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LIVE ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series
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Ready to Combat the USDM : Evergreen International's Jack Hammer
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First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters
 


 


Latest Featured Articles

 
       

Baits That Make You Think, Hmmmm... Biovex

Lew's Updates Existing Favorites and Introduces New Super Duty Baitcasters

Something is a Buzz with Big Bite Baits

The Randall Tharp Signature Series from Ark Rods
Locally Sourced and Produced Zee Bait Co. Abu Garcia Encourages Us to Be Like Ike Rolling Down the River2Sea Catalog of Baits Quantum Re-Focuses their Value Propositions

Additional Recent Articles

Jackall expands their Surface Bait Offering with the Chopcut and Riserbait
We are always eager to check out what Jackall has to offer and this year the company is focused on expanding their hardbait lineup, and especially those that are designed to target fish on the surface.

Speed, Power, Xtreme... Abu Garcia Cranking up Gen 4
2017 was a big year for Abu Garcia at ICAST. It was then the company introduced their 4th iteration of their popular REVO series of low profile baitcasting reels. This year, the company is extending the Revo4 refresh to two of their more specialty and extreme performing reels.

Like a Seafoam Tide - Meet the Concept TXZ
13 Fishing is based in Florida and wholeheartedly embraces their roots offering a wide range of inshore products. This ICAST the company built on their CZB range of reel offerings with the introduction of the Concept TXZ, a reel designed to stand up to tough saltwater abuse.
A Huge Leap for Daiwa's Tatula Series by Going Smaller and More Compact
Daiwa's Tatula Series has become a top seller for the company and with good reason, these reels deliver a lot of the features and performance of higher end Daiwa reels at a significantly lower price. While the recent Tatula reels have become extremely refined, even sporting SV spools, the form factor of the reels still left anglers wanting something more ergonomic and refined.
Exclusive First Look at the New Shimano SLX Series Reels and Rods

Fans of Shimano biking components will immediately recognize the SLX name, and that it is designed for value and mainstream oriented riders. The new SLX baitcaster is designed to do the same for anglers, providing a solid, versatile, and affordable everyday workhorse option.

A First Look at the Boldly Styled Upcoming Halo Rods Black Widow Bass Series
In the weeks leading up to the show we had the opportunity to fish a new rod line that Halo will be launching at ICAST called the Black Widow Series, which is based on a Japanese graphite blank and is designed for excellent response and sensitivity, all with a range of tapers and actions specifically created for bass anglers.
Shimano Curado 150 DC – Bringing Digital Cast Control to the Masses
Shimano’s Digitally Controlled (DC) braking system is not new, it is a proven technology that has been reserved for the company’s highest end, mostly JDM, reel offerings. That is until next week when Shimano will officially launch the Curado 150 DC, the first mainstream baitcaster in the U.S. to make use of this externally adjustable microprocessor controlled technology.
Make No Bones About It, The New Z from Kistler
When we heard about a refreshed rod series being built on a new blank rolled without the traditional scrim material, our interest was peaked. When this series is coming from Kistler Custom Rods, you know we had to get our hands on one of these sticks to check out the benefits - or lack there of - for ourselves. Here's our look at the 2019 ZBone ZB3LMH73.
Daiwa's Stealthy New 2018 Ryoga
For those unfamiliar with the platform, Daiwa's Ryoga served as the basis for the USDM Pluton back in 2008. The original intent for this reel is as an inshore product but of course fishermen, especially bass fishermen, don't pay attention to this...
A Squarebill with Special FX : The Megabass Knuckle
What if the bait you already had tied on and were firing down the bank could be adjusted to accommodate the parameters that one little situation presented, and then adjusted back to handle the remaining stretch of bank. Megabass has the solution with their Knuckle FX squarebill crank.
TackleTour Shootout : Stella FJ vs Exist LT
It's that time again. Time to cast aside our review mentality and really get into the nitty gritty side by side comparison of product. It's been a few years since we've conducted a good old fashioned TackleTour Shootout but early in 2018, two products presented themselves before us that inspired a true head to head comparison.
Crazy Glide? The Baitsanity Explorer Swimbaits
There is arguably no more desirable hard-bodied swimbait to big trophy hunters than the custom glide bait. A good glide bait is often the centerpiece in the swimbait aficionado’s arsenal, one that is responsible for many personal bests. What is it that makes these baits so popular among ardent anglers?
Number Four REVO Winch by Abu Garcia
Fresh off their Editor's Choice Award win with the Revo X, Abu Garcia is right back in the fire with perhaps my favorite Revo model or at least the one in my lineup that has seen the most consistent use over the years...
Re-Enforcing the Viability of Spinning Gear, Megabass's New F4.5-74XXS
In March, we shared with you our first impressions of Megabass of America's refreshed Orochi XX lineup after a day on the water with CEO Yuskei Murayama and a collection of his late model prototypes. In late April, the production sticks arrived at their Northern California headquarters on a day I just happened to be there picking up some Destroyer sticks to fill out my collection...
Light and Tough? It Does EXIST and It's Made by Daiwa
It's been eleven long years since I've sampled a new Daiwa Exist. At least, that's the last review on our site of Daiwa's top end JDM Spinning Reel. To be honest, I like that reel so much and it has performed so well for me through the years, that I haven't really paid attention to updates on this reel.
ARK Rods Adds Value to Your Search With the IVK70MXC Casting Rod
In March of 2018, in their first official review here on TackleTour, ARK Rods's Invoker IVK610MLXS spinning rod  easily won our Best Value award for delivering a solid performing stick on a good blank. Does their formula translate well in a casting rod? We take a close look at the IVK70MXC to find out.
Forget the Street Car, Book the Bullet Train to this New Stella

How excited were you and how much anticipation did you have to take to the water and make your first cast? Remember that feeling? That's what being an enthusiast is all about - enthusiasm.


 
 
On a Monster Mission: Fishing for Great Snakehead
Like many other anglers I have a number of fish on my bucket-list. Some are easy guesses like the beautiful Amazon Peacock Bass (check), or drag destroying Goliath Grouper (also check), but others are a little more obscure like the enigmatic Great Snakehead...

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.

 

 

   

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