Bassdozer talks to ima prostaff about where we are now and
where we are headed with ima in 2009
Bunch, Michael Murphy|
Introduction: Russ "Bazzdozer"
Comeau talks to the prostaff at ima in a end of the year-end review where
ima pros Michael Murphy and Captain Karl Bunch reflect upon where ima is now,
and where ima's headed product-wise in the coming year.
Where we are now - ima Roumba
Wakebait / Shallow Crankbait
Bassdozer: In terms of products, ima
has designed, tested and released five bass lures in the USA within
approximately the past 18 months. Although ima's a company from Japan, these
bass lures are made specifically for North American bass anglers, and are not
sold in Japan. These include the Roumba wakebait, Flit 120 jerkbait, Shaker
flat-sided shallow-running crankbait, Skimmer topwater, and the Rock 'N Vibe
lipless crank. For 2009, there are four new ima bass lures are under
development, the Rattlin' Roumba for spring time release, the Big Stik topwater
for summer release, the Baby Flit 100 for autumn release and the Shaker shallow
crankbait (release date not yet decided). Let's hear directly from the prostaff
at ima about these new offerings, starting with the current Roumba and the soon
to be released Rattlin' Roumba.
Where we're headed - ima Rattlin'
Roumba. Spring 2009 Release
Michael Murphy: Places where the
Roumba's most advantageous are where you see a lot of shallow grass and overall,
the Roumba's really good when fish are shallow. There have been times I've
caught fish with the Roumba by waking it in over 50 feet of water, but I think
where the Roumba really shines is anytime when you're anywhere shallow, and
especially during the spawning season. That's not to say the Roumba won't work
in the summer or fall - it does. But around the spawn when the fish are wanting
to be in the shallows for a month or two, that's when the Roumba really plays a
The Roumba's a good search tool when there are a lot of average size fish, say
your 2-3 pounders. They may not always take the bait solidly but they will come
up behind the Roumba and show themselves. So it's a search tool, and it will
tell you where a few of those 2-3 pound fish are, and they'll go right back to a
piece of cover, a log, or a stick-up. Some fish may have a bed that the Roumba
pulled them away from... and they'll go back into those spots. So you can pick
up something else, a Texas-rigged worm or a Senko, and catch those relatively
smaller fish that wouldn't commit to the Roumba.
That's not to say you will not catch these 2-3 pounders on the Roumba. Yes, you
will get a fair percentage of them - but not all of them will strike.
What you'll find different when it comes to bigger bass, is that you will pretty
much stick the huge fish that come up on the Roumba. Usually, if you get around
a big fish, it will commit. So the Roumba, if you throw it enough, it will
definitely increase your chances to get those bigger fish, and in a tournament
situation, the Roumba will get those good kicker fish you need these days. The
Roumba has been proven to get that better grade of fish in shallow cover.
Captain Karl Bunch: The Roumba is
designed primarily to be a topwater wakebait. Simply hold the rod tip at about
ten or eleven o'clock and just a steady retrieve on a medium/heavy rod will give
it a nice, wide wobbling wake. There's no rattle, just a wake - and that's what
gets their attention.
The neat thing about the Roumba, if you are searching a shoreline, trying to
find fish, you can effectively and easily cover a shoreline by first making
three casts with the rod tip up to use the Roumba as a surface-roiling wakebait.
Then make the next three casts with the rod tip down, so it runs about a foot
deep with a real wide wobble. Depending on the fishing line used and retrieve
speed, with the rod tip held down, the Roumba gets anywhere from 12-18 inches
deep, typically about a foot. The effectiveness of this is that there are times
when bass just don't want to come up and hit a topwater. There are times they're
down tight on the wood, in the shallow wood, and using the Roumba as a shallow
crankbait, it will come through wood cover very well. It will also come through
light or scattered vegetation very well. The beauty is you don't have to
constantly switch between one rod for topwater and another rod for
shallow-cranking. You can just use one rod, and the Roumba saves you a lot of
time, saves a lot of energy and let's you effectively and quickly cover a
shoreline using it as a search bait.
When I am guiding clients, I've had many days when the weather conditions may
have changed overnight, when we must hunt to find the fish, and I'll just
instruct my clients to do the same thing - make three casts using the Roumba as
a topwater wakebait and three casts with the rod tip down, using it as a shallow
running crankbait. Used this way, the Roumba has found the fish for me and my
clients quickly and effectively many, many times, resulting in successful,
Captain Karl Bunch shows a bold
new color named 'Double Cheeseburger' for stained or muddy water
Captain Karl Bunch: The Rattlin'
Roumba will be available in the spring time, and it's going to expand the
Roumba's effectiveness. A guy who fishes water that's really stained or muddy
and feels he needs the rattling noise to go along with the wake, the Rattlin'
Roumba will allow him to do that, and it's going to come in a few new, brighter
colors to give dirty water anglers even more confidence. So the Rattlin' Roumba
will have some brighter colors for dirty water, in conjunction with the rattling
Michael Murphy: The addition of the Rattlin' Roumba is really
going to help in those painful tournament situations when you may have fish
located shallow, maybe even sight-fishing on beds, but then the water dingies up
overnight, whether it be from rain, wind or whatever causes a dirtier water
situation overnight. So you still know the fish are there, you just can't see
them or you need to alert them a little bit more to the lure's presence. The
regular Roumba may not be enough in dingy water. That's where the Rattlin'
Roumba can definitely help you. The wake is still there, with the rattling noise
to help them locate it better in dingier water. So you'll have two options. The
Rattlin' Roumba will be good in dirty water, but that same rattling noise may be
too much for clear water where you may do better with the original non-rattling
Where we are now - ima Skimmer
Michael Murphy: In comparison to the
Roumba (which is ideal for heavy cover, shallow backwater areas), I consider the
Skimmer as more of an open water baitfish type of topwater bait. I'm not saying
the Skimmer won't work in a backwater spot (and vice versa), but the Roumba is
more apropos for a shallow, spawning situation or vegetation. The Skimmer and
Roumba also move different, and the actions are different. The Roumba is more
like a bluegill or frog type lure for shallow cover situation whereas the
Skimmer is more of a shad or pelagic baitfish lure for open water. So I tend to
use the Skimmer more on main lake points, over deeper water, around rocky, sandy
or clay shorelines without much vegetation or cover. With the Roumba, you would
probe and pry and dissect shallow cover whereas the Skimmer is more for open
water, schooling bass, and suspended bass situations.
Captain Karl Bunch: The Skimmer one of the easiest small pencil
type stickbaits you'll ever throw. It doesn't require a lot of technique, and
it's surprisingly effective on brackish water striped bass that share tidal
water with largemouth and smallmouth as well.
In fact, the Skimmer is gaining a strong following among ocean surfcasters due
to the Skimmer's solid construction and because of the long distance casts that
can be achieved (for its size).
Where we're headed - ima Big Stik.
Summer 2009 Release
ima Big Stik
Bassdozer: The Big Stik is a
through-wired hard plastic bait, and right now there are only limited prototypes
available of the Big Stik. This lure is going to be big on the West Coast for
California's trophy largemouth, and also in Texas and Mexico. It will be also be
very effective for striped bass, either in freshwater or salt. Since it's
through-wired, a continuous length of heavy wire runs from the nose to tail,
including the belly hanger so it will be able to stand up to all your inshore
saltwater battlers, big striped bass, bluefish, peacock bass, pike and musky too.
Where we are now - ima Rock 'N
Vibe Lipless Sinking Vibration Bait
ima Rock 'N Vibe
Captain Karl Bunch: As a fishing
guide, the Rock 'N Vibe has become one of my best friends. This lipless
crankbait works like a charm. It has good action at any retrieve speed. So
anglers can't fish it wrong. Anyone can use it very slow, medium speed or fast,
and the Rock 'N Vibe doesn't lose its action. So when I have a guide trip, and
fish are hitting the Rock 'N Vibe, I know my clients are going to have a good
day no matter how they use it!
One of the things that is also amazing to me is that the Rock N Vibe can be
fished in deep water as a vertical jig or 'blade bait'. This can be very
effective around bridge pilings and stuff. Some of these places can be snaggy
and filled with all kinds of man-made cover where you may get hung up a lot. So
I'll just throw some of my older, beat up and less expensive blade baits until I
get to know the terrain and the cover in the area, and then I'll throw the Rock
'N Vibe in there tight around the bridge pilings and stuff, and it's very
Next Section: Michael Murphy on the Rock 'N Vibe & new Flit