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Bassdozer talks to ima prostaff about where we are now and where we are headed with ima in 2009

Date: 12/30/08
Manufacturer: ima
Interview: Captain Karl Bunch, Michael Murphy
Title: ima prostaff
Reviewer: Bassdozer


Introduction: Russ "Bazzdozer" Comeau talks to the prostaff at ima in a  end of the year-end review where ima pros Michael Murphy and Captain Karl Bunch reflect upon where ima is now, and where ima's headed product-wise in the coming year.

Where we are now - ima Roumba Wakebait / Shallow Crankbait


Bassdozer: In terms of products, ima has designed, tested and released five bass lures in the USA within approximately the past 18 months. Although ima's a company from Japan, these bass lures are made specifically for North American bass anglers, and are not sold in Japan. These include the Roumba wakebait, Flit 120 jerkbait, Shaker flat-sided shallow-running crankbait, Skimmer topwater, and the Rock 'N Vibe lipless crank. For 2009, there are four new ima bass lures are under development, the Rattlin' Roumba for spring time release, the Big Stik topwater for summer release, the Baby Flit 100 for autumn release and the Shaker shallow crankbait (release date not yet decided). Let's hear directly from the prostaff at ima about these new offerings, starting with the current Roumba and the soon to be released Rattlin' Roumba.


Where we're headed - ima Rattlin' Roumba. Spring 2009 Release


ima Roumba


Michael Murphy: Places where the Roumba's most advantageous are where you see a lot of shallow grass and overall, the Roumba's really good when fish are shallow. There have been times I've caught fish with the Roumba by waking it in over 50 feet of water, but I think where the Roumba really shines is anytime when you're anywhere shallow, and especially during the spawning season. That's not to say the Roumba won't work in the summer or fall - it does. But around the spawn when the fish are wanting to be in the shallows for a month or two, that's when the Roumba really plays a role.

The Roumba's a good search tool when there are a lot of average size fish, say your 2-3 pounders. They may not always take the bait solidly but they will come up behind the Roumba and show themselves. So it's a search tool, and it will tell you where a few of those 2-3 pound fish are, and they'll go right back to a piece of cover, a log, or a stick-up. Some fish may have a bed that the Roumba pulled them away from... and they'll go back into those spots. So you can pick up something else, a Texas-rigged worm or a Senko, and catch those relatively smaller fish that wouldn't commit to the Roumba.

That's not to say you will not catch these 2-3 pounders on the Roumba. Yes, you will get a fair percentage of them - but not all of them will strike.

What you'll find different when it comes to bigger bass, is that you will pretty much stick the huge fish that come up on the Roumba. Usually, if you get around a big fish, it will commit. So the Roumba, if you throw it enough, it will definitely increase your chances to get those bigger fish, and in a tournament situation, the Roumba will get those good kicker fish you need these days. The Roumba has been proven to get that better grade of fish in shallow cover.


Captain Karl Bunch: The Roumba is designed primarily to be a topwater wakebait. Simply hold the rod tip at about ten or eleven o'clock and just a steady retrieve on a medium/heavy rod will give it a nice, wide wobbling wake. There's no rattle, just a wake - and that's what gets their attention.

The neat thing about the Roumba, if you are searching a shoreline, trying to find fish, you can effectively and easily cover a shoreline by first making three casts with the rod tip up to use the Roumba as a surface-roiling wakebait. Then make the next three casts with the rod tip down, so it runs about a foot deep with a real wide wobble. Depending on the fishing line used and retrieve speed, with the rod tip held down, the Roumba gets anywhere from 12-18 inches deep, typically about a foot. The effectiveness of this is that there are times when bass just don't want to come up and hit a topwater. There are times they're down tight on the wood, in the shallow wood, and using the Roumba as a shallow crankbait, it will come through wood cover very well. It will also come through light or scattered vegetation very well. The beauty is you don't have to constantly switch between one rod for topwater and another rod for shallow-cranking. You can just use one rod, and the Roumba saves you a lot of time, saves a lot of energy and let's you effectively and quickly cover a shoreline using it as a search bait.

When I am guiding clients, I've had many days when the weather conditions may have changed overnight, when we must hunt to find the fish, and I'll just instruct my clients to do the same thing - make three casts using the Roumba as a topwater wakebait and three casts with the rod tip down, using it as a shallow running crankbait. Used this way, the Roumba has found the fish for me and my clients quickly and effectively many, many times, resulting in successful, productive trips.

Captain Karl Bunch shows a bold new color named 'Double Cheeseburger' for stained or muddy water


ima Rattlin'Roumba


Captain Karl Bunch: The Rattlin' Roumba will be available in the spring time, and it's going to expand the Roumba's effectiveness. A guy who fishes water that's really stained or muddy and feels he needs the rattling noise to go along with the wake, the Rattlin' Roumba will allow him to do that, and it's going to come in a few new, brighter colors to give dirty water anglers even more confidence. So the Rattlin' Roumba will have some brighter colors for dirty water, in conjunction with the rattling noise.

Michael Murphy: The addition of the Rattlin' Roumba is really going to help in those painful tournament situations when you may have fish located shallow, maybe even sight-fishing on beds, but then the water dingies up overnight, whether it be from rain, wind or whatever causes a dirtier water situation overnight. So you still know the fish are there, you just can't see them or you need to alert them a little bit more to the lure's presence. The regular Roumba may not be enough in dingy water. That's where the Rattlin' Roumba can definitely help you. The wake is still there, with the rattling noise to help them locate it better in dingier water. So you'll have two options. The Rattlin' Roumba will be good in dirty water, but that same rattling noise may be too much for clear water where you may do better with the original non-rattling model.


Where we are now - ima Skimmer Topwater


ima Skimmer


Michael Murphy: In comparison to the Roumba (which is ideal for heavy cover, shallow backwater areas), I consider the Skimmer as more of an open water baitfish type of topwater bait. I'm not saying the Skimmer won't work in a backwater spot (and vice versa), but the Roumba is more apropos for a shallow, spawning situation or vegetation. The Skimmer and Roumba also move different, and the actions are different. The Roumba is more like a bluegill or frog type lure for shallow cover situation whereas the Skimmer is more of a shad or pelagic baitfish lure for open water. So I tend to use the Skimmer more on main lake points, over deeper water, around rocky, sandy or clay shorelines without much vegetation or cover. With the Roumba, you would probe and pry and dissect shallow cover whereas the Skimmer is more for open water, schooling bass, and suspended bass situations.

Captain Karl Bunch: The Skimmer one of the easiest small pencil type stickbaits you'll ever throw. It doesn't require a lot of technique, and it's surprisingly effective on brackish water striped bass that share tidal water with largemouth and smallmouth as well.
In fact, the Skimmer is gaining a strong following among ocean surfcasters due to the Skimmer's solid construction and because of the long distance casts that can be achieved (for its size).



Where we're headed - ima Big Stik. Summer 2009 Release


ima Big Stik


Bassdozer: The Big Stik is a through-wired hard plastic bait, and right now there are only limited prototypes available of the Big Stik. This lure is going to be big on the West Coast for California's trophy largemouth, and also in Texas and Mexico. It will be also be very effective for striped bass, either in freshwater or salt. Since it's through-wired, a continuous length of heavy wire runs from the nose to tail, including the belly hanger so it will be able to stand up to all your inshore saltwater battlers, big striped bass, bluefish, peacock bass, pike and musky too.


Where we are now - ima Rock 'N Vibe Lipless Sinking Vibration Bait


ima Rock 'N Vibe


Captain Karl Bunch: As a fishing guide, the Rock 'N Vibe has become one of my best friends. This lipless crankbait works like a charm. It has good action at any retrieve speed. So anglers can't fish it wrong. Anyone can use it very slow, medium speed or fast, and the Rock 'N Vibe doesn't lose its action. So when I have a guide trip, and fish are hitting the Rock 'N Vibe, I know my clients are going to have a good day no matter how they use it!

One of the things that is also amazing to me is that the Rock N Vibe can be fished in deep water as a vertical jig or 'blade bait'. This can be very effective around bridge pilings and stuff. Some of these places can be snaggy and filled with all kinds of man-made cover where you may get hung up a lot. So I'll just throw some of my older, beat up and less expensive blade baits until I get to know the terrain and the cover in the area, and then I'll throw the Rock 'N Vibe in there tight around the bridge pilings and stuff, and it's very effective.


Next Section: Michael Murphy on the Rock 'N Vibe & new Flit









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