Special BB Issues

ICAST new stuff Special Issue – part 2!

Here you go, some of the rest of the stuff that popped out at ICAST. Find ’em at Tackle Warehouse or at your local bassin’ “take my money” store….

(Don’t forget the full ICAST new stuff vid tour in less than 10 minutes!)

Soft Plastics


Storm killed it last year with the original pre-rigged “no wrong way to fish it” Searchbait, and now has a this lipped version (“smokin ghost” in the pic). Prediction: No wrong way to fish it….

Also available as just a jighead, and the original non-lipped jighead available too.

Been used by the YUM Elites all season, here ’tis, 1″ shorter than the original. “Gray flake shad” in the pic.

Everyone wants a little swimbait, now Rage Swimmer fans have one too…. “Electric shad” pictured.

4″, jointed “ExoSkeleton for better action and displaces lots of water.” Yep, available in “Feider shad” (pictured).

5. Berkley PowerBait Sick Fish and Hollow Belly swimbaits

Now available in PowerBait, which kills in saltwater but for some reason hasn’t done that in freshwater. Colors were always the knock against PowerBait but these are looking pretty good in the pics:

6. Check these two Japanese swimbaits…

…or maybe more like finesse baits. First up, the DSTYLE Virola Shad:

Here’s the Fish Arrow Flash J Split Tail Shad:

That looks SICK!!


Other soft plastics

1. Strike King 2.75″ Fat Coffee Tube

Because fat tubes are no longer thought of as obese and you need to have ’em in smaller in smallie country…. Color pictured is the really dang good “goby lishish.”

Also some new colors of the regular 3.5″ tube — diggin’ the gp gold green flake.

2. Strike King Magnum Game Hawg

Would you Bubba-shot with a 5.25″ critter bait? If you’re a red-blooded ‘Merican man you would!

3. Lunkerhunt Descend Series

These things have a heavier, salted core (“salted core technology”) that makes them drop faster and “swim” away from you — click the pic for a short vid:

Cool idea. Not on TW yet, but here’s the page for the Craw. Also comes in Salamander (really a curl-tail worm) and Minnow.

4. YUM Dinger 30s!!

Huge news for Dinger fans. $9.99 for 30, tough to beat yo! Not in all colors…tho there’s some new Dinger colors too, like the always smokin’ “summer gill.”

Honorable Mentionings

1. Berkley PowerBait Lizard

2. Culprit Water Dragon lizard

3. Strike King — New colors in a lot of soft-plastics. A lot of new “moon juice,” which I think Crispin Powley at Strike King named after “accidentally” licking a toad (hahaha CP!). Here’s the Cut R Worm in that color, also the Rage Bug now comes in that color and more new ones.

4. Bait most likely to be in an alien invasion: Berkley PowerBait Zestail


Terminal Tackle and Spoons

“Terminal tackle” needs a sexier name. Maybe somethin’ like: Elle Macpherson. Wait…did I say that out loud?

New version of the HIGHLY valued VMC Neko Hook family. Adjustable fluoro keeper “secures the thinnest and softest baits ” and resin-sealed eye. #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0.

After the great VMC Neko Hooks came out (regular, weedguard and finesse), anything that says “VMC Neko” sounds like a must-have. This ain’t a hook, but it does give your bait a mustache so…. Lol, seriously, it give your presentation a different look. 1/32-1/8 oz.

Where do you wanna fish it? Yep….

Why is this a worldwide spoon? Believe it’s cuz it can be shipped worldwide no prob…lol. Anyhow, “built with a precise shape and weight, which causes it to descend downward at an angle” and here’s Ish Monroe talkin’ ’bout jackin’ docks with it.

Love the big eyes on ’em, 1/8- to 1-oz.

Also hittin’ you wif:

1. Fish Head E Series Hammer Jighead — Kind of a do-it-all head, skop it, shakey it, swim it, finesse it….

2. Fish Head E Series Hammer Spin Jig Head — Same but with a little underspin on it.

3. Owner Jungle Wacky Weedless Hook — Regular Jungle has been a good one….

4. Z-Man Weedless Eye Jigheadz — Looks good….


Quick story: Got a bud who’s a rod nerd. Knows stuff about rods, blanks, graphites and stuff that I don’t even know how he knows. But when he talks about it, he reminds me of Alpha Angler’s Jake Boomer so I was like, “You have to try Alpha rods.” H was skeptical but tried ’em, and was blown away. So there you go.

This new rod is 7′ 11″ and Alpha calls it “mag-heavy fast,” recommended line weight is 17-25 lb (50-80 lb braid), and bait weight of 1/2-2 oz:

> Designed for heavy weights and jungle warfare…. The parabolic, heavy-action blank will load evenly during the fight without tearing a big hole at the hook location, but also remain loaded when your fish clears cover and runs towards the boat.

Check you this vid on it.

Top o’ the top of Kistler rods, here’s the deal on this version:

> Huge advancements in technology have helped the new Z Bone Rod Series to become 25% more sensitive, 25% lighter, 25% higher modulus, 25% more powerful, and 25% more durable.

> The brand new, first of its kind North Fork Composite LMX X-Ray Blanks are the structural foundation for the 2019 Z Bone fishing rods. …the highest strain to modulus ever created in a fishing rod, which means there is no other rod blank today that has the strength-to-weight ratio with increased sensitivity.

The Tackle Tour dudes who get to try all the latest and greatest like ’em…. Here’s a vid on the rods.

3. Daiwa

Daiwa’s ramped up its game big-time, here’s the latest on the rod front. If you’re wondering why I’m listing so many for Daiwa it’s cuz they have so many new ones and, most importantly, they’re designed by the pros:


7′ 9″ H Ish Monroe Tatula Elite AGS — Ish’s “long-cast frog rod,” plus uses it for swimming-frog baits and swimbaits.

8′ H Ish Monroe Tatula Elite — “Meat hammer” big swimbait (up to 9-oz) rod.

7′ 2″ MH Randy Howell Tatula Elite — Says it’s his all-around rod — cranks, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, swimbaits, etc.

7′ 6″ M-MH Cody Meyer Tatula Elite — Cody says it “was designed for Strike King Rage Swimmers, Keitechs, small swimbaits. A rod where you can cast super far, the right action to work the bait and a better hook-up.”

7′ 2″ M Brent Ehrler Tatula Elite light crankin’ rod — Glass, for smaller crankbaits like a 1.5 and smaller, plus smaller jerkbaits and even small topwaters.


7′ M-MH Takahiro Omori Tatula Elite — All-around spinning rod.

6′ 10″ ML Seth Feider Tatula Elite AGS — For dropping on and sticking ’em fast.

4. Lew’s

If you’re a ledge-head even part of the year, check these additions to Mark’s Ledge Series of rods cuz Mark is like this on ledges:

7′ 3.5″ MH Lews’ Mark Rose Ledge Hair Jig

7′ 4.5″ MH Ledge Casting

Also check the new higher-end Lew’s Team Pro Ti Speed Stick Casting Rods.

Doncha be fergetttin’:

1. Favorite rods — Can’t keep ’em in stock as it is, but still comin’ out with new stuff. Not available yet but here’s a look:

2. Abu Ike Power and Delay rods — Ike’s a nutcase on details so assuming these will be good….

3. Ark Randall Tharp Honey Badger Rods — Made with actual honey badger fur…?

4. Shimano SLX rods — $100!


Sooooo many new reels (new eggbeaters here), just gonna give you some in no particular order:

1. Daiwa

Heavy drool factor lately with anything Daiwa. The Elites I talked all loved the new Tatula 100 ($159.99 — pictured). Also check the red Daiwa CG 80 (100 beans).

If you ‘re like Bruno Mars and like to get your finesse on (461 million views!!), check these reels: BG spinning ($99.99 – $109.99), and the “I struck oil in the yard!” Exist G LT Spinning Reel ($799.99 – $849.99):

2. Shimano

Same drool factor with a lot of Shimano’s stuff. Dig the Aldebaran MGL 50 (left at 420 ponies) and the retro-solid Calcutta Conquest A…at $579.99….

3. Lew’s

Lew’s basically shifted the whole reel market by delivering a very good $99 reel, and has another one: the aluminum Speed Spool LFS Casting Reel. They also improved the Lew’s Tournament Pro LFS.

4. Abu Garcia

Revo Rocket — 10:1 retrieve ratio! Shot of them testing a prototype:

Lol okay it’s not that big…. The new Revo Ike reel is purple and green?

5. 13 Fishing

Concept Z3 — Supposed to be “even betterer.” Anyone love these things? Might try one if so….


No offense to reels, but lately here seems to me that rod-line-hook is THE key combo for gettin’ your thumb in that feesh’s mouth. So here’s some new line to maybe help you do that.

Mono ain’t dead because fluoro sinks. Plus mono’s cheaper than fluoro. Anyhow, this mono’s supposed to be all that — Elitist guys who’ve been using it say it’s amazing.

How ’bout these claims: “virtually eliminates line memory,” 50% less stretch and UV absorption than standard mono, “excellent abrasion resistance” and “unbeatable knot strength.” Does some of that by incorporating a braid-like molecule.

Bottom line for me: I LIKE mono, so can’t wait to try it.

I can’t say what the best braid is, or even if there is one, so just gonna say Smackdown is one of the best for sure. Now available in “flash green” (neon-ish) for deeper-water techniques like dropshotting, and “stealth gray” for stuff like topwaters.

Here’s Jo-Lee talkin’ ’bout why he likes the new flash green Smackdown (vid).

Took Sunline 3 years to figure out how to apply their P-Ion technology to braid, which basically means this: smoother, more distance, captures less water, less line noise, better abrasion resistance. Get it in bright green or dark green.


Also notable:

1. “Upgraded” PowerPro braid — Said to be stronger, comes in aqua green, moss green and onyx.

2. Seaguar InvizX fluoro — New spool size, 600 yds of excellence yo!

3. Yo-Zuri Top Knot 100% Fluoro — New spool size, now available in 1,000 yds, 6- to 20-lb.

4. Berkley X5 Braid — Nw braid. Was a time Berkley was the leader in lines, but that was a couple owners ago and before the invasion of [fist emoji] Japanese lines….

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated by me — Jay Kumar. I started BassFan.com, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!

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