Megabass's CEO-X Factor : Yuki Ito
TT: What is your favorite bass fishing technique, and why?
Y.Ito: The type of fishing I enjoy the most is deep cranking. I enjoy the process of using a GPS and a depth finder to get a feel for the terrain, deducing swimming routes and optimal target areas, and delivering the crank bait accurately to those locations. When deep cranking, I get great results over and over again with the DEEP-X100, 150, 200 and 300. The DEEP-SIX, a 6+ meter deep diving bait which we just finished developing, will help deliver high pitch vibration waves even deeper, allowing you to attack previously untouchable deep spots with great results. Just the other day during testing at Lake Biwa, we landed two 10 pounders and seven 8 pounders from a depth of 5.5-6.5m (18'-21')! This more accurate deep cranking allows for more reaction bites out of fish swimming along horizontally in the target areas. Super deep cranking lets you get bites from monsters that won't respond to the vertical approach of jigs.
Inside the Megabass factory, a view of one of their resin
TT: What is your favorite setup? (rod model, reel type/model, line type/weight, lure) Do you mainly fish prototype products, or production models?
Y.Ito: I have many setups that I like. For cranking, I use the Tomahawk series, or the Evoluzion F5 Â½-70Xti Super Diablo with a LIN10C reel. For line, I use DragonCall Black Jungle 14lb (fluorocarbon), partnered with the DEEP-X300. For private fishing, I often use the more agile Destroyer and ARMS series. During development, I always use prototypes that are undergoing testing, but since there are many occasions for magazine interviews and TV appearances, in those situations I use production models. It goes without saying, but the production models are designed to eliminate the negative aspects of the prototypes, so their performance is much more consistent.
All that machinery to produce these resin molds - all in an
effort to ensure Megabass quality.
TT: How often do you get to fish in Japan?
Y.Ito: I go fishing to test out new prototypes, for magazine interviews, TV appearances, DVD shoots and more. In my case, I actually end up doing more fishing than Japanese tournament pros. I would say that at least 280 days a year, I am out casting my rod. In the morning, even before I go to work, I fish and test out products in an area close to my home. The testing of Megabass prototypes never gets delayed due to poor weather either! We do it even during thunderstorms and blizzards. There is no point to only test our products under ideal conditions. The fishing of Megabass Inc. is serious business.
within the Megabass factory is digitally controlled for precision.
TT: Where is your favorite fishing location within Japan?
Y.Ito: For bass fishing, it's Lake Hachiro. It's a large, flat lake in the Northern region. It's a wonderful place that still retains the charm of the good old days of Japan. Lake Biwa is also a premier field, and is home to world records. For salt water fishing, Tokyo bay is a treasure trove of sea bass. Also, in Gifu Prefecture's Takayama, you can catch great native trout with the LIVE-X. Japan is a small island nation, but its unique geography has made way for many distinctive bodies of water.
A die ready for inspection before being put to use. Many
never make it past this point.
TT: Do you have a favorite target species in Japan?
Y.Ito: Besides bass, some of my favorite species specific to Japan are the Ito (Sakhalin Taimen), Hirasuzuki (Blackfin Seabass), Akame (Japanese Lates, similar to barramundi) and Sakuramasu (Cherry Salmon). I am particularly fond of the amago (red-spotted masu salmon), and char found in the highland creeks of Gifu Prefecture. They are both only about 25cm (9.84") long, but are very beautiful and timid fish, so you can enjoy a very subtle, technical kind of fishing using finesse plugs like the LIVE-X SMOLT, or SHADING-X.
"The type of fishing I enjoy the most is deep cranking. I enjoy the process of using a GPS and a depth finder to get a feel for the terrain, deducing swimming routes and optimal target areas, and delivering the crank bait accurately to those locations."
TT: Are there any places in the United States that you've always wanted to fish?
Y.Ito: So far I have fished in 12 different states in the US. In terms of bass fishing, I am most interested in the lakes in Northern California. Also, I have a desire to try trout fishing in Yellowstone. Every time I visit, I have great experiences in the US.
Great care and attention to detail goes into every Megabass
TT: Are there any other international destinations on your fishing list? If so, which one are you most excited about? What is the target species?
Y.Ito: Someday I would like to have a go at the Nile Perch in Africa. I would also love to top water fish for some Papuan bass in Papua New Guinea.
"I very much enjoy trying out new things, so when I fish on my personal time, I devote much more time to experimenting with different tunings and settings."
TT: When you are fishing, how much time do you spend trying to catch fish versus thinking about your tackle, different ways to modify your rod, reel, lure, etc.?
Y.Ito: During interviews and appearances on TV, most of my time is spent trying to catch fish. I very much enjoy trying out new things, so when I fish on my personal time, I devote much more time to experimenting with different tunings and settings. Sometimes I will find a piece of wood in the field, carve it, add a hook and actually end up creating the prototype for a new Megabass lure. There are plenty of great ideas floating around out in the field.
"Megabass isn't just about creating tackle, or catching fish.
I believe it's also about cultural exchange through fishing, leading to
TT: Thank you for the opportunity to conduct this interview, and allow our readers a bit of insight into your world. We appreciate your design efforts, and look forward to more Megabass products in the United States. In parting, is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Y.Ito: I'm also very appreciative of this opportunity to share a bit of myself with your readers. America is a wonderful place for fishing, with beautiful environments and a very advanced fishing culture which I respect very much. I am always impressed with the kindness and familiarity that American anglers receive me with when I visit the US.
Megabass isn't just about creating tackle, or catching fish. I believe it's also about cultural exchange through fishing, leading to mutual respect. That also means understanding each other's personalities through fishing, and in the process gaining wonderful new friends. For example, if I didn't know the joy of fishing, I would never have met everyone from Tackle Tour!
However, life isn't just about the fun times; it's also filled with the tumultuous and tragic. That's why I think you always need to set aside time for activities like fishing, which offer pure enjoyment, free and unrestricted. That's why I create new tools for anglers, and why I continue to enjoy fishing as much as I can. Thank you.
TackleTour would like to thank Yuki Ito for taking the time to share so much of himself with us and affording us a better understanding of all that is mystique and prestige that is Megabass.