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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision

First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster



Latest Featured Articles


Megabass's Extends Double X and Refines Evoluzion

An Enthusiast's Fantasista Dream Come True From Abu Garcia! Big Bite Baits Continues to Refine their Lineup Daiwa Revamps the Zillion Rod Lineup to Match the New Reels
Daiwa Introduces Steez AGS Spinning rods with Carbon Framed Guides St. Croix - Avid Series Gets the X! River2Sea's Class of 2015 New specialty fly rods from G. Loomis designed to help you fish like a PRO!

Additional Recent Articles

Phenix Book-Ends Their Series of Bass Rods
Phenix looks to book end their entire bass rod lineup with a new high end series and a very much anticipated low end series. Here's what we found out during ICAST!

13 Fishing's Astonishingly Light Concept KP Reel
13 Fishing made a big splash last year when the came out with their Concept series of fishing reels. This year, they continue to up their game with what could very well be the lightest production low profile bait casting reel on the market.

Pflueger Gets a New Flagship
Pfleuger has always delivered solid performance at a very good value, but usually when I think of this brand, my impressions are of entry level to mid-market reels. Naturally, this is not the case as the Patriarch, and before that, the Supreme, are both very good intermediate to upper intermediate reels. This year, Pflueger takes things a step further with the introduction of their Patriarch XT...

The wait is nearly over...MajorCraft is coming to America
Many readers are undoubtedly familiar with the MajorCraft brand. At ICAST 2013 in Las Vegas, the TackleTour crew was surprised to see MajorCraft in attendance with a large showing of products. While their initial intentions of releasing rods on our shores were postponed due to complications, they have informed us that their arrival is now confirmed for around the end of the year.

Shimano Plans for "Conquest" in Calcutta Round Reels
Shimano fans have long pined for the JDM Conquest reels and have gone so far as to import them without warranties just to fish these high end round reels. This ICAST the big news in Shimano reels was the introduction of the Conquest that was recently introduced in Japan right here in the US market.
Bigger Water, Bigger Game Means Bigger Reels from Abu Garcia
As expected whenever ICAST hits Orlando, Florida, many manufacturers concentrate their debuts for the Inshore crowd. Abu Garcia has a host of introductions in this market as well along with a reel intended for bass of a different sort - stripers!
Abu Garcia Unleashes the BEAST!
Each year we look forward to seeing what Abu Garcia has planned for the coming season with their new reel offerings. We caught up with Andrew Wheeler, Business Brand Manager, to get a first hand look on what he and the engineers at Abu Garcia have in store for us.
Jackall Introduces new Baits including the Scissor Comb Creature and Pompadour Topwater lure
With all the hubbub about Jackall and Shimano's Adrena rods we had to take a pause and remember that first and foremost Jackall is a lure company. This ICAST the team at Jackall introduced a number of new hard and softbaits including the crazy looking Scissor Comb creature.
Okuma Introduces New Caymus and Azores Spinning Reels Aimed at the Mainstream
Okuma's roots are in spinning and the company has a long history developing spinning reels that come loaded with plenty of features at some surprisingly low price points. Now that the company has the high end covered with their Helios line they have turned their attention once again to the value and mainstream market.
Daiwa Introduces New Zillion Reels with T-Wing (TWS) System
In recent weeks Daiwa Zillion reels have been on sale, which is always an indication something new is coming around the corner. Sure enough Daiwa has refreshed the entire line this ICAST, introducing new Zillion reels that combine the company's Free Floating Spool and TWS design.
Taking Match the Hatch to the next Level, Live Target's new "Yearling"

Live Target kicked things off at ICAST by holding a press conference prior to the start of the floor events. Building on their founding principles of matching the hatch the company took last year BaitBall Series to the next level with the introduction of the "Yearling" concept.


Getting a Grip on Castaway’s new Invicta Spinnerbait Rod
Castaway already makes a number of high end rods but this season their new Invicta Series is designed to take the brand to a whole new level. Designed with 40 ton carbon these are the same rods that Pro Anglers Russ Lane and Toss Faircloth employ on the Elite Series tour.
Gear up for a Full Day of Fishing with the Simms Headwaters Backpack
When is a backpack more than just a backpack? When it is effectively carrying everything you need for that next successful fishing adventure. Simms has a complete range of packs ranging from small hip packs and sling packs to full size backpacks designed to transport everything you need for a trip in the backcountry.
Don't be Fooled, Here's the Deal on Shimano's Exsence DC !!
To this day, the Chronarch D is a highly sought after reel for its refinement and excellent casting performance. While the reel is technically still available with a magnesium frame and known as the Core, not all consumers are fans of magnesium framed reels for their limitations to freshwater environments and considerable increase in cost.
TackleTour Tournament Interview : Luke Clausen
In our continuing series, we sit down with different pros and go through their tackle selections for each day of the tourney, one at a time. Today, we sit down with Luke Clausen, one of only five anglers to win both the FLW Forrest Wood Cup and Bassmaster Classic.

The Baitcaster Shimano needed to get right, the Curado I Series
While most reel manufacturers have a flagship reel that is used to showcase the latest and greatest technology the majority of the sales volume comes from reels in the value and mainstream segment. This hotly contested portion of the market is arguably the most important to reel manufacturers and it is here where the Shimano Curado Series has dominated for so many years...

Does Quantum's Tour KVD Have the Power to Win Us Over?
When it comes to promoting the sport of Bass Fishing, few have the appeal and influence of Kevin Van Dam. Whenever his name is in the sportfishing news fans pay attention. It's been some time since we've looked at any of his signature products, so today, we dive right in to check out Quantum's Tour KVD 151HPT.

Performance at a professional Level? Bass Pro Shops' Pro Qualifier Casting Reel
Products from large-scale retailers like Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops don't get a whole lot of press here at TackleTour, but that doesn't mean we don't keep an eye on what they are producing. Though reviews can be pretty mixed on some of these offerings, the Pro Qualifier from Bass Pro Shops has always had a noticeable following.
Evergreen International Re-Enters our Search with the Black Racer
As stated in previous reviews of rods in this same Kaleido lineup from Evergreen, the Black Racer is another example of the clean, precise detailing of JDM rods. Though not as ornate as a rivals Megabass, Shimano/Poison, or GanCraft, the Kaleido series is very simple yet extremely elegant.

Molix Brings Italian Style to the Rod Market With the Fioretto FSC-66M
Best known for their high-quality lures, Molix surprised many of us with the introduction of their Fioretto line of bass rods. Although this selection of sticks is downright tiny compared to the competition, we were eager to see how they performed on the water.

The Best of Both Worlds – The Shimano/Jackall Poison Adrena Rods
When Shimano America partnered with Jackall for marketing and distribution, not all that long ago, many wondered just what this meant for both organizations in terms of product design and availability.
TackleTour Tournament Interview : Chris Zaldain
In the past, we've been known concentrate our review seasons around specific techniques or types of baits. We're running our "tournament" in the same manner. Four days, four different themes, and our interest is to see how the pros go about selecting the gear they'll need to fish this tournament.
A Classic is Re-Made : Abu Garcia's Morrum ZX 3600/01
Several years in the teasing, we awaited the subject of today's review from Abu Garcia for quite some time. Year after year at ICAST, they showed us glimpses of the reel and promised "next year". Finally this past year, the announcement was made and now the classic, recreated Morrum is finally available in North America.
Make Your Own Luck in the Long Sleeve 13 Fishing Shield Shirt
In just a couple of years, 13 Fishing has made quite a splash in the fishing industry. Manufacturing rods and reels for everything from bass fishing to ice fishing, the quality and value of what they offer has resulted in them enjoying rapid growth. Like many companies, 13 Fishing also offers an array of apparel to keep you looking good on the water.
A Shining Star Amidst a Milkyway of Reels: The Antares by Shimano
Just about every reel manufacturer has what can be referred to as their flagship products. More often than not, this is their most expensive reel in each category for which they make a product. In the case of low profile baitcasting reels, Daiwa has the Steez, Abu Garcia has the Premier and so on...
TackleTour Tournament Interview : Greg Gutierrez aka Double G
In what is a continuing series, we're going to sit down with different pros and go through their tackle selections for each day of the tourney, one at a time. Today, we sit down with Greg Gutierrez, aka Double G, from California. Greg has fished the BASS ELITE and FLW circuits and is now mostly fishing circuits out west close to home.
Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
With each passing year, the feature manufacturers of low profile baitcasing reels have been racing to surpass each other with has been the speed of their reels - more specifically, retrieve speed. Since the 7.1:1 threshold was broken, we witnessed incremental increases to 7.4 then 7.9 then 8.1, 8.5 until suddenly at last year's ICAST...
Lightweight and Convenient: The Fishpond Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar Pack
The Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar pack from Fishpond is geared towards the wading flats angler that likes to travel light and remain mobile. Offering a wide range of fly fishing related bags, gear, and accessories (yes, vests too), Fishpond has gained a solid reputation for quality.
Creature Fever: Gettin' Crazy With the Yamamoto PsychoDad!
Gary Yamamoto is widely known for producing some of the hottest baits available today. Like Gary himself, his son Derek shares the same passion for both fishing and creating quality baits. His Kinami lineup offers anglers hard and soft baits in a variety of styles and colors...
Fishing for Stripers and Halibut in the San Francisco Bay
I spend most of my fishing trips on the California Delta targeting largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass in the river and just to the west is the highly productive fishery which serves as a backdrop to the entire area for which it is named, the San Francisco Bay.
Crank It Up! : Is Megabass's F4.5-711GTA Worthy of its Name?
If there's one category of bass rods that are a tough sell within the Enthusiast subset, it's cranking sticks. Bass anglers have a tough time cranking up their enthusiasm for a stick that's built for reaction baits because the general consensus is you don't need a high performing stick to throw cranks - just about any decently built rod on a good fiberglass blank will do.
It's What's on the Inside That Counts: The BX Swimmer From Rapala
Realizing the supreme fish catching qualities of balsa, Rapala offers several products within their lineup constructed out of this special wood. While at first glance the BX Swimmer appears to be an ordinary plastic bait, it's actually far from it.

Small in Size, Big in Stature, Bull Shad Swimbats' New Balsa Bull!
Thanks to Bull Shad Swimbaits, this bait is back, readily available and from what we understand, is as close to the original as it gets. Here now is our look at the reincarnated Ichiban Minnow/Balsa Pro, known today as Bull Shad Swimbait's Balsa Bull.
Tackling Bass in Clear Water – Lake Pardee Media Day

Targeting bass in clear water can be a real challenge, especially if anglers are used to fishing in stained water on their local lakes and rivers. Which is actually what I personally am most used to, fishing on my home water of the California Delta and Clear Lake...

Okuma's Big Bait Slayer, the Komodo
Earlier this year, we touched upon one option from Okuma, the Citrix which is available in both a 200 and 300 size option. Today we look at another option from this same manufacturer and one that is priced one tier up from the Citrix. Introducing our look at Okuma Fishing's Komodo low profile baitcaster.
Glide Week : Art in Action, the Roman Made Mother
The Roman Made Mother is a hand carved bait made out of a specialty type and cut of wood in Japan. The finishes on these baits are super clean yet relatively simple for a bait painted in Japan.
Glide Week : The Perfect Sliding Storm
The Slideswimmer 250 is a ten inch bait weighing six and a half ounces. It shares the same shape and profile as the manufacturer's Silent Killer bait including the unique rubberized coating around the entire bait.
Glide Week : Shhh... Don't Tell Anyone But Have You...
Ask yourself, how willing are you to share your secret fishing hole or bait with that person in the next boat? No way, right? I cannot tell you how many times we've received reports on products or hot bites preceded by the statement, "Don't tell anyone but..."
Glide Week : ABT Lures Squeezes In With the Suicide
A week dedicated to Glide Baits would not be complete without the announcement of a new, up and coming bait. Add that together with the knowledge that the bait we're talking about today is built in California and you have the makings of some good 'ole California Big Bait magic. Introducing ABT Lures's Suicide Glide.
Glide Week : The Lumbering Limberlamber
If River2Sea's S-Waver is the popular glide bait choice amongst tournament anglers, you can be certain very few of these same anglers, if any, have the Megabass's current interpretation of this bait type. Why? Well despite being roughly the same size as the 178 S-Waver, this bait costs about four times as much.
Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
Are you familiar with two piece glide baits? We've reviewed several here on TackleTour one of the most recent being the very popular RomanMade Negotiator. The popularity of this bait is pretty significant. What you may or may not realize is, there are several other, somewhat similar baits out on the market - and more hitting store shelves every other month!
Product Insight: What We Look for in a Fishing Rod... Featuring Batson
At ICAST 2013, we got into a thought provoking discussion with one manufacturer known more for their production of blanks and rod components more so than built rods. This is understandable since they don't really offer any built rods direct to the general public. Who are they you ask? Well have you heard of Alps rod components or maybe Rainshadow?
Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
So often achieving speed requires sacrifices in refinement but every once in a while a product comes around that strives to achieve both. Daiwa’s Steez Series has long been the benchmark of ultra lightweight magnesium baitcasters and the latest addition to the premium lineup is the 100XS which delivers a blisteringly fast 7.9:1 gear ratio

TackleTour Tournament Interview : Aaron Martens
In what will become a continuing series, we're going to sit down with different pros and go through their tackle selections for each day of the tourney, one at a time. Today, we sit down with Aaron Martens, 2013 BASS Elite Series Angler of the Year.


What a Concept! 13 Fishing's Concept-A Reel is a Bulldog
Even though we had the rare chance to play with a couple of the prototypes at the 2013 ICAST show, nothing beats experiencing the finished product. With that said, we were quietly able to acquire a couple of Concept-A reels for testing and a full lab breakdown well before their scheduled release to the general public.
Factory Tour : Inspiration, Respect, Honor, the Motivation that Fuels Megabass
During our tour of the Megabass factory, we sat down for an extended discussion with Megabass founder, Yuki Ito to learn more about the continued drive and motivation behind his designs for the company and his products.
Okuma Delivers Solid Performance With Their Citrix Suite of Reels
Today, we take a look at a mid-line product from a manufacturer whose had their share of criticism from consumers along their baitcaster journey. Is Okuma finally poised to make a move into the low profile baitcaster market? Here's our take on the Citrix suite of reels.
G.Loomis Updates the IMX Series of Bass Rods
In recent seasons the company has updated their other rod lines including the GLX and GL2 rods, and the middle child that is the IMX Series has had to continue to patiently wait for their time to shine. The spotlight finally shifted to the IMX series on the big stage of the Bassmaster Classic where a new lineup of 34 rods was hard launched.
SIMMS New ExStream Jacket - Is It Enough?When TackleTour is outdoors on the water or out camping, chances are there are a number of SIMMS products being used. In fact, the subject of today's article is a piece of clothing, that at first glance, one might consider wearing out on the snow more so than out on the water. Introducing the SIMMS ExStream jacket.
A Step Forward, An Inside Look at the New Shimano Curado I
The Shimano Curado was first introduced in 1991 and since that time has represented Shimano’s workhorse baitcasting reel. These low profile baitcasters have certainly evolved over time, increasing in both features and refinement. Officially launched last week at the Bassmaster Classic Expo we were excited to get the reel back home and on water.
TackleTour Tournament Interview : Edwin Evers
TackleTour is going to hold a bass fishing tournament, but in keeping with our tradition, the gear is going to play an active roll in how the tourney is structured. In the past, we've been known concentrate our review seasons around specific techniques or types of baits. We're going to run our tournament in the same manner.
Jackall takes aim at Spybaiting with the iProp 75
Jackall is working on a range of new baits leading up to ICAST and this Bassmater Classic the team is introducing a new prop bait created specifically for this ultra-finesse technique. The Jackall iProp is a sinking double propped spybait that is designed to target suspending fish in clear water conditions.
No Secret, Shimano’s Curado I Reels Look like the Real Deal
In the last 24 hours Shimano officially unveiled the new reel at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo in Birmingham Alabama, and for the first time the public was able to get their hands on the new reels.

Welcome Back Shimano : The 2013 Metanium
For years, we've wondered why large manufacturers like Shimano go through the effort to make specialized products for one market versus another when the overall applications of each product are more or less the same. Of course, we're speaking primarily about fishing reels, and even more specifically, bass fishing reels.

Beyond Spybaiting: DUO Realis Jerkbait 100SP
I can sum these baits up in just one word: beautiful. DUO is known for crafting some of the finest baits around, and from a looks standpoint these will not disappoint even the pickiest of anglers. Not only are the colors both vibrant and eye-catching, there are a whopping 16 to choose from.
Power Off the Grid – The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger
These days it seems everything is going digital and even when we are on the water or hiking down a steam fishing we are never truly “unplugged,” as we rely on our smartphones, GPS or headlamps to keep us fishing and get us home safely. Goal Zero produces a variety of portable power devices and is a self-proclaimed leader in consumer solar power systems...









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