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An Interview with Mr. Takeyama, Owner of Roman Made Baits Japan

Date: 5/11/10
Interview: Mr. Takeyama
Subject: Roman Made Baits - Japan
Interviewer: B.Hiroshima



Introduction: TackleTog contributor and custom lure painter Brock Hiroshima spends time with Mr. Takeyama, 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

B.Hiroshima:  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.

B.Hiroshima:  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

B.Hiroshima:  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 company currently.

B.Hiroshima:  What bait makers in Japan do you look up to?

Mr.Takeyama: Mr. Kazumasa Okumura (Deps's President)

B.Hiroshima:  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

B.Hiroshima:  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 "Negotiator" swimbaits

B.Hiroshima:  What inspired you to make the big 12" Mother bait?

Mr.Takeyama: After 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.

B.Hiroshima:  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

B.Hiroshima:  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 fail.

The old Lake Biwa Record 18lbr. caught on a Roman Made swimbait

B.Hiroshima:  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 hook modification

B.Hiroshima:  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









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