Impressions from ICAST 2012- Spro, Gamakatsu, Sunline, Big Bite Baits
Spro and Russ Lane have released a little brother to their Fat Papa 70 with the Fat Papa 55. This bait excites me for a few reasons. First, it is going to be an excellent bait for covering water. Tie it on, put the trolling motor on 50% and start covering water. It will reportedly run 6′-9′ with a nice rattle and can carry #4 Gamakatsu EWG hooks so you can feel confident that you will land more fish once you get them hooked. I am VERY excited to get my hands on this bait!
Another exciting release by the boys at Spro are the new colors for the McSticks, Little Johns, and Bronzeye collection. I am salivating over their Spro Blue and Ayu colors on the McStick 110’s as well as the Natural Green and Killer Gill colors on the Bronzeye 65 frogs.
Everybody knows Gamakatsu hooks are some of the sharpest, most dependable hooks on the market. This year they have added some really exciting new editions to their line up. The two products that excite me the most are the EWG 2x Short Shank trebles and G-Finesse Wacky Jig Head. A few other hook manufacturers have had great success with short shank EWG style hooks and now Gamakatsu has one of their own to offer. They worked with Aaron Martens on perfecting this hook and if you know how particular Aaron is about his hooks, you will know that it will be just right! Another hook technician on staff with Gamakatsu is Shin Fukae and he has offered up his expert opinion on a weighted wacky hook. I have actually had a chance to use these and they are the reel deal. This hook imparts a really good rocking action on the fall which I think is accomplished through the distance that the weight is from the worm. Gamakatsu has also added two really good guards that aren’t too stout as to where you miss fish but they are strong enough to fend off a lot of potential snags. Once again, Gamakatsu knocked it out of the park.
There are a lot of players in this product segment but Sunline continues to grab market share and that is for a very good reason; They produce high quality lines as well as numerous lines that are designed with a specific purpose. This year is no different for Sunline. They are bringing their SX1 Finesse Braid and Finesse FC Sniper to market. SX1 fills a niche that has been brought on by the current trend of running a braided main line with a flurocarbon leader. This gives the angler added sensitivity while eliminating the issue of line twists on spinning gear. From the braided main line, anglers can tie Sunline’s Finesse FC Sniper, a re-formulated version of their popular FC Sniper flurocarbon. These two products were designed with input from renowned finesse experts Brent Ehler and Aaron Martens.
Big Bite Baits
If you haven’t checked out some of the unique creations from this company, you really are missing out. I absolutely love their Fighting Frogs and Kriet Tail worm but they have added a few more baits that will surely find their way into the dark cavernous mouths of local bass everywhere. This year, Big Bite has released a bunch of new products but the two that pique my interest the most are the Coontail worm by Russ Lane and the Super Stick. The Coontail worm is a 4.75″ straight tailed worm with very large rings and a bulbous tail. Ok, so you have possibly seen some other manufacturers with something similar but Big Bite made the core of the worm to weave through those rings. The second bait that excites me is their new Super Stick which is a variation of the stick worm style baits. They have made them softer but heavy so they generate a faster fall and more action from the ends of the bait on its descent. Nothing fancy but it will definitely trigger a few more bites throughout the year.
Like I said earlier, this is just a sampling of what these four great companies have to offer so please do not limit yourself to these baits.