Introduction: Walking into the Optimum booth at ICAST is like entering a micro-cosm of the show in its entirety. Not only is Optimum busy expanding and enhancing their own branded products, but they've built an impressive resume of quality products from overseas into the Optimum umbrella. Companies like Deps, ima,
Vagabond, and more are a testament to the quality of products coming out of Japan.
The ima Big Stik is finally ready for sale.
The question whenever we walk into the Optimum booth is where to start. This time, those questions were answered when gregarious pro staffer Randy Pringle saw us coming and raced down the aisle to show us a bait about which he's very excited. That bait would be? The Big Stik.
It measures a full seven inches and weighs one point three (1.3) ounces.
Seven years in development have finally come to fruition with Randy Pringle's Big Stik by ima Japan.
The reason Randy was so excited? The bait is finally ready. If you recall, The Big Stik actually made its debut at ICAST 2008, but Randy wasn't quite done tweaking it. Some fine adjustments have been made to the shape of the bait and it's finally at a point where the team had envisioned it - a true, multi-species, big fish surface bait capable of attracting, catching, and withstanding the abuse of species like striper, peacock bass, and even a variety of saltwater species. What's more, its size of seven (7) inches and one point three ounces (1.3oz) makes it a perfect for big largemouth bass as well.
The Big Sticks fresh and saltwater color
The Big Stik will begin shipping to dealers on August 1, 2009 and will retail for just under twenty dollars ($20). It will be available in nine different colors covering baitfish spectrums from fresh to saltwater.
The Rat'n Rats is produced by MLT in Japan and distributed in North America by Optimum baits.
We stayed on the theme of topwater baits for the next product highlight which is a topwater rat made by a company called MLT out of Chiba, Japan. If baits were rated on realism alone, the Rat'n Rats would be a very strong contender with its lifelike paint schemes, texture, eyes, and detailing.
A look at the backside of the very realistic Rat'n Rats reveals two blades and a tail instead of the traditional skirt.
On the backside of the bait, instead of the skirted legs, the Rat'n Rats sports two teardrop shaped blades and an actual tail made of soft plastic. This bait is supposedly easy to walk along the surface, but only an on the water test could prove or disprove this claim. The Rat'n Rat will be available soon for a retail price of right around eight dollars ($8).