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.