Wednesday, October 24, 2012

BassJunkies Best of 2012

Just like in 2011 the products  listed below do not have to be "New" just new to me. Sometimes we as fisherman are late getting to a bait that has been on the market for years, but when we do finally get around to using it, good or bad, we can help but share. So below are 5 products that contributed to my success in 2012

Deps Slither K

Im a frog guy, you all know it, so there was no way I was going to complete a "best of" list and not include a frog bait. This year there was some pretty serious competition in the frog market, between the Booyah Pad Crasher and the Jackall Iobee there was no shortage of high quality high performance hollow bellied frogs, but for me, the Deps Slither K was the best of the best.

A small profile frog with super soft body, the Deps Slither K is a dream to fish with. It moves incredibly well in the water and the short fur tail imparts more action then the standard rubber strands used on most other frogs (and it poses less of a hazard to your hook-up ratio). If it was not for it's hefty price tag I would expect to see this frog in every fisherman's arsenal. I had great success with the Deps Slither K and have to say it provided me with the highest hook-up ratio of any Frog I used this year

Zoom UltraVibe Craw

Again this bait is not exactly new to the market, but, it sure was new to me, and I fell in love fast

I have told this story here in the past, but will rehash it now. I have a friend that bought a large lot of Zoom baits off another angler, nearly 300 packs of various Zoom products, and obviously he could not use it all, so being a good guy he contact a group of buddies and offered up some of the baits to us. When he posted the list of available baits, the first 5 guys to responded with the following "I'll take every speed craw you have". This alone was enough to make me head out in search for this bait, and Im glad I did.

The Zoom UltraVibe Speed Craw is a nice compact multi purpose bait that can be pitched into thick pads or flipped and swam through weed-beds. With two leg sizes to choose from you can switch things up and offer the fish a big meal or bite sized snack.  I threw both of these baits all season long with great success. I prefer the smaller Ultra-Vibe to the larger Super Speed just for it's fall alone. Personally when fishing this kind of craw I am usually slipping it through pads or sliding it over timber. If you want a reaction bait that can be swallowed hole, the Ultra Vibe is your bait

War Eagle Screaming Eagle Spinner-Baits

If you read this blog on a regular basis you may be sick of me talking about Screaming Eagle spinner-baits from War Eagle.. but I cant help it, not only are they the best spinner-bait I have ever thrown but they have also increased my confidence level in spinner bait fishing and in turn have made me a better spinner-bait angler.

The small shape yet heavy frame allow you to do whatever you want with them. You can burn the screaming eagle over shallow water and weeds, or you can slow roll over deeper water and bang around in the timber. The un-painted head and flashy blades really focus a fishes attention on the bait when it passes, and a quality hook keeps the fish stuck. I keep it pretty simple when fishing a screaming eagle, I carry two colors both of which are white!

If you are still trying to get your bearings when it comes spinnerbait fishing pick-up a screaming eagle (or 10) you wont look back

Lazer Trokar Hooks

Im actually going to eat a little crow here, back when Trokar hooks were introduced I like most anglers were skeptical of the sharpness claims and even more skeptical of the price tag (that one still hurts). But they were new so I bought some. Over the next few years I use Trokar sporadically but was not exactly blown away by what I was seeing.  As I moved into tournament fishing I was more and more cognizant of the quality and sharpness of the hook i was using. During a couple practise trips I broke out the Trokar's and was quickly impressed as I hooked into short striking fish all day. There were times that I did not even have to set the hook, the fish would come up from under the timber wrap it's lips around the hook and even the smallest amount of pressure stuck him.

Needless to say I was hooked (yes bad pun intended). From that point on I started using Trokars on all my rigs and even added a few Trokar tipped spinnerbaits ( I wish they make stinger/trailer hooks for Spinnerbaits). The sharpness of these hooks is incredible, and to this date I have not experienced any of the hook point rolling issues others have described (and believe me, I spent some time in the timber).

Hook quality is important, and my eyes are now open to what a difference a Trokar hooks can make. Over the course of this off season I will be building back up my hook arsenal and I expect that Trokar will dominate the collection

Dobyns Savvy Micro-Guide Series

Yes, yes the debate rages on, but if you are in the market for a micro-guide rod you wont find a better one then the Dobyns Savvy Micro. I personally gave this rod a serious work-out this year and I really  love it. I own the SS704c and it has spent most of it's life working Jerk-baits, buzz baits and the occasional spinner-bait.  Like all Dobyns rods the Savvy micro is light weight, perfectly balanced and tough as nails. The micro guides although still under heated debate did improve my casting distance (very evident while throwing buzz-baits) and seemed to better handle fluorocarbon lines then rods with standard sized guides.

If you are in the market for a micro guide rod, I recommend giving the Dobyns Savvy a try, you will be very impressed with it's handling skills

SuneLine FX2 & Super Sniper FC

In the line category I cant pick just one, so I'm going to have to go with a brand.. SunLine. This was my first year using SunLine brand fishing line and I have to admit I was super impressed. The FX2 frog line is the perfect hollow body fishing line, it is round smooth and very tough. Under close inspection this line looks like rope (that's where it gets it's strength from) but unlike rope FX2 casts very well and will not effect your distance or accuracy as some other stiffer braids will. One other perk I found with FX2 is it's ability to hold it's color, I hate have green dyed hands after a day on the water, most major braid manufacturers have not yet perfect their color stay formula, Sunline has.. no more green hands (now if we could only correct bass thumb)

The second Sun-Line product I used this past season was the Super Sniper FC flourocarbon line. Like FX2 Super Sniper FC is very strong and durable, yet it is still limp enough to cast lighter baits accurately and for distance. The line stayed soft and supple all season long and really makes me excited to try Sun lines premium line-up

Well there you have it, 5 products that really made my take notice in 2012. Obviously there were many other baits that caught my eye, but none provided me with the level of success seen in the above 5 products. I just hope their sophomore season proves to be as productive as their rookie season

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