New in the Optimum booth this year, or at least new to us, were the products by a company called "Reins". Matt Paino highlighted for us a new soft plastic freshwater bait by this company that is essentially two Senko-type baits fused together at their centers to form an "X". It is being fished on weighted heads like that offered by Zappu, and hooked towards the end of either appendage or in the very center for a wacky/swimming/pulsing kind of crazy action presentation. The "Cross Swamp" will be
available in packs of eight for right around six dollars ($6) a pack and come in eight different colors.
Basically two worms joined at the center, it can be wacky rigged or hooked towards the end of either appendage with a weighted wacky style hook like those offered by Zappu.
The next offering by reins is a slightly different take on the soft plastic topwater frog. It's called the Semi-Frog and is a cicada
shaped popper/frog style bait available in two different sizes and an array of different colors. The Baby Semi is a tiny, one eighth ounce bait, features an Owner/Cultiva hook and will retail for around eight dollars ($8) a bait. The Daddy Semi weighs in at three eighths (3/8ths) of an ounce and will retail for approximately eleven
dollars ($11) a bait.
Reins enters the soft bodied frog market with a cicada
The Semi-Frog is available in two sizes, Baby (shown here) and Daddy (pictured above).
Underneath you can see this bait has a popper mouth and added appendages towards the front of the bait.
Optimum extends their line-thru series with a larger sized bait we at TackleTour have dubbed, the "Double BLT". Previously available in three and five inch lengths, the Double BLT is a seven inch bait that will retail for somewhere under eleven dollars ($11) a bait.
Optimum introduces a seven inch version of their line thru bait we've dubbed the Double BLT.
Here is the 7" version (on top) compared to the 5" version.
The line through design is gaining popularity amongst swimbait manufacturers and swimbait chuckers because it slides up your line swinging free from the hook once you catch a fish. This helps to remove any leverage a fish might have with the bait in its mouth to throw the hook.
Optimum proves bigger is better by extending their Double Diamond series as well with this new 7" size.
The On-Do from Vagabond is a hand made 8.5 cm bait weighing in at 17 grams and retails in Japan for just over $55.
The Wobble King from Vagabond is a hand made 12 cm bait weighing in at 25 grams and retails in Japan for just over $70.
Matt Paino of Optimum Baits always has a host of new and interesting product to show us each year at ICAST.
Conclusion: We can't say enough about the depths and heights Matt Paino of Optimum Baits goes through to bring to us, some of the latest, greatest, and top quality product from Japan. His catalogue of Deps, ima, Zappu, reins, Vagabond, and other products is astounding and a show within a show. We look forward to getting some of these new baits out on the water in the coming months to bring you more on what these exciting products have to offer.