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Fishing Favors the Bold. Trika’s 7 Foot+ Casting Rods

JDM Calcutta Conquest for Finesse - The Calcutta Conquest BFS

Behind the Threads of Bad News Bass. Talking to B.N.B. Founder Erik Yamamoto The Gold Standard for Round Reels Gets Dual Cast Control System: The Calcutta Conquest MD
Daiwa Embraces IoT With New Bluetooth Equipped IM Z LIMITBREAKER Baitcaster The Search For One : Phenix's Re-Imagined MAX-73MH The Impressive Middle Child : Abu Garcia's Zenon MG-X Casting Reel The Surprisingly Versatile Steez AGS "The Sensor" Casting Rod

Additional Recent Articles

Designed for Sending Big Baits - Shimano’s Curado 200 DC
The Shimano Curado family has grown once again and the company’s latest baitcaster, the Curado 200 DC, is designed specifically to address applications where thicker lines and larger lures require both casting distance and a robust retrieve. While fishing swimbaits seems like a natural fit for this reel there are other power-oriented applications that are also well suited for this new larger Curado DC baitcaster.

Time for Another Build or Two: Point Blank Rods's PB731HXF
Rods fascinate me. The number of ways in which they can be assembled, and the different materials used to build the blanks represent a world of intrigue and mystery that never ceases to intrigue. The very core of a fishing rod, it's soul - that blank, is where it all begins yet it is often shrouded in a build that makes the task of extracting its character difficult.

Creature Fever : Big Bite Bait's Hybrid Soft Plastic Craw Tube
The bait's main body is a tube, but with rings on the outside all leading to the traditional tube bait skirt. However, out from the sides, just before the bait transitions to the skirt, protrude two claw like appendages.
UFO 6” Gill Swimbait – Abducting Bass Night and Day
UFO Bait Co. is a custom swimbait builder that creates some of the most sought-after gill baits in the game. These include the immense Mothership and the smaller 6” gill, both of which are coveted by swimbait enthusiasts that have witnessed, or heard about, the many bass abductions that these renowned baits are responsible for.
A Worthy Tribute : Costa’s Versatile Ferg Series
The Costa Ferg frames pay tribute to the company’s founder, Ray Ferguson, and includes some of the brand’s newest sport-oriented elements including high quality 580G glass lenses and vented adjustable nose pads, but also features styling that doesn’t look out of place off the water.
Abu Garcia's BFS Flex : The Revo Ultracast BF8
Following on the heels of my very positive experience with Abu Garcia Japan's Limited Edition LX992Z BFS casting reel, I was on the hunt for another reel to sample only this time, hopefully, in left hand retrieve. I came across a second candidate from the same manufacturer with a very familiar look...
Could It Be Magic? Megabass's US P5 F5.5-76X Mark-56
The new US P5 F7.5-76X Mark-56 invokes the name of one of these previous models, the F8-78X Mark-48 introduced in 2019 during the former US Destroyer line's extension. It's only natural to assume they are the same, or at least similar sticks, but such an assumption would actually be a mistake.
The Surprisingly Versatile Steez AGS "The Sensor" Casting Rod
Daiwa's Steez AGS "The Sensor," is a seven foot (7'-0") stick built on the manufacturer's updated SVF Compile-X graphite blank featuring Nanoplus resin. Guides for this stick are Daiwa's latest, proprietary AGS guides featuring carbon fiber frames.

Defying the Status Quo : ARK Fishing Creates Their Own Gravity Baitcasters

Given the number of rod and lure manufacturers delving into the reel segment it's easy to assume ARK is leveraging the same or similar resources as the majority of these other upstarts. Well, I'm pleased to say, to make such an assumption about ARK's new Gravity 7 (G7) would be in error.

Accessible, Affordable, and More Importantly, Effective : Molix's GlideBait 140 SS
Begrudgingly, time once dedicated to slinging something exclusive gives way to the less exciting prospect of fishing something more accessible. However, on the rare occasion, these circumstances can reveal something unexpected. Here's our experience with Molix's latest entry big bait craze, their GlideBait 140 SS.

Lew's Shifts It into High Gear (Ratio) with Their HyperSpeed LFS
Equipped with a 9.5:1 retrieve ratio on a 34 mm spool (33mm to inside of beveled edge), Lew's new HyperSpeed LFS casting reel is their fastest to date. It features a is one-piece aluminum frame, 95m handle, and a very comfortable shape and profile.
The Megabass P5 Destroyers are Coming! A First Look at the US P5 Rod Launch Lineup
The much anticipated Megabass America Destroyer P5 USA lineup of rods is right around the corner and the first run rods just landed here at the TackleTour lab today. As we begin a deeper dive into the new rods here is a preview of the launch lineup and what US anglers can expect from the new series.
Function Meets Fashion, Daiwa's Silver Creek AIR TW
With the expanse of BFS fishing in the last few years, Daiwa dove into a niche within a niche with BFS trout fishing, releasing the Silver Creek Air TW. This proves that BFS fishing is on the rise, and for good reason. Being a majority of my BFS fishing is stream fishing for trout, it was only natural for me to run the Silver Creek AIR TW through the paces.
Baitsanity’s Most Technical Glidebait Yet – The Antidote TUG
Baitsanity’s newest glidebait, the Antidote TUG, is also the company’s new halo swimbait and comes with a laundry list of innovative features which also make it a highly technical bait to master. Designed for big bait enthusiasts the TUG can achieve some remarkably diverse glide actions but with somewhat of a steep learning curve is this a big bait for everyone?
A Measure of Consistency, Kistler's New KLX
Last year, Kistler Custom Rods refreshed their Helium series of rods with a new blank the company is having made overseas. I found that new KC9 blank crisp, lively, and powerful. Since that introduction, the company has been busy refreshing their entire family of rods with new blanks.
Berkley’s PowerBait Infused Spinnerbaits – The Power Blade Series
The Berkley Power Blade spinnerbaits are designed with numerous custom elements including signature blades, sleek heads molded around sharp Fusion 19 hooks, and perhaps most importantly, hand tied PowerBait infused skirting material designed to attract fish.

Even More Versatile Than Its Name Suggests, Big Bite Bait's Swimming Mama
How do you improve upon an already popular soft plastic bait profile? How about if you take that popular bait and add to it, a dimension not easily achieved by the original? In the case of Big Bite Bait's popular flipping bait, the Yomama, you streamline the bait and add twintail grub like appendages to transform it into a bait intended to be fished in constant motion.

Another Standout Build from Legit Design, the SOC70H
Encouraged by my experience with my first StandOut series rod from Legit Design, the SOC66L+ BFS stick, I wanted to see if that positive experience would translate to a more conventional specification. This curiosity coincided with my need for a stick to probe some weedbeds with some good ole fashioned, one ounce bullet weighted Texas rigged soft plastics.


 
 

A Different Approach : The New Player - Trika Rods
Chances are you haven't heard of Trika rods before as the brand is a new entry into the highly competitive rod market, but the team behind the new brand have actually been developing products for outdoor enthusiasts for over two decades.

The Myth Lives and Has Transformed : 22nd Century's Nezzuma V-Cut
Well, you know we couldn't go a full season reviewing rat baits without dubbing one our R.O.U.S. - Rat Of Unusual Size. 22nd Century is one of the original big bait companies and their Triple Trout swimbait remains one of our all time favorites.
Evoking the Spirit of A Legendary Creature, Evergreen's Dire Wolf Wild 7
The Dire Wolf is actually offered in two configurations. There's a cork handle variant with a longer rear handle, the RS, and the subject of today's review, the GT-R, featuring an EVA handle that measures a short, nine and a half inches (9.5"). Both come with a recommended lure rating of three eighths to three full ounces (3/8-3oz).
Toxic Baits Suck! TXC's Impertinent Little Wake Bait, the Whippersnapper 2.0
Ceaser Chavez out of Northern California, almost literally on the shores of the California Delta has been making baits for big bait enthusiasts going on close to ten years. He's one of the rare builders who've taken it to the next level by opening up a shop with a retail wing you can actually visit and hand pick baits fresh off the drying rack.
What Took So Long? Megabass's P5 Bait Finesse Stick
In various descriptions of their P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse stick, Megabass references their classic Hien. Why they chose a different name for it in this series confuses me and frankly delayed my interest in acquiring it, but as soon as I discovered the connection, I ordered one.

ARK Fishing Provides the Catalyst for Value
Ark's brand new Catalyzer series takes a blank normally associated with a rod series priced somewhere in the one hundred fifty dollar range and chops that cost to acquire in half. Here's our look at the Catalyzer CTL73MHFC.

Testing a Phenix Blank - A Simple Build, Potential for Lore, Phenix's Ultra Swimbait B-USB-C 790H
Phenix's Ultra Swimbait B-USB-C 790H blank has a very nice strength (lure rating) to weight ratio that intrigued me enough to give building one a whirl.
Sunline's New Marboroshi FC Leader
Sunline's Maboroshi FC Leader comes in typical, small spool sizes of fifty yards. It's available in a variety of strengths from five through twenty pound test. The line is not precision wound onto the filler spools, but when a sample length is pulled out, you can feel how smooth and consistent the surface is.
A Rod that Not Only Stands Out, but Surprises : Legit Design's Bait Finesse Special
Despite the series' name, the Stand Out series is a little more low key and much more affordable with roughly ten models from which to choose including three models designed for travel. We acquired a couple sticks from this new-to-us series for a closer look. The first of those two sticks is the Legit Design Stand Out SO66L+
Such a Large Bounty for a Small Package – The Daiwa Exist
Crafted with exotic materials and a slew of new features that are designed to improve everything from the feel of the retrieve to the way the drag delivers pressure, Daiwa’s new Exist redefines what a flagship spinning reel should be, in more ways than one.
Fishing Abu Garcia's New Pro Series Rods with Elite Series Pro Angler Hunter Shryrock
Abu Garcia introduced a lot of new tackle this ICAST including their completely revamped Revo spinning reel series, lightweight Zenon baitcasters, and a new Pro Series Rod lineup that was designed to meet the favorite techniques, actions, and styling of their tournament pros.
DUO Launches A New Wakebait and Dock Skipping T-Hog Bug
DUO International was not at ICAST this year but some other many manufacturers they launched a few new products that will be making their way to retailers in the coming weeks. These include a new wakebait, plastic creature, and even a new bladed treble designed to add some extra flash to DUO's small cranks and shad style lures.


 

13 Fishing Hits New Price Points with Modus Series Baitcasters
In addition to refreshing their spinning reel lineup 13 Fishing also introduced a new addition to their baitcasting lineup slotted in right between the Inception and Concept reels. Offered at a new 120-150 dollar price point the Modus Series consists of three new baitcasters.
Lew's Enters Enthusiast Segment With New Elite Series
Once a manufacturer with a somewhat modest catalog of product, Lew's suite of casting reels alone now amounts to over two dozen models. The majority of which can be considered quite accessible. That's part of the reason for the popularity of the brand - they offer anglers a host of reliable options without breaking the bank. For 2023, Lew's speeds things up and reaches out into the Enthusiast space.
Versatility and Value - Shimano's New Miravel Spinning Reel
While the Stella FK took home top freshwater reel honors in the ICAST Best of Show showcase Shimano also stealthily launched a brand new spinning reel designed for versatility and value called the Miravel.

Fenwick Blends Modern Materials with Traditional Design in New Elite Series
Fenwick has a long storied rod history and this ICAST the company is looking to write the next chapter with the introduction of their new Elite Series which makes use of modern materials while still managing to honor the tradition of the brand.

13 Fishing Launches Completely Revamped Spinning Lineup
13 Fishing launched a slew of new reels 24 hours ago at ICAST including completely new spinning reel platforms designed to significantly up the brand's game in both fresh and saltwater spinning. The new AL13, Axum, and Aerios spinning reels feature a number of proprietary 13 Fishing features and all come in under the $200 dollar price point.

Strike King Continues to Refine Their Family of Baits
One of the more popular bait brands, Strike King, continues to refine and expand their product offering for 2023. Most notable for me is their new tungsten head Thunder Cricket bladed jig.
For the Love of Big Baits – Shimano’s Curado 200 DC
Shimano’s DC system is already popular among big bait anglers that employ the company’s numerous DC equipped reels for tossing big baits. With the growth in the swimbait market there has also been increased demand for affordable DC reels with more line capacity. Shimano’s biggest baitcaster launch this ICAST is the introduction of the new Curado 200 DC.
G.loomis Addresses Light-Duty Spinning with GCX LITE
The G.Loomis GCX Series has successfully filled the mainstream niche for the brand which is best known for their premium rod offerings. Positioned right below IMX-Pro the GCX rods make use of SeaGuide components and are still manufactured in the G.Loomis factory in Woodland Washington.
The Ever Green XV-5 is a Stealthy Shad Profiled Jerkbait Crossover
Ever Green continues to design some of the most refined JDM style baits and this season the company is introducing the XV-5, a shad profiled jerkbait crossover that is specifically designed for targeting shy fish in both crystal clear and highly pressured waters.
Controlling Gravity - ARK Fishing's New Family of Casting Reels
ARK Fishing is rounding out their rod and lure product lines with a full line of casting reels. The popular expectation would be these are just rubber stamped, OEM copies assembled from a buffet line of available components. However, Ark Fishing has actually gone through the effort to design these reels with their own, patented braking system.
Collapse to Cast - Shimano’s ARMAJOINT Swimbait
Shimano’s new ARMAJOINT swimbait is designed with an innovative dual jointed system that is magnet loaded to enable improved casting distance and accuracy by collapsing and maintaining a more compact and stable shape during flight. In the water the ARMAJOINT can be swam a variety of ways and behaves like traditional S-glide action...
Kistler Custom Rods' Slew of Offerings for 2023
The last time we saw Kistler Rods at ICAST, they introduced their Feel and Reel S2 KLX rods to the world. This year, they're hitting the convention floor with a slew of new introductions from a new lightweight, rod and reel combo to a new rod designed for the youth made of premium graphite. Let's take a look.
Daiwa Overhauls the Tatula XT Value-Oriented Rod Lineup
Daiwa is set to introduce several new products today at ICAST including technique specific Tatula XT rods that have been overhauled with new proprietary components and will still retail for the very aggressive price of only $99.99.
The Ever Green XV-5 is a Stealthy Shad Profiled Jerkbait Crossover
Ever Green continues to design some of the most refined JDM style baits and this season the company is introducing the XV-5, a shad profiled jerkbait crossover that is specifically designed for targeting shy fish in both crystal clear and highly pressured waters.

 

   

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