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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage


TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series
Ready to Combat the USDM : Evergreen International's Jack Hammer

First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters


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TackleTour Shootout : Stella FJ vs Exist LT

Crazy Glide? The Baitsanity Explorer Swimbaits

Number Four REVO Winch by Abu Garcia

Re-Enforcing the Viability of Spinning Gear, Megabass's New F4.5-74XXS
Light and Tough? It Does EXIST and It's Made by Daiwa ARK Rods Adds Value to Your Search With the IVK70MXC Casting Rod Forget the Street Car, Book the Bullet Train to this New Stella On a Monster Mission: Fishing for Great Snakehead

Additional Recent Articles

What the Finesse?!? A Sub $150 BFS Stick? Meet The 47

The T47C-370BCF is a seven foot stick built on a blank featuring a blend of thirty and forty tone carbon fiber by Toray. This is good quality graphite. Doomsday Tackle is making use of Fuji's micro sized Alconite insert guides with stainless steel frames and wraps them with a kind of vintage thread wrap design on the offwhite painted blank.

Putting the Pro in IMX, G.Loomis's new DSR822S
As someone who prefers and appreciates a clean hierarchy in product lineups, I always found it confusing and a bit chaotic the way G.Loomis had grown a little sideways with their former technique specific series. It's easy to understand where GL3, IMX, GLX, NRX, etc., fit in terms of pecking order but just where did crankbait, spinnerbait, shakyhead, jerkbait, etc., fit into that scheme?
Versus Goliath - Targeting Goliath Grouper in Florida
Goliath Groupers look like gigantic bass and are some of the most voracious predators that cruise the wrecks and reefs in South Florida. These bottom dwelling titans are responsible for stealing many a fish from unsuspecting anglers whom are simply trying to get their fish back to the boat. I’ve wanted to catch one of these monsters ever since I first tangled with one of these beasts, and lost, just over two years ago.  
Slowing Things Down with Abu Garcia's Revo 4 Winch Spinning Reel
One of the arguments I hear in passing as to why bass anglers prefer casting reels to spinning is the slower gear ratios in spinning reels versus casting. What I guess many of the anglers making this argument fail to realize is it's not the gear ratio that's important, but the actual rate of retrieve or inches of line retrieved per turn of the reel's handle (IPT).
Slowing Down with the MagSlowl by Megabass
During the Spring of 2017, we shared our long overdue look at Megabass's somewhat unconventional MagDraft soft bodied swimbait. It was unconventional for the way in which it was intended to be fished - fast. Today we finally take a look at the MagDraft's more chill sibling. Introducing Megabass's MagSlowl soft bodied swimbait.
What the Finesse?!? Phenix's Sub 3oz Feather Series Spinning Rod
If there is one rod manufacturer that has proven over the last five years it's on a mission to deliver solid performing sticks at a price that won't break the bank, that manufacturer is Phenix Rods. With roughly half a dozen collections offered at right around two hundred dollars or less (Recon, Glass Cranking, Composite Cranking, M1 Bass, Maxim, M1 Swimbait), Phenix demonstrates they understand the value minded angler.

Making a Case for the Rotation : Quantum's Smoke S3 Inshore Spinning Reel
One of the Quantum reels that really caught our attention at ICAST 2017 was a black spinning reel with blue highlights. It is one of the newly re-engineered Series Three reels, but not built solely for freshwater. In fact, this reel is actually intended for inshore use, but of course, just because it's built for inshore does not mean we can't use it in freshwater applications.

Cranking It Up with Spro's John Crew's Fat John 60
How many of you have tucked away in your tackle collection somewhere some of those big, fat, wood cranks from yester- year. Seems like these precious little baits become more difficult to find with each passing year. In fact, is anyone still making one?

Living the Dream – Big Bass Crappie Dreams
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to join Oliver Ngy, renowned trophy bass hunter and founder of the lifestyle label Big Bass Dreams, for a day of fishing at one of my favorite regional bodies of water, Lake Berryessa in nearby Napa County. Looking to mix things up our target for the day was not the usual largemouth and smallmouth bass that I typically fish for, but rather the pursuit of monster crappie.
Forget the 4, this Revo Generation is about the X
No, Abu Garcia's Revo4 model X is not a product made in conjunction with Tesla motors nor does it have any electronic parts (that we know of). Instead, it is the new, gateway Revo model available in three retrieve ratios and presented with a price tag of $99.

Crank It Up! : Berkley Fishing's Comprehensive Dredger
Deep diving crankbaits of recent vintage have taken on a new profile as is witnessed by our L.O.U.S. (lures of unusual size) series. Berkley bucks that trend and goes in the opposite direction with a pint sized crankbait they've engineered to reach depths in excess of twenty five feet!

A Jig Worth More Than Just Flipping Out Over
Pre-ICAST 2017, social media was a-buzz with Mike Iaconelli supposedly flipping out for some mysterious reason. We now know the reveal was Missile Jigs's new Ike's Flip Out Jig. We managed to get our hands on some post-ICAST and have been fishing them off and on ever since. Here's a closer look at this new jig.
A New Benchmark in Rigidity? A Look inside the Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster
At the recent Bassmaster Classic Shimano officially introduced a new generation of anglers to the series with the launch of the Bantam 150 MGL which will be offered in six different models. The new Bantam reels channel the original with a focus on a solid metal construction, only with a whole lot more refinement and use of the latest technologies from the Shimano stable...
Stop, Wait a Minute.. Yes, that's Megabass's Funky Flipper
The Funky Flipper measures just over two inches in length but this bait's story begins with its over all teardrop shape that really resembles the vintage Griffon that's been sitting within a Plano box baking in the sun for several hours causing it to balloon up from the inside...
Bull Shad Swimbaits Enters the Rat Race
Like an infestation that circles around every three or four years, rat style baits seem to come back into vogue with good frequency. Bull Shad Swimbaits has made their mark with kind of nondescript, really plain, almost beat up looking baits that mimic shad, sunfish, herring and the like. Late last year, they jumped into the rat race too. We spent some time with the Bull Rat and the following is our review!
Beware the Bait Finesse Addiction : Shimano's Scorpion BFS
Once only available to the most dedicated enthusiast with a big budget, reels like Shimano's Brenious and Daiwa's Alphas SV are built to deliver BFS capabilities for right around $250. No where is it more evident that the BFS movement has gained real traction than in the availability today's subject of review - the Scorpion BFS.
Best Value Alert : Ark Rods Invoker IVK610MLXS
With each passing year at ICAST, we come across a new (or at least new to us) rod company or two that bares closer inspection. At ICAST 2017 this distinction went to ARK Rods out of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Established in 2016, ARK Rods already has a full suite of bass sticks with five (5) series in all ranging in price from $90 through $200.


Reaction Innovation's New One Two Shiver Punch
The Shiver Shot is just over three and a half inches long soft plastic bait made in the general shape of a baitfish. The main body and head of the bait resemble the company's Skinny Dipper only with a flat, dolphin like spit tail rather than a paddletail.

A Global Design for Enthusiasts, the Shimano G.Loomis Conquest Rods
A joint collaboration within the same company? This is exactly what it took to create the Conquest Series, a twelve rod lineup that brought together G.Loomis’s rod design expertise and popular mag bass actions with Shimano’s core blank technology.
What the Enthusiast? Keitech's Easy Shaker Worm
Keitech snuck onto the scene several years ago with their Swing Impact series of paddletail baits. One week, these baits were no where to be seen, and in no time, they became the paddletail of choice - especially at the height of the Bama-rig craze. But the company makes more than just soft bodied swimbaits...
From Crawler to Star, Cranking it Up with Spro's RkCrawler 55
Mike McClelland is well known as a jerkbait fisherman as is evidenced by the many variants of his McStick baits by Spro. But like many of us, he grew up throwing an old fashioned mid-depth running crankbait banging it against the bottom in about ten to twelve (10-12) feet of water searching for bass. A few years ago, McClelland convinced the folks at Spro to help him revive this genre of bait...
The Dragon ReAwakens : Megabass of America's 2018 Orochi XX
2018 marks five fun filled, brand re-defining years for the manufacturer that is positioned at the very soul of the enthusiast market, and a lot of that is thanks to the original Orochi XX: a series of rods that offered a taste of Megabass for tailored for the US bass fishing market at a reasonable price point...
New Savage Gear 3D Minnow Wobbles for Walleye
Here at TT we joke about all the horrors that the Savage Gear 3D scanner has been subjected to as the company continues to crank out bait after bait based on scans of actual prey. The latest in the never-ending lineup of baits based on three dimensional scanning is a minnow style diving crankbait that is created specifically to target Walleye.
Living up to the Hype? The Zero Ball Bearing Concept Z from 13 Fishing
Probably the most talked about low profile baitcaster to be introduced in the last year, the 13 Fishing Concept Z has been the subject of much debate since this zero ball bearing reel was launched this past ICAST...
The Original Vision for Yuki Ito's RipBait : The Megabass Ito Shiner
A couple of years ago, the company unveiled a hard plastic version of a hand carved jerkbait Yuki Ito had in his personal tackle box. This forgotten bait actually served as the inspiration for the OneTen and now Megabass has done their best to replicate that bait as a production lure. Here now is our look at Megabass's Ito Shiner.

Built for Big Baits, the Beast that is the Daiwa Lexa Type-WN 400H
Designed to tackle just about anything that anglers can tie on the new Daiwa Lexa Type-WN reels feel right at home in inshore and saltwater applications but is also a great fit for big bait specialists that are looking for a reel that can cast and crank back the biggest and heaviest swimbaits available.

Solid, Smooth, Refined, Quantum's New Smoke S3 Spinning Reel
Quantum's Series Three (S3) Re-imaging and re-engineering of their entire suite of reels as debuted at ICAST 2017 did not end with just their casting reels. No, the revamp includes their spinning reel lineup as well. Today, we take a look at of their Smoke S3 spinning reels to see just how well it performs.
A Spin on Affordable Versatility - St. Croix's BassX BXS610MLXF
Back in 2016, St. Croix lowered the threshold for buy-in to their product philosophy with the introduction of a $100 series of bass rods. Today, we take our first detailed look at the BXS610MLXF - a six foot, ten inch (6'-10") spinning rod in their brand new Bass X series of rods.


Conquer the Sun with Aftco's Fish Ninja Shirt
Sun-protective shirts and masks are two of the most crucial items I bring along on a fishing day. Wearing these pieces of clothing aren't likely to help you get more bites, but protecting your skin is just as important as catching fish! With the Fish Ninja shirt from Aftco, they have blended both a mask and hood into the shirt for the utmost in convenience and protection.

A New Specialty Bait from Roboworm : The Ned Worm
Soft plastic stick baits are in the midst of a revival thanks to the popularization of two weighting strategies to fish these baits. The strategies aren't really new per se, but have gained notoriety over the last few years. The most recent of these strategies involves fishing the stick baits on a specialized, mushroom shaped jig head. Yes, we are talking about the Ned Rig...

Shimano's Fully Machined BFS Masterpiece
The first thing to strike you when lifting the Calcutta Conquest BFS out of its box is the reel's finish. It does not feature the traditional gold/bronze anodizing of its Conquest brethren but instead has its own stealthy pewter finish...
G.Rods Makes Graphene Affordable with the Game Changer Series
GRods International has continued to expand their offerings and the Game Changer Series is designed to make the company’s graphene technology much more affordable and accessible to everyday anglers. The rods don’t stray too far from the company’s existing lines when it comes to layout and styling but as you would expect makes use of a different blank and components to achieve the more aggressive price point.
What the Finesse ?!? : Do You Swivel Shot?
Gamakatsu with the help of pro staffer Shin Fukae came out with an innovative little design to help drop shot fishermen minimize line twist problems. It took us some time, but finally, here is our look at the Swivel Shot Drop Shot Hook.
St. Croix's Legend Elite ES70MLF Wins our Ultimate Award
What's great about finding a rod series we enjoy is sampling different models within the same line. So today, we get to turn our attention back to St. Croix's new Legend Elite series with a look at the ES70MLF.

Taking Aim at the Ubiquitous Stick Bait, Missile Bait's New The 48 Worm
Inconspicuously missing from the Missle Bait's arsenal has been that do-nothing soft plastic stick bait so pervasive in other brands. That changed this past year at ICAST when Missile Jigs introduced their interpretation of this bait, The 48. Let's see how this bait stacks up.

Savage Gear Introduces New Fishing Rods for 2018 - Meet the Browser Series
The first thing most anglers think about when they think Savage Gear is baits, and most likely the company's 3D scanned swimbaits or wild topwater lures like the Suicide Duck. This season the company is expanding into rods with their new Browser Series...
Crank It Up: Megabass Eccentric X-Dad Crankbait
Several years ago, before their STW initiative took over a good part of the company's focus, Megabass debuted a funky little crankbait designed to mimic a crayfish. It is an eccentric little bait that only a company like Megabass can pull off. Here is our look at Megabass's X-Dad crankbait.
Spro's Mike McClelland McStick 95 Rip Bait
McClelland is a jerk bait fanatic so you know any bait with his name on it has to perform. Today, we take a look at a jerkbait built with a slightly smaller profile than usual and designed to be effective in highly pressured waters. Here's our take on Spro's Mike McClelland McStick 95.

First Tests and a Look Inside the 13 Fishing Concept Z - Zero Ball Bearing Baitcaster
The Concept Z is the first high-performance casting reel to be manufactured without any ball bearings and instead makes use of an advanced polymer technology to create their Concept Zero Bearings (CZB) to build a reel that is designed to fish quite unlike any other.

Shimano’s Curado K Baitcaster : More than Black and White
The Curado Series is a critical reel, arguably the most important cornerstone of Shimano’s entire low profile baitcasting lineup. Delivering a reel that lives up to the Curado name is no simple task. Simply put, this is the one that Shimano had to get right.
The Surprising Fantasista Premier FNPS70-5 from Abu Garcia
What’s better than seeing new and intriguing product each year at ICAST? When that same product shows up at TT HQ with little to no warning. Such was the case with Abu Garcia’s brand new, intermediate tier, flagship series of rods Fantasista Premier.










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