An Interview with Mr. Takeyama, Owner of Roman Made Baits
Baits - Japan|
TackleTog contributor and
custom lure painter Brock Hiroshima spends time with
the Owner of Roman Made baits in Japan. Roman Made is a big bait manufacturer in
Japan that is famous for premium swimbaits that are known for catching trophy
largemouth bass. Most recently big bass hunter Manabu Kurita used the company’s
“mother” swimbait to land the previous record bass out of Lake Biwa.
An assortment of hand carved, hand
painted Roman Made baits
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, let’s start with a little about
yourself, what region of Japan are you from?
Mr.Takeyama: My home is in
the Gifu Prefecture and Roman Made the company is in the close vicinity of Lake
Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture. We are very fortunate to be able to field test on
one of the best lakes in the world.
When did you make your first lure and what inspired you?
Mr.Takeyama: I was 12
years old when I made my first lure. My inspiration came from a topwater lure
that was made in the United States. The lure was indispensable in having
conversation with the fish and left a very big impression on me. I believe the
fish become older and wiser day by day, so discovering and conceiving new ideas
is what drives me. Endless offense and defense is something I very much enjoy!
The Roman "Trick" swimbait
When did you start Roman Made and how many people work at the company?
Mr.Takeyama: The company
was established in 2006 and incorporated in 2009. There are six people with the
What bait makers in Japan do you look up to?
Mr.Takeyama: Mr. Kazumasa
Okumura (Deps's President)
Are Roman Made lures carved within your company or by another manufacturer?
Mr.Takeyama: We make every
lure by hand in-house at Roman Made.
The topwater "South" swimbait is
designed for deadsticking
Do you see an advantage of using wood versus plastic?
Mr.Takeyama: Wood is a
natural material and I believe it triggers a different reaction. Even though
wood is not the most stable to make lures from I believe it is advantageous to
the fish by it's own instability. There are no obstacles within movement because
each lure at Roman Made is tuned one by one.
The famous "Mother" and smaller
What inspired you to make the big 12" Mother bait?
speaking with Mr. Kurita we came up with the Mother swimbait to locate and
capture giant bass over 70cm-80cm in Lake Biwa. We tried many different
prototypes that ranged in size from 18,20,27,30,35 centimeters and ended up
settling on 30cm and 300 grams (11.8 inches 10.5oz). The results were different
with this lure and fish showed more of a reaction to it. Not only would it catch
smaller fish but it would drag out schools of several bass over 60cm often on
Lake Biwa. I think the Mother swimbait offers an overwhelming sense of existence
to the fish and has an instinctive power that varies from other lures. It is
constantly evolving since we have learned so much from fishing it. For example a
back hook modification was produced with a hint obtained from the new Mother's
practice, and was sold only in a limited number last month.
How much time does it take you to make a bait like the "Mother"?
Mr.Takeyama: Each bait
takes about 12 hours to make so we can do about 300 a month.
A "Mother" fish
What bait of yours is your favorite to fish?
Mr.Takeyama: It is hard
for me to rank them since all the lures have been released over time. However I
want people to use the Mother at least once, I think it will open doors without
The old Lake Biwa Record 18lbr.
caught on a Roman Made swimbait
Is there anything that you would like to tell people fishing outside of Japan?
Mr.Takeyama: I would like
people in the United States to try Roman Made lures. After last years world
record tie it came to be said that Japan (Lake Biwa) has the best bass fishing
in the world. Previously the Lake Biwa record was caught on the Mother swimbait
by Mr. Kurita. Since both of these fish have been caught there are a lot of
people who fish the Mother of 12 inches on Lake Biwa. I am actually witnessing
huge bass that are bigger than the bass of last year's world record tie in Lake
Biwa. I am convinced that Mr. Kurita will catch one of these bass in the near
future, he chases trophy bass every day. Will the next world record be caught in
Japan or the United States? I do not know but I am hopeful that it is caught on
a lure that has the soul of Roman Made.
A "Mother" swimbait with a rear
Thank you for
spending time with us and we look forward to seeing more Roman Made baits here
in the U.S.
To find out more about Roman Made Swimbaits visit
the company's website