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Category Archives: Product Reviews

As a huge fan of lifelike lures I could not wait to get my hands on one of Lunkerhunt’s Lunker Frog baits.  I had the chance to test the 1/2oz model in a Green Tea color on a pond that was half covered in weeds. Right out of the box I could tell that the Lunker Frog was not like any frog lure I had ever used before due to the Lunker Frog’s lifelike legs that extended when I retrieved the Lunker Frog back to shore.

 

Company: Lunkerhunt

Bait:  Lunker Frog  logo

Color: Green Tea

Length: 2-1/2″

Weight: 1/2oz

Style: Hollow Body/Weedless

Price: $7.99

InsetAt first glance you can tell that Lunkerhunt company paid attention to detail when designing the Lunker Frog. The Lunker Frog has one of the most life-like frog bodies on the market today, and for me that is a huge plus when I’m hunting those monster bass that are locked in on real frogs.productspecsThe Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog has a real life kicking motion when you retrieve and pause the bait which I found in open water and on the edge of weed matts to be highly effective in creating more strikes than a standard frog lure.

7

8When the Lunker Frog is paused on the water the legs are tight to the frog body and once you give the Lunker Frog a light pull the legs extend giving the Lunker the most life-like motion of any frog lure I have ever used.

There were multiple times while fishing the Lunker Frog in open water with no weeds that the leg action was the difference in getting a strike, or not.

3I also found that the life-like frog feet gave the Lunker Frog a little extra splash while retrieving the lure.

2The finish on the Lunker Frog is top notch and held up fairly well over two days of fishing and catching well over 20 bass.

5

6The Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog is built with a soft plastic body that really helped with hook sets with the weedless hook system.

4

The Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog’s legs hang down below the surface just like a real frog, and many of my strikes were while testing the Lunker Frog in heavy cover while the Lunker Frog was not being moved for long periods of time. This is something to keep in mind while fishing this bait is to work it slow with many long pauses during the retrieve especially in small openings in the weed mats.

1Overall I found the Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog to be one of the best imitation frogs I have ever used.

 

Pros: Very durable, great hook set ability to ultra soft body construction, very life-like in appearance, pause and retrieve motion creates more strikes.

Cons: The legs can come off with some bass strikes, but they float if they do not get eaten..

Visit www.http://www.lunkerhunt.com for more info on all LunkerHunt products

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Over the years of chasing bass during the day I have encountered several severe sunburns and till recently I have had very little in the way of light weight clothing alternatives for fishing. I have had a few fishing shirts over the past couple of years , but when Mojo Sportswear Company contacted me and sent me a sample of what they offered for the fishing community I was on cloud 9..Finally a light weight comfortable shirt that I could go to battle with while chasing bass in the extreme sun and heat of Southern California.. Before writing this review I put Mojo Sportswear Company’s product to the test for well over a month of extreme bass fishing.

 

Company: Mojo Sportswear Co.

Shirt: Vented Wireman

Color: Bass                              logo

Size: XL

UPF:  50+

Moisture Wicking: Yes

Quick Dry: Yes

MSRP: $41.95

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

M-PFV3350L_1024x1024I always look for a light colored shirt that reflects the suns harsh rays and are breathable and Mojo Sportwear has the perfect shirt for those really hot and bright days on the water. Mojo Sportswear uses 100% Technical Poly Microfiber which has UPF rating of 50+ and it is moisture wicking which will keep you dry all day. The material is also wrinkle and stain resistant.

M-PFV3350L-side_1024x1024The Mojo Sportswear Vented Wireman shirts come with vented armpits as well as venting under the arms which I found to really work well to help regulate body temperature. The stitching between the materials was top notch, this shirt should last for years.

M-PF3500L_1024x1024Mojo Sportswear Co. also offers a very cool Bass Camo shirt which is also made out of 100% Poly Fiber. There is no venting on the Bass Camo shirt.  I found the Bass Camo shirt to be very comfortable and lightweight and after a long hot day of fishing I had zero sun damage to my skin.

M-FCG0007_medium

Mojo Sportswear Co. also offers Bass Camo headgear which is a must to keep the sun off of your ears, and neck, and it looks really nice matching the Bass Camo, and Vented Wireman shirts.

For me while hunting Big Bass I always try to blend into the environment as much as possible to not spook the giant bass off and the Bass Camo Headgear, and shirts are a perfect match for those Big Bass hunting days.

 

Visit  www.mojo-gear.com   for ordering, and more information on Mojo Sportswear Co. Products

 

Pros: Light weight material which keeps you dry and cool all day. UPF of 50+..The shirts move with your body and don’t interfere with casting in any way at all.

 

Cons: I would love to see a Mock version of both shirts to help keep the sun off the neck when not wearing any headgear.

 

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Mattlures has once again built one of the most realistic looking swimbaits on the market today with the 10″ Dead Twitch Bait. With a weight just over seven ounces the Dead Twitch is a bait you will need a heavier rod and reel to cast it with and lots of patience, but the reward can be the bass of a lifetime.

Company: MattLures

Bait: Dead Twitch

Style: Floater (slow twitch)

Length: 10″

Weight: 7.6 ounces

Color: Dark Rainbow TroutMattlures 10" Dead Twitch

Hooks: Owner 2/0 (2)

Hinge: One

Composite: Soft Plastic

Custom Paint: Yes

MSRP: $49.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Matt lures Dead Twitch BaitThis is the second version of the Mattlures Dead Twitch with the 10″ model and once again Mattlures has put his professional signature paint job on the 10″ Dead Twitch bait with plenty of colors to choose from.

Mattlures Dead TwitchThe 10″ Mattlures Dead Twitch bait has a innovative hinge design that gives the bait very smooth movement while the bait sits on the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe rear section of the Mattlures Dead Twitch bait has almost 90 degrees of left and right movement which I found to be perfect for this style of swimbait.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitMattlures cut no corners and put taxidermy grade eyes on the 10″ Dead Twitch bait which really give this bait life in and out of the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch bait is a floating bait that was designed to sit just under the surface of the water and have some of the dorsal fin and tail stick out of the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch baits were designed to sit just under surface and slowly be worked in, or just let it sit in one place while the wave action moves the bait, so being patient is key to catching bass with this bait.

Pros:  The Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch has a very life like paint job which is key to its success and the internal design is by far ground breaking for a large swimbait.

Cons:  After a few hours of using the 10″ Dead Twitch it occasionally became water logged, but I found just letting it dry out for minutes and bleeding out any water that was trapped between the lures skin and internal bladder system fixed the problem.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

The first time I did a review on FlipinTheBirds weedless topwater bait I was very impressed. It was a bait that could be used not only on weed mats, but next to the tules, trees, or brush that can line any body of water. It is a realistic style of lure matching a small bird that hit the water and is in distress and since almost all bodies of water have birds around them it by far is a great choice for a lure.

P1010120 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsFlipinTheBird comes in multiple colors from natural colors to bright colors for stained, or dirty water. P1010128 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsI hand picked some of my favorite colors of FlipinTheBird from the Black Bird with Red Bird to White and Chartreuse Bird and my new signature Bird in Brown and Black.

I really believe one of the reasons the FlipinTheBird out fishes all other hollow body weedless topwater is its profile on the water. Since it has multiple strand wings and tail it puts out a  much larger profile than any other lure of its kind, and while having rubber strands for wings it also gives the bird added vibration on the water which gives the bird a life-like presentation. P1010131 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsBeing a weedless hollow body bait these bird lures are absolutely a blast to fish during times when bass are tight to structure and occasionally in open water situations. I have had best success fishing the bird two ways; one by tossing the bird up tight against the tules, or tress and just letting it sit. And the second technique I like is to walk the bird across the surface with an ocasional pause in the retrieve.

On the original lures they had a tendency to land upside down from time to time, but FlipinTheBird has fixed that problem by adding some weight to the hook so the bait will always land on its belly instead of its back.P1010125 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsMy Mike Long Signature Bird in Brown body and Black head is not only is a new color for FlipinTheBird, but has a soft rubber popper added in the front of the bird to give the new signature bird some added water displacement and sound which has really increased the lures success in the catching bass department.

P1010127 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Check out a cool video I made of my Mike Long Signature Bird in Action:

Mike Long Signature Bird Video

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Every now and then someone, or something comes along in life that changes everything.  And as the fishing world collided with social media and technology improved with a new line of portable high definition inexpensive video cameras, it was only a matter of time before someone was going to put it all together into an awesome new video packed full of incredible bass fishing actiongGjgaAzdShj3slbE-Ad9XDbKrSEZdNFWMTVkXYa7HrA

Big Big Bass Dreams Volume One is a story about one mans quest (Oliver Ngy) to catch that elusive monster bass on nothing but swimbaits. It was produced by Oliver Ngy, and directed and edited by Mike Gilbert. This epic bass fishing video takes you on a journey into the epicenter of Southern California’s Big Bass Country. 9j3wu3RzC0Jhk2GkXfLxDUnBofJdlOSPUFFdtqNnpLgThe Video really gives you a taste of just how productive using swimbaits can be for catching large bass and just how important it is to be prepared and have a game plan before hitting the water for a all out swimbait assault.yqRmSU1Hdg7fucQd1z2p6Awtc54e9o-ELe32_7tzdX0

Big Bass Dream Volume One also does a great job capturing the agony of defeat with giant bass coming off right at the boat.

hBQ6HUlPAU4R_9UxsoKMzLi7h-MDgAeaiqjXXeS8rgcBig Bass Dreams Volume One has more big bass caught from cast to catch than any other video ever to date. And how the video was edited with 27 minutes of edited bass catching action in sequence one, and just over 30 minutes of complete cast to catch bass catching action in sequence two is what makes these two sequences combined the most innovative bass fishing video ever produced.
XmkYNO7RrnmlLnQIbJvzDD7-ywadOcwcn1thE2kO18E z68I8PZ27ob1RyHowJlZD9vZ1QLIiEHQ6lKEBuyWVco                                                                                  Oliver Ngy is no stranger to bass fishing and while growing up and fishing in Southern California and having a passion for fishing with tons of success catching trophy bass he was able to capture some of his passion and put it into his video. I have watched many bass fishing videos where they bore you with to much talking and not enough action, but Big Bass Dreams Volume One has plenty of action along with some humor and some awesome music. I believe you’ll want to watch it over and over again.

Big Bass Dreams Volume did a great job showing if you invest a good amount of time into something you truly believe in  then the sky is the limit. From Oliver’s infectious smile and laugh to the scenery of Southern California’s lakes, to the true stars of the video the bass I think you enjoy this video from start to finish.

To order your copy of Big Bass Dreams Volume One go to www.bigbassdreams.com

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Jigs, most fishermen look at these big fish lures and think they are all the same…They are not!
Now living up in the great Pacific Northwest I have been introduced to Justin Blackmore. Justin is the Owner and operator of J&J Tackle. Justin is making premium quality custom jigs, spinnerbaits and even wrapping custom rods. If you are in the market for a Ultra Premium grade Jig off the shelf, then Justin is your man!

JandJJigs_Card

Justin will color match any special color you are wanting to duplicate or that one color you have in your mind and have always thought if you could just find it, you know it would get THUMPED! Justin makes his jigs using only premium quality grade components. Utilizing premium grade hooks, skirt materials, paints, he also hand ties his skirts to the head by hand using premium quality wire. Yes, some people still are using wire. The benefits of wire is it will not dry out and crack and leave you with a skirted mess when you grab that jig to tie on.

The best feature about Justin’s jigs is the incredible durable clear finish he applies to his painted heads. I have never fished with a jig in all of my 44 years where the paint is as durable as those of Justin’s. He’s doing something really special here. If you are like me and like to have your dollars stretch as far as possible, you need to contact Justin! Like me, you will be impressed. Being a custom jig maker, Justin will use any hook you prefer so long as it works in his molds. I really love his football jigs, they are clean, affordable, hold up better than any other jig I have used and he will match whatever it is you are wanting.

JandJJigs_Jigs

Currently his website is still in the process of being built, but you can find him on Facebook by either his name (Justin Blackmore) or the business name (J&J Tackle).

J & J Tackle (Owned and Operated by Justin Blackmore)

Nicholas Hinkle

Previously lived in SoCal for 43 years. Recently relocated to Oregon. My home town is San Diego, Ca, which is home to trophy class bass and some of the most pressured lakes around. I work for a Fortune 52 Co. (UPS) in Sales, I’m also a writer/ Field Tester that enjoys sharing the information I have obtained in the industry with all to better their experiences. I’m looking forward to being a regular contributor to MLO as well as other sites and magazines . Look me up on FaceBook!

Facebook Twitter 

There are lots of topwater lures out on the market today, but the Boing Topwater lure is just a little bit different from all the rest. From its aerodynamic balanced design which helps with casting distance especially in the wind, to its incredible internal clicking sound which you can hear while working the lure in. Boing has set the bar high so lets break it down and take a closer look at the Boing Topwater lure.

Company: Boing LuresBoing Lures

Lure: Boing Topwater

Style: Walking Bait

Sink Rate: Floater

Weight: .6 oz

Length:  4 1/2″

Speed: Med-Fast

MSRP: $24.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

Boing Lures 2When I first received my Boing Lures I was very impressed by the packaging containers that the Boing Lures came in. They were small round cylinders that were the perfect size to store in a tackle box, backpack, or in the boat. The lid on the packaging was also a very easy to open lid and very easy to put back on and that is a pleasant surprise compared to some of lure packages on the market today.

Boing Lures 3

The Boing Lure has an internal ticking sound that is activated when you move the lure, so not only will the lure attract bass like no other topwater lure on the market today, but the ticking sound will also help you in the timing of your retrieve cadence.

I really liked the tapered design of the lure, it was around 1/2′ at the head and gills section down to around 1/4′ near the tail end of the lure. Along with the weight that Boing added in the tail section of the lure, I could cast this lure through the air like a bullet. A very balanced lure while in flight and when the wind kicked up I could still make some great long distance cast into the wind which was great when fish broke surface far from the boat.

Boing Lure 4

The colors I used for my field test review were baby shad and dark bass which were painted by Dwain Batey from BaitWerks which is one of the best lure painting companies in North America.

If you take a close look at the picture above you’ll find that the eyelet is turned side to side instead of up and down which seemed to really help in walking the Boing lure during the retrieve.Boing Lure 6The Boing Lure was one of those fun to use lures where I couldn’t wait to make the next cast and walk the lure in.

Boing Lure 7The Boing Lure comes with Gamakatsu black nickel #4 hooks that on this 4 1/2″ lure worked perfect on almost every hook set.

Boing Lure 8Here is a look at the bass pattered Boing Lure which was an absolute big bass killer during my field test.

Pros: A very easy to cast lure with an incredible paint job. The sound chamber was by far a huge factor in getting bass to find and strike the lure. A very easy to walk lure at medium to fast speeds and the ticking of the sound chamber was very helpful in hearing and timing my retrieve cadence.

Cons: What I found during my field test was some bending out on my hooks due to the amount of bass caught, so bring some extra #4 treble hooks. The tail feather also got torn up  quick so have a few extra per trip.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

When I recieved my 7″ Drift Master from Pizz Customs I was not sure what to expect, but when I got to the lake to test the Drift Master I was very impressed. Pizz is well known for custom paint jobs on lures and reels, but soon will be known for making glide style swimbaits with what ever color you desire on your Drift Master Swimbait.

Company: Pizz Customs281338_221702281198483_5110202_n

Lure: Drift Master

Lure Style: Glide Bait

Length: 7″

Weight: 2.5 Ounces

Color Tested: BassP1012864 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

R.O.F.: Slow Sink

Material: Hard Resin

MSRP: $70.00

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

P1012866 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Drift Master is a two piece bill-less glide bait built to glide left and right on a slow retrieve, or fast retrieve. This bait shocked me with how much balanced movement it had from a slow to fast retrieve it thumped my rod tip, it also on cadenced reel retrieve would glide at least 2′ left and right.

P1012867 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe joint of the Drift Master is a heavy duty built hinge with two screw eyes and a drop pin and will hold up to any size LargeMouth Bass you can hook.

Drift Master 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

I always use a quick clip to attach my lures and the Drift Master had a little more freedom using the quick clip, if you don’t want to use a clip you should add a 40-60lb. split ring to allow the Drift Master to have full movement in the water.P1012865 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

All the hardware on the Drift Master is heavy duty from the screws eyes, to the split rings this is a very well thought out and built bait. I was very impressed at the detail around the head of the bait. Pizz Customs added just enough fine detail on the gill plates area to give the Drift Master added life in the water.

P1012869 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsPizz Customs made a custom tail out of a very soft durable material that should last for the life of the bait. The tail is attached with super glue and should stay in place, but I would suggest checking it once in awhile to make sure it is secure.

To order the Drift Master go to www.pizzcustoms.com

Pro: Incredible swimming bait, the Drift Master at a slow to fast retrieve lure that thumped my rod tip with all the balanced action that came off the bait. The paint job was very life-like and Pizz Customs painted the inside of the hinge of the bait which really impressed me.

Cons: The hooks were a bit weak and I bent one a bit on a hook set, I would suggest adding your favorite hook.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I had been looking for a good bait casting travel rod for a reasonable price and I found that with the Santiam Fishing Rods in the Alaskan Travel Series. I wanted a light low profile three piece bait casting rod that I could put into my day pack and also mount onto my mountain bike.

Company: Santiam Fishing RodsSantiamLOGO

Series: Alaskan Travel Series

Type: SPC-703

Overall Length: 7’0″

Individual Lengths: 29″,29″ 30″P1012836 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Weight: 6.2 Ounces

Material: High Modulus Graphite

Action: Medium

Line Weight: 8-17lb.

MSRP: $69.95

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

P1012834 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Travel Rod comes in a very hard durable case with removable end caps that is ready for the back pack, or for a plane ride to your favorite fishing hole.

P1012847 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Santiam Alaskan Travel Series 7′-0″ SFC-703

P1012849 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Travel Rod comes with a nice three pocket pouch that each piece easily slides into.

P1012850 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOnce all three pieces of the rod are safely inside the travel pouch there are ties on each end that help to keep all three rod blanks in place.

P1012853 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

P1012841 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Each piece is custom built to fit into the next and I found them to fit perfectly. As for movement while casting and setting the hook I had zero joint movement.

P1012842 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

P1012844 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsSantiam did not cut corners with the reel seat they used a open bottom reel seat for more rod sensitivity.

P1012858 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsI found the Santiam Travel Rod to fit perfectly in my back pack and with the custom pouch my rod did not get dinged, or scratched.

Pros: Santiam uses a high modulus graphite blank which for the low price of $69 off their website is an absolute steal. one year warranty is also awesome. I found the three piece rod to work just as well as a one piece rod with the same specs.

Cons: You need to remember to spray silicone to the female ends,or the ends tighten up a bit.

   MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

MattLures is at it again with their latest creation in the MattLures series of hard swimbaits with their  7 1/2″ glide bass, with three sink rates; floating, slow sink, and fast sink and five colors to choose from perch, smallmouth, light bass, dark bass, and walleye.

Company: MattLuresmattlures

Bait: Glide Bass

Length: 7 1/2″P1012830 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Weight: 4 ounce

Color: Dark Bass

Sink Rate: Slow Sink

MSRP: $85.00

 

 

 

P1012822 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

At  7 1/2″ the MattLures Glide Bass is one of the smaller glide baits on the market today, but having a glide bait in a bass color fills the need of many trophy bass fisherman around the globe

P1012823 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

P1012824 -

 

The MattLures Glide Bass is a lipless single jointed swimbait that was designed to glide left and right at slow speeds as well as fast speeds.

P1012827 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

MattLures once again stayed true to style of building natural looking swimbaits. Full fins, scale patterns and a lifelike paint job.

P1012826 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsMattLures used a taxidermy grade glass eye which looks incredible and the eye socket is slightly pointed downward to really make this lure look life-like in the water.

P1012825 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsMattLures hand painted the pectoral fins onto the sides of the bait and added some light gold tint to the paint of the fins that really shines and looks natural when the sunlight hits them.

P1012829 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

The tail of the MattLures Glide Bass is made of a soft material that flexes slightly and should not break for the life of the bait.

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I have used and tested quite a few swimbaits over the years and there is a few things I look for right away in a swimbait, is it durable? was it put together well enough to take hundreds of casts a day?  how well will it hold up after hooking a few bass on it? is the price affordable? I tested the Middle Fish Injured Trout Original and this is what I found out.

Company: Middlefishproducts_home

Lure: Injured Trout Original

Type: Slow SinkP1012798 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Color: Rainbow Trout

Length: 7″

Weight: 2.8 Ounces

MSRP: $59.95

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

P1012800 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

The MiddleFish Injured Trout is a 7″ swimbait that weighs in at 2.8 ounces and is a S-motion swimbait.

P1012806 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

I was very impressed with the joint construction, it is a drop pin hinge joint system that is used in many custom swimbaits these days. The inside of the joint is painted to match the outside the bait and helps to keep this swimbait looking natural while swimming in the water.

P1012802 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAnother thing I like about the MiddleFish Injured Trout swimbait is the flexibility of the hinges. I am a huge fan of S-motion swimbaits where the tail can almost touch the body of the bait, these baits have much more flexibilty and create more side to side motion in the water than other swimbaits with less flexibility.

P1012804 - ©MikeLongOutdoors - 2The back of the Injured Trout has a natural paint job that really stood out when the swimbait was in the water.

P1012807 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe tail is hard plastic and is light smoke in color. It has about 1/8″ of movement in the end joint which gives the swimbait a little extra clacking sound while the swimbait is in the water.

P1012805 - ©MIkeLongOutdoors

MiddleFish did not cut any corners with a natural taxidermy glass eyes that really gives this swimbait some added life.

P1012809 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

The Injured Trout has scale textured sides that really make this swimbait look very natural.

Pros: This small 7″ swimbait looks larger in the water and with its bullet shape design is very easy to casts in the wind. When you burn the Inured trout it has an incredible super fast S-motion and if you pause and jerk the swimbait you can make it walk left and right. I would like to see this bait with a jig hook, or frog hook off the top of the first joint.

Cons: Not the best action at a very slow speed. The front hook is a little to close needs to farther back to prevent line grab.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Last year at ICAST Orlando I ran into the guys from Boomerang Tool Company who have this really cool tool called the Snip. It’s a line cutter that’s light and strong; it uses rust proof “Grade 420” stainless steel blades that cut through monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid, like butter. By far the most convenient line cutter I’ve used.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3.25 x 1.25 x      0.75″ (8 x 3 x 1.5cm)
  • Weight: 1.25oz (35g)
  • Jaws: 420 Stainless Steel

Boom DSCN1495

Their other product which was not available at the time of this review was the Grip Pliers but wanted to mention it. This tool is a great general purpose plier and it also has a spilt ring feature on the end which makes changing out hooks a piece of cake. Having been a machinist for 35 years the machine work is top notch! Two more things the jaws are replaceable and so are the carbide blade line cutter . Check out both of these tools you’ll agree that they’re a must have…

DSCN1467

GRIP Fishing Pliers Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 2.65 x .5″
  • Weight: 3.6oz
  • Jaws: Stainless Steel
  • Handles: Precision machined aluminum
  • Always-Ready jaws
  • Replaceable carbide blades
  • cup-to-cup and point-to-cup crimping
  • includes nylon holster
CLIP Tether Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3 x 1.625 x 0.75″ (8 x 3 x 1.5cm)
  • Weight: 1.25oz (35g)
  • Spring: 420 Stainless Steel
  • Cord: 36″ Kevlar™
  • Body: High Impact Plastic

You can buy the bonus pack for $61.85 check out this link …http://www.boomerangtool.com/shop/grip-snip-clip/Until next time….Stay on Em!

Danny Barker

I’m a Calif. transplant living in Ocala, FL. I’ve lived here for the last 6 years. My home town of Sacramento/ Folsom, Ca is where I lived for 40 years. Some of the best bass fishing in the country with the Delta, Clear Lake, Folsom and tons of other outstanding water. I write/moderate for a cool website called the Unemployed Fishing Club Unemployed Fishing Club, I’m also a writer/ Field Editor for North Central Florida Fish Explorer.com. Looking forward to contributing to MLO. Look me up on FaceBook too !

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Finally got to field test one of the Rago Glideator Trout on a clear water reservoir and I’ve got to say this is one of Rago Baits best looking lures to date. I tested a 9″ Rainbow Trout color which looked just incredible in the water.

BannerCompany: Rago Baits

Lure: Glideator Trout

Size: 9″

P1012866 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsWeight: 4.5 Ounces

Color: Rainbow Trout

Hooks: Owner 2/0 Trebles

Composite: Hard Resin

R.O.F.: Slow Sink

Style: Glide Bait

MSRP: $95.00

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

Glideator Trout

Glideator Trout

I have been fishing Rago Baits for a long time and this is truly one of the cleanest looking well put together baits Rago has built so far. One of the first things you’ll notice is there is no dorsal, anal, or adipose fin and the pelvic, and pectoral fins are built on the bait to help give this lure a smooth glide motion through the water.

You might be asking “what’s a glide bait?” it is a bait built to glide left, or right by just turning the reel handle slightly between glides. So after you cast the bait out and let it sink to your desired depth you simply reel up the slack till you feel some resistance while keeping the rod tip down and pointed towards the bait, while giving the reel handle a 1/2 to 3/4 turn depending on your gear ratio. A pause between each turn of the reel handle allows the bait to glide in the opposite direction.

Glideator Trout

Glideator Trout

In the picture above you can see the detail put into the Glideator Trout especially around the head area. The gills are slightly flared along with the mouth partially open really gives this bait a very realistic look of a Rainbow Trout just gliding through the water.

Belly Shot

Belly Shot

The belly shot above shows how the pectoral, and pelvic fins are in a laid-back position and built into the bait which helps in not being able to break them off, or get in the way of the hooks setting.

Single Joint

Single Joint

The Glideator is a single jointed bait which is key in helping the bait glide left and right. Rago Baits used two heavy duty screw eyes and a steel drop pin to secure the joint which should be strong enough to land any largemouth bass.

Replaceable Tail

Replaceable Tail

Rago Baits used a super strong lexan material to make an indestructible tail which can be easily replaced for a different size, style, or color by just removing one screw.

 

Below is a video showing the Glideator in action as well as rod position and reel cadience.

 

Pros: Very clean bait. All baits are factory balanced and tested. Incredible paint job. Tail easy to replace. Fins can’t break.

 

Cons: As always I’m a fan of the eyes sticking out a little farther.

 

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

The 3:16 Mission Fish is the KING of all weedless swimbaits. It was designed well over ten years ago, but by far is one of the best kept secrets in the bass fishing world. This is a swimbait that can be fished with a cast and retrieve technique, or flipped in the tules, or sunken trees, or through one of your favorite rock piles where you will very rarely snag up due to its weedless design.

3:16 Lure Co.Company: 3:16 Lures Co.

Lure: Mission Fish

Length: 7″

Mission FishWeight: 2 ounces

Color: Bass

Style: Weedless Paddle Tail

Hook: Gamakatsu  8/0 G-Mag

Sink Rate: Med.-Fast

MSRP: $13.49

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

3:16 Mission Fish

3:16 Mission Fish

When I was first introduced to the Mission Fish lure I knew right away this swimbait would fit perfectly in my play book. I am a huge fan of stitching jigs and here was a lure that could be worked on the bottom like a jig through the rocks and sunken trees and with a large profile I knew this bait would work well for lunkers. The Mission Fish comes in five sizes 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″, and 8″. I have had my best success with the 7″ and 8″ Mission Fish in the bass color. 3:16 offers plenty of colors to match the hatch where your fishing.

Weedless Boot-Tail Swimbait

Weedless Boot-Tail Swimbait

The Mission Fish comes in two tail styles, boot-tail, and curl-tail. I prefer the boot-tail for its open water swimming action and  the way it slows the bait down some when falling to the bottom.

Custom Weighted Head

Custom Weighted Head

The weight is incorporated into the head which really makes this bait unique by itself. The design of the head weight allows the line to go through the weight and into the center of the Mission Fish.

P1012829 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Mission Fish

3:16 Lure Co. uses a very cool Gamakatsu G-Mag hook which works perfectly in the Mission Fish. The 7″ bait comes with a 8/0 G-Mag hook.

Mission Fish

Mission Fish

In the picture above you can see the slit on the bottom of the Mission Fish where after you run the line through the head weight it will come out into the slit where then you can then tie the hook on. I like using 12lb-15lb Fluorocarbon line with the 7″ and 8″ baits with a med-action rod.

P1012834 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Rigging The Mission Fish

After tying the hook on you’ll need to Texas rig the hook by lining up the G-Mag hook in the bait, then poking the hook point through the top of the bait from the inside of the slit. Now you can pull on the main line while holding the bait in the other hand and you will see the eyelet pop into the bait. Now your ready to fish. A little tip is if you want your bait to be 100% weedless after your hook is in place you’ll need to get the point of the hook to stick back into the Mission Fish.

Collapsable Bait

Collapsable Bait

There are two things about the Mission Fish that really help with your hook-up and catch ratio. One is the Mission Fish is a very collapsable bait which really helps during the hook set, and two the Mission Fish will ride up your line after the hook set which is key if a big fish gets her head out of the water and starts shaking it. I like having just the hook it a large bass’ mouth instead of the entire weight of the bait.

Thin Swimbait

Thin Swimbait

The Mission Fish is a very thin swimbait which I really believe helps this weedless model during the hook-set. There is a very small channel along the back which helps keep the hook in place and weedless.

 

Pros: The Mission Fish is an incredible bait in the rocks, and when flipping trees, or brush piles. The hook-up ratio is really good for a weedless swimbait, the G-Mag hook is a big reason why. Very durable bait.

 

Cons: Not many, I would like to see a larger boot-tail to give the lure more kick. After catching a few bass the plastic will tear on the back from the hook ripping out, some swimbait glue will repair this quickly.

 

      MLO Rating:  4.5 out of 5

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Huddleston Deluxe Huddle Bug is by far the most realistic looking artificial crawdad lure ever made. It is absolutely amazing how real the Huddle Bug looks from its black eyes to the custom painted colors to the shape of the bait and best of all it looks even better when it’s the water.

Huddleston Deluxe

 

Company: Huddleston Deluxe

Lure: Huddle Bug

Huddle BugWeight: (un-weighted .02 oz)(weighted .03 oz)

Length:  2 3/4″

Huddle BugColors: 10 colors

R.O.F.: Bottom

Composite: Soft Plastic

MSRP: 5-Pack $10.99

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

Huddle Bugs

Huddle Bugs

Huddleston Deluxe offers over ten colors from red to white to greens, purples, and browns. I guarantee Huddleston made a color that will match the crawdads where ever you live. The detailed hand paint jobs are just incredible and look even better in the water.

Huddle Bugs Belly Up

Huddle Bugs Belly Up

Huddleston Deluxe even paid close attention to the belly of the Huddle Bugs to make sure these little 2 /3/4″ artificial creatures looked as natural as possible from top to bottom.

Green Huddle Bug

Green Huddle Bug

It is hard to believe the detail on the body of the Huddle Bugs. The claws are flawless along with the antenna and black eyeballs that really stand out when the bait is in the water. Even the eight legs look real when the Huddle Bug is crawling on the bottom.

Weighted Huddle Bug

Weighted Huddle Bug

The Huddle Bug comes in a weighted, and un-weighted version, I strongly recommend the weighted version it comes with a custom made hairpin harness that has cylinder weights added at the ends.

Huddle Bug Rigging

Huddle Bug Rigging

When finding a hook for the weighted Huddle Bug, I prefer going with a Gamakatsu wide gap finesse hook weedless in size 1, or 2. This is a good fine wire weedless hook that really works well with the Huddle Bug and rigging it weedless you can take this bait to the structure where it was built to go.

Huddle Bug Hook Rigging

Huddle Bug Hook Rigging

The weighted Huddle Bug has a small wire loop under the head of the bait where you insert the hook through the wire hoop and then through the nose of the bait and out the top.

Fully Rigged Huddle Bug

Fully Rigged Huddle Bug

Above picture shows a fully rigged weighted Huddle Bug ready to fish. I use 6-8lb fluorocarbon line which works really well with this little bait.  The retrieve is simple just toss the Huddle Bug out let it sink to the bottom and slowly work it back in. Since the Huddle Bug is so light it is really tough to feel the bait on the bottom and since it is a small light bait it really goes through the rock and branches well like in the video below.

 

 Pros: The most realistic artificial crawdad ever made, this natural looking bait is made to trick the bass and works on the bottom as natural as a real crawdad. The weighted version is very easy to rig and the Huddle Bug is a very durable lure. I have caught well over 20-30 bass on one bait.

Cons: Still looking.

 

       MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

robocup_productAs an outdoor enthusiast, there are a number of tools and gadgets I use regularly that I take for granted. Things that make life a little easier, a little more comfortable. Recently I added yet one more item that seems to be one of those useful things you wonder how you got along without previously.

While I do a lot of physical activities when I camp, there is also periods when I am in the great outdoors where I’m sitting, like fishing, or cooking, or even socializing. Often, whatever I am drinking tends to get knocked over or simply prevents me from using both hands since I have to hold on to it.

I’ve tried various ways of multi-tasking, holding my drink in one hand while doing something else with the other, and it rarely turns out well. Now, thanks to the ROBOCUP, i have a consistently stable way of  holding a beverage and anything else I may need within arms reach.

robocup_fishingchairThe ROBOCUP is marketed as a “patented portable caddy for drinks & poles” but I’ve found plenty of other uses for this simple device.

On a recent surf fishing trip, I attached the ROBOCUP to my beach chair and it not only held my drink, but my phone, my fishing pole, and whatever else I could stuff into its deep holders. There are even little straps I can use to secure my pole or other items so they won’t get lost or tumble out.

I actually even used it while working in my garden to hold some tools! I’m sure I’ll find more uses over time… it’s just that useful!

Company: The RoboCup LLC
Product Name: The RoboCup
Gear Categories: Personal, Portable, Fishing, Camping, Boating, Accessories
Material: Lightweight Plastic
Features: No tools required, squeeze to open. Bottom cap unscrews for fishing poles, umbrellas, or other long-handled tools.
MSRP: $24.95 (available from Kotulas.com for $19.95)

Pros: Easy to attach, simply squeeze the cup holders. Easy to clean, and highly portable.

Cons: Non really, but if I could change anything, I’d ask that the clamp be on a swivel to allow you to attach it to horizontal bars and structures as easily as you can vertical bars and structures.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Ed Castro is a writer & web developer living in San Diego, California. An avid hiker and camper, Ed spends his days playing with the latest outdoor products and exploring the great outdoors. He recently purchased a new rod & reel in order to return to the sport that introduced him to the great outdoors.

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For well over ten years now I have been using the Rago Rat and it is by far one of the easiest swimbaits to use and highly effective. Long over due, here’s my Original Rago Rat Lure Review.

BannerCompany: Rago Baits

Lure: Original Rago Rat

Color: Brown

Rago BaitWeight: 1.7 Ounces

Length: (Body 4 1/2″)(Tail 4 1/2″)

Lure Speed: Slow-Medium

Composite: Hard Resin

Sink Rate: Floater

MSRP: $18.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Original Rago Rat

Original Rago Rat

The body of the Original Rago Rat is 4 1/2″ and the tail is 4  1/2″ with a weight of  1.7 ounces this little bait casts like a dream. It is built from very buoyant hard resin  which keeps the Rat on the surface. When Rago Baits made the very first Rago Rats they were made out of wood which and were about 1/4 ounce heavier and sat in the water perfectly to make a beautiful surface V-wake.

Hard Plastic Lip

Hard Plastic Lip

The Rago Rat has a small hard plastic lip which helps to pull the Rats first section just under the surface, while the second section of the Rat wakes the surface.

Soft Plastic Tail

Soft Plastic Tail

The tail of the Original Rago Rat is made from soft plastic and works in a S-motion behind the Rat to tease any bass watching into biting.

Single Joint Rat

Single Joint Rat

The single joint of the Rago Rat makes a knocking sound in the water from the front, and rear sections hitting together while the Rat is swimming and this is a great noise attractor to the bait in dirty water, or low light conditions.

The Rago Rat only has one treble hook on the first section which works out perfect to help give the second section more freedom.

 

Below is a small video of the Original Rago Rat in action:

 

 

Pros: Very compact durable wake bait,  cast good in windy conditions. The joint makes a great knocking sound to attract bass as well a soft plastic tail for a teaser. The lip is built into the bait to survive shore, or rock hits. Hinge is built to handle very large stripers, and the eyelets are heavy duty with a 100lb. split ring to hold the hook on with the big fish.

 

Cons: Tail does come off and is difficult to reattach in the field, make sure you have a few extra when you go out on the water with a tooth pick to help reattach one.

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

For those who love to toss big swimbaits Real Prey Swimbaits has a bait made you in the 10″ Real Prey Trout. It’s like no other big swimbait on the market today, mainly due to what the Real Prey Trout is built from — high modulus silicone, which makes this swimbait very durable and incredibly buoyant while swimming in the water.

Company: Real Prey Swimbaits

Real Prey TroutLure: 10″ Real Prey Trout

Composite: High Modulus Silicone

Real Prey TroutLength: 10″

Weight: 7.9  Ounces

Sink Rate: Slow Sink

Color: Natural Trout

MSRP: $54.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

10" Real Prey Trout

10″ Real Prey Trout

The Real Prey Trout is definitely a different swimbait, beginning with the material used (a high modulus silicone) which is very durable and hard to tear. The silicone gave the swimbait incredible buoyancy in the water. I found, on my slow sink model, that it had a very slow sink rate for a 10″ swimbait, falling at a rate of  around two feet per second, semi-nose down. When I added a 1/4 ounce nail weight to the bottom of the swimbait, just behind the pelvic fins, it balanced the swimbait out perfectly.

Durable Paint

Durable Paint

The Real Prey Trout will not tear as easy as a swimbait built with soft plastic and the paint is more durable than any other soft plastic swimbait paint job on the market today. The paint will not peal off and, after catching a few good bass on the Real Prey Trout, I could not find a single tooth mark on the bait.

Realistic Look

Realistic Look

Real Prey Swimbaits paid close attention to matching natural colors in their paint scheme, like with the pearl white belly to the tan colored fins, and the small silver sparkles on the side of the swimbait, to the natural green on the back.

Natural Eyes

Natural Eyes

The eyes on the Real Prey Trout are 180 degree hard plastic eyes which you can see from the top and bottom angles of the swimbait which I believe is key in giving a swimbait that natural look to a bass while in the water.

Nose Down Underwater

Nose Down Underwater

The picture above shows just how buoyant the 10″ Real Prey Trout is. This bait will fall nose down and by adding a little weight near the anal fin you can get the Real Prey Trout to fall horizontally.

Real Prey Trout Tail

Real Prey Trout Tail

Tail Top View

Tail Top View

The tail of the Real Prey Trout at first glance looked too big compared to what I’m used to seeing in a swimbait tail design, but when I tossed the Real Prey Trout in the water and saw the tail wag and felt the thump of the tail I was very impressed. The swimbait tail swam at very slow speed which surprised me but made sense for how buoyant the silicone is in the water. And when I cranked the swimbait at a fast speed I was very impressed at the balance of the swimbait, it never rolled over on its side and did not fall immediately when  I paused it between hard cranks.

 

Below is a video showing the Real Prey Trout in underwater action.

  

 

Pros: The Real Prey Trout is made to last longer than any other swimbait on the market today by being made of high modulus silicone. You can get the tail to swim at very slow speeds and when you burn this swimbait it does not roll over. I was very impressed with buoyancy of the Real Prey Trout especially when bumping it off the bottom.

Cons: If you happen to tear the Real Prey Trout you’ll have to repair it with silicone and I would like to see another eyelet behind the dorsal fin for a stinger hook.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Takeshi Matsumota owner of Fish Arrow and Ken Huddleston owner of Huddleston Deluxe have collaborated to make the Huddle Jack 150 a 6″ hard bait with the Huddleston Deluxe swimbait tail. Fish Arrow the maker of the famous Monster Jack swimbait decided it was time to up their game and make  a hard swimbait with a kicking tail instead of the traditional lipped hard bait, or hinged S-motion style swimbait.

 

Company: Fish Arrow

Lure: Huddle Jack 150

Style: Sinking

Length: 6 1/4″

Weight: 1.6 ounces

Color: Blue Back Pearl

Composite: Hard Plastic

Hinges: One

MSRP: $24.50

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Huddle Jack 150

The Huddle Jack 150 is the Sparta of swimbaits, it is a tough little swimmer weighing in at 1.6 ounces for its slim 6 1/4″ body length it is built for speed. Fish Arrow loves to build swimbaits that are durable and will last for years of fishing abuse. I found casting this bait was effortless especially in the wind.

Med-Heavy Rod

One nice thing about a 6″ swimbait that only weighs 1.6 ounces is you can use lighter gear. I matched the Huddle Jack with a Dobyns DX 744, and a Shimano Calais reel spooled with 15lb. flourocarbon line.

Single Hinge Bait

The Huddle Jack 150 is marked on the back for the model and an “S” for sinking. As you can see by the picture above the tail is a Huddleston Deluxe hard wedge tail.

Strong Hinge

The Huddle Jack 150 is built with a super strong hinge that will handle some monster bass especially if you plan on using a rear hook off the tail.

Rear Hook Eyelet

Fish Arrow research and development people are fishing all the time and know that sometimes you need a rear hook and by removing the two belly hooks and using a rear tail hook it will allow you to fish much more structure instead of hanging up on it, or dulling the point of the hooks.

Huddle Jack 150

Fish Arrow always puts good hardware on their baits and with the Huddle Jack 150 Fish Arrow used 60lb. split rings and Owner 1/0 treble hooks. The eyes are high end realistic taxidermy grade and on the eyelet they added a 80lb. split ring.

Strong Bait

While I was casting and testing the Huddle Jack 150 a small bass decided to give his review..He was hooked!.. Below is a Huddle Jack 150 demonstration video I made to show just how amazing this little strong bait is.

Pros: The Huddle Jack 150 is an incredible bait for casting all day long, flies straight in the air, and swims just like its soft bait cousin the Huddleston Deluxe swimbait. Having a choice of hook placement is key if you need to adjust your bait for short bites, or trees and rocks.

Cons: I found none

 

       MLO: 5 out of 5

 

Editors Note: This article was written by Mike Long and not E.A. Castro as previously ascribed. We apologize for the confusion.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Well I finally got some time on the water with MattLures new 13″ dead twitch bait, it is by far the most natural looking soft plastic bait of its size and weighing in at 14.4 ounces your going to need some heavy duty gear if you plan on chucking this big bait all day.

Company: MattLures

Bait: Dead Twitch

Style: Floater (slow twitch)

Length: 13″

Weight: 14.4 ounces

Color: Rainbow Trout

Hooks: Owner 2/0 (2)

Hinge: One

Composite: Soft Plastic

Custom Paint: Yes

MSRP: $60

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I had to break out the Dobyns 867 swimbait rod and spool up with some 25lb. Maxima monofilament on my Curado 300 reel to handle the new MattLures DeadTwitch bait. The heavy weight of the DeadTwitch bait requires some heavy gear unless you decide to long-line this giant bait.

MattLures DeadTwitch Series

MattLures company has once again stayed true to their theme of making some of the most natural looking baits on the market today and the DeadTwitch is the result of years of research and development in the evolution of the Mattlures natural trout series.

Single Hinge

The MattLures DeadTwitch bait has a single hinge which gives this bait the ability to glide left, or right on a slow twitch.

Belly Shot

The picture above shows how much freedom the second section of the bait has with a full 180 degrees of movement. I found when twitching the DeadTwitch bait you needed monofilament line for a little stretch and that when twitching the bait you needed some slack in the line and a very subtle down motion drop of the rod to give the bait a slow tug and allow the bait to switch directions. This bait requires patience, it is a bait that you can leave floating over a lake point for hours teasing the big bass to come up and blast it off the surface, so patience is a key to success with this bait, but if you can keep an eye on this bait and twitch it at slow cadence making the DeadTwitch look slightly injured your gonna have some awesome success. Warning also keep an eye out for Ospreys they love trout on the surface and will take your bait for an unwanted ride.

Eyelet in Mouth

MattLures placed the eyelet for tying on the DeadTwich inside the mouth. I suggest using a 50lb. quick snap.

2/0 Hooks

MattLures used some heavy duty hardware starting with 100lb. split rings and Owner 2/0 heavy duty treble hooks.

Added eyelet

MattLures added an eyelet on top of the DeadTwitch bait where a treble hook can be added. If you decide to take off the two bottom treble hooks to give your bait the most natural look and add the top hook you will need to add some kind of ballast weight where the bottom hooks were. I found some tungsten nail weights placed in the belly worked just fine.

 DeadTwitch

MattLures designed the DeadTwitch bait to just barely sit under the water with the full dorsal fin exposed and part of the tail.

Underwater View

This underwater shot above shows what a proper weighted DeadTwitch bait should look like from an underwater view.

Underwater Front Angle View

If you decide to dead stick this bait in calm water I would suggest to remove the bottom hooks to allow this bait to look as natural as possible.

MattLures DeadTwitch a True Work of Art.

 

Pros: Once again MattLures has created a bait that truly imitates nature and that will help most anglers have a better chance of catching that big bass of a lifetime as long as you can exercise a little patience. And the price is a steal.

Cons: The DeadTwitch paint job looks awesome until you catch a few big toothy bass and it starts to tear some.

 

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

3:16 Lure company has been around for quite some time now and make some of the most creative swimbaits on the market today. From their first creative design the Mission Fish the first weedless swimbait, to the full line of hard swimbaits. 3:16 lure company is the working mans company and pays close attention to detail.

Company: 3:16 Lures

Lure: Baby Wake

Composite: Hard Resin

Lure Type: Floater

Style: Suface Wake

Weight: 2.3 Ounce

Color: Rainbow Trout

Length:  6.5″

Hooks: Owner 1x

MSRP: $59.95

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

My first experience with 3:16 Lure companies Baby Wake  was during a cloudy day with light rain and light chop on the water. I used a Dobyns 784 rod spooled with 18lb. Maxima fluorocarbon line and a Shimano Calais 200 reel. On the first cast I was very impressed with the wake that this little bait made in light wind. The first section of the Baby Wake . just barely went under the surface, while the rear section kicked back and forth at a slow retrieve. I also noticed a knocking sound from the two sections of the bait hitting each other on the retrieve which I am a huge fan of. Something that shocked me is the Baby Wake will walk when you pump the rod downward. It walks and rolls which while I was testing the bait I got slammed by a 5 lb. bass. This added action gives this lure and added dimension which can really help to trigger a bite.

3:16 Lure Co. Baby Wake

Upon close inspection you’ll notice that these hand made baits are built to be fished hard from the hardware used, to the paint job 3:16 lure company cut no corners.

Baby Wake Rainbow Trout

3:16 Lure co. uses top notch Owner 1x treble hooks that are super sharp and very strong and are attached with heavy duty 100 lb+ split rings. The nose of the bait has a heavy duty eyelet that no fish will ever break.

Baby Wake

A front shot of the wake bait shows the 1/8″ clear diving lip which is built into the bait in a way that it will not break off on a shore cast, or hitting rocks. 3:16 pays very close attention to natural detail and the eye sockets popping out of the wake bait and pointing downward really look natural and give this bait life.

Natural Eyes

The eyes 3:16 Lure co. uses are high grade taxidermy eyes which absolutely give this bait life. I suspect the artist at 3:16 hand paints these eyes to match the species eye color exactly that is how good these eyes look.

Baby Wake Rainbow Trout

The picture above shows the detail on the back of the hand painted Baby Wake. Once again the artist paid close attention to what species that he was replicating in this case Rainbow Trout. These are all hand painted so every bait has its own unique pattern.

Custom Hinge

What helps give the Baby Wake its wake ability is 3:16’s unique custom hinge system. 3:16 Lure co. was one of the first swimbait companies to incorporate this design into a swimabit. This hinge is built to withstand years of abuse with a custom drop pin to help keep the hinge together this system will hold up against 100lb. ocean fish.

Custom Tail

The tail of the Baby Wake is built to withstand numerous shore hits and has a 1/8″ of play which helps give the lure some added motion without adding another hinge, but what I found was this play also made a high pitch slapping sound in the water which is very unique in a surface wake bait.

 

Pros: The Baby Wake is one of the top wake baits on the market today and by far one of the most natural looking. The Baby Wake is built with heavy duty hardware, no short cuts in this bait.

Cons: Was hard to find any since so much thought was put into this design, I am a fan of such detail and that is why I call this the working mans swimbait!

 

 MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I’m only 47 and have worked in construction since I was 16 and being a highly active person mountain biking, fishing, and hiking every chance I get, I live in a world of chronic pain –shoulder, neck and back pain — almost everyday. I have had days where standing at the front of the boat was such a challenge, I could barely fish.

I was fishing this past Summer with a friend who plays professional baseball and he witnessed how much pain I was in while fishing. He walked up to me and handed me a necklace and said to put it on it should help to relieve some of the pain in a few days. Well, I was real skeptical, but figured suffering from years of chronic back pain, I had nothing to lose, so… what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

After some research I realized that this necklace, was the same one that I had seen many big league ball players wear for years. It was a titanium necklace made by a company named Phiten.

The core of Phiten technology is in their Aqua Metals – metals that are broken down into microscopic particles dispersed in water. Every product features Phiten technology: from their signature necklaces, to their performance apparel, and to their sports care items like body supports, tape, and lotion. They tailor their products for everyone, from hardcore athletes to weekend warriors, to get them through the daily grind and to support a healthy and active lifestyle.

So after about a week of wearing my Phiten necklace, I was pain free and after over four months of wearing my Phiten necklace at least three days a week, I am still pain free. First time I can say that in well over ten years.

The Phiten necklace that my friend gave me is a camo color which blends right in with any of my fishing apparel. It has an easy to use latch and the necklace is easy to clean with soap and water.

After talking with some other baseball players about the Phiten necklace they suggested I use some of Phitens’ other products like the Phiten bracelet, tape, and lotion. They told me while rehabbing from  sports injuries and using the Phiten products like the  Phiten tape, and lotion on the areas of the body where their injuries had occurred seemed help to speed the healing process of their injuries.

So from my personal experience, if you suffer from any kind of chronic pain give Phiten products a chance, I think you’ll be glad you did.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Every now and then I get to do a review on a bait I am very familiar with and the MS Slammer is one of those baits. It is the working mans swimbait, each swimbait is handmade with high quality cedar and some of the largest screw eyes put in a swimbait. The MS Slammer is simply a workhorse swimbait.

Company: M.S. Slammer Hand Crafted Lures

Bait: MS Slammer

Length: 9″

Weight: 2.9 ounce

Color: Rainbow Trout

Composite: Cedar

Hooks: VMC

Depth: 0-4′

MSRP: $41.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MS Slammer 9″ Rainbow Trout

The MS Slammer is no longer a secret West coast swimbait, it has become well known throughout the swimbait world. Being handmade out of high quality cedar you get a very durable swimbait that was made to go out and fish hard without the worry of breaking the swimbait if it hits a rock, or the bank on a cast.

Rainbow Trout Color

The 9″ MS Slammer has a top notch durable paint job that will stand up to hundreds of hours of fishing and the tail of the Slammer is soft plastic and very easy to replace if needed. As for hooks they are size 2/0 VMC that will get the job done. Every bait comes with a large quick release snap that helps give the Slammer more freedom while swimming and easy to change out baits to different colors, or sizes when needed.

Strong Swim Joint

Every Slammer is initialed and dated what month and year it was made at the rear of the first section. All MS Slammers are put together with the largest and strongest screw eyes of any bait made of its size and you will never have to worry about a fish twisting these bad boys free. The mid section o the Slammer is the motor of the bait and puts out a thumping sound of wood hitting wood as well as the squeaking sound of the screw eyes a true fish calling swimbait.

Floating Bait

The Slammer is built to be a floating swimbait that has an incredible V-wake swimming action especially on calm water, but this lure can be twitched as well as burned at a faster speed to get it down to 4′-0″ I have found times where ripping and pausing the bait to be an incredible way to get a bass to bite. Bottom line the Slammer seems like a topwater only bait, but you can test its limits.

Front Buoyant Bait

The picture above shows how buoyant the front section of the bait is. Once you start reeling the Slammer the diving bill of the bait pulls the front section just under the surface of the water while the rear section kicks and rolls side to side.

V-Wake Bait

As you can see by the picture above the MS Slammer reeled at a slow-medium retrieve wakes the surface  nicely and is an incredible bait up in shallow water around sticks and grass where some wake and noise is what you need to call the big bass out.

 

Pros: Very durable bait, very buoyant and comes handbuilt with some of the strongest screws in a bait its size.

 

Cons: Would like to see the eyes come out farther.

 

     MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

It’s that time of the year for cranking the rock piles and I have been waiting quite some time to field test the Damiki crank baits. Where I live here in San Diego Califonia the lakes are deep and the bass suspend offshore in 20′-40′ of open water during the Fall and Winter months. And when the bass move from open water to the rock piles to feed on crawdads you need a crank bait that will get down at least 15′ to have a chance at getting a bite.

Company: Damiki

Lures: DC300 / DC400

Depths: DC300 12′-15′ / DC400 16′-18′

Color: Real Shad

Style: Deep Diving Slow Floater

Balancing Weight System: Yes

Casting Weights: Yes

Weight: DC300 .55 oz /DC400 1 oz

Length: DC300 2.13″ / DC400 2.76″

MSRP: $11.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

When I first got my crank baits from Damiki I was not sure what to expect. It was first experience with Damiki lures.

Damiki DC400 Crank Bait

One of the first things I liked about the Damiki lures was the packaging. My lures were very easy to get out of the package and just as easy to get back in their packaging after use and I can’t tell you how nice that is, especially if I plan on just taking a few lures on a trip. The sturdy packaging will keep my lures from getting stuck in my travel gear.

DC300 DC400

The two Damiki crank baits I field tested were the DC300, and the DC 400. The DC300 dives 12′-15′, while the DC400 dives 16′-18′. Both crank baits tested were in the real shad color.

Side by Side Comparison

In the picture above of the side by side comparison you can start to see huge size difference in these deep diving crank baits. The DC400 on the left has a much longer  body and larger diving bill, while the DC300 has a much smaller compact body size and a very large diving bill for it’s body size.

DC300

The DC300 has a diving bill and body shape very similar to some of my favorite crank baits growing up like the Fat Free Shad, and the Fat Rap. This little crank bait has an incredible wobble action in the water and I had no trouble at all casting this small crank in the wind due to the four bearings that all move to the rear of the bait during casting.

DC300

DC300 Detail

Under close inspection I was very impressed with look of the crank bait. The black eyes really look good on the lighter colored baits as well as the detailed groves that help give these little baits life. Damiki put small fine wire hooks on the DC series which I’m a huge fan of.

Ball Bearing System

The DC series has a weighted balance plate in the belly of the bait which will help keep your bait balanced during pauses, also there is a separate chamber in the DC300 that has small glass beads that produce a high pitch noise sound which is a great lure attractor in dark deep waters. The DC400 has three ball bearings that all move to the rear of the bait while casting and also give the lure a low noise sound.

DC400

The DC400 has a very large strong diving bill which I put to the test bouncing off rocks for the better part of a day and I found it to be just fine. The 400’s body shape was little longer and has less wobble than the 300, but I found the 400 to dive quickly and wobble just enough that I could feel it through my rod tip.

 

Pros: I found the lure balance in the water to be real good. As for casting in windy conditions the DC300, and DC400 were some of the best  cranks I’ve casted in years, the ball bearings in the baits moved to rear at the right time to help the lures fly straight on each cast.

 

Cons: I was not a fan of the small split rings on the DC series.

 

     MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

One of my all time favorite swimbaits is a Huddleston Deluxe 6″ weedless swimbait. It is a great little swimbait for working through rock piles and submerged brush. So when I heard Huddleston Deluxe was coming out with an 8″ weedless swimbait, I was very excited to get my hands on some and try them out.

Company: Huddleston Deluxe

Bait: 8″ Weedless

Color: Holdover Trout

Weight: 4.7 Ounces

Length: 8 1/4″

Hook: 8/0 Black Nickel

R.O.F.: 12

MSRP: $29.99

MLO Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Huddleston Weedless 8″

Ken Huddleston the mind behind Huddleston Deluxe is master craftsman who always pays close attention to nature when designing lures. I have been fishing Ken’s lures from the beginning and have always been amazed of what he has been able to design with soft plastics, so when I heard the 8″ weedless was available I knew it was time to get  my hands on a few and go to work.

Huddleston Deluxe 8″ Weedless Swimbait

The color I used for this review was holdover trout, it is a color I really like for dingy off colored water and when fishing deeper waters during the middle of the day. Once again the Huddleston paint job was top notch one of the best soft plastic swimbait paint jobs available on the market today.

Top View of where Hook is.

Huddleston uses a monster 8/0 black nickel hook that is super strong and sits in custom weedless slot that is a 1 1/2″ long, a 1/4″ deep and 1/8″ wide. I found with the four baits I tested that it was very important to inspect the area around the hook to make sure it is clean, and clear so the hook will sit in it properly. Also inspect the hole around the hook, when pushing down on the plastic in front of the hook where the hollow air cavity is it should move  up and down freely. With the custom hollow air cavity I found my swimbaits swam better when this cavity did not fill with any water. I recommend adding a little vaseline, or Smelly Jelly around the hook hole at the bottom of the weedless slot and also on the slot edge, this will help some with the hook barb catching on top of the swimbait and plug up the hole around the hook helping to keep the hollow cavity full of air during the swimbait retrieve.

8/0 Black Nickel Hook

In the picture above you can you can see how the hook pops out when the hollow air cavity is pressed down.

Cavity Release Hole

This hole between the pelvic fins is connected to the hollow cavity in front of the hook and is the air release port for the hollow cavity when the swimbait gets bit. This was a very well thought out design, but always check to make sure this hole is clear of any debris.

Swimbait Eyelet

One big change in the weedless version from the original is where the eyelet is on the weedless 8″ Huddleston. The eyelet is in front of the swimbait near the nose and is turned horizontally. In order to have the air cavity built into the swimbait the hook had to be lower in the harness thus coming out in front of the swimbait. I am a huge fan of a weedless swimbait having the eyelet directly in front of the bait, it helps to get better leverage on the swimbait when it gets stuck on the bottom and that is exactly what I found with the weedless 8″ Huddleston it was very easy to get out of trouble when crawling it slowly on the bottom through the rocks.

Underwater Shot

Nose Down Underwater

I am a bottom crawling swimbait lover so I always look for a swimbait that will sit naturally on the bottom and not fall over and The Huddleston 8″ swimbait  does everything I like in a bottom crawling swimbait  and I especially like how the tail will  slightly rise when the swimbait is paused. And when the swimbait is slow crawling along the bottom the tail will be allowed to kick unobstructed.

Bait Comparison

I found that the Huddleston Weedless 8″ Swimbait swam a little different from the original 8″ Huddleston. Out of four baits I tested I found the tail of the swimbait did not kick the same as the original 8″ swimbait.

Side by Side Comparison

Side by side comparison of the new 8″ weedless with the original 8″ swimbait you can see a few subtle changes like in the girth of the swimbaits and the length.

Length Comparison

Holding the new Huddleston weedless swimbait up against the original you can clearly see the girth differences as well as the added 1/4″ length in the new weedless swimbait.

 

Pros: I was very impressed with the weedless system there was alot of thought put into this design and the air cavity for the the weedless system was a highly effective bladder that really helps this design swim naturally. The paint job is still one the best of any soft swimbait available on the market today. The swimbait is by far more flexible than the original 8″ Huddleston.

 

Cons: I wish the bait had a larger tail, I felt the the bait lost some tail kick from the original and a larger tail would help. You will need to clean the paint off the hook and after a few catches the barb ocassionally got stuck on top of the bait tearing the paint, I found a little vaseline, or smelly jelly helped this some.

 

                             MLO Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

When I hear the name Skinny Bear in the fishing world I think of some of the best jigs ever made, but when I got a package in the mail recently from Skinny Bear it turned out to be some the best looking swimbaits I have ever seen.

Company: Skinny Bear

Lure: Swimming Shad Eye

Sizes Tested: 3.5″ / 5″

Colors Tested: Ghost Minnow, Ayu Shad, Smoke Ayu, Shad

Lure Type: Soft Plastic

Lure Style: Boot Tail

MSRP: $9.49

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

With a fishing market flooded with swimbaits it always impresses me when I get a chance to see and fish something just a bit better than the rest. The baits I tested from Skinny Bear were the Swimming Shad Eye Swimbaits in the 3 1/2″, and 5″ the colors were Ghost Minnow, Ayu Shad, Smoke Ayu. Skinny Bear has over 19 colors to choose from in their Swimming Shad Eye arsenal, but my favorites were the Smoke Minnow, and Bluegill.

Skinny Bear Swimming Shad Eye

The Ayu Shad color pictured above was another color I was impressed with, it looked good out of the package and even better in the water. The package that the Swimming Shad Eyes come in are awesome and keep your baits straight, but when you try to put the baits back in the package after a trip it can be a challenge due to how tight the package is, but once you get them aligned and all the way in the package they will be good until your next trip.

A Sample of some Colors

Colors pictured above are from top to bottom; Ghost Minnow, Shad Smoke, and Bluegill.

Swimming Shad Eyes

The Swimming Shad Eye Swimbaits come with silver eyes on them and after several weeks of using the baits I did not have one eye peel off. I really think having good eyes on a swimbait are key to getting bass to want to bite it, and the Swimming Shad Eye Swimbait has some good reflective eyes.

Scale Pattern View

I was very impressed with the scale pattern on the Swimming Shad Eye, it looked even better in the water. Skinny Bear payed very close attention to detail with scale imprint, it is very clean and stops around the head and the tail sections which really helps give these small swimbaits life.

Side Tail View

Rear Tail View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tail of the baits was another area Skinny Bear payed close attention too with adding imprinted tail rays to give the bait a very realistic look.

Owner 6/0

When I was ready to go fish it was time to choose a hook and I went with the Owner 6/0 Twist Lock that has the spring that you screw into the nose of the bait.

Nose Rigging

Align Hook

When using a the Twist Lock style hook make sure you insert the spring into the nose all the way to the hook eyelet and then lay the hook on outside the swimbait so you will have an idea of where you need to run the hook through the swimbait.

Run Hook Through the Swimbait.

The Swimming Shad Eye has a slit on the belly of the swimbait which allows the hook to easily pass through to the top of the bait.

Weedless Rig

With the 6/0 hook rigging on the 5″ swimbait you have a perfect weedless match-up for the Swimming Shad Eye.

Ready to fish Rig

Once your done rigging your Swimming Shad Eye Swimbait it should look like the picture above, a weedless set up, or an A-Rig ready to fish swimbait.

 

Pros: I found the colors to be some of the best I’ve seen in a small plastic injected swimbait, the detail of the bait is top notch from the scales to the eyes this is a very well thought out swimbait.

Cons: I was not a huge fan of the packaging, once you got the swimbaits back in the bag it worked fine, but it took some time.

   MLO Rating:  4.5 out of 5

 

 

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I would like to say I’m always on the latest train when it comes to swimbaits, but when it comes to the glide-bait style swimbaits, which have been around awhile, I have missed this train quite a few times and even when I get on it I’m a little lost. I’m just an old school guy who loves to bump a swimbait off the bottom, or structure targets and the glide style swimbait is just a totally different style. Jerry Rago made me a few glide baits well over ten years ago and I fished them hard, but always fell back on my strength bottom bumping a swimmer. But bites change and you have to change with them or you will be left behind and the glide style swimbait is getting real hot again. So this time I hope I got on the train at the right time to get to lunkerville.

Company: Rago Baits

Lure: GlideGill

Weight: 4 oz.

Length: 7 1/2″

R.O.F.: Slow-Medium

Composite: Resin

Lure Type:  S-motion

Hinge Style: Single Joint, Drop Pin

Color: Bluegill

MSRP:  About $75.00

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I’ve got to say Rago Baits is once again setting the bar with the new handcrafted Rago GlideGill lure. It is a very durable bait made out of resin and weighted perfectly for the glide motion style of fishing. I found that if you retrieved the Rago GlideGill at a slow to medium retrieve that the Gill would do a slow steady 1′ wide S-motion and when you pumped the reel handle at different intervals you could make the Rago GlideGill glide left an right as far as 3′ and sometimes even farther.

Rago GlideGill

At a length of 71/2″ and a weight of 4 ounces this is a medium-size bait that you’re gonna need a light swimbait rod or a medium-heavy 7′-6″ rod and at least 15 pound line. You’ll want to spool up with fluorocarbon line when working the GlideGill back in. The glide motion is best worked from the reel handle, not so much in the rod so you want zero line stretch. You’ll find when using this reel handle technique that the length of the glide will depend on when you turn the reel handle to stop it and turn the bait to its next glide direction. It glides while your not turning the handle.

GlideGill Top View

The top of the Rago GlideGill has the Rago scale pattern painted on the bait which gave the bait a very realistic look in the water.

GlideGill Bottom Vie

GlideGill Front View

The bottom of the Rago GlideGill has an orange breast paint job, while the belly has a pearl-white skin. On the front view of the Rago GlideGill you can see the pectoral fins as well as the grooved gill plate which really gives this Gill some definition and life.

Rago GlideGill Custom Joint

Most glide baits are single jointed baits and the GlideGill has a new patented V-joint hinge system that works really well and is extremely strong. I have quite a few glide-baits that I have been field testing and this new V-hinge style glides just a bit better than them all.

Rago GlideGill Removable Tail

Rago Baits made it very easy to replace the tail with the removal of one screw. This is very convenient if you break a tail, want to try another color or different tail size.

The following link is a cool video of the Rago GlideGill in action with Oliver Ngy and Ryan Crandall:

 

 

Pros: It’s very durable, casts great, and has the Rago Baits new hinge which gives this bait incredible glide action. It’s a very stable glide bait.

Cons: I would like to see the eyes placed farther off the bait and I want to see some more colors.

 

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

When I was a young kid many years ago Mepps Lures Company each year would put about six of their best spinners in a cool little box with lots of pictures of giant trout and pike caught on their spinners with those pictures plastered all around the box. I gotta say it would get me all excited and pumped up looking at all the pictures on the box. Then, looking at the spinners inside, I couldn’t wait to get to the lake and fish the spinners. There was a feeling of excitement that was hard to describe.

That’s the exact feeling I got when I received my Mystery Tackle Box in the mail. I was very excited to open the box and see what baits were inside and look at the lures and could not wait to try them out.

Mystery Tackle Box

Company: Mystery Tackle Box

Founder: Jeremy Gwen

Price: $15.00 per month subscription

Lures: Multiple new lures each month

Contact: www.mysterytacklebox.com

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

 

 

 

Mystery Tackle Box is a monthly subscription service that introduces anglers to quality new lures and techniques for just $15 a month. Not only do customers receive cutting edge tackle at an incredible value, but you also experience the excitement of receiving a package every month.

Mystery Tackle Box

The Mystery Tackle I received had five awesome lures and baits inside starting with a WackOJig which is a revolutionary jig head that will change the way you fish a “wacky” rig. Along with the WackOjig were some 5″ Sick Stick wacky worms, that were perfect for the jig head. I also received a cool Strike King football head jig for going after the big girls, along with a Raptor Tail Chunk to put on my jig as a trailer. Last but not least was a Chatter Frog Micro which I was very impressed with.

Mystery Tackle Box Lure Description Cards

The best part of the Mystery Tackle Box is the cool cards that come inside the box that briefly describe the lure, or bait, and have a link to a webpage where you can learn more about the bait along with a video review and demonstration.

If your new to the sport of bass fishing, or have been in the sport for years, I really think you’ll enjoy the Mystery Tackle Box. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I should have bought that lure,” and didn’t. Now, I have a chance to get one each month as well as some great how-to use information on techniques and a full lure description.

Pros: How can you go wrong getting well over $20 of lures for $15 and how-to info that will help your fishing game immensely.

Cons: Found none, great idea!

 

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Every now and then you find a bait you like and that’s exactly what I found with Pro Swimbaits line of custom swimbaits. I field tested two sizes the 5″ and  7″ inline Pro Wake swimbaits. The first thing I noticed right away about the swimbaits was the incredible paint schemes the baits had they looked fantastic out of the package.

Company: Pro Swimbaits

Lure: Pro Wake

R.O.F.: (5″-5′) (7″-10′)

Size: 5″ and 7″

Style: Soft Plastic Inline Swimmer, Boot Tail

Custom Paint: Yes

Weight: (5″- 1 oz) ( 7″-1.9 oz)

Colors Tested: Baby Bass, Ghost Trout, Sexy Ghost Shad

Pro Swimbait

MSRP: See Website For Current Pricing

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I have been tossing swimbaits for a long time and I have seen how hard it is for swimbait makers to create a new lure that is not like any other swimbait that has come before it. I truly believe as a bass fisherman we benefit from this drive the swimbait makers have to make the lures better than ever and just when I think I’ve seen a particular style of swimbait top-out , out comes a new twist to it and that is exactly what Pro Swimbaits has done with there Pro Wake inline swimbait series.

 

Pro Swimbaits

I got a box from Pro Swimbaits with some different sizes and colors in it like Lavender Shad, Sexy Ghost Shad, and Baby Bass and the field test lake was crystal clear so the colors of the baits really stood out. I was very impressed with the brightness of the colors on the Pro Wake swimbaits they really looked good  in the water and the texture of the baits was top notch very flexible bait which shows while they swim in the water.

Sexy Ghost Shad

Baby Bass

 

As you can see by these pictures of the Sexy Ghost Shad and Baby Bass the bar has been lifted. These colors  just looked incredible in the water. What I liked was after tossing the swimbaits all day and catching fish on them the colors looked just as good as they did when I first tied them on.

Inline Swimbait

One of my favorite types of swimbaits is the ones that separate from the hook, the “inline” style swimbait. This style swimbait helps keep the hook in the bass’ mouth by not having the weight of the bait shaking the hook free.

 

As you can see from the video the Pro Wake swimbait looks great in the water. You can also jerk the bait during the retrieve which I was shocked how well it looked walking the dog underwater.

Pros: Great colors to choose from, the Pro Wake Swimmer casted far in the wind and swam very straight. And after catching bass all day on the swimbait it still looked really good.

Cons: It was hard during low light hours of the morning to find the hole at the nose of the swimbait to run the line through.

                        MLO Rating:  4.5 out of 5 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Doing a review on Lunker City’s 10″ Fin-S-Fish was real easy for me since I have years and years of experience with this bait. It was one of the first swimbaits I used to catch lunker bass with when I was younger and is still to this day a go to bait  for me for large bass.

Company: Lunker City

Bait: Fin-S-Fish

Size: 10″

Color: Rainbow Trout

Weight: 1.8 oz. (w/hook)

Hook: 8-0

Weedless: Yes

Lure Type: Jerk Bait

MSRP: $6.59

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Lunker City’s Fin-S-Fish

The 10″ Lunker City Fin-S-Fish comes three to a package with one custom 8-0 long shank hook that works perfect with this large bait and for the price of $6.59 this is by far one of the best deals out there to catch giant bass. This is one of the oldest and largest jerk baits on the market and once  you tie one on and start to rip and jerk it you’ll quickly understand why some of us in the big bass world have kept this lure a secret.

Top View

The Fin-S-Fish is 10″ from the nose of the bait to the tip of the tail and is 1/2″ wide. The narrow design of this giant jerk bait really helps give this bait life in the water. Lunker City uses a good plastic that is very flexible as well as durable. I have caught numerous toothy bass on one bait.

Fin-S-Fish

The 8-0 hook that comes with the Lunker City Fin-S-Fish is 3 3/4″ long and perfect for this 10″ monster jerk bait.

Bottom View

Once you Texas Rig the hook through the nose  of the bait you bring the hook back up through the bottom and inside of the bait where the slit is and then out the back where there is a small channel that helps keep the Fin-S-Fish weedless.

Side View

As you can see by the picture above the hook width matches the Fin-S-Fish height perfectly so your hook-up ratios will be very good. Once you’ve rigged the Fin-S-Fish your ready to fish it, I like to use a medium action rod, with 15-18lb flour-carbon line. The retrieve on the lure is where the fun begins, you can let the bait sink to the bottom and slow pop the bait off the bottom, or my favorite retrieve is to work the rod tip with continuous downword strokes towards the water making the Fin-S-Fish walk the dog and pop out of the water. This lure can be rigged so many different ways, you can use a nail weight to help the bait sink faster and deeper and then rip and jerk it. You can also side-rig the bait  which really gives this bait a wild effect in the water and if you want to work it in deep water fast try rigging it with a heavy Carolina rig and working the 10″ Fin-S-Fish in the deep water channels where I have had some monster over ten have jumped all over it.

 

 

Pros: Great price for such a large versatile jerk bait, easy to rig and fish. Really good plastic very durable.

Cons: Only one custom large hook comes with the three baits in one package, so don’t lose it!

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.