The Daiwa Pluton is finally available in left hand retrieve!
Swimbait Reel: (Daiwa Pluton) The Daiwa Pluton makes a repeat appearance on our buyer’s guide returning from Summer pick duties to reappear in our Holiday list because now it is finally available in left hand retrieve! That’s right, the same one-piece aluminum frame, eight bearing reel that was our first Ultimate Enthusiast Award winner for 2009 and formerly only available in right hand retrieve is now finally available to those who prefer to hold their rod and reel combos in their right hand and crank with their left.
And is our pick for a reel to throw big baits.
Though built to serve primarily as an inshore reel, the Pluton’s relatively compact design makes it an excellent choice for freshwater duties tossing big baits. It handles braid perfectly and if fished with a braid and fluorocarbon leader, can hold plenty of line for bass, striper, and any number of other species. The reel’s versatility is enhanced by an extra long 90mm stock swept cranking handle and externally adjustable MagForce Z braking system. The right and left hand versions of the Daiwa Pluton are available for $389.95 at
Casey says be sure to match your Pluton with the Zillion Swimbait Stick.
Swimbait Rod: (Daiwa Zillion Swimbait Rod) What better rod to match our Holiday Pick for a big bait reel than the Pluton’s sibling, the Daiwa Zillion Swimbait Rod. A stick that can handle more than what its ratings suggest, the TDZL74XHFB delivers Enthusiast level zeal at a Best Value price point with the performance and power to back it all up. Measuring a manageable seven feet four inches in length, this stick might be short for some big bait veterans, but it makes for an excellent rod to throw everything from baits like our Holiday Gift Guide pick of the Roboworm EZ Shad to the picks in our actual big bait category to follow. It is also an ideal stick to toss big topwater plugs like the MS Slammer, AC Plug Minnow, and Black Dog Baits Lunker Punker. The Daiwa Zillion TDZL74XHFB is available for $244.95 at
Specifically, the very versatile TDZL74MXHFB.
Swimbait: (Tie : Mattlure's Hard Bass & Triton Mike Bull Shad) Our picks in the actual big bait category came down to a decision between two baits. Mattlures’ new Hard Bass raises the level of what consumers can expect in terms of realism to an unreal height and he delivers this hand made, hand painted bait at an even more unbelievable price. It comes as no surprise this bait already won our Editor’s Choice Award several weeks ago.
It's a tie for our recommended big bait buy between...
Triton Mike enters the big bait arena by releasing a bait several years in the making. A long time advocate of the bigger is better camp, Triton Mike grew tired of waiting for someone to create a realistic shad profile bait to match the gizzard shad in his local lakes and took matters into his own hands. After several starts and restarts, he zeroed in on hits final design less than two years ago and the final result is the four piece Bull Shad. Assembled with the help of protégé Kohl Lester, the Bull Shad is available in a few different sizes from five inches on up and flat out catches fish.
Triton Mike's Bull Shad (Shown here is the three-piece prototype. The production baits are all four piece designs) and...
So when it came down to making the pick for a big bait in our Holiday Gift Guide, instead of deciding between this pair of baits, in true TackleTour tradition we’re recommending both. Flip a coin or buy them both, either way the big bait chucker on your list will be getting a proven fish catcher and a quality bait.
Mattlures Hard Bass!
What makes this pick even better? Both baits readily available at several different retailers and at prices that won’t break your holiday budget. The Mattlures Hard Bass retails for $59.99 and is available at
Monster Fishing Tackle and Triton Mike’s Bull Shad is
available in three different sizes with prices starting at $49.99 at
Tackle Warehouse as well.
Something to put those swimbaits in...