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.