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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage
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One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII

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Small but Mighty, the Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
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SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster
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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal
 


 


Latest Featured Articles

 
       

Is SpiderWire's Ultracast Ultra-Good?

Hit That Hole with the Chippawa RB DD Blade by Nishine Lure Works Storm's Latest Dance Craze, the Arashi Glide The New Benchmark for a Workhorse Spinning Reel : Shimano's Stradic FL
Beefier Deep Diver - The Spinbait 72 Alpha Spybait The New Megabass Destroyer JDM Rod Lineup is Coming to America Round Reel Refinement - The JDM Daiwa Millionaire CT SV70 Back in the Hunt for the Search : Fenwick's Refreshes Their World Class

Additional Recent Articles

Complete with a Prize Inside the Cereal Box : Abu Garcia's REVO EXD
Abu Garcia's Revo EXD looks like just about every other Revo, Gen 4 reel, except it's not. It is built with an X-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon side plates, features carbon fiber pattern accents around the gear case, has a nice, long ninety millimeter, swept carbon handle, and purple highlights at the dragstar, cast control knob, knob caps, handle nut retainer, and spool. And yes, it comes with two spools...
Phenix Once Again Delivers on Maxim-um Value
One of Phenix's big introductions for 2019 was their new look and feel Maxim series rods. This is their ~$100 series bass rods built for exceptional value. Somehow, we never took a look at the spinning rod options in the original 2015 series, but we're correcting that today with our look at the totally revamped MAXS-610L.
Big Bite Baits Tour Toad & Suicide Shad Buzzbaits
Buzzbaits remain one of my favorites, not just as a topwater bait, but as a bait/technique in general. Anything you can just chuck and wind is a great way to get in a rhythm and find fish. Big Bite Baits has released their own spin on this popular bait incorporating two of their more popular soft plastics.
Busting Bunkers and Awards with Megabass's Destroyer F7.5-77X
Megabass's F7.5-77X Bunker Buster is a seven foot, seven inch (7'7") casting rod featuring a full rear grip. The front portion of that grip is cork, while the back section is EVA foam. It shares the same cosmetics as the F10-711X Onager and F8-78X Mark 48 except at only twelve inches (12"), the rear handle on the Bunker Buster is short like that of a flipping rod.
A Message to Our Readers - Let's Tackle This Together
For many of us fishing is so much more than just time well spent on the water, but also a way for us to connect with each other. Normally at this time of year we would be preparing for the pre-spawn with coverage of early season tackle introductions, but instead find ourselves in an unprecedented situation where we are all united in the fight against the spread of COVID-19...
Brian Schmidt Bait's Version of the RPO : The Hybrid Football Jig
With all the countless options, jigs are still highly personal to the angler with few agreeing upon the same factors that make a "good" jig. Brian Schmidt Baits recently introduced a twist on the classic football that's sure to get some attention. Let's take a look.
A Collaboration Between Two of Japan's Finest, Ito & Imae - The IxI Shad
In this era of elevated branding, partnerships between rival factions are almost unheard of - especially in the fishing industry. So when we heard of a budding partnership between JDM legends Katsutaka Imae of Imakatsu and Yuki Ito of Megabass, we were anxious to see what fruits such a collaboration would bear.
More Bang for the Buck : The Shimano SLX DC Baitcaster Series
Shimano continues to make their digital cast control (DC) technology available in more affordable reels, and for the first time has equipped their SLX series with the same I-DC4 cast control system first introduced in the Curado DC two years ago. The SLX DC Series marks the first time that a DC equipped reel has been available to US anglers under the 200 mark.
No Hedge In This Bait, Just Hogs : Megabass of America's SonicSide Crank
Megabass of America's support to win (STW) program continues to develop lures and fishing rods that are better suited for North American fishing environments. One bait sort of missing from their arsenal has been a flat sided crankbait...
Casting with Veracity : Abu Garcia's VRCTY79-9
In case you hadn't noticed, Abu Garcia has a rather extensive catalog of bass rods. From the budget friendly Vengeance and Vendetta to the more enthusiast tailored Fantasista, there's a series of sticks to suit just about any budget covering a plethora of techniques...
Taking Some Time with a Jr. Clone by Skinny Bear Baits
Skinny Bear's Jr. Deep Crankbait is two inches (2") long in the body with another inch and a quarter (1 1/4") for its bill. It comes equipped with two #6 trebles and weighs right around one third of an ounce, or ten grams to be more precise.
Ready for Battle: Abu Garcia Introduces New ZATA Series at the Classic
The Bassmaster Classic continues to be a hot venue for manufacturers to introduce new products early in the season and this week Abu Garcia launched a number of new products including the ZATA Series of reels and rods which leverage proven platforms and bold new military-green styling.
The Best Tatula Yet? The Tatula SV TW103 Baitcaster is a Worthy Baitfinesse Option
Daiwa’s Tatula Series of products continues to be a top selling series for the company and this weekend at the Classic the company is introducing yet another version, the Tatula SV TW 103, their lightest Tatula to date. We have been fishing a mass production reel for a few months and it is time to take a closer look at this new lighter, and more refined, baitcaster.
Are You a Big Bait Addict? If So, Kistler Has the Rod for You, the KLX7107XXH
Tossing big baits with the intention of landing bigger weights in the livewell is becoming more commonplace with each passing year. However, that practice has kind of settled in with the mid-sized and mid-weighted baits of roughly five to seven inches in length and maybe two to four ounces in weight...
Hybrid Powerhouses - 13 Fishing's Limited BOSS Series Baitcasters
13 Fishing is known for introducing products that stand out from the competition in terms of technologies and designs, and is definitely not one to shy away from bold styling. Last ICAST the company introduced a limited run of premium baitcasters, the BOSS series, which make use of a combination of bearing types with more robust brass gearing.
Anything but Ordinary – Okuma’s Limited Edition Chroma Spinning Reel
The Okuma Chroma is the most visually stunning spinning reel that Okuma has created to date, and was inspired by contemporary art and tuned to provide a unique extremely limited edition product for anglers.
Casting Wind Sprints with Big Baits : Abu Garcia's Beast Rocket
There's no question we are in the midst of a speed war with manufacturers raising the rate of retrieve in low profile casting reels each passing year. Seven point something used to be considered incredibly fast but is now the new five point something as we see several reels cresting ten to one ratios hitting store shelves...


 
 
Purple Reign : Phenix's Reinvigorated M1 is a Winner
It's been a good seven years or more since we took a look at the MX72H from their M1 series. Well, the wait is finally because Phenix Rods has unveiled a totally revamped, refreshed, and renewed M1 series with an updated look, feel, and appeal. We took the M1 MX72MH our for a test run.
Cranking it Up with 6th Sense's Speed Glide
Sometimes, don't you just want to tie something on, toss it out, and feverishly work it back to you so that you can fire it back out again and again? If this is you any percentage of the time out on the water, 6th Sense has a lure you might want to consider. Here's our look at their Speed Glide 100.
Be Ready for that Next Storm with Hodgman's H5 Storm Suit

Hodgman has been outfitting fisherman with apparel specific to their activities since 1838. They are one of the oldest and most respected names in the world for outdoor gear. At ICAST the company introduced us to their latest in winter storm protection and today, we take a closer look at their H5 Storm Bib and Jacket.

ARK Rod's New Series Delivers Reinforcements for Your Enthusiast Soul
As we grow more and more conditioned to the different formulas (blank + components + grip material and design) for assembling a fishing rod at the various price points, it becomes increasingly difficult for an individual fishing rod or series thereof to capture our attention. What else can a manufacturer do to stir our enthusiasm?
Abu Garcia Puts It All Together in the REVO 4 Premier
As with previous generations, the gen 4 size and shape of the Premier is the same as that of its siblings. The differences are in finish. The Premier features a glossy, semi-metallic black finish with gold highlights and comes with a very attractive, swept carbon handle capped off with contoured EVA foam knobs.
A Surprisingly Good First Offering from FishLab - The Bio Gill Swimbait and Glidebaits
The FishLab brand, the creation of the Okuma team of designers, was recently launched this past ICAST. The company introduced a wide range of freshwater and saltwater baits at the show, including a particularly robust bass offering led by the company's Bio-Gill Series of bluegill swimbaits.
Shake Rattle and Sting'em with Salmo's Rattlin' Sting Jerkbait
Salmo Performance Fishing Lures out of Poland has been in the fishing lure business since the early 1990s and only recently begun spreading their influence to North American shores. Relying upon a staff of fishery biologists and anglers alike, they bring their unique insights and experience into the business of helping us catch more fish...
Trippin' In Abu Garcia's IKE Finesse Series
Abu Garcia's recent refresh of their Mike Iaconelli signature series of rods is divided into three sub-categories. Our recent look at the MIKEC76-6 introduced us to the Power Series. Today we're concentrating on one of seven sticks from the IKE Finesse Series. Introducing Abu Garcia's IKE Finesse Series MIKES74-4.
Come Along for the Ride and Bring Your Wacky Saddle
Most anglers make use of standard O-rings or small rubber bands and some manufacturers now even imbed O-rings within their soft plastic stick baits. Billy Hines recently introduced us to an intriguing wacky rigging aid designed by Greg Gutierrez that we felt was worth a close look. Introducing the Frenzy Baits Wacky Saddle O-rings.
Lew's Takes It To The Next Level : Pro-Ti SLP Baitcaster
Encouraged through my experience with Lew's best selling, $99.99 Speed Spool LFS, I felt it was about time we took a look at the brand's flagship model. Featuring an aluminum frame and sideplates, the Lew's Pro-Ti SLP is touted as the best reel Lew's has made to date. Does it stand up to the hyperbole? Let's find out.

The Evergreen Bream Slide Comes to Life on the Snap
Evergreen International's Bream Slide is a six inch (6"), three ounce (3oz) bait resembling a sunfish. It comes with hand tied, feathered hooks (that you must install yourself) and is every bit as JDM as it gets implying it's almost too pretty of fish - almost.

An Affordable Cranking Stick for Spinning Rod Fans - The Abu Garcia Veritas
Last year, we shared with you our thoughts on Abu Garcia's new Revo Winch W30 - a low gear ratio spinning reel designed for moving bait enthusiasts. But no cranking or any technique specific reel is complete without a corresponding rod, right? Naturally, Abu Garcia knows this to be true and makes a stick to perfectly match with the Revo Winch W30...


 

The Defiant 247 and 210 Swimbaits – A One Two Knockout
Fishing big soft bodied swimbaits successfully requires a heightened state of focus and patience, and even if you do get a strike keeping that fish pinned typically comes with a whole new set of challenges. To help redefine what is possible with this class of baits a new company, Defiant, entered the swimbait scene a few seasons ago...
Sinking Braid? YGK's G-Soul WX4 F1 OhDragon SS140 Hybrid Braid/Fluorocarbon Line
Everything from rods to reels to lures to hooks are all designed with specific techniques in mind. It was only a matter of time before this approach of technique and application specificity reached one of the more critical components of your arsenal - fishing line.
No Joke About It, Berkley's Powerbait Jester is a Contender
During ICAST we came across a new bait for Berkley in their Powerbait soft plastics, the four inch Jester. It's a crawdad imitator designed to move in the subtle and not so subtle ways depending on current and how much movement you try to impart to the lure through the movement of your line. We brought some in for a closer look.
SLURPOWW!! Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake
Bull Shad Swimbaits's Bull Wake is a three-piece, six inch bait in a generic shad profile with the company's signature, brush like tail. The bait also has the company's signature, unrefined, thrown up and dragged on shore for a mile or two, beat up look to it...
Quantum's Colorful Accurist S3 Spinning Reel
Not only is recreational fishing a great way to get outdoors and spend some time in fresh air, away from our connected lives, but ultimately it's fun. Shouldn't our tackle reflect that? Many manufacturers are catching up with that mindset and offering little tweaks and cosmetic enhancements to their products. Quantum's new Accurist S3 spinning reels are one such product.
A Shot of Finesse with a Dash of Versatility : Doomsday Tackle's T47S-370MF
Just like the previously reviewed T47C-370BCF, this stick features a retro-style color scheme and detailing that we have found is a little bit polarizing. Some anglers love the throwback colors and styling while others would prefer a more modern and tactical looking rod. Which camp do you fall into? 
The Cure for Big Bait - Big Price Fatigue: The Baitsanity Antidote Glide
While the Explorer continues to be the Baitsanity flagship product the company knew that in order to expand they needed to provide a more aggressively priced swimbait offering, a glide bait for mainstream anglers. That swimbait is the Baitsanity Antidote.

Taking Aim with Megabass's Destroyer F8-78X Mark 48
Cosmetically, the Mark 48 is a carbon copy clone of the Onager. In fact, if you line up the two rods' reel seats, there is about a two inch difference in handle lengths, and a one inch difference to the tip.

Strike King Adds Depth to KVD's Jerkbait Arsenal
If there's one bass pro's name that is synonymous with the product type in today's article, it's KVD. If he's not throwing a squarebill crank, you can expect to see him working a jerkbait.
Getting Down and Dirty with the Swim Jig
Dirty Jigs actually makes a few different swim jigs. Pro Angler Clausen showed us two of his favorites, Dirty Jigs's standard swim jig and their No-Jack swim jig...
Here to Challenge Your Imagination : Megabass of America's Garuda
Megabass of America has been hard at work globalizing the brand's name creating and refining product that not only works in Japan, but in other parts of the world too, and really, primarily, North America. They've had some intriguing bait introductions over the last couple of years and others that feel more like an effort to fill out their catalog. Today, we're taking a closer look at a bait that falls into the former category...
Float from the Beach to the Bar - Julbo Paddle Optics
There are already numerous floating sunglass options available but perhaps none quite as stealthy as the micro-bubble infused Julbo Paddle Series. Designed to look like any normal pair of sunglasses this pair of optics provides style, comfort, and floatability at a reasonable price.
Mike Iaconelli's Signature Spinning Reel from Abu Garcia
By now, you're probably aware of Abu Garcia's refreshed suite of Mike Iaconnelli signature rods and reels that are easily identifiable with their unique paint finishes and purple highlights. Today, we're here to tell you about a product to complete Abu Garcia's IKE lineup - the Revo4 IKE spinning reel.

 

   

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