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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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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.
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.










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