basic and simple as the fish hook has remained
throughout human history, it is changing every year. The hook is
getting better with every new model that is made. New model hooks
are like that. They tend to obsolete prior models because the new
ones are designed to catch more fish. There's many ways a new
hook design catches more fish. One, it must hold bait on better
(such as soft bait), be engulfed better, be less of an
encumbrance, not be rejected or spit out easily, engage the point
better in the roof of the mouth (or corner) just aft the lip, not
bend or roll the point on hard contact, stay there long enough to
engage the barb, not wear a hole, not be thrown, and that's just
the beginning of a long, long list of factors whereby hookmakers
design better hooks with every new model they make. Maybe one day
I will write more about it, but for now suffice it to say that
VMC's latest model #6319 is one of the greatest hooks of all
time. Most new model hooks are.
All hooks are getting better, getting
better all the time. VMC's latest #6319 extra long barbed locking
bend, wide gap hook.
Good old Gary Shiebler and the
World's Greatest Fishing Band have put out their greatest CD to
The "All Gone Fishin'"
CD includes fishing tunes written, sung and strum by country
music legends Bobby Bare, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Jerry Reed,
Merle Haggard, Patty Loveless, Mel Tillis, Porter Wagoner, Arlo
Guthrie, Gary Shiebler, Lorrie Morgan, Little Jimmy Dickens,
Danny Gilley and Bryan White with Rachel Proctor.
It's hands-down the finest fishing
music I have ever tapped my toe to! You'll love it. I'm listening
to it now.
Jeff Samsel was most excited about
XCalibur's new Xw6 Wake Bait. Jeff exclaimed, "It's a wake
bait all the way. Instead of starting with a shallow-running
crank, like many other so-called wakebaits are, we started with a
clean design slate in order to create a 100% bona fide wakebait.
You can't crank it hard enough to not make a wake," states
This surface-swelling wakebait
wobbles widely with part of the lure always at the water line –
even when reeled at high speeds – pushing out a far-ranging
wake and rattling loudly to beckon big fish to the top.
"Even if you reel your
darndest to get it to go under, it will still bulge the surface
no matter what," says Samsel.
"You don't need to hold your
rod tip high to wake it, where you can't set the hook, and you
don't need to reel slowly to keep the lure on top."
The Xw6 Wake Bait is 2-3/4 inches
long and weighs a distance-rocketing 3/4 ounce.
XCalibur's new Xw6 Wake Bait is not a
shallow-running crankbait compromise. It's a bona fide wakebait.
|YUM Bait Company
"The Dancin Eel is back! it
looks the same as the old classic version of this legendary lure,
but the new one's a total rebuild," says Jeff Samsel.
Engineered with a one-piece hard
plastic internal body and paddle tail makes it run true and
literally come to life in the water. It couples the wobble of a
crankbait with the fluid motion of a soft plastic bait. It has a
built-in slow scent release chamber that can be filled with
Bill's Dancin' Eel is back!
The Forked Tail Dinger debuts from
YUM for 2007 too. "The forked tail slows the fall, makes a
better shad-shaped imitation, and creates a better jerk and glide
action," says Samsel.
New YUM Forktail Dingers come in 4-1/2 and
6 inch sizes.
A final hot tip on
the side from Jeff Samsel is that the new YUM Troutkrilla a brand
new paste bait for trout, is being used on smallmouth bass.
"It is made with krill, a kind of shrimp-like crustacean
that apparently smallmouth bass have a wicked sweet tooth for
krill flavor," winks Samsel who added, "Don't tell too
many people, though." Oops!
|Z-Man / GLC
Fishing / Rad Lures
You may not know Z-Man yet. They
are more of a supplier or servicer to many other tackle vendors
rather than a direct marketer of their own tackle to consumers.
Z-Man has been in business 11 years, starting out as a
manufacturer of fishing lure skirts such as for spinnerbaits,
buzzbaits and jigs. Over the years, they have grown to also
become the manufacturing source of Elaztech super-stretchy soft
baits marketed by various other vendors, and this year, has
become the manufacturer/marketer of the Chatterbait for Rad
Lures, one of the biggest new lure sensations of 2006.
Says Ron Davis of Rad Lures about
the Chatterbait, "My whole life has changed, and it happened
in a hurry. Z-Man helped us out. Chatterbait lure sales took off
so fast, starting about February, that we really could not get
caught up on our own and missed some of the buying season until
May. The demand for the Chatterbait swelled up overnight, and our
production ability was not there and it would have been hard for
us if it wasn't thanks to Z-Man," admits Ron.
sales are still going strong. New sales just rolled up across
country with the seasons, from Florida on up into the northern
states and right through into Canada, sales of the Chatterbait
are still climbing from the manufacturing level," states
New, long-awaited Flippin' Series
Ron introduced the new Flippin
Chatterbait with a weedless design for heavy cover. It has not a
fiberguard but a soft bait keeper barb behind the jighead that
lets you rig a soft bait like a plastic crawdad Texas-style on
the back of the Flippin Chatterbait jighead. Plus it rattles.
Daryl Greene (left) of GLC Fishing is
designer/manufacturer for Z-Man. Bassdozer (center). Ron Davis of
Rad Lures (right).
Daryl Greene of GLC Fishing,
designer and manufacturer of the SilaFlash and EZ Skirts, was
overjoyed about the prospects for the new SilaFlash skirts.
"We originally developed
SilaFlash skirts for offshore trolling lures for big game
trolling, tuna and billfish, dolphin and the like," says
Daryl. Offshore anglers had been using a lot of Mylar material in
their trolling lures, but they always desired something flashing
that was more supple and had more action than stiff Mylar, plus
could be integrated right into rich skirt colors as opposed to
separate Mylar strands and could be easily replaced on the teaser
lure head without taping and gluing. "We met these needs and
exceeded them with the Big Game SilaFlash EZ Skirt," beams
Daryl. "I do much offshore trolling myself, and the new
SilaFlash skirts pull big game fish up from the deep blue ocean
far better than Mylar or anything else I've ever seen. You can
look behind the boat, and see the SilaFlash skirts
strobe-flashing in the trolling wake 75 yards behind the boat.
It's unmistakably bright when the material is in water and
there's any light to be reflected," says Greene. "We
are in production now and expect to release SilaFlash skirts for
bass and other freshwater species in 2007," he adds.
Prototype SilaFlash skirts for bass fishing
are more sparkly than the camera can capture in above photo.