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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


Latest Featured Articles


Built for Big Baits, the Beast that is the Daiwa Lexa Type-WN 400H

Solid, Smooth, Refined, Quantum's New Smoke S3 Spinning Reel

A Spin on Affordable Versatility - St. Croix's BassX BXS610MLXF

Conquer the Sun with Aftco's Fish Ninja Shirt
A New Specialty Bait from Roboworm : The Ned Worm Shimano's Fully Machined BFS Masterpiece G.Rods Makes Graphene Affordable with the Game Changer Series What the Finesse ?!? : Do You Swivel Shot?

Additional Recent Articles

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.

Ready for Battle : Damiki's Knock Out
Where the Monster Miki was long, thin, and crazy with appendages, Damiki's Knock Out is a much chunkier piece of soft plastic with four arms, claws, antennae and ears? It's body is similar to a beaver style bait, but the rest of it is all creature.

Saving the Best for Last? Evergreen International's Brett Hite Medium Powered Casting Rod
This stick caught our attention because it carries with it a lure rating of between three eighths of an ounce up to two ounces (3/8oz - 2oz). That's a rating more typically reserved for something in the heavy to extra-heavy range...

Simms Challenges the Notion Gore-Tex Is the Only Viable Rain Fabric
Recognizing the need to offer a more affordable suit with similar, top end styling, they're now offering a suit they believe is up to that challenge. Here's our look at the new Challenger rain suit from Simms.

TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill
The next product to go under the blade is an interesting new squarebill from Rapala called the BX Brat, and what makes this bait so interesting is the hybrid design which incorporates a balsa wood core and a plastic outer shell.
Reaction Innovation's New Pocket Rocket
Reaction Innovations, a company known just as much for their provocative packaging, and bait and color names, as well as their actual product has a new plastic worm made for those who like to get a little wacky with their rigging. Introducing the Reaction Innovations new Pocket Rocket soft plastic worm.

Tackle Your Enthusiasm with Shimano's Metanium MGL
When Shimano USA introduced the 2013 Metanium to the North American bass fishing market in 2014, we hailed it as a “welcome back” to the brand that co-defined high performance and refinement in a low profile baitcasting reel for nearly two decades prior...

Headed in the Right Direction, Quantum's PT Tour S3 Casting Reel
If Quantum's Smoke series of reels are their workhorse, their PT Tour line of reels are their mainstream flagship casting reels. The Tour Mg costs more, but it's not as widely appreciated as the standard PT Tour and the EXO reels, it seems, have been discontinued.

Seaspin USA's Intriguing Little Geko Jig
Seaspin USA's Geko Jig is available with either a ball head or a bullet head configuration. The skirts are a mix of living rubber and silicone depending on the color pattern you choose, but the intriguing aspect of this jig is the hook is not molded through the weighted head.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide (Part3): Line, Terminal Tackle, Apparel and Accessories
Welcome back to the final chapter in this year's Holiday Gift Guide. Looks like we all survived the Black Friday madness and the next thing you know here comes Cyber Monday, typically the biggest online shopping day of the year. We rejoin Riley as she highlights our final picks in the line, terminal tackle, apparel, and accessory categories.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide (Part 2): Enthusiast Tackle and Lures
We return in part 2 of this year's Holiday Gift Guide with some of the most exciting product categories, the flagship products we drool over in the Enthusiast range as well as the complete spectrum of lures. 

2017 Holiday Gift Guide (Part1): Reels and Rods
It is that time again, when we are challenged with thinking of the many creative ways to repurpose leftover turkey and our attention turns to the winter holidays. The holiday buying season is only further jumpstarted with the madness that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday and this year marks the return of our Holiday Gift Guide with picks across the wide array of product categories for that special angler on your list...

Quantum's Surprising New Smoke Series Three (S3)
Quantum has been making strides in recent years to up the level of refinement in their reels and this past year at ICAST, they revealed their latest results. Their "Series Three" (S3) reels represent a complete engineering overhaul in both spinning and casting reels. Today, we take a look at the first product from this product refresh, Quantum's S3 Smoke...
St. Croix Delivers Value in our Search for One with the BXC71MHF
Manufacturing rods entirely within the States generally translates to higher costs for consumers so in order to offer more competitively priced rods, St. Croix opened their own factory in Mexico. This is where their Mojo rods are built and just recently, the company introduced another set of rods priced even more competitively than Mojo...

Better Late Than Never : Lucky Craft's Pointer Minnow
As popular and effective a jerk/rip bait as the Vision OneTen is, one bait suspends shoulder to shoulder with that bait on the rod tips of the TackleTour Editorial Staff. That bait is Lucky Craft's Pointer Minnow. This is the first jerkbait I had ever seen Zander tie on, toss out, and rip back. In fact, he had never handled a Vision OneTen until I gave him one back in 2005...

TackleTour Autopsy: Consistency is King, the Megabass I-Jack
One bait that is somewhat of a sleeper lure, in that it is deadly effective but not as well-known as other Megabass offerings such as the Vision 110 jerkbait or Dog-X walker is the I-Jack, a specially tuned underwater wakebait.
Creature Fever : Strike King's Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub
With today's seemingly unlimited choices in specialized plastic baits, one old staple seems to have fallen by the wayside. How many of you still fish the old staple single or double tail grubs? Maybe they've fallen out of popular discussion because there's really not much to them. Well, Strike King introduced a new interpretation a little while back and we're here to take a closer look.
Evergreen International Continues to Impress with the Affordable RCSS-71MH
The RCSS-71MH is a seven foot, one inch spinning rod built with the same look as the previously reviewed RCSC-73HG, but this time without the hybrid glass blank. Instead, this stick is built from an unspecified graphite but with the same Fuji Alconite guides with stainless steel frames, the camo, EVA foam grip and a custom reel seat by Fuji.
Spro's New Dean Rojas Bronzeye Spit Shad
Back in 2013, we reviewed a new bait from Spro representing yet another variation on the popular hollow bodied frog. It was their Bronzeye Shad 65 - a bait that's super easy to walk. Today, we take a look at a variation in that same bait with the incorporation of a cupped mouth. Introducing our look at the Spro, Dean Rojas Bronzeye Spit Shad 60.
OSPs Transformational Yamato Walking Bait
OSP is a manufacturer that has skirted the line of popular mainstream baits, but those who pay attention know about their quality, and sometimes hard to get baits like the Blitz, Rudra, and Asura. Today, we take a look at OSP's entry into our TWB themed week with the dual personality Yamato.
A Finesse Walker : ima's Skimmer
When we think of topwater walking baits, the prototype that comes to mind is Heddon's Zara Spook, a four and a half inch (4.5") bait shaped like a cigar. Bait manufacturing company, ima's interpretation of this genre is much more slender and in many respects the Skimmer is literally a stick bait.


Return of the Vixen by Reaction Innovations
For years, Reaction Innovation's Vixen topwater walking bait was coveted for its easy walking, far casting, fish catching ability. But several years ago, for some unexplained reason, it disappeared from store shelves and was out of production. Then, a couple years ago, like Merle Dixon, the Vixen resurrected.
The Walking Baits: Selecting the Right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walker Arsenal
While having the right bait is certainly a key part of the battle selecting the right reel, rod and line can also make it easier to impart that zig-zag action that is essential to draw those explosive strikes.
The Walking Baits: Top 5 Walk-The-Dog Picks
There are a lot of topwater hardbait options, poppers, chuggers, propbaits, twitch baits, wakebaits, and walkers. Even if you just focus on topwater walk-the-dog hardbaits there are over fifty different choices alone! There are lot of good choices and today we pick our top five most productive topwater walkers that we utilize in the majority of our topwater reel and rod field tests.
A Diamante in the Rough? Megabass's Latest STW Achievement
In January, we shared with you the first official bait from Megabass's Support to Win (STW) initiative, the S-Crank. Today, we take a look at another bait from this program that the company's prostaff was very adamant about during our factory tour back in 2013. It's taken that long for this bait to make its way to market, but here now is our look at Megabass of America's Dog-X Diamante topwater bait.
Sometimes Smaller Really is Better: The Gantarel Jr. Swimbait
To expand on their original bait the company has now introduced two new versions, the larger and appropriately named Gigantarel and downsized Gantarel Jr. swimbaits. We take a look at both new baits with a focus on the smallest bait in the series to see if this “gill” really has a place in the tackle box.
Squeak, Squawk, Clank - Picasso's Din-R-Bell
In an earlier review, we took a look at Picasso's Buzz Saw double bladed buzzbait. The product scored very well and I had good success with it, but in the words of wise Yoda, there is another. Picasso double dips their double bladed buzzsaw offering with a second product built to cause a little more commotion.
Doomsday Tackle Co's Not So Grim Reaper 3.2
There are countless manufacturers in the fishing tackle industry selling soft plastic baits. Many of these baits are barely distinguishable from one another, many more are unique. One bait profile that continues to be reinvented is the craw-creature trailer style baits. One company, new to us, debuted their take on this staple early in 2016. Here now is our take on Doomsday Tackle's Reaper trailer bait.
The Search for One : Fenwick's World Class WC72M-FC
Our introduction to Fenwick's World Class series of rods was met with mixed emotions as expressed in our review of the WC610ML-XFS. Today, we take a look at the casting rod from this same series to see if those mixed feelings can be resolved. Here's our take on Fenwick's 7'2" medium powered World Class fishing rod the WC72M-FC.
Creature Fever : Big Bite Bait's Russ Lane Real Deal Craw
A couple years ago, Elite Series Pro Russ Lane showed me a bait he was working on for Big Bite Baits that kind of skirts the line between ultra-realistic and not. We had to keep it under wraps until they were ready to bring it out, and somehow in the interim we missed the announcement. Well, better late than never. Here now is our look at Big Bite Bait's Russ Lane Real Deal Craw.
Precious : Shimano Japan's 2016 Antares DC
When I reviewed it's more primitive doppelganger back in 2014, I hailed the Shimano's 2012 Antares as having DC like performance. Today, we test that theory, so pull out your virtual reality goggles and strap yourself in as we take Shimano Japan's 2016 Antares DC low profile baitcaster (aka my precious) out for a spin.
Taking Another Spin with Kistler's Magnesium 2
Last year we shared with you our thoughts on Kistler's Search For One candidate within their revamped Magnesium 2 series. Today we take a look at a spinning rod within the very same series to find out how well it performs under finesse applications. Does the revamped line translate to spinning as well Let's find out. Here's our look at Kistler Custom Rod's MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF Magnesium 2 spinning stick.
A Mid-Depth Crank with Built In Erratic Behavior : Spro's Little John Baby DD
Several years ago, Zander took it upon himself to dissect a new, up and coming bait by Spro, the Little John DD. It's a deep diving crank designed to reach depths of up to twenty feet (20'). A few years after the successful introduction of that bait, the designers at Spro, together with John Crews himself went to work on a smaller, shallower running version of this same bait - the subject of today's review.
Daiwa’s SV TW Baitcaster – A Winning Combination
The Tatula SV TW is the first Tatula to make use of the combination of the T-Wing system and the company’s SV spool design and the result in performance might just surprise you.










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