Introduction: For over 20 years, Northern California Bassers have had to
travel to Southern California if they wished to attend the annual bass tackle show held at Angler’s Marine in Anaheim. The Bass-A-Thon, set to take place once again and for the 23rd time next Saturday, November 21st, was quite literally the only show in town catering to bass anglers. Well, this year, everything has changed. The folks at Outdoor Proshop, MonsterFishingTackle.com, and Marine Unlimited decided it was high time Northern California Bassers had an event of their own, so back in September they put the call out to all the manufacturers to gauge interest and were overwhelmed by the positive response. Needless to say, put on a big tackle show in our backyard, and TackleTour will come. Presenting part one of our coverage of the inaugural Bass Jam.
Jerry Rago introduces his new
swimbaits at the show
The big story out of any California tackle show these days surrounds big baits, and the big story out of Bass Jam ’09 was the attendance of the legendary Jerry Rago. Rago was on hand to debut no less than ten new baits and by the time we made it over to his booth, about three hours after the event began, we were already far too late to see some of his most exciting new product including the new soft, Live Trout and soft Tool. Word around the show was these baits sold out in the first fifteen minutes of the doors opening.
The new Rago Super Generic Trout
Featuring a boot tail
What we were able to see at the show were a couple of baits that really excited Cal including an eleven inch Tool finished in a foil wrap – a process that Rago told us took him far longer to produce than his standard finishes, yet at the show the bait was for sale for only $100 – the same as the standard finish.
The foil wrapped tool
Despite the extra labor involved, Rago had these on hand for the same price as the standard finish Tool - $100
The other bait that really had Cal drooling was the Smoothie, a four jointed, five sectioned hard bait with a soft tail featuring a much slimmer, easy for bass to swallow profile. Rago tells us this is the best swimming bait he’s ever produced better even than the Tool and with that kind of pedigree, we were surprised there were any left for sale at his booth. Then again, retail on this bait is $100.
An exciting new bait from Rago, the Smoothie
Rago says this could quite possibly be the best swimming bait he's ever made
Also new from Rago were a slough of soft bodied baits, many of which we already previewed but some we hadn’t seen like the new Super Generic Trout retailing for only $20, and featuring a modified boot tail for swimming action.
The hard bodied Live Trout
These hard tail baits by Rago are designed to be ripped or pulled hard
Another bait Rago was particularly proud of at the show was his new Dirty Rat, an updated version of his Sewer Rat with a new, rocking swimming motion, the bait can be retrieved slow or ripped in the water. It retails for $60.