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Small but Mighty, the Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
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Shimano SLX Baitcaster Review

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SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster
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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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Additional Recent Articles

Okuma Nomad Express – Freedom for Big Bait Anglers
How many times have you been traveling and come across some pristine water that you just knew would be holding some big fish and wished that you had your trusty rod and reel with you? Even better, armed with your swimbait rod?
Visiting a Renewed Old Friend : Berkley's Fireline Ultra 8
Berkley's original Fireline is actually the very first superline I ever used and it was my go to choice for several years, so when the manufacturer came out with this new, eight (8) carrier version, I was very anxious to check it out. Here now is our review of Berkley's 8 carrier Fireline.
Shimano and Jackall Prepare to Launch New Poison Adrena rods and Lures at the Classic
The Bassmaster Classic is upon us once again and a number of manufacturers are leveraging the show as a launch platform for new tackle. Shimano and Jackall have teamed up to introduce a refreshed line of Poison Adrena rods, as well as two new lures designed to enhance your bass hunting arsenal.
O.S.P.'s DoLive Stick Is Anything But Basic
Part of the lore of fishing and enthusiast category bait is the low likelihood fish have seen the offering in your local waters. O.S.P. is a JDM brand best known for their squarebill Blitz crankbait and Rudra jerkbait, but did you know they also make soft plastics

Fenwick Increases an Already Good Value in Their HMG
It was just last year that we shared with you our thoughts on Fenwick's HMG72M-MFC casting rod and wouldn't you know it, the series has been refreshed for 2018! This time around we made sure to get some more specifics about our review specimen so the components are much less of a mystery. Here's out look at the HMG's Search for One candidate, the HMG70MH-FC.

Ned Rigging Success with the Z-Man TRD Crawz
It's safe to say that the Ned Rig has been one of the hottest things going in bass fishing over the last several years. When conjuring up images of this finesse technique, most anglers will envision a tiny stick worm rigged on a little mushroom-shaped jig head. As one of the most recognized names in Ned Rig fishing, we take a peek at a new Z-Man bait to hit this segment—the TRD CrawZ.

Small but Mighty, the Deadly Megabass Dark Sleeper
With lures like the Vision 110 leading charge there are plenty of reasons to take a serious look at any bait that the company introduces. The Dark Sleeper was launched two seasons ago, and is designed to arm anglers with a hybrid swimbait option for targeting deeper holding fish.

Taking Aim at "The One" with Ark Rods's Sniper Series
At the time of this writing, Sniper is ARK Rods's highest end series of rods. I say that because given how fast this company moves, there may be two or three lines above Sniper by the time I finish this article and it sees the light of the Internet! The SNP70MXC is a seven foot stick with a sophisticated black and grey color scheme

As Versatile as a Pocket Knife? The Reaction Innovations Machete
Reaction Innovation's Machete measures out at just over seven inches in length. It features a ribbed main body similar in texture to the company's Beaver trailer bait. The Machete's tail is actually two in one. Out of the package, it performs like a paddletail, but there's a diagonal split through that paddle with two pieces of soft plastic holding it together. Split this apart and you get a curly tail worm!

St. Croix's 8'8" Legend Glass : What's the Dealio?
The further your cast, the deeper your bait will run and the longer you can keep it in that precious strike zone. St. Croix has answered the call within their Legend Glass series of cranking sticks and today, we take a look at their 8'-8" LGC88HM.
Shimano SLX Baitcasters Deliver the Features that Anglers Need, at a Price they Demand
Shimano’s latest foray into the hotly contested $99 dollar price point, the SLX, looks to be a real contender by returning to an aluminum based frame with a more compact profile, upping the ante in both refinement and performance.
Now Back to a More Traditional Package : Abu Garcia's Gen 4 Revo S
With the introduction of their new entry level Revo model, the X, Abu Garcia must have realized sales of their former entry level Revo, the S, were bound to slow down. But just what are the differences between the S and the X and is the S still a good value at $30 more than the X? Let's take a closer look.
Percolating to the Top of Your Bait List, Reins's Bubbling Shaker
Finesse worms come in all shapes and sizes - like straight and skinny. When we see a finesse-y soft plastic worm with a little shape to it, we take note. Add to that worm's profile, some ring action and you have downright interest. Reins's new Bubbling Shaker soft plastic worm is one such product, so we made an effort to procure a couple bags...
Phenix Spreads Their Wings Into the Line Market with Hydra Braid
Hydra Braid is actually one of three braided line products Phenix Rods offers. Ironfeather Elite Braid is a soft, lightweight braid designed for situations where stealth is a premium (like targeting trout species) and Phenix also offers a sixteen strand hollow core braided product. Hydra is available in three colors and in weights from twenty through two hundred lb. test!
Berkley's New MaxScent PowerBait D-Worm
When I hear the brand PowerBait, I'm reminded mostly of those little jars of bait many of us have used fishing for stocked trout in the many lakes and reservoirs across the country. However, Berkley has been making worms and other soft plastic baits for targeting bass probably for just as long. Searching for ways to change things up and try something new, I ordered a few bags of the company's MaxScent D-Worms...

A Mix of Swimming and Gliding Actions – The Jackall Dowzswimmer
In recent seasons Jackall has continued to expand their fusion-style baits with products like the half frog and half swimbait styled Grinch, the popper and crank mashup that is the Riser, and the Dowzswimmer, which is a unique blend of both traditional 3-piece swimbait at a 2-piece glidebait designs

A First Look at the Upcoming 13 Fishing Inception Sport Z Baitcaster
13 Fishing has never been afraid of bold designs and styling when it comes to their tackle offerings. The company is preparing to introduce a new Inception Series reel at the upcoming Bassmaster Classic, and it will be the first reel in the mainstream series to make use of the company’s Concept Zero Bearings (CZB)
An Average in Strands, But Not Performance : Finatic's Pro Series Braid
Every year, a handful of new manufacturers reach out to us with the goal of finding out how their product stacks up. During the Fall of 2018, one such company, Finatic, introduced themselves by sending us spools of their brand new fluorocarbon and braided fishing lines. Today, we take a look at their braid which features a unique, six carrier weave.


 
 
Your Next Secret Weapon? Big Bite Bait's Coontail Worm
The Coontail Worm measures just under five inches in length and varies in diameter from head to its stubby little tail. It is covered in the afore mentioned rings, but what's interesting about this bait is its core is not straight. That bit of plastic that serves as the bait's spine is actually curved, giving it a more lifelike organic shape.

The Yeti Panga 28 Backpack - A Waterproof Fortress for all Your Outdoor Gear
The Yeti Panga backpack takes everything that the company learned while building the Panga Duffel Series and puts it all into a convenient, still fully waterproof, and more ergonomic backpack design.

The Versatile McRip 85 by Spro
BASS Elite Series Pro Mike McClelland is fanatical about the rip bait. Just look at how many baits of this style Spro has manufactured with his name on them. He has a rip/jerk bait to suit just about any situation you can think of and when the bass are holding a little deeper during prespawn or late fall, he relies on a tiny little bait designed to get down and inspire a feeding frenzy.
Long Term Test: Dobyns Brings the Fury at a Great Price Point
While the new Xtasy rods are designed to be a halo product for the brand, one of the top selling lines continues to be the much more affordable and value oriented Fury Series. We have been putting the Fury 795 swimbait rod through the paces for over two years and it is time to see just how well this $129 dollar rod has held up. 
Warbaits Puts a Spin on Swimbait Jigheads
We have been utilizing the company's jigs and swimbait heads for years and the subject of the first review of the new year, the Warbaits Underspin jigheads, is designed to offer anglers a little more flash while targeting suspended fish.
The Dependable Abu Garcia Revo4 S Spinning Reel
As we've been uncovering all year, Abu Garcia's gen four revamp of their freshwater reel lineup extends from the newly introduced Revo X through their flagship Premier. However, casting reels weren't the only product to receive a refresh. Abu's extensive lineup of spinning reels received a corresponding renewal.

Crank It Up! Abu Garcia's Veritas Winch Cranking Stick
There are actually seven (7) sticks within the Veritas Cranking rod lineup including two of the new generation nine foot (9') cranking sticks! I'm not sure that I'm ready for that movement quite yet, so the stick I chose to take a closer look at is the VTSCW76-6.

Is Your Collection Complete? Wait, It's Another Vision OneTen Variant
Few manufacturers in the fishing industry have product as iconic as Megabass's Vision OneTen and as we all know, Megabass is not shy about leveraging the success of this lure through several available variants. We caught wind of the latest variant back in 2017 and finally got our hands on some early this year just in time for rip bait season...
An Extended Look at Sunline's FX2 Braided Line
Braided lines are a mainstay of anglers around the world and over the last several years, these lines have become more sophisticated and specialized. Sure there are braids made for general purpose applications, but now there are braids made for finesse fishing, braids with a special formulation so they actually sink, braids for flipping and pitching and so on. Today, we take a look at a line especially developed for the latter...
Spro's Fat Papa Squarebill Backfield of #55 & #70
With each passing year, it seems to grow more difficult to find those good old fashioned balsa wood crankbaits. They take longer to make, generally cost more than injection molded cranks, and are prone to breaking. What most people don't mention too is often times, you have to buy five in order to find two or three that actually catch fish.
ARK Rods Strikes at Value with their Viper VIP72MHXC
If the higher end series help to build a company's mystique, it's really the more value driven lines that builds the following. Anglers want a fishing rod they can put their hands on and fish, rather than one they can only admire at the tackle store, or perhaps more frustrating, only through pictures in reviews. Ok, maybe we're being a little extreme here, but there's no denying the allure of a nice, affordable fishing rod...


 

The Plano Z-Series Wrap is a Mixed Bag
Wraps are a good solution for hard to store baits because of their ability to stow lures of varying shapes and sizes. Plano, a leader in tackle storage, has introduced a variety of new offerings in their Z-Series which makes use of quality materials and are made even more attractive with Kryptek patterns. These Z-Series offerings include tackle bags, backpacks, and a new wrap...
More than Just Finesse with Fenwick's HMG70ML-FS
We've taken a look at Fenwick's HMG series of rods before, but to date, our tests have always been with their casting gear. Naturally there's more to the HMG line than just the casting rods, so this year, for Fenwick's newly refreshed HMG line, we finally take a look at one of their spinning rods. Here now is our take on Fenwick's HMG70ML-FS spinning rod.

A Signature Whine: Shimano’s Curado 150 DC Feels Both New and Familiar at the Same Time
A Shimano DC reel for only $249 dollars? I’m not sure I ever thought that we would see the day that this feature would finally become mainstream, let alone be introduced in a Curado Series reel. Yet here we are, and the Curado Series enters a new chapter, serving as the launch platform for Shimano’s new and easier to operate I-DC4 system.

Let's Talk About SX, Revo4 SX
There's a magical price point in bass fishing circles where value meets high end. At TackleTour, we refer to this as the shadeline. Like a shadeline, this price point can move, and is different depending on the product (body of water), sun angle (state of the economy), and depth you are fishing (your own personal budget), but with low profile baitcasters, this line is typically from $150 - $175.
TWB : Molix's Hollow Bodied Walker
There's little doubt the topwater hollow body frog is a favorite bait amongst bass fishermen for its extreme weedless presentation and the ease by which you can cast, pitch, or skip it into the tightest of spaces. In recent years, we've seen a few variations on the frog theme from shad profile baits to poppers - all with the same basic hollow body construction. Today, we take a look at yet another variation on this theme.

Megabass Valkyrie Rods Take Flight with New Shielz Hybrid Construction
Almost as if it was a stealth launch the Megabass Valkyrie rods are now available to domestic anglers, but just what are these rods, and how are they positioned? We spend a day on the water with Megabass Prostaffer and Big Bass hunter Oliver Ngy to fish and learn more about this new lineup of "adjustable" rods. 

Down Under Optics: Seeing Clearly with Mako’s Polarized Sunglasses
Australia is known for some of the harshest conditions so it really is no surprise that it is in the Down Under that Mako Polarized Sunglasses was born. This Australian brand has now come to the United States and offers anglers a line of premium polarized sunglasses that are designed to offer the ultimate in comfort and clarity for outdoor enthusiasts.
A REVO Four, Two Worlds - the Inshore
Freshwater lakes and waterways are not the only destinations for anglers seeking to wet a line. Inshore and brackish water species are just as fun to catch, but these environments are much more harsh on our equipment. Manufacturers have responded with increasing amounts of tackle built specifically for these situations.
Evergreen International's Next Generation Super Stallion
While traveling in Japan in 2013, I came across a variant of this stick in Evergreen's new Kaleido Inspirare series. It was a stick with the same name and ratings only with a different, more aggressive handle design. Here now is our look at Evergreen International's Inspire Super Stallion Black!
Basic Yet Custom at the Same Time : CLU's Live Wire BzB8t
For all its timeless effectiveness, the buzzbait seems to get little fan fare when it comes the discussion of favorite topwater baits. Its basic design has gone unchanged since inception, yet there are certainly little tweaks and refinements from bait to bait that set each apart...
A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod
Daiwa's Tatula Elite Signature Series rods cover the entire range of bass fishing applications and are designed by the very pro anglers which the individual rods are named and branded after. The company brings some of their top-end technologies and components into play in the series, including Bias graphite construction and AGS carbon guides.
A Gem Hidden Within Abu Garcia's Veritas Lineup - the VTSS70-4
As fancy, high performing, and desirable higher end rods can get, there will always be an interest! in sticks right around that magical $99 price point. To many anglers on a budget, and at one point in time even for me, this WAS high end. Abu Garcia has been making a name for themselves with good performing value priced sticks...
The Down Low Knuckle LD by Megabass
We shared with you our long overdue thoughts on Megabass of America's eccentric little squarebill, the Knuckle FX, but did you know the Knuckle has a less well know little brother? This brother only comes in one size and instead of the adjustable lexan lip, comes with a standard, fixed lip made of circuit board material. Introducing Megabass of America's Knuckle LD.

 

 

   

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