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Built to Vanquish the Competition, but Equal to Stella?

Picking Apart Rapala's BX Big Brat Squarebill

SpiderWire's 4-Strand Braid Offers a Stealthy Option for Fishing Through Vegetation Great for Finesse, but Capable of So Much More. Shimano's Vanford Spinning Reel
Daiwa Drops the 2021 Limited Edition Steez SV TW Ahead of Schedule Does Power Tackle Deliver with "The One" Rod? A Brawler Ready to Battle, the Pike Team Six B52 Wake Swimbait Don't Let the Elevator Break You Down, Going Crazy with Abu's Revo4 IKE

Additional Recent Articles

Getting Straight to the Point Blank... Creating a Custom Rod Build
Every now and then we learn of a new blank manufacturer making noise in the custom rod circles. Usually, we can find a manufacturer who is not afraid to divulge they are using these blanks so that we can fish, test, and write up the finished product...
TackleTour's Editors Picks for Favorite Reels, Rods, Lures, Swimbaits, and Line in 2020
There's is always much out there to explore, acquire, and fish, and while each angler's local water and application is unique, we decided it was time to ask our Editors to lay down their favorite picks for which reels, rods, lure, swimbaits, and lines that they are personally fishing this season.
MagDraft Part II : We Know It Was You, Freestyle
The MagDraft Freestyle is a six inch (6") paddletail style bait based off the companies popular MagDraft swimbait. The difference here is while the original MagDraft is pre-rigged with a hook and internal harness, the Freestyle is, well, free of all of that.
Cold Water Cranking Weapon - River2Sea's Tactical Bassin' DD Crankbait
As the air and water temperature drops in Fall and Winter the reaction bite also cools. Fishing slower and breaking out the finesse gear is often par for the course, but River2Sea and Tactical Bassin' have created a crankbait that is designed to unlock the feeding response in elusive deep holding fish.
Catch Outdoors's Take On the Ubiquitous Bladed Jig
Leveraging the technology they used to develop thier Zero Gravity Jig and combining it with one of the hottest bait trends going, bladed jigs, they've come up with another bait product they hope "catches" on. Here's our look at their relatively new, Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake bladed jig.
Megabass's Latest Lure of Unusual Size. - the Big M7.5
It's been a little bit since we've had a bait product worthy of our Lures of Unusual Size (L.O.U.S.) designation. Megabass enters the fray with their new Big M7.5 crankbait. A four and a half inch (4.5") plug designed to hit depths of up to twenty four feet (24') and swim there without tearing out your rotator cuff. Is it as effective as claimed? Let's find out.
Tough and Strong, Sufix's Advance Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
More naturally suited as a material for leaders, fluorocarbon needs extra processing when extruded for use as a main line. Each manufacturer has their own strategy to achieve this goal and at a previous ICAST, Sufix debuted their latest strategy. Here's our look at Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon.
Built for Finesse. Shimano's Curado MGL 70 K Baitcasters
The newest addition to the Shimano Curado line is the smaller 70 MGL K, and the biggest upgrade is not only the more compact form factor but the addition of a lightweight MGL spool. Designed to help anglers make pinpoint casts with lighter baits, this new reel looks to carry on the Curado Series tradition of being a benchmark baitcaster. Let's see how it stacks up to today's tough competition, and history.
Evergreen International Defines "IT" Again : The Orion OCSC-71H+ Black Rose
The Black Rose, specifically, is designed for versatility allowing you to fish in everything from tight cover situations to open water environments. It is designed to do everything to flipping and punching soft plastics to casting and retrieving big swimbaits.
PB Rat Lights It Up With a Little Slosh and a Lot of Boils
What the hollow body frog is to fishermen who prefer conventional sized bait and tackle, the waking rat bait is to those anglers who make throwing big, oversized baits their purview. It is an obsession not easily overcome and haunts your every waking dream like an infestation of your subconscious realm.
Cal Coast Fishing's New Twerk Minnow Swimbait
Cal Coast Fishing's Twerk Minnow is available in two sizes, five and a half and seven and a half inches (5.5" & 7.5"). It is a full body, split belly type of paddletail made from a soft plastic material.
Buongiorno! An Aggressively Priced Glide Bait from Molix
From their Supernato hollow body baits to imaginative soft plastics like their SC Bug and Vincex Craw, to their triple armed spinnerbait, the Lover, Molix brings a fun spirit to their bait products. Up until now, what had been missing from the company's catalog was a contender in the increasingly competitive big bait market.
Wake 'Em Up With Spro's Wameku Shad 70
I was fortunate to spend some time on the water with the designer behind this bait, Shin Fukae recently where he walked me through the Wameku Shad 70 design. While the bait is made with a different sound than other Spro lipless cranks, what he was most excited to show me was his strategy behind the line tie - the Wameku Shad 70 has two positions.

The Wrap to Get. Swimbait Underground's Union
As your swimbait arsenal grows the need to be able to safely store, organize, and transport them also increases. I've been searching for a quality wrap solution for years, and most of the ones that I have tried have required a number of sacrifices. This year Swimbait Underground released their own branded wrap, the Union 9", designed for protecting swimbaits, and easy access to them in the field. 

ARK Rods's New Graphite Cranking Stick : Invoker Pro IVP74MHRC
Riding on the coat tails of the Reinforcer success is a refresh of one of their original series, Invoker. They've elevated these rods to "Pro" status but kept the price point the same. Let's take a look a the IVP74MHRC to see how they've done.
Savage Value, the Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill Swimbaits
The Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill is the most realistic looking bluegill swimbait that Savage has introduced to date, and is designed to be easy for anglers to simply tie on and start fishing effectively right out of the package.
The Omega Swimbait 8' Heavy by Leviathan Rods
To be honest, it didn't really take much to convince me to reach out to Leviathan rods once I found out they're relying on Gary Loomis's company, North Fork Composites (NFC), to supply their blanks. Their Omega Swimbait 8' Heavy is built on an NFC, custom specified LMX-PSI blank...


 
 
Missile Baits Adds a Convenient Quiver to their Arsenal of Baits
The technique we're discussing today involves sticking a specialized weight into the head of the worm, and rigging your hook somewhere along the body of that worm so it dangles, head down and tail up. That's right, it's the Neko rig and Missile Baits has a new worm to increase your chances of getting bit while fishing this technique. Here's our look at their Quiver Worm.
Easy Handling FINS WindTamer Braided Line
Fishing with superlines has become a huge market segment with many manufacturers developing lines for both fresh and saltwater applications, and even some more niche situational ones. One such company, FINS, out of Erlanger, Kentucky, specializes in braided line products and has continued to introduce new braids specifically targeting bass anglers, including situational braids like the new Windtamer Pitch Black Braid.
My Favorite Topwater Custom Swimbait - The Illude Rad Rat
Illude's Rad Rat is a hand carved wakebait that is designed to generate explosive strikes both day and night. How good is this bait? I must warn you in advance, the second you see, and hear, a Rad Rat being fished you are probably going to want one for your arsenal, and the biggest challenge with this swimbait might just be trying to land one.
What Are We Going to do About RI's Man Bear Pig?
If there's one bait manufacturer that's not afraid to have a little fun in the naming of their baits, it's Reaction Innovations. If you're not careful about staring too long at that Tramp Stamp while Vixen is Twerking, you're likely to get Donkey Punched with a Machete or at least get a two handed Shiver...
The Search for One : Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist
Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist is a seven foot, five inch (7'-5") casting rod rated with a fast taper rated and medium heavy in power. The stick's name is derived from the fact it excels at bottom contact applications.
Tuned for Big Baits - Abu Garcia's REVO Beast X Casting Reel
The Beast X shares the same size, shape, spool capacity as its pricier siblings, but in a slightly toned down package mimicking the look and feel the REVO X, all for a price $100 below that of the standard Beast.
Evergreen International's Chaotic EsFlat Glide Bait
The ES Flat is a two piece bait measuring five and three quarters inches (5.75") in length and weighing a hair under two ounces (2oz). It's rated as a slow sink bait and comes in a variety of colors though many are difficult to find in the US.
Serving Aces with PowerPro's Hollow Braid
PowerPro entered the market a few years ago not only making the product more accessible, but offering it in strengths that are more in line with what bass fishermen would use. In an effort to perfect my leader connection game, I finally dove back into the hollow braid game and PowerPro's Hollow Ace was the impetus.
The Potent Sting of Shimano Japan's Scorpion MGL
Once the gateway reel to many an enthusiasts' addiction, most anglers now know Shimano Japan's Scorpion is simply their version of the Shimano America Corp Curado. The reels are identical in just about every way save for the color and finish treatments. Yet something about fishing a Scorpion versus a Curado just feels more enthusiast.

Going Big with Phenix's M1 : The MX-UR80H
Phenix's refreshed and revamped M1 series made a big splash here at TackleTour when we published our thoughts on the Search For One contender, MX72MH. In fact, it is still among my favorites so far this year. Of course, when we published that article, we received quite a few messages from our West Coast readers asking about the swimbait stick.

Shimano's Twin Power FD is a Solid Choice
Fresh off the heels of my positive experience with the Stradic FL, I was hungry for a new spinning reel to fish. Turns out, Stradic wasn't the only spinning reel platform from Shimano to be updated for 2020. Twin Power, the former JDM only but now global platform sitting somewhere between Sustain and Stella, also received some new initials.
An Enthusiast Level Rod For Anglers Of All Levels, Legit Design's Big Bait Special
Arundel Tackle out of Chicago, Illinois is in partnership with Legit Design for exclusive North American distribution rights. That's how we got our hands on the subject of today's review. Introducing the Legit Design Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special.


 

Just Tie It On, Toss It Out, and Crank It UP! Megabass's Deep-X LBO II
Megabass of America recently refreshed the Deep X along with its smaller sibling, the 100 giving the series a new shape, updated paint schemes, and a brand new internal balancing system. Here's our look at Megabass of America's latest Deep-X LBO series of cranks.
Taking the Time to Appreciate the Unique Personality of the Dobyns Xtasy Series
Priced well into the enthusiast range these rods are described by Dobyns as a "feel" series, and are designed to provide an advantage in applications where quick bite detection is key.
Bigfoot or Finesse? Nishine Lure Work's New Football Jig
The idea of a finesse football jig is intriguing. I've fished smaller football head jigs before, and generally speaking, finesse often just equates to small or smaller. So what makes the Nishine Lure Works Finesse Football Jig "finesse?" It's not very obvious at first...
The Go-To Sun Protection Garment for Hot Weather - Aftco's Samurai 2 Hooded Shirt
Building upon the success of the original Aftco has now rolled out a second generation hoodie shirt which utilizes new fabrics and styling that are designed to improve comfort for those long days on the water.
A Cranky Honey Badger of a Stick : Ark Rods's TS74MH-G B-Hittay
Since their debut a few short years ago, Ark Rods has done a good job making headway with affordable, smartly styled, good performing sticks. They recently upped their game by signing Pro Bass Fisherman, Randall Tharp to their team and last year, they celebrated this team up with the company's very first line of signature series of rods, Randall Tharp's Honey Badger line.

The Latest Swimbait from Mattlures : Code Name "Bo"
Matt Servant, owner and creator at Mattlures cut his big bait making molds on the soft product then made his way into the hard bait side where his background in taxidermy really set him apart. Many of his baits rival in realism, fish you could actually catch out of the water.

Just How Wild is Willy? G-Ratt's Topwater Walker
The G-Ratts Wild Willy is a top water plug measuring six inches and weighing about two ounces (2oz). It's a hard plastic bait, but does not have any moving parts inside so it runs silent.
The i-Slide 262T's Long Journey En Route to Earning Our Ultimate Award
The i-Slide 262T is far from an easy bait to get to know. It measures 262 millimeters which equals somewhere around ten and one third inches (10 1/3"). I mean, how do you even measure a third of an inch unless you have an engineering scale? It weighs six full ounces and comes with two, very large hooks. But those stats don't tell the story.
Chip Off The Old Tungsten? Never Again with WOO!
What happens when you take a couple of college friends who happen to be a tournament fishing partners, throw in some frustration over the durability of terminal tackle they've been using, and finally add a Flair for pro wrestling? Well quite naturally, you get a terminal tackle company called WOO! Tungsten.
Megabass of America's New Baits for 2021
Earlier this year, we learned of Megabass of America's plans to bring to North American Shores the JDM lineup of Destroyer P5 fishing rods featuring a unique, 5D graphite system to build the blanks. Never one to shy away from new, intriguing tech, Megabass continues on that trend in their new product introductions for 2021.
Denali Rods's New Sub $100 Rod Series : Ryker
With several series spread out and smartly targeted at price points between $100 through $250, Denali's popularity grows with each passing year. For 2021, Denali looks to push the boundaries of affordability even further with the introduction of an entirely new series.
ARK Rods Is Not a Company that Plays Small Ball
ICAST may be over for this year, but that's never held manufacturers back from continuing to send us information on what they have planned for the coming year. ARK Rods, out of Port St Lucie., Florida did just that this past week with a full catalog of product they're getting ready to flood the market with in 2021.
TackleTour's Best of ICAST 2020 Award Winners
While ICAST has their New Product Showcase Awards our Editors also review and select the products that they found the most exciting this year, and while there are numerous entrants worthy of consideration, these are the products in each category that the Editors at TackleTour recognize as the "Best of ICAST 2020."

 

   

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