Special BB Issues

Rest of the new ICAST stuff, final part!

FINALLY got to it! Not everything, just more stuff. Gotta git ‘er done so here you go — as fast and fun as I can make it yo! Thanks for skimmin’/readin’!

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

New trend?

Every year at ICAST there’s a new trend — meaning lots of companies popping up to sell something and/or existing companies selling the same “new” thing (new to them). One year it was sunglasses (everybody had ’em), another year it was coolers, another year it was fishing apparel, last year it was the Ned game. This year I can’t be entirely sure but looks like it’s maybe ultra-finesse.

Have some new lightweight/ultra-sensitive reels, at least 1 rod, a few lines. Not sure if this is its own deal or kinda an extension of the whole Ned phenomenon. Anyhoo:

1. Abu Garcia Zenon Reel

Not sure if this is the lightest spinning reel in the world, but if not it’s close: 4.9 oz (20 size — 30 size is 5.4 oz).

I’ve held one in my hand and, don’t quote me on this but pretty sure it’s about what a newborn kitten weighs? Anyhow, couple highlights:

> Zenon was developed for those who desire the very best [$499.95 retail]…. Abu Garcia engineers worked with their Japanese design team to build the ultimate finesse-style spinning reel that would succeed in the sophisticated finesse-specific Japanese market and find a strong foothold in the U.S….”

> …elimination of empty spaces commonly found in spinning reels…body design is noticeably smaller than the spool and rotor…features a one-piece gear box with no sideplate while the frame is integrated with the stem. Combined, these design features shrink the overall footprint and weight of the reel while providing a rigid system for the gears.

> Magnesium body [not plastic] contoured to fit comfortably in the hand…silky-smooth drag [11 bearings] across all settings for light-line finesse presentations…low-inertia, silent-rotation rotors and an ultralight hybrid spool.

> “With the smoothness of the drag, you can fish light line with confidence and do so comfortably because the reel is so light and easy to hold. Our reel designers minimized the weight of the reel to a point few thought possible while making sure the reel retains its Abu Garcia durability.”

> Paired with a light spinning rod, Zenon delivers on sensitivity and all-day comfort.

Oops got “van” and “ford” backwards lol here you go:

This new reel, in the smallest size, also weighs 4.9 oz. Some deets:

> …lightweight yet rigid CI4+ body, quick response MangumLite (MGL) rotor, and MicroModule II advanced smoothness gear,

> …Shimano’s Long Stroke Spool to increase casting distance….

> Targeting both largemouth and smallmouth bass …the Vanford 2500HG and C3000XG both weigh-in at 6.3 oz and offer up to 20 lbs of max drag pressure.

MSRP: $239.99 – $299.99.

American Tackle says the Tsuka handle system is “the most advanced rod handle ever produced.” More:

> While fishing rod blanks have improved through modern advances in carbon and resin systems, handles have remained relatively static using EVA or cork grips with nylon/plastic seats. This new Tsuka Handle…complete integrated system utilizing the same carbon material used in the best fishing rod blanks….

> Can be added to rod blank for building or retro-fit on completed rod. Handle can be cut to custom lengths.

> Light weight, added strength, increased vibration sensitivity….

MSRP: $144.99.

Kinda a 2-parter, first the rod:

> The innovative “Gizmo Special” rod is designed to fish the small Evergreen Gizmo topwater baits. …designed to cast the lighter baits and pull/vibrated on the top of the water with XXF tip.

> The Fuji Tangle Free K-Guides allow small jigs to cast farther.

MSRP $188.99. Here’s what the Gizmo is:

> Designed to match the profile of a wasp or other near-water insect…. Gizmo is designed to be shook and will vibrate accordingly — not…popped or walked on the water’s surface.

Yep, a wasp bait with its own rod!

5. 5 fire hots stuff

Stuff I mentioned in the first ICAST a few weeks ago that also fit this trend:

Sufix 131 G-Core x13 Braid — Remember this is claimed to be the best braid ever made and is $39.99/spool:

> 10-lb 131 braid boasts a diameter of only 0.011″. That’s equivalent to the diameter of 2-lb mono. 30-lb 131 braid has a diameter of only 0.006″ — equivalent to the diameter of 8-lb mono. …80-lb 131…equivalent to the diameter of 20-lb mono.

Seaguar Gold Label fluoro leader — Thinnest leader material Seaguar has ever made:

> …double-structure fluorocarbon…which means it has great strength yet is soft and supple. Because it is stronger, you can downsize lb-test without sacrificing strength — and because it is thinner, you can upsize lb-test without sacrificing visibility.

> …exceptional knot and tensile strength. It’s softer too and cinches easily for fail-safe knots.

VMC Finesse Neko Tokyo Rig

> 4 sizes are #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0 — 2 fer $4.99.

More new stuff!!

No particular order:

> …incorporating every detail top pros had never found in a single jig…. A flipping jig must winch heavyweight bass out of seriously thick stuff, so everything begins with the hook, which is a super stout Owner Zo-Wire hook.

> The modified Arkie-style 5/8-oz head is powder-coated for extreme durability and features a recessed eye that helps this jig crawl through dense cover without getting hung.

> A dozen exclusive colors of premium Hole-In-One Skirts provide the perfect amount of bulk and movement and ideal color-combinations for every flipping and pitching situation.

> …weedguard that keeps you out of trouble but flexes just enough for unimpeded hooksets.

2. CatchCo Tight Rope Firework Super Jig

One of the several cool things CatchCo does is collabs, and this is the latest one — with IL’s TightRope Jigs:

> This Super Jig is a finesse jig with a cult following in the Midwest, specifically designed for fishing around rock. The jig features a sturdy Mustad hook and a hand-tied skirt cut in a unique shape to keep the bait out of rocks and other potential snags. Originally designed for Great Lakes smallmouth bass, this finesse jig gets it done for all species….

Not sure when it’ll be for sale but looks real innerestin’….

3. FishLab Popping Rattle Toad

Can you have too many frogs…or toads? Heck naw:

> …highly detailed back which mimics the real texture of a frog…oversized rattle chamber sits high in the bait’s head keeping the toad lying flat and making it easier for fish to track over thick mats of grass or through heavy scum lines.

Word is Brett Hite was gettin’ all this love about his JackHammer so David Walker wanted his own version with his signature Squidward crozzed eyez on the deal so…. Lol okay not really BUT David did insist that the all-important adjustable weedguard be made of wampus-cat hair. Unfortunately they couldn’t find a reliable source for ’em so it’s adjustable wire. Here’s David showin’ ya how he messes with it:

BFE = either Big Friggin’ Elephant or Best Flipper Ever, maybe another of your choice:

> …designed by…Bradley Hallman [who is a good kinda crazy lol] and Matt Pangrac [c’mon Pangrac!]…everything they needed in the perfect flipping bait…thick body with added rings for turbulence and a hook slot allowing it to be rigged on either a straight-shank or an EWG hook. The design of the wings and tail allow the BFE to glide into places other baits can’t, and the antennas provide tantalizing secondary action.

6. NetBait smallie-only stuff
Interesting to come out with a bunch of smallmouth stuff:

> …STH Finesse Series products have been designed almost exclusively for fishing smallmouth bass….

> 2.75″ Drifter…classic hand-poured bait [for dropshots]…. [“Half a cado” color below:]

> Crush Worm (3-3.75″) — Also for dropshotting.

> 2.5″ and 4″ Finesse Series Tubes — …40% body to 60% tail ratio delivers vastly improved action with the slightest twitch of your rod and allows for a fully exposed hook in the tail section….

Never have fished a Molix bait so don’t know much about ’em, but that one looks cool:

> …extremely soft and flexible floating compound…more cut-resistant and…enriched with salt and shrimp scent. The special appendices create micro vibrations….

I kinda love those alien-lookin’ thangs:

> …injected out our custom salt- and scent-infused Duratech ultra-soft plastic formulation which is extremely buoyant and 12x more durable than standard soft-plastics. …perfect slow-rise buoyancy….

> Corrosion-resistant carbon frame and side plate construction. Weighing just 7 oz and…7 total precision stainless steel ball bearing drive system. …externally adjustable magnetic cast control system that puts the brakes on the machined-aluminum black anodized 33.5 mm spool…multi-disc drag washers.

> A double-paddle 95mm aluminum swept handle arm with golf-grip handle knobs.

10. Shimano Curado and SLX reels

Couple new ones that I don’t think are out yet?

> …the Curado MGL 70 K…lightweight MGL Spool…decreased inertia and results in longer casts…excel for anglers fishing with finesse baits, such as handmade balsa baits, or lures that require light line for maximum fishability.

> …great reel choice for anglers pitching and flipping in tight cover when increased line capacity is not required…a Cross Carbon Drag to provide the needed stopping power against large fish.

> …the SLX MGL 70 features Shimano’s low-inertia MGL Spool in a compact 70-size reel. The MGL Spool excels in the castability of both finesse and heavy lures, while the compact size of the SLX MGL 70 makes it a perfect reel for light-line applications as well as flipping and pitching.

11. Duckett Fishing Paradigm Reels

Looks like the CRW, the CRI and CWX 200. Not sure what the differences are except the CRI is a little less $$ and the CRW and CWX look pretty similar? On the CWX:

> …6.8.1, 7.5.1 and 8.3.1 that come in 100 and 200 size…wider spool for added castability. 20+ settings….

> Rapala’s new high-performance Elite Pliers are armored in Cerakote…7″ tool for anglers includes a unique, patented “Mag Spring,” which keeps the pliers’ hybrid jaws open and ready.

> Replaceable carbide cutters that easily snip braid, mono and fluoro line, as well as light wire (up to 15 lbs); built-in crimping tool for simple crimps and rigging….

Not sure when these are coming out and they seem mostly for meat-eatin’ folks, but saw them demoed (on Zoom) and looked really well thought-out….


“Odd” or “off the beaten path” stuff…to me anyhow:

1. 13 Fishing stuff

Metal-lipped bait that seems to make a “rattle” noise as the bill moves left-right. I woulsn’t have even mentioned it (yet) BUT looks like Jacob Wheeler was involved in designing it so:

> This IG post says, “…got take a look at the patent of the original swing-bill bait in 1994 (5337508) by Boyd Pfeiffer. This bait has existed in patent design for over 25 years. We’ve also been working with Boyd, the original designer and patent holder.”

Here’s the action/sound vid on YT.

SpinWalker — Walking bait with a buzzbait blade in it. I can’t really tell from the video if it walks different or sounds different, but check it for yo’self:

2. CatchCo Googan Squad Revolver

Seems sorta Plopper-like but different:

> The unique fin creates plenty of noise and splash as it revolves around the body, and its placement in the middle of the body instead of the back leads to better hookup ratios and less fish missing the bait.

Not doubting Eagle Claw/Trokar (or any of these companies), just out of the ordinary fo sho:

> …a new system for securing and presenting baits, with an initial release in dropshot formats. …feature the new, precisely engineered AXS Keeper that affords bait motion on a plane never before seen in fishing.

> The AXS Keeper and bait can travel 360 degrees around the shank enabling life-like range of motion coupled with the reliability and performance of the TK150 Drop Shot hooks.
4. Spearpoint GP Finesse Hook

Are we heading into a time where many hooks won’t be curvy? No idea, but they seem to pop up more each year, like this’n:

> …with our VGrip Technology…increased fish-landing ratios and improved bait function for Wacky Rig, Dropshot and Neko….

I think Elitists Randy Pierson and Cody Hollen use these hooks…. More at spearpointhooks.com, can’t link it.

5. Kalin’s Sling Blade


> …free-swinging pendulum hook…will bring life and action to your plastics like you have never seen before. …standard ballhead jig design that features a cut-out swing path which allows the hook to freely swing back and forth….

1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 oz versions.

Hahaha had to sling one of those in there!

Who knew — not saying it’s true cuz I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised:

> CBD is known for its extensive anti-inflammatory properties. A sunburn is your skin’s inflamed reaction to the sun. So when you combined a FDA-approved 30 SPF sunscreen with 400 mg of CBD, the result is skin that is less red and sensitive to the sun, wind and other outdoor elements.

New colors ‘n other extensions

LOT o’ these. Here’s just some to know about:

This is the bait Ott DeFoe won the ’19 Classic on, but he altered the colors — and these 2 new red craw colors are “inspired” by his doctoring. Here they are:

2. Rapala baits: new colors

DTs now have “big shad,” “green gizzard shad,” “citrus shad,” “rootbeer crawdad” and “chartreuse rootbeer crawdad” which they should’ve called “Kumar’s killer craw” lol:

How ’bout this statement — pretty impressive:

> …Ott DeFoe, Jacob Wheeler, Mike Iaconelli, Seth Feider and Terry Bolton have all won top-level bass tournaments within the past 18 months with bass caught with Rapala DT-series crankbaits.

Rapala Shadow Rap (pictured) and RipStop jerkbaits are comin’ in 2 new colors, “firetiger” and “live perch”:

3. Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid: new sizes

Got 10-30 lb already, 40, 50 and 65 should be at retail in Oct — BUT looks like TW already has it yo!!

Here’s Chris “Zalstacherous” Zaldain talkin’ ’bout these bigger line sizes bein’ ultra-important for line-watchin’ techniques like flippin’ and spoonin’:

Real interesting how the braid-to-fluoro deal is being used on heavier-duty casting setups now….

Since I guess the KVD 1.5 has caught a few — just a few! lol — so a little on the new version:

> …Kevin VanDam spent a considerable amount of time designing and fine-tuning the original HC Square Bill. …utilizes the same proven size and shape as the original, but now with a hawg-calling Hard Knock rattle system.

That color’s “TN shad 2.0.”

Not on TW yet but here’s Dean Rojas talkin ’bout it:

> “We’ve added 4 of the most popular colors from our other frogs to the King Daddy line. Anglers wanted our proven ‘navy seal,’ ‘yellow sparkle,’ ‘outback’ and ‘albino’ colors…. ‘Albino’ is one of my favorites because it allows me to easily customize the bait to match forage species or light conditions with just a paint marker.”

Good tidbit ^!

> Yo-Zuri is excited to introduce a High Vis Yellow version of Hybrid line. Hybrid line is a co-polymer that is bonded at the molecular level, not mono with a light fluorocarbon coating that wears off…. Due to our proprietary manufacturing process the color lasts 3 times longer than the competition.

Comin’ in 6-20 lb in 1-lb bulk spools, and 20-130 lb in 3-lb bulk spools.

7. Lunkerhunt Hi-Vis Sinking Braid: new color

> …all the great features of the Lunkerhunt Sinking Braid, but this year launches in a new Hi-Visibility Fluorescent Yellow color. These types of braids are perfect to help you see when the slightest of strikes occur, especially when fishing finesse or weightless presentations and also on windy days.

Check “shimmer shad:”

Cool color and didn’t know this lipless “acts like a jerkbait and will suspend completely at rest….”

Gitcha some more belly color:

On BassBlaster.rocks right now…
Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.
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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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