Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Daiwa Procyon EX: Once you go Procyon you'll never go back

I think every angler comes to a time in their life when they start to realize that they are not only addicted to fishing but often fishing gear as well. Consider this my way to letting you know that I too and a fishing reel junky, and even once Ive found a reel to love and to hold, I just can't stop from testing out shiny new toys, like the Daiwa Procyon EX.

I don't have many spinning rods in my arsenal so I don't go through any many reels as one might think. Of the three spinning rods I do carry, they each have very specific tasks expected of them.. like dropshotting, or dragging tubes, and even senko fishing. So this past season when I was in need of a a sturdy reel that could handle all three techniques and still allow me to wrestle with some 5-6lbs smallmouths, the Procyon caught my attention. 

Sure, its pretty, and like most men, that probably was my initial attraction, but once in my hand I could also see that the reel was well crafted yet light weight.  Equipped with Daiwa's Air Rotor the reel moved fluidly and this is where most writers would say it was as smooth as butter, and although I agree, I find that kinda tacky so won't say that here. 

The Procyon is MagShielded meaning is can be fished in both salt and freshwater, and although I rarely see salt this makes me feel as if the reel will hold up better to the dirt and grime it will see on the shoreline, in the water and on the boat. Like most anglers I try to take care of my gear, but when the action heats up there is nothing as imoportatnt as landing a fish (and the next fish) so at times my gear may feel abused. The Procyon Ex handled that abuse well and has little to no signs of wear. 

Available in 4 sizes, I opted for what I consider to be the best all around spinning reel size the 2500 series, reels in this size range provide you with the power you need when tube fishing or dropshotting in deeper water, as well as the line capacity, all while still being light weight. The Procyon EX weighs in at 9.2oz, and may not be the lightest reel in its category but when balanced on the right rod it will put little to no strain on your body even during those longs days on the water.

If our like me and need 1 (or 3) spinning reels with the capability to do double (or triple) duty on the water, check out the Procyon EX and you'll be boating fish befor you know it!


Where to Purchase:

Tackle Direct: $149-$159

Sail: $149*

Cabela's: $149-$159

Tackle Warehouse: $149-$159

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Top Water Test Drive - The River2Sea Whopper Plopper Review

 The River2Sea Whopper Plopper is one of those baits that sat in my TackleWarehouse shopping cart on more then one occasion prior to actually being purchased. It was a bait I had a hard time wrapping my head around and I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on this $12.99 lure.. and since as you know I'm Canadian that $13 quickly turned into $17 after the exchange!

But the more I read about the bait the more I was intrigued by it. Every angler that I know that had used a WP was ecstatic about, and wouldn't hesitate to tell you how much they enjoyed fishing with it. The term "big fish bait" was often thrown around, and once I'd heard that from multiple sources, this perennial shopping cart bait finally made it to checkout. 

Before we get to the Pro's and Con's section, I will say that I believe I made a grievous ordering mistake by choosing the 90F size, what seemed like it would be an Ok sized bait, ended up looking tiny when out of the package. Sure it still caused some serious commotion on the water, but the smaller profile doesn't scream "big fish bait" to me.. Ok on with the review 


First and foremost the Whopper Plopper stirs up water like no other bait Ive tied on. Its not a walking bait, and its not a buzz bait, its the perfect marriage of the two, and that says a lot. The stream of bubbles that this bait churns up is truly awesome, the tail offers up a mix of plop/clacker sound when retrieved that might as well be the theme from Jaws, it causes so much tension that I'm on edge for every crank of the reel... you know its just a matter of time before things go sideways (in a good way)

The 90F is the smallest size available and still casts fairly well. the larger sizes will get you some added distance and visibility in those times in which both are needed. again go big, don't make the same mistake i did.

We all know what its like to constantly untangle the front and back trebles on smaller walking and popping baits, this is rarely if ever and issue with the Whopper Popper as the fat spinning tail seems to get in the way just enough to keep things tangle-free which is a huge plus in my books.

As a guy that likes to add some flash and motion to my top water baits, I really appreciated the fact that the rear treble could be removed easily to allow me to switch it out and add a custom feathered treble in it's place. This was not the case with a certain Jackall top water bait I also tested this season.

With 3 sizes and 15 colour options there are not many other baits that can compete with the level of choice offered by the Whopper Plopper. Again avoid the toy model 90F


Lets start with the obvious, this is a pricey bait, and in all honesty although they fish well, nothing about most River2Sea baits screams high quality components to me. meaning what am I paying for? This really should be an $8.99 bait (and up) but when it works as well as it does, any complaints about price are quickly silenced.

Availability is a tough one here as well. Many of my local shops carry some River2Sea products (mainly Frogs and Spinnerbaits) but I was not able to pick this up locally and had the choice to drive 2+ hours to the BPS or order on line from TackleWarehouse.

Size does matter, and this style bait performs much higher in a larger size, Im not sure the 90F shouldn't be listed as a panfish bait in order to avoid anglers like me making the poor decision on going small. But with that said, I liked the bait enough that I went out and purchased the larger size.


Quality: B+

Popping:  N/A

Walking:  B

Casting:  A

Options: A+

Price: C

Where to purchase:

Tackle Warehouse ($12.99-$20.99)

River2Sea ($13.74 - $17.39)

Bass Pro Shop ($12.99 - $16.99) 

Friday, December 4, 2015

2015 Fishermans Christmas List

It's that time of year again, you know when your friends, family and significant others wander the isles of the Bass Shop racking their brains on what to buy you.. that incredibly picky fisherman on their list. So why not make it easy on them and offer up list that help you fill your boat come 2016

Here's whats on my wish list.

Keitech Noisy Flapper (frog)

This frog has been on my radar ever since one of this sites readers dropped me a line with a link. No words were needed the image alone sparked my interested and after watching the video on Tackle Warehouse I was sold. Good soft body toads are hard to find, couple that with the fact that the Noisy Flapper can be swan slow or fast, and I think they have a winner.

Coming in at $5.95 a pack the Noisy Flapper will make an awesome stocking stuffer.

Terminator Walking Frog

You had to know I was going to have more than one frog on my Christmas list, and to be honest it was a touch choice to list the Walking frog over LiveTargets Sunfish, but as usual when it comes to LT baits, Us Canadians have to wait months for the release to hit us, all while most US retailers are sold out.. Yes the LT Sunfish is this years TurboMan and grown men will fight over it in stores.

So avoid all that, and walk away peacefully with a bait that will put just as many if not more fish in the boat, and a much better price point (Under $10). Perfect even for those fishing club secret Santa events.

YoloTek AquaStick 

For the gadget junkie in your house, the AquaStick and powered AquaStick turn your boat into the ultimate selfie machine. I picked one up this season and have left the ramp without since.

The standard AquaStick works wonders but is not powered, meaning you will need to pack your GoPro Battery collection in order to get a full day of shooting in, but if the angler in your life was a good little boy/girl then feel free to splurge and grab the powered version that comes equipped with dual USB ports and keeps the your camera running through your navi lights.

Dobyns Rods - Fury Series

If you have an angler on your shopping list looking for a high end rod at price point that won't see you spending all Clarks christmas bonus, then look no further then the Dobyns Fury Series.

These rods are loaded with everything anglers have grown to expect from Dobyns all while coming in at around the $100 mark. A Fury series rod would be  appreciated by tournament anglers looking to fill a hole in their current line-up as well as weekend warriors who wanting to dip their toes into the high end rod maket.. If I could be so bold as to recommend a rod, check out the 795 Swimsuit rod or the gold standard in Dobyns line-up the 735.

Priced at $109 to $119 this rods fit almost any budget, and their green accents will look awesome under the tree.

Daiwa Fuego Casting Reel

And of course if your buying your Angler a rod, why not pair it with a quality reel? The Daiwa Fuego is the perfect all around reel to pair up with a Dobyns Fury 735. Its low profile fits comfortably in your hand (and under the tree) and its 90mm cutaway handle gives you all the power you need in almost any situation.

Prices at $129 the Fuego is a slight jump up from the Lexa (a reel you may have seen on previous years christmas lists). If your taking the plunge and ordering a Fuego be sure to check out Daiwa Samurai braid or their less pricy J-Braid. Both will help you round out a truly awesome christmas gift.

Finally, if all else fails, don't hesitate to load up on gift cards, because no matter how much fishing gear you think we have... we can all use a little more! Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Learning to Tie: Smallie Snacks Hair Jigs

If you are like me, and enjoy chasing smallmouth bass over sand or rocky shallows, there is a bait you need to know about. It's often overlooked, and when it is mentioned it is in hushed tones to ensure other anglers on the docks don't hear what your talking about or worse, see the bait tied on!

The classic Marabou Hair Jig is the drug of choice for smallmouth bass getting their feed on. Its small profile is packed with more motion then a hungry bass can handle, and if your not throwing one, you truly are missing fish.

I was brought into the secret inner circle while fishing a large Canadian smallmouth tournament, the angler that introduced me to them tied his own, to ensure he got the size and colour options he needed for the fish he cased. After the event the hit the shops in search of these now mythical baits but was not able to find any in the smaller 1/8 and 1/4 oz sizes that I wanted to throw, so instead I sat down at my station and learned to tie my own.

The result is a fully customizable bait, that I get to choose the weight, the hook size/shape, the colour, and even how much or how little motion I want to bait to have.  If your interested in learning to tie you own Smallie Snacks, check out my brief how-to video below.

Warning: tying your own baits can be highly addictive, you too may fall victim to the smallie snack.

PS: If you don't have the time or patience to tie up these baits, drop me a line, I'm a licensed Smallie Snack dealer.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Topwater Test Drive - Jackall Binksy

Looking for a small profile topwater bait that makes more noise than a National Lampoons frat party? then look not further then Jackalls "Blinksy"a popper that brings way more to the table then any popper Ive ever seen.


The Binksy is the swiss army knife of top water baits. It can be fished as a popper, and flutter bait or a hack and slash walking bait with a nice flutter spoon on its belly. This bait is perfect for all those times you want to make as mush noise a possible..  but it's not exactly stealthy.

 For a bait with this many body modifications the Binksy casts like extremely well. You can easily get some serious distance with both casting and spinning set-ups.

The Binksy feels nice and solid in your hands and performs well overall. Its seems to have been built with quality parts, nice strong hooks and a solid finish. My only issue with the baits design is that I would have liked to have seen a deeper mouth on the popper. The flat surface pushes water well but I'd like more gurgle. 


The Binksy feels like it has a bit of an identity crisis on its hands. Is it a popper? a prop-bait? or flutter and slash walking bait? the answer is all of thee above but with so much going on its not exactly the best at of these techniques.. but then again its far from the worst. 

Some guys will complain about price, yes most Jackall hard baits are pricey (even more so in Canada) but the Binksy is on the lower side of Jackall's scale, so although it ain't cheap it won't break the bank like many of their other hard baits.

This bait was designed to utilize it's 3 key features when retrieving, but the issue I came across was that at times I had to over work the popper in order to get the rear prop to spin which defeated the purpose of having this "everything but the kitchen sink"style bait.


Quality: B+

Popping:  B

Walking:  B

Casting:  A

Options: B

Price: C

Where to Buy:

Land Big Fish ($14.99)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Video Interlude - Gary Dobyns Showing off the Redesigned Champion Extreme HP

There is not much I can say about the new look Champion Extreme rods that Gary doesn't say himself in the above video (and he has that drawl that's hard to match to my Canadian "eh" accent).

What I do know is that the Champion Extreme series plays a big roll in my every day arsenal. Making up 75% of the rods I have on deck each and every outing.  From spinner baits, and frog fishing all the way down to finesse drop-shot fishing the DX series of rods gives me the power, sensitively and reliably I need on the water.. If you'd asked me I wouldn't have thought Gary could top the classic Champion Extremes, but he has.. so watch out

To Learn more: Click HERE

Friday, October 23, 2015

Test Drive - BombShell Turtle

Its been a crazy summer, and between breaking in a new boat and a tone of new products, I haven't had much time to set down and write. But as the fall hits and the boat gets wrapped (insert sad face) I can now catch up on many on the product reviews I have been working on this season.

Lets kick it off with the BombShell Turtle


The BombShell Turtle is a fairly versatile plastic bait and can be fished with both power and finesse techniques. I had more success with the finesse techniques nose hooking the turtle and letting it flutter fall next to docks and various other structure. If you want to power rig this bait I recommend trying it Carolina rigged or Texas rigged without pegging your weight. The turtle performs better when given the ability to do it's thing. Using heavier weights speed up the fall making it more a reaction bait then it needs to be. 

Your final hook option is belly weighted hook smaller swim bait hooks. This option gives the Turtle the same flutter/fall that the nose hook offers. This is another solid option that may help avoid short stoked you can experience with a nose hook.

Although the legs of these bait can be ripped from the body easily, the large profile body is fairly durable and will hold up for multiple fish. 

All 13 colour options blend well with the baits design. 8 of the 13 are natural turtle variant colours and the others are fish catching colours that work well on almost any bait you can through.


Availability and Price are common issues for baits not made by the big boys of the industry. The Bombshell Turtle suffers from both of these issues, and although they can be found at the Bass Pro Shop, most local shops will look at you sideways when you ask about them or share you a days wage to buy them.

As mentioned above the legs and arms are pretty flimsy, and although this is needed to give the bait its action, it also means it will quickly become and amputee once you get into a few fish. This isn't an issue if the front legs are the first to go, but once you start loosing the back legs its time to switch up baits. 

If your looking to flip the BombShell into heavy cover you will need to play around with your weigh sizes. If you go to light the wide body will catch up on the matting or slop making it hard to slide through. Too heavy and your not utilizing the baits best features (those back legs are awesome). 

Last point here.. I was not a huge fan of how a WG or EWG hook sits on the baits back when Texas rigged. It's awkward to properly rig and the hook point has no place to hide. A slight back slot or guard would make a huge difference in the Bombshells performance.  

Where to Buy:

As mention this is a hard(ish) bait to find, but the below on-line retails should be able to hook you up if your looking to give the Bombshell your own test drive

BombShell Lures - Learn More

Bass Pro Shop - $5.99

Cabela's - $5.39

FleetFarm - $5.49

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kingston Canadian Open 2015 - Day 3 Final Results

(Photo Courtesy of John Whyte)

A shortened version of the Kingston Canadian open is in the books and this year the winner is not only a Canadian but a local Kingstonian,  Lenny Devos with a 2 day total weight of 52.3lbs.. Congrats Lenny, enjoy that $16,000 prize.

Lenny had a solid day 1 and found himself sitting in 3rd place with just over 24lbs.. and followed that up on Day2 with a new tournament record of 28.05lbs' that included the weekends biggest fish (5.75lbs).

In 2nd Place was Cal Climpson who made a short climb from 4th place after day 1 and was just ounces ahead of the Chris Johnston who's second day 21lb bag saw him slip from 1st to 3rd place

below image was borrowed from event MC, Big Jim Mclaughlin and is a screen grab of the official tournament results. Once fully available on-line i will update this page accordingly.

Congrats also goes out to out top Am's in this years event, (1) Brenton Roebuck (2) Tom Streek and (3) Dave Flindall,

I offical pass my 2014 crown to Brenton who takes home a Lund Boat package valued at $3,000.. believe me when I say, get it early Brenton.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kingston Canadian Open - Day 1 & Day 2 Results

It's that time of year again, a time in which many of Canada's top anglers flock to the city of Kingston on search of monster bronze back on the world class fishery that is Lake Ontario. You might say they also come to test their skills again two Peterborough Boys (Chris and Cory Johnston) and one American (Jeff Coble) who have been dominating the event the past few years.

With one day in the books the Open has a very different look to it this year, first off, the participation level took another huge drop this year seeing last years low of 61 boats cut by yet another 20.. I remember when this event pulled in 100 boats and 200 anglers.. another change can be seen on the leader board, as last years winner Jeff Cobble had a tough day 1 only weighing in 2.3lbs (he set a record last year with over 72lbs for the 3 days.

Here's your top 30 Pro's after Day 1

As always there are some familiar names on the leader board, including the the Johnston Brothers (Chris in 1st and Cory in 9th). The Izumi family also make an appearance with Darren finishing a solid 6th, Uncle Wayne in 16th and Bob at 26th place.

a personal favorite John Whyte is sitting in 22nd and as always is poised to make a run on Day 3.

As for the Amateurs their top 30 is as follows....

Due to High winds Day 2 of this 3 day event has been cancelled, with no word as of yet if the event will be a 2-Dayer or push into Sunday. Tomorrows forecast is calling for a turnaround weather wise and it will be interesting to see if the fish change and how these anglers will react.

Good luck out there.

Monday, August 3, 2015

YoloTek AquaStick.. Don't GoPro without it

Ever since I purchased my boat earlier this year, I have had the itch to finally break back out my old Hero2 GoPro camera. I've had it for a few years now, but in all honesty the head and or chest mount did nothing for me perspective wise so I had just tucked it away giving it very little use from the time I purchased it until now.

But after purchasing my first boat earlier this year I began to search for better ways to utilize my GoPro camera via the various mounts that were available. As a first time boater and casual GoPro user I was looking for an easy to use, but durable product that wasn't going to break the bank.. Id already spent hundred of dollars on GoPro gear (including extra batteries and the Wifi backpack) and didn't want to add another item that I may or may not get a tone of use out of.

Enter YoloTek, I wish I could tell you that my extensive searching found them and their line of dare i say "angler selfie-sticks" (my wife words not mine) but in fact I found them while trolling this years ICAST best of show winners. Their new product the YoloTek PowerStick took home top honours in the gift wear category. And although it was not exactly what I was looking, for it did lead me to their website where I found the AquaStick.

How it works:

The AquaStick is a non-powered adjustable GoPro camera mount that can be plugged into your front or rear navi light ports. It comes either threaded or standard and can quickly be popped in and tighten down in order to withstand speeds up to 30mph. And although I haven't quite hit those speeds I have done 40Km/h with no issues.. I'm Canadian and mph math scares me.

Once in place you can adjust the rods length from 15' to 43", I usually extend it fully to give it that great outer worldly view while on the water. The Camera mount portion is also adjustable if your would like more of an upward or down facing angle, I'm pretty traditional and have been mostly just shooting straight on. 

Options & Choices:

AquaTek has a few options available to anglers, the AquaStick being the entry level product that runs around $59USD . For those with some extra cash or looking to run with the pro's you may way to look at the PowerStick Pro, a powered version of the AquaStick that is not only beefier, (50mhp) but it also provides more height (48") we all as USB ports in order to keep your GoPro powered up and running all day long. It is much pricey at $169USD, but for what I can tell its value would be endless.

For those who spent some time in the salt water, you YoloTek offers the O'l Salty a rig that allows you to get the best salt water footage above and below the water. This is not yet available, but they don't have a signup list for those interested.

Last but not least is this years ICAST winner, the YoloTek PowerStick, is a short pole with 2 USB ports turning your navi lights into a charging station. You can also rig up your iPhone for quick selfies on this little dude, giving it dual purpose. $49USD

Note: If your on the Fence on going Original or Pro, I will admit that I have been kicking myself for not investing in a powered version. My GoPro batteries die out long before my day on the water is over, and that added juice would be welcomed.

I have now had my AquaStick out on the water for multiple trips, it truly has reinvested me in what a GoPro camera can do for you out on the water.  This is one of the best gadgets I've added to my arsenal this season, and like it or not,  your about to see a lot more GoPro footage and stills coming your way. 

 Trust me, once your start this will quickly become a normal part of your boat launch prep.. remove the straps, insert the plug, attached the Hummingbirds and plug in the AquaStick, Go Fishing 

Be sure to check out YoloTek's Facebook page HERE as well as their Instagram Page HERE they are offering prizes for those who post on water images using a YoloTek product

Friday, July 31, 2015

Daiwa J-Braid, smooth, strong and easy on the wallet

If you have never had the pleasure of casting Daiwa's Samurai braid, then you may not fully understand the quality of braid that the Daiwa team is able to produce. I've personally been using it for the past 3 seasons, and other then some line bleed it truly is one of if not the best braid I've ever spooled up.. so when I heard that Daiwa was releasing their all new J-Braid, a strong 8 strand weave that will be retailing for $14.99USD.. they had my utmost attention.

Although I can't be sure (it's not like I asked) I believe J-Braid was created to fill a large gap in the affordable braid market. Since taking the industry by storm not that many years ago the prices on braided line seem to have sky rocketed, each year a company introduces a new line that sets a new benchmark for price. And although currently braided lines do start around $14.99USD it's usually lower end no bells and whistles, while as you add features (like an 8 Strand weave) the prices strart to  go up and can find themselves up over $40USD.  Many quality lines can be found falling in around the $17-$25USD mark. For us Canadians its rare to find a braid under $20 a spool, even the entry level lines like SpiderWire and PowerPro can command this price or more.

With this in mind Daiwa introduced J-Braid a high end tournament grade line with weekend warrior's wallet in mind. Constructed in Japan using a high quality 8 strand braid, J-Braid is stronger, softer and smoother than many braids retailing at twice it's price. This line shares many similarities with this sister brand (Samurai) and even bests it in one area.. line bleed. When you give J-Braid a close look (yes I used an eye-loupe) its has almost a rope line consistency that helps give it its strength. This also provides J-braid with its perfectly round profile and gives you that superior casting distance you and I both crave.

I will warn you that J-Braid has a thicker diameter then Samurai, and you will notice the difference when re-spooling pound for pound. With this in mind in my opinon  J-Braid lends itself to certain techniques, like frog fishing or jig fishing as well as flipping and pitching. This is where it's strength really supports you fish after fish. But when it comes to faster or more finicky techniques in which you are consistently retrieving at higher speeds or over longer distances, I still prefer to use Samurai, it just seems smoother to lay day and I feel it better lends itself to finesse techniques (hell ya, spinnerbait can be considered finesse)

Be sure to check out J-Braid in both the dark green and high vis chartreuse. When it's all said and done, Dawia has another winner here, and both your reels, and your wallets with thank you.

Available in 8lb-80lb Spools

Monday, July 20, 2015

Test Drive - Molix SV Craw Magnum

If there is one thing that Molix has proven to me over the past few years, its that when they put their mind to it, they can design one hell of a bait, sure sometimes they miss, but when you swing for the fences eventually your going to hit a home run.. the Molix SV Craw is the perfect example of this theory in practice.


The Molix SV Magnum offers up a jig style profile in a body design that will allow you to work in heavier cover situations that often required a Texas rigged bait. The body is thick and made of a durable plastic that holds up incredibly well. Believe me when I tell you the arms of this bait will be long gone before the body is rendered useless.

With that said the arms are not exactly a weak point when it comes to performance. They may look short and stubby but they give off an incredible motion in the water and look  lifelike on the  fall (check out the below video and you will quickly see what I mean). 

One of the best features of this bait is that it comes equipped with belly slots on both the top and bottom. This makes it extremely easy to rig and hide the hook point for improved fishability. I don't know why more baits arnt made this way, it makes a huge difference when fishing heavy cover for a long period of time.

The SV Craw is available is 2 sizes, the standard (2.75") and the Magnum (3.5"). Of the two I prefer the Magnum not only for its size but also for the additional color options. There is not a single color I wouldn't use but I quickly feel in love with the "Marron Glace" and "Blue Notte". 

Note: The smaller size is the perfect jig trailer size and I have also seen it fished lightly weighted on wacky or nose jig hook. Both of these hooks offer the bait a slower realistic.


I have been fishing the Molix SV craw for nearly two months, and there are only three con's I will touch on. The first being the most obvious and that price point. The SV Craw comes in at a hefty $6.99 per pack, and with only 5 baits per pack the math hurts my head and wallet... yet I have still re-ordered them twice already this season.

Con #2 is the light weight arms, I get it, then need to me made this flimsy in order to give off the amazing action they are known for, but they are also very easily ripped off and your $1.25 bait can quickly become an amputee. You will learn to live with this and fish the baits one armed.. until the second arm goes!

The last con is also a pro, and that's the baits overall girth. The body of the SV craw is thick so you need to ensure you pair it with the right hook choice.. EWG is a must in order to ensure there is room between the hook and your bait.

The Video Store: 

The Video store is a new feature in the test drive section, but I think you'll find its worth your time. If you like what you saw from the Molix SV craw but want to see more.. here are some videos with the inside scoop and some live on water action

Note: The first video is not in English, so feel free to turn the volume down. It is a must watch that truly shows off what the Molix Craw can do in the water

Where to Buy:

Tackle Warehouse

Land Big Fish

Bass Mafia

Friday, July 3, 2015

Daiwa Tatula HD - Built Frog Tough!

As an  angler who spends a good deal of time with a a frog rod in my hands, I can tell you that its often hard, to impossible to find a reel that offers me all the attributes I  need when frog fishing..(1) Strength/Power (2) Casting distance (3) speed/Pick-up. If you share my values, then I will let you in on a little secret, the Daiwa Tatula HD comes fully loaded with this features and is built Frog Tough!


The Tatula HD offers you all kinds of power without sacrificing comfort. The reels overall size is easy to palm and actually feels much lighter then its official weight of 8.1oz. When it comes to fighting fish the Tatual HD is equipped with a 100mm swept power handle and large thumb paddles that ensure the fish never gets the upper hand no matter how nasty the terrain.

Obviously the reels ultimate power test comes down to it's  drag and the Tatual HD has a  max drag of 13.2 thus ensuring you can really hammer the hooks home without ever worrying about slippage.

I often like to make long frog casts and to date the drag has yet to let me down during the hookset or the battle.

Casting Distance

Casting distance and accuracy is often overlooked when frog fishing, sure this type of fishing may be slightly more forgiving then others, but if you want to hit those spots not reached by other anglers then distance and accuracy is key.

The Tatula HD was designed with an additional 30% line capacity proving added distance to each and every cast, and with the now perfected T-Wing system the line fly's off the reel giving you incredible  casting distance while also providing additional accuracy. once engaged the T-Wing lowers and your ready to work.

Tip: Don't be afraid to play with the breaks, slight adjustments can do wonders for you casting distance, obviously you always want to take your frogs weigh and the weather into consideration but other then that.. don't hold back and find your sweet spot.


Speed at times can be overrated and over used. For  example, I use a 6:3:1 retrieve reel when frog fishing, the idea behind this is that I'm always trying to balance the need for line pick-up on the retrieve vs. the line pick-up while fighting he fish. Too much line pick-up on the retrieve can alter your frogs performance and may pull your frog out of the strike zone too quickly,  where as too little pick-up can get you into serious trouble when fighting a fish in heavy cover or  slop. In my opinion the  6:3:1 offers the best of both worlds, and although from time to time I may jump up in speed I very rarely would go down.

This is where the Tatula HD really makes it presence felt, most HD or Power reels sacrifice speed for power, often coming in a 5:4:1 or  6:3:1 at the fastest, the Tatula HD is available in slower models but can also be purchased as high as 7:3.1

At times line pick-up and power can be one and the same, so I won't rehash the 90mm handle or larger spool size, but I will add that the air rotation system really helps with this reels overall speed.

Remember us frog fisherman have to stick together, so believe me when I tell you, the  Tatula HD is a dream to fish, and has been built with the best interest of Frog Fisherman in mind. I can't think of another reel I have used that is so well suited to how i fish, and I can't ask for anything more.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why Spinnerbait Fisherman Choose Dobyns Rods

Who doesn't love to fish spinnerbaits? next to a top water strike there is nothing that comes close to watching your spinnerbait disappear into a fishes mouth while your rod buckles over. I'm getting excited just talking about it!

Like most other techniques if you are going to be successful with a spinnerbait it will take more than just tying one on and casting away, you need the right gear, and what better place to start then with the right rod, and for me that always starts with Dobyns.

For about 4 years now I have been using a Dobyns DX744c as my spinnerbait rod, and that's its only job, not once in that time have I ever used it for anything but spinnerbait fishing, and never in that time have i cheated on it with another rod. I chose the  DX744 because it offers me the right balance, power and tip I need to bomb, flip and roll cast a 1/2oz spinnerbait into and over any cover in any condition.

Trust me, at the end of a long day of spinnerbait fishing you are going to know if you have the right rod, but don't take my word for it.. I've rounded up four guys who know a thing or two about fishing a spinnerbait and they're not afraid to share...

 West Coast Pro

It seems that spinnerbaits have taken a back seat to baits like vibrating jigs, swimbaits and square bill crankbaits and many anglers can’t tell you the last time they caught a bass on a spinnerbait.

Here in the West that is also true but anglers are finding out that to be versatile on our different waters from clear deep lakes to shallow dirty water with vegetation the spinnerbait is still a bait that I have tied on year round.
The rods I fish a spinnerbait on vary quite a lot and for many years I was one of the diehard fiberglass rod guys for reactions baits. After getting away from the glass rods for a couple years I have recently added them back into the mix and the Dobyns Champion Series 705CB has become one of my favorites. This is the rod that I fish baits up to ½ ounce and 12-15 pound Trilene Flourocarbon.
When I am fishing the spinnerbaits with heavier line 17-20 and fishing a heavier bait into deeper water I then go to a graphite rod for sensitivity. My first choice for this type of spinnerbait fishing is DX744 and a 7.0 gear retrieve reel.

Both of these rods can be left in the rod box with a spinnerbait year round and ready to go but you will find they are also great rods for squarebills, topwater and jigs with the DX744.

If you are working with a limited budget and want to narrow down the cost of a rod give the Savvy Series a look where the SS734 is one of the most versatile rods I carry and often rigged with a spinnerbait, vibrating jig or walking topwater

JJ Patton

Eldridge, Iowa

Spinner baits and the Upper Mississippi River go hand in hand.   Most of the year, a spinner bait is a valuable tool for locating and catching large and smallmouth bass in the shallow, stained (to downright muddy) water.  Almost every time I launch the boat you will see spinner bait tied on to one of my Dobyns champion 734c rods.
 All of the pools of the river forming the Eastern border of Iowa contain backwaters with woods, weeds and rock.   In addition, main river cover and structure forms current breaks allowing fish to wait in eddies for an easy meal to pass by.   A spinner bait is a great option for covering water to determine the always changing patterns as it can mimic shad, sunfish and shiners that the bass feed on.   My bait of choice is most often War Eagle spinner bait, either in ¼ oz or the screaming eagle which is ½ oz bait built on a small frame.    When targeting shallow weeds or wood I turn to the ¼ oz so it can be worked slowly through the off-colored water allowing fish time to locate it and eat it.   When working current or covering water the screaming eagle allows the bait to get down in the current, or it can be burned across flats or near cover to illicit a reaction strike.   Most of the time, a bait with some chartreuse in it will stand out more although plain white can be great at times, or black seems to work well in low light conditions.   As far as blades, I think it comes down to personal preference.   A single Colorado blade with its slow thumping action works well early in the year and when the water is muddy, but willow leaf blades allow a faster retrieve, less drag in current, and may better simulate the small baitfish present much of the year.   Painted blades seem to have a place and time as well- from plain white when the sun shines to bright orange when the water is dirty, experimenting can yield more and bigger bass.   

As far as equipment goes, any reel in the 6:1- 7:1 speed should work,   most of the time a fast retrieve is nice so you can hit the key spots or current breaks, and then burn it in for the next cast.   Most of the fish are target oriented so not wasting time through unproductive water can increase success.   Because of the heavy wood and weed cover and reduced clarity, I prefer heavier line- 20 lb fluorocarbon or even 30-50 lb braided line.   My rod of choice is pretty simple- the Dobyns 734 champion!  This rod is extremely versatile and can do most things on the river, and it shines in the ¼- ½ oz lure range.   A 734 loads well for longer casts,  provide sensitivity so you can feel the blades and know if there are weeds fouling them or a fish has inhaled it, and provide the necessary power to pull fish away from cover when they strike.   See your local dealer and try the 734, you will not be disappointed.

Adrian Smiley
Bossier City, Louisiana

Spinnerbait fishing in my area of the U.S means I spend the majority of my time being target oriented. So I tend to make repeated shorter roll casts to specific targets and cover, over and over again.  The Dobyns Champion 684C provides the perfect combination of length, balance, and strength that any hard core spinnerbait angler needs in this scenario. 

Lets expand on these three characteristics. The first is length, the 684C is 6"8' in length making it perfect for casting under tree limbs, docks and other tight places where an underhand roll cast is often needed.  These low water-skimming casts ensure you get your spinnerbait to those “unfished” areas of cover often missed or neglected by other anglers. 

Second is balance, there is not another rod manufacturer on the market that prides itself more on the balance of their rods than Dobyns. The perfect balance makes the fatigue factor of throwing a spinnerbait all day a non-issue. 

Last but not least is strength, some may think a medium/heavy to heavy rod would be too rigid for spinnerbaits but when you need that little bit of extra backbone to get those hard-fighting bass away from cover you know you will have it in the 684C.

 To make your Dobyns 684C into a complete spinnerbait combo all you need is to add your favorite 7.1:1 gear ratio reel, (like my personal  favorite a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier), spooled up with a reliable monofilament. 

Outside of your rod/reel combo there are a few other must haves when building your spinnerbait fishing arsenal. A skirt machine for matching the forage in your body of water is essential. Also probably just as important as a skirt, in my opinion, is to have a vast assortment of blades and like the skirt match the hatch to improve your chances. Along with a good pair of pliers don’t be afraid to tweak your spinnerbaits to match any fishing condition you may encounter. Good fishin’ and God bless.

Mike Webster
Atkins, Arkansas

Here in Arkansas when it comes to a spinnerbait, we primarily have two ways of fishing them, shallow around shoreline vegetation and cover or deep around brush piles. These two techniques require totally different gear. I grew up fishing the many grass beds, stumps and laydowns on Lake Dardanelle and spinnerbait fishing is something I have done ever since I can remember. It is a great technique to catch numbers as well as big fish most of the year.

Throwing a spinnerbait around weeds, wood, and docks up in the shallows, I don’t think there is a better stick in the world than a Dobyns Champion 734c. I prefer the split handle model, only because it is more comfortable to me. This rod is classified as a heavy action rod, but it is not overly heavy. It has a fast action tip which allows you to just pull into the fish on a hookset, which I really like. This rod measures 7’3” so it allows you precision casting along with great distance. I primarily use a Santone Lures M series spinnerbait in 3/8 oz, this bait comes equipped with a 4/0 Mustad hook and .32 wire size. It tracks and balances in the water perfectly right out of the package, keeping you from having to bend wires or change blades. Matts Blue Herren is my got to in dirty water and I like the Mean Green in clearer water. If I am fishing pressured water or super clear water I will downsize to the Santone Lures Got 5 spinnerbait in ¼ or 3/8 oz, they come equipped with 3/0 Mustad hooks and .30 wire size. This bait is more compact and doesn’t shy fish away that are spooky. Again, I like Matts Blue Herren and Mean Green for the same reasons above.

When fishing brush piles in deeper water, I will beef up my rod a little and I give the Dobyns Champion 765CB the nod here. This rod has a lot more backbone than the 734 and with it being a moderate fast action you can let the rod load up, helping you get a better hook in deeper water. This rod will allow you to launch a heavy spinnerbait, which enables you to cast past your target and get down into it. This rod measures 7’6” but does not have the heavy feel of a bigger stick. I only throw one spinnerbait when it comes to this technique, the Santone Lures Pretender. I will throw anywhere from a ½ to 1 oz, depending on how deep I am fishing. These baits come equipped with a 5/0 Mustad hook and .40 wire size. The heads are powder coated and painted with chip resistant paint and the body features a live action silicone skirt. In clearer water I will throw the mouse color as it is more natural to the fish. When it comes to dirtier water I go with either citrus or black and red, depending on just how dirty the water is and what the fish are wanting

So there you have it, 4 anglers who choose Dobyns when it comes to fishing the right rod for their spinnerbait of choice. And if you were paying attention you might have noticed we all had one thing in common, and that is that our preferred power was a #4, no matter if you are fishing DX, a Champ or even the Savvy series the a Dobyns 4 power rod was built to fish a spinnerbait. 

see ya on the water