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A Serious Exterior with a Lively Personality, the Douglas XMatrix Swimbait Rod

Kistler Enters the Reel Market with Their Series 1 Casting Reels

Z-Man & Evergreen International's Jack Hammer Stealth The Thoroughly Capable, If Somewhat Uninspiring New Alphas
Plenty of Options to Explore... The Baitsanity Gen 2 Glidebait with Hatch Match Tails Okuma's Budget Friendly Carbon Spinning Reel, the ITX A Classic Vintage in the Making? Kistler's '21 Helium Abu Garcia and Ike Help You Take Your Show On the Road

Additional Recent Articles

G-Ratt's Signature Glidebait, only Smaller. Match the Hatch with the Pistol Pete
Building on the popularity of the Sneaky Pete glidebait the company introduced a scaled down version, called the Pistol Pete, which is offered in the same array of colors and is designed for situations when a smaller bait better matches the hatch.
A Diminutive Paddletail with Big Bait Detailing : Molix's RT Shad
Since the Basstrix shortage a decade and a half ago, paddletail swimbaits as a product category have been riding a roller coaster of popularity and new introductions. We're in the midst of climbing yet another hill, and we recently got our hands on the latest introduction from a company not new to this ride. Here's our look at Molix's RT Shad swimbait.
So much Hype - The Beast that is the Daiwa Zillion 2021
Daiwa gets things started in 2021 with the launch of their new Zillion SV TW, a much anticipated complete overhaul of their Zillion Series. This new reel comes with a ton of "Hyper" marketed features and we take a deep dive into the reel's new design and performance to see if just how well the new reel stands up to all the hype.
Extending Their Line of Premium Baits : The Erie 95 SD by Nishine Lure Works
Twitch, twitch, pause... twitch, twitch, pause... blam! That anticipated, yet somehow always surprising strike on a jerkbait is addicting. Just about every bait manufacturer making hard plastic baits offers them, and whenever an editor here at TackleTour sees a new one, you can be sure that at some point that bait will make it to TT HQ.
Return of the Enthusiasm : Shimano Japan's Calcutta Conquest
As I sit down to write this review, I looked back on the last time I explored a Shimano Calcutta/Conquest DC (digital cast control) reel. A quick look through TackleTour's archives reveals a review published in August of 2011 for the Conquest 50/51DC. Has it really been almost 10 years since I fished this platform?
Another Bait Joins the Squad, Missile's Ned Bomb
If you're familiar with Missile Baits's Bomb Shot drop shot bait, their Ned Bomb will feel very familiar. The company is doing a good job coming up with a signature look with their baits and the Ned Bomb looks like a huskier version of the Bomb Shot.
Sometimes All You Need is a Pistol. The Illude Pistol Gill Glidebait
For many enthusiast swimbait anglers there is just something special, almost magic, about a handmade wooden swimbait. When it comes to precision and refinement few brands do this as well as Roman Made, but American custom baitmaker Illude certainly brings the heat. The Pistol is a compact two-piece swimbait that showcases just how good a mid-sized wooden bluegill glide can be.
Is It A 4, Is It An 8, No It's SuperBraid, by Yo-Zuri
There was a time when Yo-Zuri Hybrid was the only line I fished. While there have been other line products to come and go for the manufacturer, that copoly is surprisingly still around. Then again maybe not so surprisingly since it is a good product. On a recent search for some new lines to try, I decided to check in with Yo-Zuri and was happy to find a new-to-me braid product...
Daiwa's Last Holdout, the Alphas, Has Been Assimilated
Just before 2020 came to a close, we had our first look at the 2021 Steez Limited SV TW 1000. At the end of that preview article, we mentioned Daiwa made a few other early introductions as well. One of those additional introductions is an Alphas, based off the same platform as the 2020 Air TW, but built to support a more general scope of work. For 2021, Daiwa has now introduced the Alphas SV TW 800.
When the Bait You Throw Must Do Something More Somehow, Let It Be Lowen-Craw
It's been decades since I knew where my original Rebel Wee-Craws vanished to and while that bait touches upon my nostalgic soul, PH Custom Lures's Lowen's Cyber Craw brushes up against my enthusiast side...

Let's Get Real! - Sly Guy Lures Replica Gill Swimbaits
With a name like "Replica" the Sly Guy Gills better be realistic looking, but it doesn't stop with a genuine looking paint finish. This year we are going to dive deep into swimbaits, including a closer look at many custom handmade offerings, and the Sly Guy Lures Replica Gills are a perfect example of what makes custom baits so desirable to anglers, and especially swimbait fans.

Built to Vanquish the Competition, but Equal to Stella?
As Shimano continues to make that transition to a global lineup for their bass fishing reels, more and more traditional JDM models are becoming easily available stateside. For those who actually prefer their prize reels remain more difficult to acquire, there remain a few gems still under JDM-only control. The Shimano Vanquish is one such reel...
Picking Apart Rapala's BX Big Brat Squarebill
It has been a while since we have looked at one of Rapala's hardbaits. While the brand continues to offer some of the most popular crankbaits on the market for multiple species, including bass and trout fishing. Rather than rest on their laurels Rapala continues to try and find ways to blend their proven lures with new design and manufacturing techniques.
SpiderWire's 4-Strand Braid Offers a Stealthy Option for Fishing Through Vegetation
SpiderWire's braid comes from the Pure Fishing portfolio and is available in more colors than any just about any other braid I've seen. They range from the standard moss green and hi-vis yellow to a pink camo and even an American camo. SpiderWire Stealth is a 4 carrier braid made from Dyneema polyethylene fibers.
Great for Finesse, but Capable of So Much More. Shimano's Vanford Spinning Reel
Shimano's newest spinning reel, the Vanford, picks up where the Stradic CI4+ left off and makes use of new features, including a Long Stroke Spool design and Micro Module II gearing, all with the goal of delivering not just a better casting reel, but a smoother retrieving one as well.

Daiwa Drops the 2021 Limited Edition Steez SV TW Ahead of Schedule
In April and May, we begin to see these items hit our favorite JDM tackle store shelves. Daiwa Japan is about five to six months ahead of schedule already shipping their new introductions, and today we take a look at the newly released Limited Edition Steez SV TW 1000.

Does Power Tackle Deliver with "The One" Rod?
Power Tackle Rods out of Richland Springs, Texas has been building fishing rods with serious minded anglers in mind since 2007. They have a relatively new series that caught our attention for the name they chose to dub the lineup. Time to meet the "One."


 
 
A Brawler Ready to Battle, the Pike Team Six B52 Wake Swimbait
Pike Team Six is a custom swimbait manufacturer that has created a handmade wakebait called the B52 which is designed to take on the biggest and baddest freshwater fish out there. This swimbait features a unique profile, swimming action, and can be ordered in just about any configuration and pattern that anglers can dream up.
Don't Let the Elevator Break You Down, Going Crazy with Abu's Revo4 IKE
If you'd rather we cut to the chase and just give you the real down low on the Abu Garcia Revo IKE Casting reel, this is essentially the Revo4 STX with a fancy, color shifting finish and swept carbon handle. Is that enough to warrant the $50 uptick in price? That's what we're here to find out.
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.

 

   

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