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The Surprisingly Versatile Steez AGS "The Sensor" Casting Rod

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

Accessible, Affordable, and More Importantly, Effective : Molix's GlideBait 140 SS Lew's Shifts It into High Gear (Ratio) with Their HyperSpeed LFS
The Megabass P5 Destroyers are Coming! A First Look at the US P5 Rod Launch Lineup Function Meets Fashion, Daiwa's Silver Creek AIR TW Baitsanity’s Most Technical Glidebait Yet – The Antidote TUG A Measure of Consistency, Kistler's New KLX

Additional Recent Articles

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.
Big Bite Baits Scentsation Lures... "It Really Stinks!"
Big Bite Baits recently hired the services of a 30 year PhD Chemist to develop a new, soft plastic formula infused with proprietary fish attractant. Over the last season the manufacturer distributed prototypes through their pro angling team for testing in the rigorous pro circuits and continued through the off season. Once everyone was confident they had the right recipe, work began on new, bait profiles.


 

What in the HellraiZer? Z-Man’s Unconventional Topwater Chatterbait
Ron Davis of Chatterbait® fame is at it once again with the introduction of a new take on the chatterbait design, this time bringing the vibration bait to the surface. The HellaiZer is designed to harness the sound and action of the ChatterBait bladed jig and adapt it for topwater applications.
Sunline Introduces More JDM Leader Options
Bass angling is a game of adjustments. Whether it's your rod, reel, line, bait, terminal tackle, boat position, or other, to be successful, you have to be able and adapt. The latest area where anglers are fine tuning their plan to catch more fish? Leaders.
The Highest Example – The Edge Epitome Rods from Gary Loomis
Gary Loomis is known globally as a wizard when it comes to the alchemy of carbon fiber and resin materials and pushing the envelope in rod manufacturing, and most recently with his new company Edge Rods, and is looking to shake things up this ICAST with the introduction of his lightest and most advanced rod series to date, the Epitome.
New from AFTCO for ICAST 2022 - Bibs, Bags, and Boardshorts
Since their decision to venture into the freshwater market circa 2018, AFTCO has been steadily filling out their catalog with technical wear that's not only comfortable, but performs extremely well. Their sunshirts, in particular, have become a staple amongst TT Editors. At this year's ICAST, the brand had several introductions. Here are a few that caught our eye.
Z-Man Takes Finesse a Step Further with Micro Baits
The crown jewel in the Z-Man plastic arsenal is the brand’s ElaZtech thermoplastic material which is ultra-tough, buoyant, and able to be molded in very detailed bait profiles. This season the company is taking finesse to the next phase with the introduction of five micro-sized lures, each of which is designed to be fished with an equally small micro finesse ShroomZ jighead.
FishLab’s First Topwater BBZ Swimbait – The Bio-Rat
Last ICAST FishLab announced they were getting into the BBZ business as Bill joined the team, and this year at ICAST 2022 the company readies the launch of the first FishLab BBZ products, starting with the BBZ Bio-Rat.
Abu Garcia Refreshes Revo Spinning Lineup and Brings the Speed with a New Rocket Reel
Abu Garcia's biggest launch at this upcoming ICAST show will be a complete refresh of their entire Revo spinning lineup, leveraging technologies and design elements from the flagship Zenon reel and putting them in a compact one piece aluminum frame. Perhaps most exciting in this refreshed Revo lineup is a new Rocket spinning reel...
Big Bite Bait's Stealthy Little Limit Maker
Big Bite Bait's Limit Maker is a small, three and three quarter inch (3 3/4") soft plastic bait with a tapered, stick body ending in a pointed little tail. It's one of those do-nothing, looks-like-nothing, little baits that's easily taken for granted.
Souped Up : Aftermarket Bolt-On Reel Handles from Gomexus
Aftermarket reel replacement handles have been around for quite some time, and are a popular piece of kit for swimbait enthusiasts. Gomexus is a popular brand in Asia and has jumped into the upgrade scene here in the Americas, partnering with several e-tailers and communities to make their aggressively priced handle and knob kits available to the masses.

A Stick Without A Name : Megabass's VKC-78H-4
The VKC-78H-4 is one of nine sticks offered in Megabass's Valkyrie World Expedition series of travel rods. Each model breaks down into four pieces and is built from a blank rolled with, in Megabass's words, four layers of lightweight, high sensitivity carbon, and high elasticity glass fiber.

St. Croix's All Purpose Victory Series Rod
The VTC73MHF is built from a blank rolled with a specific blend of St. Croix's SCVI and SCIII graphite. It is a seven foot, three inch (7'-3") casting rod rated up to a full ounce (1oz) in lure weight and finished with Fuji Concept O guides...
Spro Enters the Line Market with Their Finesse Braid 8x
With our returned focus to finesse applications this year, I was investigating finesse braid options and discovered SPRO had recently introduced their take with an eight strand line manufactured in Japan. Here's our look at SPRO's Finesse 8x Braided Line.
The Ultimate Abu Garcia Reel for BFS? The Limited Run LX992Z
Abu Garcia Japan partners with founder of Imakatsu, Katsutake Imae, to deliver a custom tuned reel for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) worthy of attention. Today, we take a closer look at one such reel that sits atop Abu Garcia's BFS division, the 2020 limited edition LX992Z.
The Search for One : ARK Fishing's Essence ESS73MHFC
One Ark's recent introductions was the new Essence series of rods featuring a full lineup of three spinning and fourteen casting rods. We got our hands on some of these sticks during the early part of 2022 and here now is our look at their Search for One candidate, the ESS73MHFC casting rod.

 

   

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