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Bassdozer talks to ima prostaff about where we are now and where we are headed with ima in 2009 (continued)

Rock 'N Vibe cont'd: Michael Murphy: The Rock 'N Vibe lipless crankbait shines best when water is around 45-55 degrees. That ten degree spectrum is going to be in spring and fall, and it's when you have a lot of baitfish movement. That's the water temperature range when fish may be transitioning off a jerkbait bite (in spring) and when they are coming off a jerkbait bite, that's a pretty good time to show them the Rock 'N Vibe. This is the time when fish are going to get active in newly-growing grass, also starting to move up onto warming flats, and the Rock 'N Vibe takes center stage at that time.


Off deeper ledges or channel breaks in the summer, the Rock 'N Vibe may also be used like a hard plastic jigging spoon - one that rattles - in the summer. But where it's really going to shine is in spring and fall, when it's just a little too warm for a good jerkbait bite, that's Rock 'N Vibe time.


Where we are now - ima Flit 120 Jerkbait


Where we're headed - ima Baby Flit. Autumn 2009 Release


ima Flit 120 and Baby Flit 100


Michael Murphy: The Flit 120 is a bait that you can fish almost year round. Of course, when you get way up north, smallmouth country, there is not going to be any bad time to throw a Flit. If smallmouth are around, they will always eat a Flit.

When you get into more southern areas, the Flit's most effective in cooler spring, winter and fall months. But even in the summer, when the water's warm, I've had some killer days when the wind comes up.

In summer, a lot of main lake fish usually stay either very deep or very shallow, and since the Flit 120's working depth is about 6-8 feet deep, it's not good for very shallow or very deep fish. It is going to hang up in shallow grass and scum - or it isn't going to reach them when they sulk on the bottom in deeper water on windless summer days. But you can have some killer days with main lake fish on windy days. All the fish will all start schooling off wind-blown points and on top of any other underwater rises. These fish will tend to suspend up high in the water column. They'll suspend no more than 10-12 foot deep off points, humps and any other bottom uprisings that are facing into the wind, with wind-generated current moving past. When the wind dies down, these fish will move back up too shallow or descend too deep for the Flit 120 to be effective. But while the wind blows, the fishing can be phenomenal with the Flit 120 for suspended fish on wind blown structure in summer.
My most consistent and productive time of year, however, for the Flit 120 seems like its when the water is always at its cleanest and clearest in the early spring, before the spring rains come. At times when there are no algae blooms, not so much rain, that's when the jerkbait bite can be best.


Ima pro Michael Murphy is designer of the Flit jerkbait


Switching the conversation to the new Baby Flit 100 which will be released in 2009, I've found that when it is super cold water, fish don't want a bigger profile jerkbait at that time. So the Baby Flit can be more effective in super cold water.

And in those shallow, backwater areas, where the regular Flit 120 goes a little too deep and hangs up, I've found that the Baby Flit will stay just above the grass line, even on a very grassy lake like Guntersville, Alabama.

The Baby Flit doesn't go near as deep. Whereas the Flit 120 goes 6 to 8 feet deep, the Baby Flit goes 4 to 6. So it can stay right above that depth of grass; you won't be hanging up as much, and it is a friendlier, smaller size of jerkbait that's more acceptable at times when fish won't commit to a bigger bait.

The Baby Flit has one less hook, but they're the same size hooks as on the Flit 120. Also, there isn't a major weight difference, castability difference or any difference in the tackle you would use with either the Flit 120 or the Baby Flit. You can throw both of them on the exact same rod, same line and same set-up. You won't have any problems to switch from the bigger Flit to the smaller one. As small as the Baby Flit is, it casts like a bullet. and since it has the same size and strength hooks as the Flit 120, you don't need to treat it any differently, except it fishes a shallower depth and has a smaller baitfish profile. The only downside is, it seems so long to wait until autumn 2009 to get your hands on it!


Where we are now - ima Shaker Flat-sided Crankbait in Captain Karl's favorite color, Plemmons


ima Shaker and Shad


Bassdozer: You can consider the ima Shad to be pudgy but not fat. The top and bottom is rounded but it does have somewhat flattened sides. So it isn't completely round. The biggest difference is the Shad's going to be more of (but not entirely) a rounded body crankbait whereas the Shaker is a flat-sided crankbait. The Shad's not going to run any deeper. Both are shallow-runners, although the Shad's a slightly smaller bait than the Shaker.

Captain Karl Bunch: I use the Shaker a lot. Earlier I had mentioned using the Roumba as a shallow-running crankbait which gets about a foot deep. Some days you will find that's not deep enough to get bites. So when there's a need to go deeper, the Shaker is the bait I tie on.
The Shaker runs 4-6 feet deep, depending on retrieve speed and line diameter (I like to use 10 lb test with it). It has lots of wobble, and surprisingly, it comes through the edges of grass lines a little bit better than many other cranks. The Shaker has such a wide wobble that it helps keep itself clean of grass and sheds debris. It also comes through wood pretty good, and it floats. So if you feel it hitting a limb, you can stop it, and it will float up so you can snake it over the limb and it won't hang up.

In terms of water clarity, I have fished the Shaker from clear to stained to muddy water, no problem. As the water gets muddier, I just throw on a brighter color. One of my favorite 'go to' colors is Plemmons. The Plemmons color seems to work in just about any water clarity.

Michael Murphy: Earlier, I talked of using the Flit jerkbait in colder water, and I mentioned my preference for using the Rock 'N Vibe when the water ranges between 45 to 55 degrees. That's also close to the water temperature range when I prefer throwing the flat-sided ima Shaker. More precisely, the 50-60 degree range, both in spring and fall when the water's in the fifties, is when I do best with the flat-sided Shaker. I typically use it when shad or any type of baitfish abound.
Both the Shaker and the prototype ima Shad have computer-board lips. This is a lightweight, ultra thin lip material that creates a lot livelier action than other baits with a thicker, heavy plastic bill on them. In river systems, where there's a lot of water current, the Shaker and Shad work especially well, since the light, thin lips let them produce superior lure action. Whenever there's any water current, they mimic baitfish swimming in the current. Even little streams and creeks that you can't get a boat into, where you wade, the shallow-running Shaker and ima Shad do well because the moving water just activates them. In these moving water situations, you don't have to do a whole lot to do well with these two baits.

Where we're headed - a prototype of the ima Shad. Release Date Not Yet Decided

The difference I'd say when it comes to the ima Shad prototype versus the Shaker, the Shad's more of a rounder version, and that makes it even more of a summer type bait. So when the water is even warmer, say when the water temperature's 55 to 65 or even up to 75, that rounder shape and the little different action makes the prototype ima Shad even more of a summer bait - especially in rivers or any water current situations.


Bassdozer: With less than two years in the North American bass market, ima's still in its infancy. It will take a little longer for ima to grow, that's only normal, to get to the size that ima will eventually be. But there's no doubt that ima's off to a good start, and they're here to stay. So check them out. They're great baits. It is true, you may spend a little bit extra on ima, but you're going to get what you pay for from ima. A good lure is the most vital piece of equipment that stands in between you and the fish you desire and you can buy any ima bait and you can be sure that you can rely on them with confidence. That's ima's commitment to you for now, and for the new year.


Looking for ima Japan Lures, check out Tackle Warehouse.












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