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A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod

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ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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The Dependable Abu Garcia Revo4 S Spinning Reel
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Additional Recent Articles

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.
Time to Spool Them Up and String Them Out... Which Reel Is Best (part two)?
When we left our four contestants at the conclusion of part one, they were a disassembled collection of gears, drag washers, sideplates, frames, and handles. Shortly after completing the previous installment, our three additional St. Croix Legend Elite EC70MFs arrived, so we reassembled the contestants with earnest and began the strategy of our continued tests. Time to spool them up and string them out.
4 Techs, 3 Countries of Origin, 2 Price Points, One Goal... Which Reel Is Best? - 2018 Low Profile Baitcaster Shootout (part one)
Low profile baitcasting reels are the weapon of choice amongst serious bass anglers. With close to a dozen manufacturers, there are so many reels to choose from that it's often difficult to make heads or tails out of one product as compared to the next.

Creature Fever Feature : Damiki's Air Craw
Back in the Fall of 2014, we spent some time on the water with Damiki's FLW pro Brian Thrift where we fished a variety of baits with one in particular, catching our attention for the way it stands up on the bottom as a crawfish imitator. Here, finally, is our take on Damiki's Air Craw soft plastic bait.

An Entire Combo for the Weight of One Reel Begins with Phenix's FTX-71MH
The FTX-71MH is a seven foot, one inch (7'-1") casting rod wrapped on a blank made of a blend of thirty and forty ton graphite bonded together with Phenix's own, proprietary nanolite resin. It is outfitted with Essex T-Ring guides with carbide inserts and features a reel seat that looks like a split version of Fuji's ACS reel seat.

Molix Making Some Noise With Their New Sculpo XD Rattlin' Crankbait
Exotic cars, mouthwatering meals, great, historic architecture are among the many things that come to mind when thinking of the wonderful country of Italy. Thanks to a continually aggressive and innovative manufacturer out of this same country, Molix is now adding fishing tackle to this list.
ARK Rods Pierces the Sub $100 Stigma with their Lancer Bass Rods
At ICAST 2018, the company introduced a new entry level series of rods built from an IM8 blank with a retail price set at just under ninety dollars ($90)! Can a sub $100 rod really perform? Today, we take a look at the search for one candidate within this series, the Lancer LAC73MHFC to find out.
What the Finesse : Missile Bait's Drop Craw
Missile Bait's Drop Craw is a diminutive little bait measuring three inches (3") in length but really feels as if it's more like 2". It has a somewhat nondescript main body capped with two, tiny appendages that are actually claws. You have to look closely to see, but there is an actual split of the plastic at the end of each appendage.

Breaking Free of Middle Child Syndrome, Abu Garcia's Revo4 STX
I've fished all the reels from the X through the Premier, but the one reel I was most excited to sample, once I discovered its improvement, is the subject of today's review. Introducing Abu Garcia's 4th Generation Revo STX.

SOLID! - The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster
It has become increasingly difficult to differentiate, and in many respects while baitcasters continue to push the refinement envelope the basic formula for these low profile reels remains vastly unchanged. The new Bantam is something new, something quite unlike anything else in the Shimano lineup, and bridges the gap between low profile baitcasters and aluminum round reels.
Reins Taps Into a Fish's Instinctual Memory With Their New C-Pod Creature Bait
One manufacturer has introduced a new bait product that is offered on the theory we can tap into a bass's memory banks and offer an up-sized version of something they would have fed on in their infancy. The Reins C-Pod Creature is a monster sized version of a plankton-like creature the copepod. Is it effective? We tried some out for ourselves to find out.
Megabass of America is on Target Once Again : The '17 Destroyer Javelin
We first shared with you our general impressions of Megabass of America's 2017 Destroyer Lineup in June of that year. Since that time we've been busy testing, fishing, and evaluating other sticks from that series. Today, we take a closer look at the one stick that stood out to me during our first day on the water...
Spro's Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin Frog
That so called secret is long spoiled but now, the next iteration of the topwater frog craze is taking that same bait and throwing a popping mouth on it. Spro's Dean Rojas has been aware of this trend for several years and now we're finally taking a look at his bait of choice in these situations. Here now is our look at Spro's Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin Frog.
Putting a Twist on Spiral Wrapped Rods and Making them Affordable – The Riverside M2
Uribe Rods has not only fully embraced the spiral configuration but is actively trying to drive adoption by making their Riverside Series rods premium performers at a surprisingly aggressive price. Is it time for the masses to once again consider “twisted” guide wraps?
G.Loomis's 820S DSR GLX : A Top Notch Performer, but...
Once upon a time, in a fishing life, long long ago, my primary fishing pole of choice was a G.Loomis GL3 MagLite rod, so I was pretty anxious to get my hands on this GLX model.
Higher End Affordability, Pflueger's Patriarch XT Spinning Reel
Of all the freshwater reel manufacturers out there, one that often gets overlooked is Pflueger and it's difficult to ascertain why. Afterall, if there is one reel manufacturer that consistently delivers solid performance at a reasonable price, it is Pflueger.


Optimum's Shad That Goes Boom Boom Pow!
Sometimes when you're fishing, all you want is a bite, any kind of bite, just to get some action. Other times, you're in search of quality. In those instances, the hunt is on for that one big bite and out here in California that means it's swimbait time. Optimum Bait Company, with the help of their BASS Elite Series Pro, Fred Roumbanis recently developed a soft plastic, paddletail swimbait that's getting a lot of attention out west.
Fanatik Baits Serves up a Feeding Frenzy with their Larva Plastics
Fishing is a global sport and there continues to be a trend of European companies making their products more readily available in the Americas. One such company is Fanatik, a lure brand that has roots in Europe and is known primarily for their soft plastics and terminal tackle offerings designed for targeting freshwater species including bass, pike, and walleye.
Taking Another Spin with Phenix's K2
Phenix's K2 TX-713S is a seven foot, one inch (7'-1") spinning rod made from Toray's T46 carbon material. It features a split rear grip made of EVA foam, a Fuji DNPS reel seat, Fuji titanium framed, Torzite guides, and decorative wood accent pieces throughout the grip. It is a minimal, but refined build worthy of a flagship product.

Aldebaran is Next to Receive Shimano's MGL Upgrade

The Aldebaran MGL shares the same size and shape as the previously reviewed 2015 Aldebaran 50/51, but there are differences in the reel's finish as well as spool capacity. The MEL version features a kind of metallic steel blue paint scheme that looks either grey or midnight silver depending on how bright the lighting conditions are.

DUO International Introduces New Additions to Popular Lures and Reveals Wild Prototypes

The recent partnership with Aaron Martens is already beginning to yield results as the combination of President and Lead Designer, Mr. Adachi, and Aaron has upped the company's design pipeline and introduced the brand to many more anglers here in the US. This ICAST DUO didn't hold back, and launched both new patterns and sizes in existing popular lines as well as gave anglers a peek into the future

Simms Broadens their Technical Garment Portfolio for All Anglers
When it comes to apparel for all types of anglers Simms has solidified itself as a leader. Gone are the days when anglers only associated the company as a fly fishing brand. This season the company continued to expand their offerings with new gear that helps anglers stay comfortable and protected in both cold and warm environments, so that they can keep those lines wet longer.  
Accurate's First Star Drag Reel - The Tern

Accurate pretty much built their entire brand on lever drag reels that are capable to tangling with the toughest fish in the world. These reels are designed to be strong, durable, and yet lighter and more compact than competing reels in the same class. This year the company expanded their lineup with a star drag reel called the Tern.

Artistry at Work - Nishine's Chippawa Crankbaits
Nishine Lure Works, a company that is based in Ontario Canada but has a long history going all the way back to Lake Biwa in Japan, is ready to make a big push in the U.S. with an enhanced product line including the refined Chippawa Crankbait Series.
Buff Chills Out with Coolnet UV+ Garments
Probably the most simple and now most widely utilized garment by anglers is the Buff, a tubular garment that can be worn so many different ways to protect anglers from the harsh sun on those long days out on the water. This ICAST the company that pretty much created the category for these garments introduced a new series called Coolnet UV+ that is designed to offer even more technical advantages for anglers.
13 Fishing Enters the Hardbait Market - Meet the Scamp
13 Fishing continues breaking into new categories by introducing a series of new hardbaits designed for bass anglers. The team has been working on these baits for quite some time and this ICAST they debuted baits for use throughout the water column including a crankbait, lipless crank, and topwater walk-the-dog style bait.
Aftco's Award Winning Debuts at ICAST 2018
Aftco has been outfitting anglers for sixty years, but before 2018, their concentration had primarily been with saltwater anglers. Based out of Santa Ana, California, outfitting saltwater anglers was a natural focus for the company. Aftco now takes all the knowledge and experience from the past sixty years and has decided to apply that to the freshwater angler.
Witness the 13 Fishing Envy Black - Shiny and Chrome
The 13 fishing Envy Black is back and we were present to bear witness to the launch of these oh so "shiny and chrome" new rods. Leveraging much of what fans liked about the original series these new rods take the fun factor up to level 10 with new features and a distinct look that sets them apart from other rods on the market.

A Souped up Custom Blade - The Omega Genesis Ti Spinnerbait
I'm sure you already have a favorite spinnerbait, your go to blade, and how can company's really differentiate when it comes to these class of baits? This ICAST Omega, a company that continues to gain a strong following among bass fishing enthusiasts, did exactly that with the introduction of the Genesis Ti spinnerbait.










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