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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal


Lure Review

Mattlures Does It Again, This Time For Tournament Anglers (continued)

Retrieve: On a slow, crawling retrieve, the bait will seek the bottom. If you let it fall all the way down and deadstick the bait, it will roll over onto its side on the bottom of the water. Get it going with a little twitch and subsequent slow retrieve and it will root at the bottom like a baitfish looking for forage.


At a medium paced retrieve, the Tournament Series baits swim as expected, true and with very good action in the tail. Pick up that retrieve to as fast as you can crank it and the bait will list to one side slightly. Like most baits of this style, the best action can be had at a slow to medium retrieve.

Smallmouth Bass

Harness: On each bait, the line tie is at the top between the eyes and there is an extra hook harness at the fish's belly for custom rigging if you feel the need for a stinger. The line tie itself is not concealed but in the same style as other Mattlures soft baits, sticking up from the bait like a traditional jig-style hook.

Golden Shiner

Body Types: There are roughly seven body types within the Mattlures Tournament Series baits: 1) a baby bass profile is shared across the dark largemouth, light largemouth, smallmouth, and striper patterns; 2) trout profile is used for a dark and light trout and salmon; 3) dark and light perch together with walleye share the same profile; 4) there's a catfish body used for bullhead and channel cat patterns; 5) next is a body for both dark and light hitch, cisco and silver shiner; 6) there's a shad blank used for threadfin shad, sardine and blue back herring.

You know you're on to something when you get a hook up playing around with a bait and seeing what it can do

Availability: Mattlures Tournament Series baits were released late in 2010 and are now readily available both on the company's website but also through approved retailers like TackleWarehouse.com. Naturally, not each color may be available at every retail or e-tail location so if you're looking for something specific, check out Mattlures's own website, but be prepared to pay just a little more when buying direct. This is common practice to avoid competition between the manufacturer's site and any retail or e-tail store.


Mattlures Tournament Series Swimbaits Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Always top notch from Mattlures 9
Performance Good on a slow to medium retrieve 8
Price In line with competition 7.5
Features Pretty standard top hook bait 7
Design (Ergonomics) Realistic profiles together with realistic finish 9
Application Match the forage in your water 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Looking for a specific bait fish? You're likely to find it in this series - Which pattern to get?!? Decisions decisions!
+ Very realistic finishes  
+ Relatively small and easy to throw  


Conclusion: On my first outing with this lure, on a cold January morning on Clear Lake, California, all I really intended to do was to get a feel for this bait. I cast it out several times to play around with different retrieve speeds and watch how the bait behaved. Finally, on one cast, I let the bait sink to the bottom, gave it a little twitch, and began a slow paced retrieve back to the boat to see if I could get it snagged up. I felt a snag alright, but instead of staying put, my line moved off to the side.

If only it were always this easy when throwing this style bait... phew!

I pointed my rod at the moving line, reeled in the slack with my Daiwa Zillion Type-R reel and swung away! Fish on! Nothing huge, of course, but a nice healthy three or four pound winter bass courtesy of Mattlures's new bait and the amazing fishery that is Clear Lake, California. With swimbait and tournament season right around the corner, I figured Id be prudent and get the word as soon as possible. Thank you Matt Servant for another unbelievably realistic and quality line of baits!

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