Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Lure Review


Another Masterpiece from Roman Made : South


Date: 6/2/19
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Roman Made
Reviewer: Cal


There was a time about a decade and a half or so ago, I would not touch a big bait unless it was designed and made here in the States. Taken a step further, if it wasn't made in California, I had a hard time taking a big bait seriously. Even the baits I had seen from Japan back then did not seem worthy of much attention.


Roman Made out of Japan carries the torch as one of the preeminent big bait manufacturers in the world


Then companies like GanCraft and Deps began to emerge with their designs, and in 2009, when Manabu Kurita set the bass fishing world on fire with his record tying 22 pound, 5 ounce monster of a bass, a new manufacturer emerged onto the world scene in the aftermath. Now, Roman Made out of Japan carries the torch as one of the preeminent big bait manufacturers in the world. Today we take a look at their bait with a sunfish profile. Introducing Roman Made's South swimbait.


Roman Made South Specifications

Type Topwater Swimbait
Length 4.5"
Weight 2.3oz
Depth 0'
Material Wood
Colors 5
Hooks Not Specified
MSRP $120


Today, we take a look at a bait inspired by feeding activity at the south end of Lake Biwa


Impressions: Many swimbaits have tails and fins to kind of finish off their realistic detailing. Roman Made's South is a four and a half inch (4.5"), two-piece bait with realistic, carved details in the bait's head, but no detailing beyond its carved profile. Not even the stock hooks are adorned with feathers. Of course, it is made of wood and weighs in at just over two ounces (2.3oz).

The bait is appropriately named, South

Real World Tests: A bait of this magnitude calls for a combo worthy of task at hand. I fished this bait on board my Megabass of America F10-711X Onager matched with my Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel spooled with 20lb Sunline Super Natural nylon monofilament. In hindsight, that combo was really overkill for the bait. All you really need is a rod with a nice tip, capable of handling a two ounce bait. Some of today's crankbait rods designed for fishing vibrating jigs would work just fine too.

Like all Roman Made baits, their South wake bait is hand made from wood

Roman Made's factory is located near Lake Biwa in Japan. The bass at the south end of that lake reportedly feast on bluegill. That is the inspiration behind the origin of this bait and why it is called, "South." It is essentially a wake bait made to be fished at a methodical retrieve where the knocking of the two wood pieces calls attention to nearby bass.

The joint hardware is pretty standard fare

I found the bait to run best at a medium to fast paced retrieve. You can't retrieve the bait too fast it seems - the wake just gets larger. Pulled back at a crawling pace, and the bait has no action at all. It will just come back perfectly straight in the water. But pick that retrieve up and the bait wiggles and wobbles side to side creating a very distinct wake that bass can track.

Viewed head on, all you can do is admire the bait's clean lines

If you pause your retrieve, you can get the bait to turn to the side and do some limited tricks, but I had best results just on a straight retrieve over spots where I think a bass may be hiding (like a weed bed) and boom! Bass really do not like bluegill very much. Every effective bait I've thrown with this profile just gets annihilated. Roman Made's South is no exception to this experience.

If the South were an actor, that jawline would be money

I'm not sure the brand hooks Roman Made supplies with the bait, but they are very sticky. Despite that, I was surprised at my catch rate with this bait. Sometimes, these tall, sunfish profiles, can cause issues on the battle because fish can gain leverage to toss them. I had no such difficulties with the South and after a while, it just didn't feel all that large to me anymore.

Stock hooks are super sharp

Design/Ergonomics: From what I could find, the South is only offered in about five colors. It is an easy size to throw continually for hours on end and as I mentioned, earlier, just over two ounces in weight. It's much less taxing to throw this bait all day long than it is a super deep diving crankbait.

Carved detailing at the head is artful

Price & Application: Because this bait is so rare to find and each bait is hand made supposedly taking twelve hours each to make, cost for these baits is not very forgiving. $120 seems to be the going price if you can find them.


Roman Made South Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Another gem from Roman Made 10
Performance Fish it fast and hold on! 9
Price Price is one thing, finding it is another 6
Features It's rare to find wooden baits anymore and even more rare to find a big bait made of wood 8
Design (Ergonomics) Only 5 colors that we know of but an easy bait to fish all day 7.5
Application When the fish are tracking wake baits... 8

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:


+ It's a Roman Made! - Tough to find
+ Super clean detailing and paint - Tough to throw given the cost and difficulty to find
+ Gives off a large wake  
+ Super sharp stock hooks  
+ Not too big, not too small  

For reasons too numerous to delineate, Roman Made's South has earned our Ultimate Enthusiast Award

Conclusion: I've yet to fish a Roman Made bait that's been a disappointment. Of course, I've only fished the Mother and Negotiator. The South is welcome addition to my arsenal and a fun wake bait to throw. It puts off a pretty large wake given the size of the bait. Hits are always super explosive to the point where it's almost a little scary to throw the bait because I become fearful of losing it and not being able to find a replacement. Such is the dilemma when throwing hard to find, expensive tackle. If you add it all up: 1) Expensive; 2)Difficult to Find; 3)Wood Construction; 4)Made in Japan... you know where this is going, right? Roman Made's South has earned our Ultimate Enthusiast Award for all of the above and more.









Copyright 2000-2022 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information