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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
 


 


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Filling out the Arsenal - A Hands on Look at the Newest Megabass Destroyer Rods (continued)

The Otomat is Ideal for lures like the Dog-X Diamante, Giant Dog-X and Popmax, which respond dynamically to subtle changes in how the rod is worked. The rod’s unique taper also makes this a decent crankbait rod for anglers who prefer a more crisp and responsive feel than the traditional slower tapers or glass composite cranking rod offerings.


The Otomat is an absolute blast to fish and feels extremely unique. The first fish I caught on the rod really put the tip to the test, and it performed beautifully

Out of the entire new lineup the Otomat was probably the most distinct feeling new rod to me, and the one that I was probably the most excited about. Maybe landing a five pounder during my first few minutes with the rod had something to do with it. Nothing beats an explosive topwater bite, and the Otomat makes working baits and keeping them pinned a whole lot easier.


The Otomat is ideal for topwater baits like the Dog-X...


...but the unique tip action also makes it a good option for smaller crankbaits

F4-74XS “BRIGAND”: The Brigand was designed for working tubes for smallmouth bass in the Great Lakes and also working ultra-light lines with Dark Sleepers, finesse worms, or even Senkos for anglers prefer spinning set up. This rod is also an excellent choice for light Texas rigs and many of the soft plastics that are too heavy, or require more hook set power, than traditional spinning rods offer.


The Brigand is a tube anglers dream come true

The Destroyer Brigand really takes the fight to the depths for bottom contact spinning applications like tubes, jigheads, bottom dragging football jigs and swingheads, and the company’s own Dark Sleeper swimbait by aligning crisp blank recovery and sensitivity with just the right amount of power for these applications.


The Brigand is an excellent option for taking the fight to the depths with tubes, jigs, and the company's Dark Sleeper swimbait

The Brigand’s characteristics are ideal for large open water situations when thin diameter braided line and fluorocarbon leaders are utilized to minimize the effects of challenging wind and current changes, while still providing anglers with sensitivity in these tough conditions. The rod’s 7’4” length also offers an advantage in line management when considerable yardage is out at the end of long casts, or in deep water. One of Kenichi’s favorite abilities of the Brigand’s crispness is that it enables baits to cut free of unwanted grass with a quick pop of the wrist, triggering bites when targeting areas in and around vegetation.


The Brigand and Flyssa both feature the familiar split grip design with a tapered AAA-grade cork main handle and high density EVA in the rear grip

F2 1/2 - 76XS “FLYSSA”: Before now the Destroyer finesse spinning rods were somewhat limited, and for those that felt like they needed a rod to complement the Addermine in finesse moving bait applications we now have a new option with the Flyssa, which is designed to effectively fish 4 pound test. This rod was created specifically for the new Okashira Screwhead and ultra-lightweight hair jigs. Long casts with these light rigs was a priority, and though Megabass knows many anglers will consider this rod for drop shot applications the Flyssa really is designed for swimming applications, but can function as a deep water drop shot rod in a pinch.


The Flyssa continues the use of Fuji Titanium SiC guides

Kenichi describes the Flyssa as an “exceptionally balanced combination of sensitivity and finesse,” and the rod is crafted to maximize finesse offerings with a light blank that loads effortlessly to cast ultralight rigs, and is still able to protect delicate light-line by absorbing the hard charges and head shakes of fish during the heat of battle, and all with “silken responsiveness.”


The Flyssa is designed to be the perfect rod for fishing 4lb. line with horizontal finesse applications

To deliver these attributes the Flyssa’s long tip section is created with plenty of supple forgiveness, obscuring rod tension from wary feeders while transmitting subtle ticks. The Flyssa really excels in horizontal finesse applications, demonstrating the kind of smooth load-characteristics that is ideal for sweep-setting with 4lb. test and trusting its unique taper to keep fish pinned. The Flyssa is purpose-built for light line applications, particularly finesse swimbaits, hair jigs and is the rod of choice for anglers looking to master the Okashira Screwhead paired with a Spark or Hazedong Shad.


Casting late into the evening I was able to experience each of the new rods and found each exhibited a unique personality

i-WING 135: As usual whenever I fish with Kenichi I can be sure that he has something new and exciting tucked away in his bag that wasn’t on the original menu for the day. In this case it was some first run samples of the new i-Wing, a bait that he personally designed to be the first burnable large wing bait on the market.


Kenichi wasn't done yet and had one more product to show me... his newly designed i-Wing topwater bait

I fished the i-Wing with the Bunker Buster, and as fast as I retrieved the bait it still tracked true, creating a ton of water displacement. Kenichi stated that he designed the bait to “target monster fish that are clever enough to avoid reacting to slow-moving objects that they have good sight of. Chasing prey is the predator’s natural instinct, and that’s what we focused on with this design.” The i-Wing is a fun bait to fish, and should be a nice addition to big bait angler’s topwater cache.  


Kenichi designed the i-Wing to be fished fast, but unlike many other topwater wing baits it will not wash out


Retrieved at high speed the i-Wing is loud and displaces a lot of water on the surface

Filling out the Arsenal: We don’t have any of the new Destroyer rods in for complete reviews, but my time spent with Kenichi and the new rods provided some good insight into how refined these new rods are. His passion for both lure and rod design is obvious, and the detail in which Megabass goes to deliver the ideal action for applications, and even specific in-house baits is pretty incredible.


The new Destroyer rods are a great example of the lengths that Megabass goes to create rods that are not only application, but also bait, specific

These five new rods were all designed specifically to round out gaps in the Destroyer Series. Out of the five rods the Otomat was probably the one I found the most exciting, but Kenichi highlighted the Flyssa as his personal favorite, and simply because the company has never had a Destroyer that he felt was designed specifically to fish 4lb. test perfectly. Application and bait specific design, taken to the next level, is what these new Destroyers bring to the table in spades.

Looking for the new Megabass rods? Try Tackle Warehouse

 

 

   

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