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The Versatile Lew's Speed Stick Lite Magnum Casting Rod

An Enthusiast Tier Creature from Megabass of America : The Bottle Shrimp

A JDM Offering in the RatRumble: MLW's FP Rat Shaking it Up Always : Reaction Innovation's Twerk
Glide Ready? Baitsanity’s Explorer Gill Might Just Be Their Best Lure Yet Old School Rhythms with the Reins Paddle Tail Worm Born from Fishing Nests – The Hybrid Performance Styled Costa Antille What Do You Get When You Cross a Shad With a Grub? The Deal

Additional Recent Articles

There's High End, and Then There's Evergreen : The Grand Stallion GTX
There are borderline enthusiast rods, there are obvious enthusiast rods, and then there are a handful that exceed the category like Evergreen International's entire Kaleido series. What really defines the label? Is it the grade of material and components? The craftsmanship? The detailing? The difficulty to acquire? That uncontrollable, giddy smile that comes across the face of its owner?
Rat Rumble : 2 Faced Baits's Waking Rat
Steven Loewen out of the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay Region has been in the business of making baits since the middle of 2018. Through his company, 2Faced Baits, Loewen offers a variety of big bodied, two and three piece, billed baits that wake and crank giving anglers the tools they need when searching for those bigger bites.
Completing the M1 Trilogy: Phenix's M1 MX-S72L Finesse Spinning Rod
In February of 2020, we presented their Search for One candidate; then in August, we shared our thoughts on a stick from this series suitable for big baits. All that's left to complete the trilogy is a spinning rod, right? Well, what-the-finesse, here's a look at Phenix's M1 MX-S72L spinning rod.
Appreciating all of the Curves, Edges, Perfect Imperfections of Shimano's 2021 Conquest
If you're a fan of consistency, Shimano's Calcutta Conquest series of reels is a model there of. Where most low profile reels go through a transformation in some form with regards to their shape and profile with each refresh, Conquest is relatively consistent.
Another SoCal Varietal, TrapBass's Fine Trap Rat
The team at TrapBass have been making baits for nearly ten years now and their rat bait has been established since their company's launch in 2013. Here is our Rat Rumble look into their Trap Rat...

Swimbait or Crankbait? The Deps Tiny Bulldoze 100
The Bullshooter and Bulldoze has always played second fiddle to the Slide Swimmer, but are still popular options for anglers looking for gill profiles. This season Deps has miniaturized these lures and introduced Tiny versions designed to target bass of all sizes across a wider range of applications.   

ARK Rods Elevates Invoker Series to "Pro" Status
It's been a couple years since we've taken a look at ARK Rods's Invoker lineup. Maybe as a way to rekindle interest, the manufacturer has taken it upon themselves kinda-sorta refresh the series. Our first look comes with an intriguing spinning rod. Introducing ARK Rods Invoker Pro IVP6MLXS.
Locking Targets on Versatility : The Missile Craw by Missile Baits
Missile Baits's Missile Craw is a really interesting take on the crawdad bait. This bait definitely leans on the side of not-realistic and prefers to blur the lines between bait types.
Feeding that Big Bait Obsession with Gan Craft's Jointed Claw 303 R-One
The Jointed Claw 303 is a huge, 300 millimeter (or 12") glide bait, and though it has taken a while, here now is our look at Gan Craft's Jointed Claw 303, also known as the Shaku One (one foot)
RatRumble : Fish the Sneaky!
In the world of rat swimbaits hand carved wooden baits are among the most coveted, both for their artistry and effectiveness. These baits often exhibit a hard to imitate swimming action combined with a loud knock. Custom swimbait garage builder Brady Scott is the creator of the Sneaky Baits “Sneaky Rat,” a bait that has gone from a sleeper to one of the most sought-after wooden rats on the scene.
More Rage from Strike King, This Time in a Bug
For the soft plastic aficionado who can't get enough of flipping and pitching Texas rigged plastics into the muck, feeling that "tick," reeling down and swinging back hard enough to make a fish go cross eyed, creature and trailer baits rule. You might say baits like this are all the rage...
Legit Design's Big Bait Travel Stick, the WSC68XXH-5
Whether you're looking for a new stick to break down and slide into your carry on or under the driver's seat of your car, Legit Designs has a series of travel sticks worth a look. Here's their Wild Side WSC68XXH-5 Big Bait Special.
Cranking It Up with PH Custom Lures's Herren's 2.0 Squarebill
Crankbaits serve as comfort food for the bass angler's insatiable appetite for gear, and balsa wood cranks can be found in the organic aisle of his favorite grocery store. PH Custom Lures has a product that kind of blurs the line between wood and plastic cranks...
All You Have To Do Is Dream ... Shot
Always on the lookout for something new and exciting, finesse baits are something that usually catches our attention. I was surprised to discover the subject of today's review not so much because Strike King was making it, but more so because KVD's name is attached. When I think of KVD fishing, I always have in mind him throwing something more active than a finesse bait...
RatRumble : The Surprisingly Refined LitRat
The LitLures mission began in Southern California, where in 2017, Jesse LeMar grew tired of fishing rat baits that would either foul during the cast or as he was working them close to structure wasting opportunity after opportunity. He started where most bait makers begin, by carving bodies out of wood. But once he was satisfied with a design, he immediately moved to resin...
Creature Fever : O.S.P.'s DoLive Craw
JDM products are not limited to rods, reels, and hard baits. Dedicated enthusiast tackle aficionados are well aware many Japanese Tackle Manufacturers also produce soft plastic baits that may or may not be easily available outside of Japan. O.S.P. is a company whose product seems to be continually in flux regarding availability here in North America.
Evergreen's Latest Specialty Stick, the RCSC-78XH Wakebait
Evergreen International debuted their Brett Hite Combat Stick series of rods to North American anglers during the 2017 Bass Master Classic event in Lake Conroe, Texas. Since that initial introduction, they've slowly refined and built out series to include thirteen (13) application specific rods...
RatRumble: Heerrree's Johnny!
The Johnny Rat, and subsequent Little Johnny, splashed down into the swimbait scene in 2013, with initial conception in California. Since then, Johnny has claimed dozens of tournament wins, hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes, and plenty of name recognition.


 
 
An Extra Dash of Flash: Owner's Flashy Swimmer
Underspin jigheads are certainly nothing new. What I always found strange about them is if you tip one with a paddletail swimbait like a Basstrix or Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad, you're essentially throwing a bait with two heads. The fish probably don't care, but that configuration always bugged me. Owner has a solution...
In the DC Multiverse, Scorpion Receives New Powers
Shimano's JDM brands, Aldebaran, Metanium, Conquest, Antares, receive a lot of attention, but for many an enthusiast, it's still all about Scorpion. In the parallel universe that is the USDM, Scorpion's double, Curado, also remains the manufacturer's most sought after.
Is Strike King's Ocho, Senko's Rival?
At a recent writer's conference hosted by Strike King and Lew's on Clear Lake, CA, the company introduced us to a host of new products. One product is the company's take on a very popular staple amongst bass fisherman. Many "hate" throwing it, but there's no denying its effectiveness and long lasting popularity. Here's our look at Strike King's take on the ubiquitous soft plastic stick bait, the KVD Ocho.
Toxic Day 3 - A Day to Celebrate Swimbaits, Big bait Culture, and Land a Few Coveted Lures
Toxic Day 3 was hosted by Toxic Baits at Bethel Island in the California Delta and is a regional event that brings together some of the top garage bait builders together with anglers in swimbait community. The event is a great opportunity to meet the builders, learn about the newest big bait techniques, and even purchase some very limited edition custom swimbaits
iRod Leans into the Power of the Sea with the SWC794C-H Poe's Mag Stick
Matt Newman doesn't make baits, but he does own a fishing rod company. An avid big bait fisherman, when he caught wind of our 2021 Rat Rumble, he wanted in on the action and immediately sent us a new, somewhat under the radar stick dedicated iRod fans have been buying as they gear up for throwing big baits.
RatRumble : Bigg Nasty Baits's Nat Rat
Bigg Nasty Baits out of Northern California is relatively new to the bait making game, but obviously not to the world of big baits. A strong advocate for the local bass fishing scene promoting up and coming anglers on their social media and organizing several local tournaments through the calendar year, their motto when it comes to baits is to build them "bigg."

An Under the Radar, Quality Trailer Bait : Reins Ax Craw
Soft plastic trailer baits are generally designed to exaggerate the appearance of a crawdad in defensive posture. As a result, the vast majority feature large, out of proportion claw sections and bodies that for some reason resemble a crawdad that's been stepped on rather than something viable. It's difficult to argue with success, however, as the profile is proven.

Power Tackle's "The One" for Big Baits : 4.5XXH
Following on our successful experience with Power Tackle's The One 04MH, we wanted to dive just a little deeper into the manufacturer's latest series and sample a stick within the same lineup with ratings that appear a little more appropriate to my latest obsession - big baits.
RatRumble : The Waking Dead – Illude’s Zombie Rat
Over the last year I have tried to bolster my Illude arsenal and started delving deeper into the brand’s other resin baits from their Lunker Fighters line, including the similar profiled resin Zombie Rats. While it easy to assume that the Zombie is simply a resin variation of the Rad this undead bait’s unique waking behavior, performance, and origin might just surprise you.
MONSTERBASS Launches a Mean Popper, the Mad Max
While Mosnterbass has partnered up with many manufacturers for their monthly boxes they are now designing and launching more baits that are branded under their own "Monsterbass Collection," and the newest of which is a popper dubbed the Mad Max.

Bipidy-Boppidy-Boop, Ark's Brandon Cobb's Fairy Wand is Not a Childhood Fable
Leveraging the success of their best selling Randall Tharp signature series of rods, ARK is hoping to catch another wave of momentum with their latest introduction, a series bearing the name of a rising star in bass fishing circles, Brandon Cobb. Today, we take a look at our first rod in this new line, the BB73MLXS Fairy Wand

Designed to Smash Green Monsters, the iRod Croaker Crusher Frog Rod
Kaimana is a saltwater inshore and offshore series that many swimbait anglers have latched onto and there are two additional freshwater series to book end Genesis, Fiber and Crusher. We take a look at a rod within one of those series designed by pro Kayak fisherman, Ron Champion. Introducing the iRod Crusher series IA784C-H Crusher Croaker.


 

Blending Technical and Lifestyle Apparel Seamlessly - FAT BASS
FAT BASS is relative newcomer to the apparel space, but the company has been making waves with their products sporting unique artistic styling and support from weekend warriors and Pro Anglers, including recent B.A.S.S. Elite Series winner Takumi Ito. 
Gan Craft's Foray Into Crawler Madness : The Joi Crawler 178
If there's one bait company that has made the most out of a signature bait and bait profile, it's Gan Craft. Their Jointed Claw glide bait is available in six different sizes ranging from two and three quarter inches up to twelve, but there's also a waking version, a new hybrid glide swimmer...

RatRumble : Narrow Gate Baits's Affordable and Accessible WOOD Rat
The Narrow Gate Baits Rat is a foot long, three piece bait with a body that measures out about six inches. It's a wooden rat turned on a lathe but each section is hand cut with a dovetail saw. Craftsmanship is raw and a little gritty, very apropos for a rat bait, and the bait itself is offered in three different finishes...

Now This Stick Is Legit : The Wild Side WSC72H+
Similar to its bigger and more powerful sibling reviewed in August 2020, the WSC75XH Big Bait Special, the WSC72H+ arrives in a custom, two compartment rod sleeve. It is a two-piece stick separating at the handle, and once assembled, is very easy to forget was ever in two pieces
TackleTour's Best of ICAST 2021 Award Winners
While there were a lot of great new products there were a few across the various categories that particularly stood out and the following are the ones that our editors elected as TackleTour's Best of ICAST Award Winners.

KastKing Makes Higher-End Reels that are Still Accessible to All Anglers. Meet the MegaJaws
Refinement and speed are two highly-desirable traits when it comes to fishing reels. From fighting fish to simply reeling in your rig for another cast, everybody loves a reel that delivers performance and efficiency along with a quality feel. This year, KastKing’s new products include reels which are designed to perform at higher levels.

TackleTour ICAST 2021 Video Coverage

ICAST 2021 has arrived! After a strange last year we are excited to be once again on the water and show floor here in Orlando. This year in addition to our article coverage we will also be providing Instagram Quick Hit Videos from the manufacturers and pro anglers.

Quantum Refreshes the Smoke X Series of Reels and Rods
Quantum went bold this year in the styling of their Smoke X Series of reels and rods. The refresh of the series brings some enhanced features to match up with the eye-catching new styling.

Jenko Fishing Unveils Swimbaits made of Hemp
Think of all the different anglers out there and all the lures that get popped off on a daily basis—the clutter adds up quickly. Could an alternative material be available that is more friendly to nature? The folks at Jenko Fishing believe so and we think what they’ve found is an interesting start!

Built to Take a Beating: Visser's New Model S Spinning Reels
Spinning reels can often be associated with light line and finesse presentations, but that’s definitely not always the case. Some anglers, particularly those that fish saltwater, can subject their spinning reels to extreme punishment. Whether it’s tossing a bait to Keys tarpon or chucking jigs in the crashing suds for Montauk stripers, these reels need to be able to withstand whatever the fish and environment dish out.
ARK Fishing Introduces Three New Affordable Rod Lines
The team at ARK fishing leveraged ICAST to roll out three new rod lines targeting value to mainstream oriented anglers. These build upon the success of the higher end Reinforcer lines and feature clean lines and the Essence Series in particular offers much of what we like about the Reinforcer but at a much lower price.
An Array of Unique Baits from Jackall, and a Return of a Classic
Jackall has a vast arsenal in their JDM portfolio and often times when a new bait comes to the U.S. it has already been proven overseas. This year the company brings back an old favorite as well as two very unique options for anglers looking to present something different to finicky bass. 
A Return to Form - 13 Fishing's Envy Black is Back in a Big Way
When it comes to 13 Fishing Rods the Envy is the company’s well known line of performance oriented sticks. This ICAST the company has completely redesigned these new rods with a cleaner overall look and a focus on refining their tapers for technique specific applications.

Keeping things Fresh and Green, the Shimano Curado Rods get a Major Redesign
While the G.Loomis GCX was the company's rod launch at ICAST Shimano also unveiled a complete refresh to the Curado lineup of rods. The new sticks feature a clean layout with the combination of Hi-Power X blank technology, Ci4+ reel seats and FazLite guide inserts.

 

   

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