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Latest Featured Articles


Kickin' It with Yamamoto's Zako Variant

Megabass's New Sleeper Craw : Just Tie It On, Pitch It Out, and Get Bit

Shimano Readies Mastiff Fluorocarbon Line with Nanoarmor Tech ARK Fishing's Gravity G5, An Impressive Middle Child Casting Reel
The Search for One - Reel? Lew's Super Duty LFS Abu Garcia Elevates the Revo SX with Their Gen5 Refresh A Stick That's Difficult to Pin Down : Megabass's US Destroyer P5 F7-75X BMG Berkley’s Latest Finesse Worm Doesn’t Fall Flat

Additional Recent Articles

Okuma Raises Their Bass Rod Game to the X-Level
Okuma has been elevating their bass reel and rod offerings over the last few seasons by leveraging new technology and materials to improve performance. Unveiled at the Classic the new X-Series rods are Okuma’s latest creation and designed to raise the bar for the brand’s application specific bass offering.
Going Basic. The Reliable and Affordable Gravity G3 Baitcaster from ARK Fishing
New to the fishing reel market, ARK Fishing follows the familiar trend set by many manufacturers of using the same frame and sideplate design for their catalog of casting reels and putting them together in different ways to meet varying price points. The Gravity G3 is currently at the entry level of ARK's casting reel lineup...
Shimano BOOSTs Freshwater Hardbait Lineup
In advance of the Bassmaster Classic Shimano is bolstering their freshwater lure lineup with three new lures that make use of the company’s patented BOOST CONCEPT technologies. These new offerings include the Enber jerkbait, World Rush squarebill, and finesse oriented Zumverno jerkbait.
A Solid Little Reel With a Bigger Purpose: Lew's American Hero Tier 1 Casting Reel
The American Hero Tier 1 LFS casting reel from Lew's is a familiar profile from the manufacturer in a size that's roughly equivalent to an industry standard 100. It is built with an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates and features an externally adjustable magnetic braking system...
Fold to Cast Further – Shimano’s Armajoint Hard Bodied Swimbait
The swimbait segment continues to grow, and it was just a matter of time before Shimano launched their own hard bodied swimbait. Rather than introduce just another single jointed glide or dual jointed wake, Shimano’s lure engineers wanted to put their own spin on a shad-like profile and create a bait that could be cast further and fished effectively by anglers of all skill levels.
Mike Iaconelli's Powerbait Flute Worm by Berkley is no Fluke
We are in the process of looking at some of their newest PowerBait lures including the Maxscent Flat Worm but before that review goes live let's take a look at one of Berkley's classics. With the help of Mike Iaconelli this the Flute Tail Worm was created for those dedicated Neko/wacky/shaky head fishermen

Forward-Facing Sonar Units and the ‘Harass-A-Bass’ Technique Have Changed Bass Fishing Forever
The rumors percolated pre-pandemic of an electronics guru devouring the competition in America’s largest crappie tournaments. Fishing in a previously unimagined futuristic manner, from the not-so-bass-mecca state of Oklahoma, Josh Jones is reported to have caught more than 200 ten-pound fish in less than five years...

Lightweight and Worth the Effort – Edge’s Versatile Epitome MBR725-1C Rod
If there is one rod maker that needs no introduction it is Gary Loomis. Gary’s legacy as both an expert in graphite and resin materials and for his understanding of rod actions and how they apply to different species and techniques is already the stuff of legend. Gary’s latest rod series, the Epitome, is designed to be his lightest and perhaps most distinctive rods yet.
KastKing’s Kestrel Elite Magnesium Baitcaster Takes Flight
Usually aimed toward the casual angler, KastKing reached outside of their comfort zone and set their sights on JDM competitors with the release of the Kestrel Elite. Does the Kestrel Elite have enough wind under its wings to soar with Shimano and Daiwa?
Take Two (Piece) with Phenix's Feather Casting Rods
The FTX-C277MH is a two piece casting rod measuring roughly seven feet, seven inches (7'7") fully assembled. It comes with updated Fuji stainless steel guides with FazLite inserts built on the same, blended Carbon Weave blank with Nanolite resin.
It Is An Obsession, It Is My Obsession, Lanciotti's Psycho Gill Can Be, an Enthusiast Bait Collector's Key
Nothing inspires an unhealthy passion for bass fishing like a good topwater bite. This is especially true when your lure of choice is an oversized chunk of resin or wood. Whether it be a rat, gill, trout profile or other, it's tough to beat the adrenaline rush of having a three ounce or larger bait slurped down from the surface of the water.
How Does a Budget, Value, Rod Dubbed Offshore Dominate the Search for One?
Ark Rods continues to make a name for themselves in the bass rod market. By all accounts, their Randall Tharp Honey Badger series of signature rods has only served to help them gain a stronger foothold in a very hotly contested market. Today, we take a look at one of Tharp's favorite sticks in the lineup, his TS76MHFC Offshore Special.

Trika's Candidate in The Search for One, Their C73MHF
Setting out with the goal of delivering some of the best fishing rods on the planet, Trika leveraged their highly technical approach to deliver a full line of bass fishing rods. Introducing Trika's Search for One candidate, the C73MHF casting rod.

Fishing Favors the Bold. Trika’s 7 Foot+ Casting Rods
Trika launched their brand at the end of last season with a market changing mentality. Chances are you have seen the brand’s bold performance claims when it comes to outperforming competitors retailing for much more in both casting distance and sensitivity and we were eager to see just how these rods would stack up.

JDM Calcutta Conquest for Finesse - The Calcutta Conquest BFS
Shimano Japan has been busy this season updating their Calcutta Conquest platforms on both ends of the spectrum. In addition to launching the new MD reels for big bait anglers the company is also introducing a new BFS reel with the proven Finesse Tune Braking system which is designed to deliver lures as light as a single gram.

TT Interview: Behind the Threads of Bad News Bass. Talking to B.N.B. Founder Erik Yamamoto
Bad News Bass has deep roots in Northern California and works closely with local tackle shops, guides, and custom bait manufacturers to offer exclusive swimbaits and soft goods. We sit down with B.N.B. founder Erik Akira Yamamoto to learn more about the brand's origins, their exclusive offerings, and what's coming next.

The Gold Standard for Round Reels Gets Dual Cast Control System: The Calcutta Conquest MD
This season Shimano launches new 300 and 400 sized Calcutta Conquest MD series reels which feature a number of major advancements including a SVS MD hybrid cast control system and interlocking levelwind feature, and is specifically designed for fishing swimbaits and other giant lures.

Daiwa Embraces IoT With New Bluetooth Equipped IM Z LIMITBREAKER Baitcaster
Daiwa Japan has launched a new generation of the Z series reels with the IM Z LIMITBREAKER. More than just an update in styling and refinement the IM Z is a Smart Reel that makes use of Daiwa's new bluetooth and app controlled "Connecting System" to control, track, and update the new Intelligent Magforce braking system.

The Search For One : Phenix's Re-Imagined MAX-73MH
It's been over seven years since our introduction to Phenix's Maxim series of rods, and as we shared with our review of the MAXS-610L, the company revamped the series in 2020 updating both the series' look and components. Today, we take a look at the most likely stick within the series to be dubbed "the One" in our continual search for that singular stick to rule them all.
The Impressive Middle Child : Abu Garcia's Zenon MG-X Casting Reel
Abu's Zenon line of casting reels replaces Premier, MGX, and MGXtreme at the top of their low profile reel hierarchy. Aside from the Premier, we hadn't fished these platforms in some time, so Zenon comes to us like a fresh new platform.
Turn That Blank Around : A Rainshadow Wrap for BFS Techniques
As reel manufacturers rush to get their take on the BFS movement to market, it seems rod manufacturers have a little catching up to do. The selection of available casting rods to support the light line movement just isn’t quite there, so what’s an enthusiast to do? Well, although the built rod options may be few and far between, blanks to enable the movement already exist.
Designed for Sending Big Baits - Shimano’s Curado 200 DC
The Shimano Curado family has grown once again and the company’s latest baitcaster, the Curado 200 DC, is designed specifically to address applications where thicker lines and larger lures require both casting distance and a robust retrieve. While fishing swimbaits seems like a natural fit for this reel there are other power-oriented applications that are also well suited for this new larger Curado DC baitcaster.

Time for Another Build or Two: Point Blank Rods's PB731HXF
Rods fascinate me. The number of ways in which they can be assembled, and the different materials used to build the blanks represent a world of intrigue and mystery that never ceases to intrigue. The very core of a fishing rod, it's soul - that blank, is where it all begins yet it is often shrouded in a build that makes the task of extracting its character difficult.

Creature Fever : Big Bite Bait's Hybrid Soft Plastic Craw Tube
The bait's main body is a tube, but with rings on the outside all leading to the traditional tube bait skirt. However, out from the sides, just before the bait transitions to the skirt, protrude two claw like appendages.
UFO 6” Gill Swimbait – Abducting Bass Night and Day
UFO Bait Co. is a custom swimbait builder that creates some of the most sought-after gill baits in the game. These include the immense Mothership and the smaller 6” gill, both of which are coveted by swimbait enthusiasts that have witnessed, or heard about, the many bass abductions that these renowned baits are responsible for.
A Worthy Tribute : Costa’s Versatile Ferg Series
The Costa Ferg frames pay tribute to the company’s founder, Ray Ferguson, and includes some of the brand’s newest sport-oriented elements including high quality 580G glass lenses and vented adjustable nose pads, but also features styling that doesn’t look out of place off the water.
Abu Garcia's BFS Flex : The Revo Ultracast BF8
Following on the heels of my very positive experience with Abu Garcia Japan's Limited Edition LX992Z BFS casting reel, I was on the hunt for another reel to sample only this time, hopefully, in left hand retrieve. I came across a second candidate from the same manufacturer with a very familiar look...
Could It Be Magic? Megabass's US P5 F5.5-76X Mark-56
The new US P5 F7.5-76X Mark-56 invokes the name of one of these previous models, the F8-78X Mark-48 introduced in 2019 during the former US Destroyer line's extension. It's only natural to assume they are the same, or at least similar sticks, but such an assumption would actually be a mistake.
The Surprisingly Versatile Steez AGS "The Sensor" Casting Rod
Daiwa's Steez AGS "The Sensor," is a seven foot (7'-0") stick built on the manufacturer's updated SVF Compile-X graphite blank featuring Nanoplus resin. Guides for this stick are Daiwa's latest, proprietary AGS guides featuring carbon fiber frames.

Defying the Status Quo : ARK Fishing Creates Their Own Gravity Baitcasters

Given the number of rod and lure manufacturers delving into the reel segment it's easy to assume ARK is leveraging the same or similar resources as the majority of these other upstarts. Well, I'm pleased to say, to make such an assumption about ARK's new Gravity 7 (G7) would be in error.


Accessible, Affordable, and More Importantly, Effective : Molix's GlideBait 140 SS
Begrudgingly, time once dedicated to slinging something exclusive gives way to the less exciting prospect of fishing something more accessible. However, on the rare occasion, these circumstances can reveal something unexpected. Here's our experience with Molix's latest entry big bait craze, their GlideBait 140 SS.

Lew's Shifts It into High Gear (Ratio) with Their HyperSpeed LFS
Equipped with a 9.5:1 retrieve ratio on a 34 mm spool (33mm to inside of beveled edge), Lew's new HyperSpeed LFS casting reel is their fastest to date. It features a is one-piece aluminum frame, 95m handle, and a very comfortable shape and profile.
The Megabass P5 Destroyers are Coming! A First Look at the US P5 Rod Launch Lineup
The much anticipated Megabass America Destroyer P5 USA lineup of rods is right around the corner and the first run rods just landed here at the TackleTour lab today. As we begin a deeper dive into the new rods here is a preview of the launch lineup and what US anglers can expect from the new series.
Function Meets Fashion, Daiwa's Silver Creek AIR TW
With the expanse of BFS fishing in the last few years, Daiwa dove into a niche within a niche with BFS trout fishing, releasing the Silver Creek Air TW. This proves that BFS fishing is on the rise, and for good reason. Being a majority of my BFS fishing is stream fishing for trout, it was only natural for me to run the Silver Creek AIR TW through the paces.
Baitsanity’s Most Technical Glidebait Yet – The Antidote TUG
Baitsanity’s newest glidebait, the Antidote TUG, is also the company’s new halo swimbait and comes with a laundry list of innovative features which also make it a highly technical bait to master. Designed for big bait enthusiasts the TUG can achieve some remarkably diverse glide actions but with somewhat of a steep learning curve is this a big bait for everyone?
A Measure of Consistency, Kistler's New KLX
Last year, Kistler Custom Rods refreshed their Helium series of rods with a new blank the company is having made overseas. I found that new KC9 blank crisp, lively, and powerful. Since that introduction, the company has been busy refreshing their entire family of rods with new blanks.
Berkley’s PowerBait Infused Spinnerbaits – The Power Blade Series
The Berkley Power Blade spinnerbaits are designed with numerous custom elements including signature blades, sleek heads molded around sharp Fusion 19 hooks, and perhaps most importantly, hand tied PowerBait infused skirting material designed to attract fish.

Even More Versatile Than Its Name Suggests, Big Bite Bait's Swimming Mama
How do you improve upon an already popular soft plastic bait profile? How about if you take that popular bait and add to it, a dimension not easily achieved by the original? In the case of Big Bite Bait's popular flipping bait, the Yomama, you streamline the bait and add twintail grub like appendages to transform it into a bait intended to be fished in constant motion.

Another Standout Build from Legit Design, the SOC70H
Encouraged by my experience with my first StandOut series rod from Legit Design, the SOC66L+ BFS stick, I wanted to see if that positive experience would translate to a more conventional specification. This curiosity coincided with my need for a stick to probe some weedbeds with some good ole fashioned, one ounce bullet weighted Texas rigged soft plastics.

A Different Approach : The New Player - Trika Rods
Chances are you haven't heard of Trika rods before as the brand is a new entry into the highly competitive rod market, but the team behind the new brand have actually been developing products for outdoor enthusiasts for over two decades.

The Myth Lives and Has Transformed : 22nd Century's Nezzuma V-Cut
Well, you know we couldn't go a full season reviewing rat baits without dubbing one our R.O.U.S. - Rat Of Unusual Size. 22nd Century is one of the original big bait companies and their Triple Trout swimbait remains one of our all time favorites.
Evoking the Spirit of A Legendary Creature, Evergreen's Dire Wolf Wild 7
The Dire Wolf is actually offered in two configurations. There's a cork handle variant with a longer rear handle, the RS, and the subject of today's review, the GT-R, featuring an EVA handle that measures a short, nine and a half inches (9.5"). Both come with a recommended lure rating of three eighths to three full ounces (3/8-3oz).
Toxic Baits Suck! TXC's Impertinent Little Wake Bait, the Whippersnapper 2.0
Ceaser Chavez out of Northern California, almost literally on the shores of the California Delta has been making baits for big bait enthusiasts going on close to ten years. He's one of the rare builders who've taken it to the next level by opening up a shop with a retail wing you can actually visit and hand pick baits fresh off the drying rack.
What Took So Long? Megabass's P5 Bait Finesse Stick
In various descriptions of their P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse stick, Megabass references their classic Hien. Why they chose a different name for it in this series confuses me and frankly delayed my interest in acquiring it, but as soon as I discovered the connection, I ordered one.









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