Category Archives: Product Reviews

Early Returns on Major League Fishing

I finally finished up watching first webisode of Major League fishing.  I signed up for the the $18 Bass Pass which either gets me all the events or you can pay $3 per event.  The first episode at the Challenge Cup at Lake Amistad was 114 minutes long, so for $3 you are going to get 8-10 hours of web coverage, pretty sound deal.  I got a basement of $3 soft plastics not getting used right now.

The format is pretty unique, preliminary rounds where top 4 move on & bottom 4 go home, real-time scoring shared with all competitors, penalties, 3 periods of fishing, cumulative weights & no limits, immediate catch & release, restricted fishing areas, no practice, no GPS coordinates,  I am sure we will find out more new stuff.

Cool Highlights from Round 1:
No Surprise KVD gets of to great start on a 6XD
Aaron Martens whines some
Jason Quinn does some work on Alabama Rig
KVD switches to what looks like MegaBass ITO 110 jerkbait late day, definitely not a Strike King Wild Shiner
Brent Ehrler & others spin out based on results from real time leader-board
Jack Link’s Sasquatch makes several appearances, always entertaining

But for me, the coolest things what to get an inside look how these pros break down water with only 15 minutes of scouting and make on the water adjustments.  If you are bass enthusiast or tournament angler, I say this is definitely worth the money!

Watch the podcast page, our next episode will break down the MLF in more detail.

Sneak Peak into New Zayta Rods from Dobyns

Dobyns Rods have risen quickly to become a very popular rod among casual bass anglers to the most serious tournament anglers alike.  Their roots are definitely on the west coast, but they have quickly expanded their market and popularity across the United States and beyond.

At last year’s ICAST they launched the Coalition Series and the Savvy Micro series and now this year they will debut the new high end Zayta Series rods.  These rods will incorporate 3M Nano Matrix resins to build a rod lighter and more sensitive then their popular Champion Extreme Series.  This 3M resin is used in other high end rods like G-Loomis NRX and St. Croix Elites. 

Photo Courtesy of Tackle Tour – Follow Link for more pics!

Prototypes of these rods were on display at the recent ISE show in California.  You can read initial reviews from Tackle Tour and also check out this video of Gary Dobyns himself taking about the new Zayta series and the growing Coalition Weapons Series.  As Gary claims, “This will be the best rod money can buy”!

As a Dobyns fan and enthusiast, I will be anxious to add a Zayta or two to my lineup in the near future!  Just to be clear, its Zayta, not Zeta!

What’s up with the Jika Rig?

Not too much before being knocked off my pedestal seat by the Alabama Rig this week, I started seeing rumblings on Twitter and forums about the Jika Rig.  It seems every couple years, there are new rigs, techniques, gear and technologies to keep up with in bass fishing.

As pictured above (Fork Craw, 3/0 EWG Hook, Voss 1/4oz Weight) – can be done w/ single or double split rings

The Jika Rig (also called The Jig Rig) is very interesting, it is actually very simple.  While Owner company is marketing this, it began is Japan, much like the drop shot and the Neko Rig.  You can buy this rig pre-rigged, but I really don’t see the point.  You almost certainly have the stuff in your tackle box already to make them and if not, just about any local retailer would have what you need.  If they don’t, order them online.

All you need is a good selection of offset wide gap worm hooks, some split rings and a weight with wire loop or attachment on top and put the three together.  I have also seen, where people have used short pieces of braid to make a loop and tie the weight to the split rig, making it almost like an ultra low profile drop shot.  I think you can use different shape weights to tailor your presentation and to the cover.  You can also use one or two split rings to adjust the action as well.

To me, the Jika Rig is a cross between a Texas Rig, Football jig and a drop shot, also kind of like the Biffle Hard Head.  I also think this rig will prove to be very versatile, can be flipped pitched, dragged like a football head and probably serves as a decent bed fishing rig among other things.

Here is a video of a JikaRig (JigRig) that I made and demonstrating underwater at a boat ramp.

I think its most attractive quality as it offers freedom to the plastic and offers it in a very horizontal and natural way.  I think Byron Velvick does a great job explaining the features and benefits of the rig in this video.

So leave a comment if you have used the Jika Rig or think you have a good application where you think it would excel!

Alabama Rig – Next Big Thing or Pushing the Limits?

As I write this blog, Paul Elias is on the verge of blowing away the field on something called the Alabama Rig and after day 2, the angler in 2nd place, Robert Behrle, is also throwing the same rig.  I had never seen anything like it in bass fishing before watching a live on the water video today from FLW.  I expect much more on the Reel Time Reports from FLW soon.  It was hard to see at a distance the type of swimbaits Elias had on his A-Rig.

So I did a little research to find out more about this rig.  Turns out, there is a website for it,

From what I gather, its almost like the donkey rig (double fluke rig) on steroids.  Similar to an umbrella rig used in saltwater, its painted minnow head with 5 wires protruding out the back with snaps to attach lures, allowing you to fish 5 baits at a time.  It seems the most popular scenario is to fish 5 grubs or swimbaits at a time to mimic a small school of baitfish moving through the water.

The big kicker is that it seems to get quality fish and the potential to catch 2-3 fish at time more frequently then one would with any other lure setup.

There already have been a few mumblings and grumbling about whether this rig should be legal in tournaments.  In some states, like Minnesota, this would not be allowed due to state regulations.  Not sure on all states, but it appears to be legal in Alabama.  Seems as though, if its legal for that state, and everyone has access, then fair is fair!

Not sure if this will be hotter then the chatterbait and the Basstrix hollowbelly put together, but I am sure it will make quite the splash and these will be a little hard to find in a short time!  Either way, there will always be a supply of Alabama Rigs on ebay.  What if Kevin VanDam starts throwing 5 Red Eye Shads at a time?  How long before BassPro & Cabela’s have these on the shelf?  Sworming Hornet Lures makes a version called the Sworm.

Here is a good video breaking down some rigging techniques for the Alabama Rig.

IMA Emailer – September 2011


Welcome to the IMA Emailer — September 2011 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA and worldwide.

While the calendar tells us that the official end of summer is still a few weeks away, Labor Day, the unofficial conclusion of the season, is upon us. It may be every bit as hot where you live as it was a month ago, or you may be starting to see the first little hints of fall. Kids are going back to school, wardrobes are changing and you might even want to dig a jacket out of the closet.

If you can figure out how the bass are transitioning in your neck of the woods, you can hit on one of the best bites of the year.

Here at IMA, we’re big fans of change, as evidenced by our awesome showing at ICAST 2011, last month’s version of the industry’s biggest annual trade show. We introduced two totally new lures as well as several new colors in some established products. The result was that we occasionally had to wipe the drool off of our display cases. Buyers, pros and media alike were desperate to get a close-up look of what the best fishing minds of Japan and the US combined to produce.


(The ima booth was a hot spot to be at during July’s ICAST Show.)

As long as we’re talking about “new,” we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of IMA’s national pro-staff, Kurt Dove. The Virginia native fished the Bassmaster Elite Series for a few years and became acquainted with the IMA lineup through pros like Bill Lowen and Fred Roumbanis. He’s also a dedicated fan of our sister company, Optimum Swimbaits.

Searching for a way to maximize his talents, Kurt picked up stakes from Virginia and moved to Del Rio, Texas in time for the start of 2008. He’s quickly established a tremendous guide service on Lake Amistad and is the big border pond’s most enthusiastic cheerleader.

“I fell in love with the place,” he said. “It’s just so multifaceted — with grass, and clear water, you can catch them shallow and you can catch them deep. And that’s right; you do a lot of catching. You just get bit a lot.”

“It’s a great jerkbait lake,” he continued. “I fell in love with how the Flit 120 produced in the clear water and started playing with the IMA and Optimum lineups. The Rock N’ Vibe is great for schooling fish and it’s particularly good for guiding. It’s easy to throw and it has a different rattle than any other lipless crankbait on the market. I also love to fish the Roumba over the hydrilla in the summertime.”

(Kurt shows off a healthy bass he caught on the Flit 120 at Lake Amistad this spring)

The bait that excites him the most, though, is the new Beast Hunter deep diving crankbait.

“We have a deep cranking bite in the hydrilla as soon as it starts to break up,” he stated. “It starts soon and should continue right through into December. The Beast Hunter is an awesome all around crankbait and a key part of the IMA puzzle.”

While Dove dotes on shad patterns in Amistad’s clear water, he also said a bluegill or citrus shad pattern can be deadly. While Amistad is known for its tilapia population, the most common things Dove finds in his livewell at the end of his tournament days are bluegills, so that’s what he tries to mimic most frequently.

If you’d like to book a trip on world-famous Lake Amistad with one of the friendliest and best teaching guides in the business, check out Kurt’s website at

FLW Tour pro Michael Murphy is another big fan of the Beast Hunter. In his years on tour, he’s searched for a crankbait that can dominate the 10 to 13 foot range where so many big fish live for a large portion of the year. He’s found it in our new crank, which is designed to come through grass without a hitch.

The crankbait’s key attribute is that instead of having a weight-transfer system like many other lures in its class, it incorporates a fixed weight inside an thicker sidewalls (a full 2.0mm) which distributes the weight evenly throughout the body.

“Jun (Shoji) worked on it for two years,” Murphy said. “He made it so it doesn’t have to have the same sort of weights as other deep divers. That allows it to tuck and roll. Rather than operating on a ‘pivot,’ it rolls like a good swimbait. That provides a more erratic action.”

(Jun Shoji and Fred Roumbanis talk about the Beast Hunter and its traits for the cameras.)

“Every fish I’ve caught on it has had the bait deep in its mouth,” he said. “They just annihilate it.” He’s used it on TVA largemouths and Erie smallmouths. The only problem he had at the latter lake was that the walleyes also seem to like it. Mr. Murphy ended up with a couple of dinners’ worth of fillets thanks to his new favorite bait. He’s still learning how much it has to offer, he added, and while it catches fish right out of the package he said “it’ll take a good year to fully understand what it can do.”

While he’s used every color that IMA produces in the Beast Hunter, so far his favorite is the multi-dimensional “Fred’s Perch.” He said the largemouths think it’s a bluegill, the walleye probably think it’s a perch and to the smallmouths it can emulate a goby.

“That one crankbait will produce fish practically year-round unless there’s ice on the lake,” he concluded.

(The Brand new items from ima Lures include: Silent Big Stik, Beast Hunter, Foxy Fry)

Murphy put his money where his mouth is at last week’s BASS Northern Open on Lake Erie, finishing 3rd among a stout field of Great Lakes hotshots and national touring pros. While the old “Erie tube drag” and a dropshot were part of his arsenal, when the bite got toughest he wielded the Fred’s Perch Beast Hunter to top off his three limits that averaged over 20 pounds apiece. With only one tournament left to go, he sits in 8th place overall in the Open points standings.

If you think Michael Murphy loves the Fred’s Perch Beast Hunter, how do you think Fred Roumbanis is feeling about now? He’s the US pro with the longest track record with this deep diver and he’s still amazed every day by how good it is. “That’s my go-to color,” he said. “And the Beast Hunter just has the most wicked bounce-back action when you deflect it off cover and then kill it.”

(The Lake Erie Smallmouth could not resist the new ima Beast Hunter. Give them a try on your local bass the next time out.)

He liked the color so much that he insisted we bring it out in his namesake Roumba, too. “I just have a lot of confidence in that color in any hard bait I throw,” he said. But we didn’t stop there. There are two other new shades in the Roumba, one light and one dark. Both are made of one piece of ABS plastic and feature a one-knocker instead of multiple rattles.

“I like the one-knocker baits because you can walk them like a big topwater or a frog without any modifications and on each side-to-side movement it makes that sound that allows fish to really target them easily,” he explained. “Especially when they’re schooling, they really seem to like that pitch.”

Rattlin’ Roumba — 174 Black Bass

Rattlin’ Roumba — 175 Fred’s Perch

The light-colored version is Bone, which Fred says imitates just about any injured baitfish. When their first layer of scales are knocked away, bluegills, crappie, shad and most other prey have an underlayer that is bone-colored. That makes it especially good for fish in a feeding frenzy with lots of food options to choose from — between the color and the single knocking noisemaker, this Roumba is an easy target.

The other new pattern, our “dark horse,” is called Black Bass and as the name indicates it’s primarily black with ridges of blue markings down the side.

“You can’t go wrong with black just about anywhere,” Fred said. “It’s especially good when you want the bait to be a little less intimidating. The silhouette makes the overall profile look smaller.”

He likes the blue markings because they make the lure look like a black and blue jig, his go-to color when swimming a jig around water willow. The Roumba’s wide wobble makes it remarkably snag-resistant around vegetation and unlike a jig it has sticky sharp trebles that’ll pin down a slashing bass.

Veteran California guide and bass instructor Randy Pringle likes the Beast Hunter and the Roumba, too, but the two new IMA products that have him most excited come from opposite ends of the size spectrum.

The first is the new Silent Big Stik, a non-rattling version of the big topwater that IMA brought out last year. It may look striper-sized, but big largemouths smoke it, too. When the fish are fattening up for the fall run but there’s no wind and clear water, he finds that the silent version produces more strikes.

“Those are the times you want to get subtle,” he said. “It’s very important to act the same way as the baitfish act under those conditions and that means less noise.”

Given the fact that he fishing it in clear water, he prefers more subtle colors, too. Three favorites are the Ghost Rainbow, Ghost Ayu and Bone.

But if you think Randy only gets excited when he’s fishing the heavy hardware, think again. The other lure that has him jacked to be on the water is the new Foxy Fry, a 3/16 ounce bundle of dynamite that’s half crankbait, half jerkbait, all fish-catching machine.

(NOTE — The Foxy Fry does not come with a split ring in the nose. Use a size 1 or 2 cross snap for best results)

“It’s a little bitty thing,” Pringle said. “But it’s going to be a killer because every body of water has baitfish that size — every frog pond, every lake, even the Delta.” In fact, it’s a perfect guiding tool on the Delta right now. “If I were to have my clients throw it all day, we’d probably catch 150 fish on it. They probably wouldn’t be big, but we’d get bites all day, and it’s only going to get better as the temperatures start to drop.

Again, he prefers it in natural hues like Chartreuse Shad, Ghost Minnow, Ghost Ayu and Pro Blue.

It’ll continue to be deadly throughout the winter and through the pre-spawn, so you can bet he’ll have a spinning rod with 6- or 8-pound test line on the deck of his boat until the fish go up to spawn.

Bassmaster Classic qualifier Bill Lowen has spent the summer at home in the Midwest, where river tournaments are TOUGH. He’s fishing every Tuesday and Wednesday nighter he can, along with any other local derbies that cross his path.

He knows of a recent BFL on the Ohio River where it took 5 pounds to win and just over 2 pounds to get a check. In circumstances like that, a single extra bite can put money in your pocket and while he thinks his signature Square Bill is the best shallow diving crank on the market, he believes that IMA made it even more deadly this year with the addition of three new color patterns — Silver Lining, Foiled Bluegill and Lowen’s Hush Hush.

The first and the third of that trio are “colors I’ve used forever,” he said. “I was raised on homemade crankbaits and those are good on any body shape.”

The Hush Hush is a gaudy bluegill imitator, with chartreuse sides, while the Foiled Bluegill provides a little more flash as a result of its foiled sides. The Silver lining, silver sides with a black back, is a “must have” when the fish are gorging on shad. With those three, he could feel pretty comfortable on almost any body of water this time of year.

Square Bill — 163 Silver Lining

Square Bill — 164 Foiled Bluegill

Square Bill — 165 Lowen’s Hush Hush

That confidence is born out of being raised fishing tough Ohio fisheries. “It just makes you better,” he said of the stingy waterways. “You never get discouraged. I’m used to fishing for 6 or 7 bites a day so when you go to Guntersville and you’re getting 30 or 40 bites a day and other guys are saying it’s slow, that’s like heaven to me.”

No matter which color or colors of the Square Bill you choose, Lowen said the key is to burn it. SO many guys try to “worm” a crankbait slowly under tough conditions, but Lowen likes to burn it, crash it into cover, and then kill it. That’s when the big bites come, whether you’re fishing for 40 bites or for 5.

In addition to using IMA products at the end of your line, you can now wear the company logo proudly. After numerous requests from educated anglers, we’re bringing IMA apparel to a tackle dealer near you.

We have short and long sleeve shirts available in both white and navy blue, boat towels and beanies, along with baseball hats. As with IMA hard baits, they’re only the finest quality and will make a splash at your next bass tournament or out on the town.

Show Us Your Catches!

As always, we’d love to hear about the bass that IMA lures produce for you, whether on your home body of water or on the trip of a lifetime. Please send pictures of your fish, preferably with an IMA bait in its mouth, and a short description of what made the catch memorable.

Each month we’ll pick one winner who will get to choose the apparel item of his or her choice as a thank you for supporting and using IMA products.

(A customer sent in their ima Square Bill being choked on by a lunker bass)


Optimum Baits to Launch new 4″ Baby Line Thru Swimbait at 2011 ICAST

Optimum Baits has some new stuff to showcase at this year’s ICAST show which is next week.  One thing that is pretty exciting is the new 4″ Baby Line Thru Swimbait, this completes the full lineup of this popular style swimbait that already has 3″, 5″, 6″ & 7″ sizes. Optimum is also adding new colors, like a new Crappie colored swimbait and many more.  Also, watch for a new swimbait style from Optimum that will be announced at the show as well, can’t tell you anymore at this point….

2 different colors of the new 4 inch BLT

Comparing 5 inch BLT (bottom) to 4 inch BLT (top)

This new 4″ bait should be popular for northern anglers trying to build confidence in swimbaits.  I got a few of the early production baits to try out, with my busy schedule I only had a short window to test these from shore for about 15 minutes on a local lake.  I caught two nice bass, shown below and you can see that 3lb fish choked it!  Looks like a real winner and can be a great switch up bait for lakes that get a ton of spinnerbait pressure!

Get these 4″ BLT’s now at

 Optimum Baits - Leaders in SwimBaits!

IMA Emailer – May 2011


Welcome to the IMA Emailer – May 2011 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA & worldwide.

Throughout the country, our best fisheries are all over the map when
it comes to what the bass are doing. For those of you lucky enough to
live in the warmest parts of the country, you may already have seen the
spawn come and go, but many of you are still recovering from or even
digging out from an unusually harsh winter. The fish may be spawning,
looking to spawn or they might not even be close, but we know you’re
ready to get out on the water and put them to the test. While you’ve
been organizing tackle and getting the boat water-ready, the IMA pros
have been hard at work – testing lures, strategizing and fishing
tournaments all over the country. This is the time of year when fishing
is often red hot EVERYWHERE at the same time.

IMA pro Bill Lowen started his year off by fishing the Bassmaster
Classic on the Louisiana Delta, his third Classic overall in the young
pro’s juggernaut career. While he didn’t win the Classic title – YET –
in some respects he was still the talk of New Orleans because the
Classic Expo was the site of the release of his signature IMA “Square Bill” crankbait. With the tournament winners relying primarily on square
bills, fishing fans were amazed by the IMA product’s attention to
detail and top-notch components. They’re on shelves now so be sure to
ask your local retailer about them.

Lowen started off the year with three straight Elite Series checks.
He was two for two in Florida — 34th at the Harris Chain and 35th at the
St. Johns River – and then 31st at Pickwick. “It wasn’t as good as I’d
have liked it to be,” he said, but after four events overall he finds
himself in 36th place in the Angler of the Year standings, right on the
cusp for another Classic slot.

In Florida, Lowen didn’t rely on the dominant sight bite for his
strong performances – instead he flipped a little and cranked a lot. “I
had the Square Bill tied on at both events,” he said. “My two biggest
fish on the St. Johns came on one in chartreuse with a black back.”

Fred Roumbanis, an Oklahoman by way of California, got his year
started before Lowen’s Classic appearance – and he started it off right
for the IMA crew with a 7th place finish in the FLW Open on Lake
Okeechobee. The Elite Series pro wanted to get the year rocking as soon
as possible and Florida was the perfect venue for his skills and
enthusiasm. Along the way, he set two FLW Outdoors records – the largest
Day 2 weight (34 lbs. 5 ounces) and the largest cumulative weight over
the first two days (61 lbs. 14 ounces).


Fortunately for Fred, the Elite Series started off with two more
events in the Sunshine State, which has lately become his own personal
Magic Kingdom. He got this year’s campaign started on the right foot,
with a 29th place finish on the Harris Chain followed up by a 27th on
the St. Johns River.

While much of the field sight fished at the two Elite Series events
in Florida, Fred went against the grain, flipping at the first event and
using a variety of frogs, including an Optimum Furbit, at the latter

“I prefer to sight fish but everybody knows the same areas,” he said.
“This year I decided I was just going to put my head down and fish. I
think it worked out for the first two events.”

But Fred’s strong run didn’t stop in Florida. At Pickwick he finished
34th. Then, at Toledo Bend he put together a magical four-day stretch
and earned his fourth straight check, as well as his first Sunday
appearance of the year. When the scales closed on Sunday, he’d finished
fifth overall with a total weight of 67-01. Fred is 7th overall right
now in the Angler of the Year standings, on pace not only for his 3rd
Bassmaster Classic berth, but also in position to make a serious run at
the BASS postseason and the accompanying accolades. He’s a proven closer
and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he claimed his 3rd BASS win before
this campaign closes out.

While the few anglers who finished in front of Fred at Toledo Bend
are certainly to be congratulated, Fred’s achievement was particularly
special because he caught his weight using a technique that it’s pretty
certain no one else in the field was utilizing. In fact, most if not all
of them have probably never even tried it. He was swimming a 1-ounce
Pepper football head jig, paired mostly with an Optimum Double Diamond swimbait as a trailer on offshore ledges and ridges. The big jig was
necessary to make long casts, achieve the appropriate depths and mimic
the baitfish. The swimbait tail provided the proper “kick” and the
appearance of a bluegill. One other critical element of his presentation
was the use of 15-pound P-Line fluorocarbon, which also helped him get
the bait down and earn precious bites. Watch what Fred was doing HERE.

Fred is a master of figuring out how to incorporate different line
sizes to give a particular lure it’s optimum effectiveness. As you’ll
see below, it’s something he’s very conscious of when fishing the IMA Rock N Vibe.

From early pre-spawn on through the fall, savvy bass anglers always
have a lipless crankbait tied on – it’s a lure that enables them to fish
a wide swath of the water column, resembles baitfish closely, and works
around a variety of cover types – and the one that’s making major waves
these days is the IMA Rock N Vibe. Any lipless crank can catch bass on
occasion, when conditions are just right, but this lure is a like a
multi-tool, applying the right implement to all sorts of predicaments.

“It has a small profile, but it still weighs a ton,” Lowen said.
“It’s easier to fish in high pressure situations when you have to make
long casts.” Roumbanis uses it for everything from yo-yoing to burning,
and noted that the small size makes it a numbers bait, but he’s
continually surprised at how many big fish fall for this baitfish

“Since it came out, I haven’t really thrown any other lipless baits,”
Fred said. “A lot of them are too light or you don’t feel the
vibrations, but this one you can feel it shaking like a chatterbait.”

FLW Tour pro Michael Murphy says it’s the wide range of depths that
you can fish it at that make the Rock N Vibe such a key tool in his
tournament arsenal. “Most vibrating baits are for 4 feet of water or
less, but this one has a lot more range. It provides the maximum benefit
of what a lipless crankbait does. For example, at Guntersville, when
the grass is topping out at 6 feet down instead of 4 feet, you can still
tick the bottom. I use it a lot on Lake Murray for schooling bass.”

Roumbanis agreed with Murphy’s assessment. In ultra-clear water he’ll
sometimes go down to 8 lb. fluorocarbon, which allows him to easily get
the Rock N Vibe down into 8 to 12 feet of water. Going that light isn’t
something most anglers do with a classic power fishing tactic like a
lipless crank, but Fred said if it’s necessary, that’s what he’ll do to
garner the bites he needs. Too often we all pay attention to retrieve
speed without the appropriate concern for where a particular retrieve
puts the bait in the water column.

Last year at the California Delta, Lowen used one of his favorite
Rock N Vibe techniques, fishing it like a jig. “You let it go all the
way to the bottom on grass line edges and points,” he said. “They you
hop it pretty hard off the bottom. The rod will just load up.”

Another trick is to fish it on heavy line in ultra-shallow water.
Roumbanis will use 20 lb. test P-Line CXX, which “keeps it more buoyant”
and allows him to fish in less than two feet of water with ease. “When
they hit it there, they absolutely engulf it,” he reported. In fact,
changing line sizes is Fred’s number one way of changing the performance
of a lure that he said is perfect right out of the package. When he
wants the lure shallow, big mono is key. When he wants to get deeper,
fluorocarbon gets the call. When ripping it through grass is important,
braid is his meal ticket. Fortunately, the bait has a thumping wobble
that can overcome the dulling effects of “rope-like” mono, but it isn’t
so powerful that it becomes unmanageable on thinner and lighter fluoro.
Be careful, though – on braid it’ll rattle your fillings loose.

The best retrieve may involve no trickery at all: Just cast it out
and wind it in – a little bit slower when fish are lethargic and a
little bit faster when they’re active. The vibrations, sounds and
finishes allow the bass to track the Rock N Vibe carefully and react
savagely. Again, you can adjust running depth through the use of a
particular line size or type. In fact, there may be times when you’ll
need three Rock N Vibes on the deck tied to three different lines to
maximize your effectiveness. Fortunately, if you’re that dialed in, you
probably won’t need a fourth rod with anything on it.

Chromes, Hot Craw, Natural -By covering the basic color groups, Chromes, Reds or Chartrueses, & Natural Shad patterns; the ima Rock N Vibe will produce in all bodies of water.

With all lipless cranks, it’s unfortunate but largely unavoidable
that you’re going to lose some fish. Those big sows come up, shake their
heads, and use the bait as leverage to come unbuttoned. Fortunately,
the Rock N Vibe comes with sticky-sharp Owner hooks that minimize this
problem. The pros offer other means of reducing your heartbreak. Murphy
said that even when he uses braided line, he always prefers to use some
sort of non-braid as a shock absorber, “even if it’s just a short
leader.” His other key to minimizing loss is that you don’t want to play
the fish. Get them in the boat as soon as possible. “I use a worm rod,
not a cranking rod,” he said. “You can’t give them a chance to jump or
shake their heads.”

Roumbanis uses an Irod IRC704c, a 7′ fast action rod which he says
“doesn’t rip the hook out when they engulf it, but still has the
backbone to snap the bait through grass.” Lowen uses a 7′ medium-heavy
All Pro casting rod for the same reasons.

When it comes to colors, all three use various types of chrome
patterns often. “Chrome and Chartreuse Shad are really the only two you
absolutely need,” Murphy said. “One for sunny conditions and the other
when it’s cloudy.” Given a third option, he’d choose a craw color, an
absolute staple in places like California and Texas. Roumbanis also
dotes on the Hot Craw pattern. He said Fire Tiger can be “dangerous”
when the water is a little bit stained. Under super-clear conditions, he
said the Ghost Minnow is his number one draft pick. Lowen, too, said
“chrome and reds and yellows are my top choices.”

We’ve established that the Rock N Vibe catches bass from coast to
coast in North America, but this picture should leave no doubt that it
works anywhere bass swim. This is Jun Shoji, one of Japan’s top pros and
a full-time guide on famed Lake Biwa, where a world record largemouth
was caught last year. We’ll have more information about Jun in an future

In addition to using IMA products at the end of your line, you can
now wear the company logo proudly. After numerous requests from educated
anglers, we’re bringing IMA apparel to a tackle dealer near you.

We have short and long sleeve shirts available in both white and navy
blue, boat towels and beanies, along with baseball hats. As with IMA
hard baits, they’re only the finest quality and will make a splash at
your next bass tournament or out on the town.

As always, we’d love to hear about the bass that IMA lures produce
for you, whether on your home body of water or on the trip of a
lifetime. Please send pictures of your fish, preferably with an IMA bait
in its mouth, and a short description of what made the catch memorable.

Each month we’ll pick one winner who will get to choose the apparel
item of his or her choice as a thank you for supporting and using IMA products.

Last months’ winner was Loren Spaulding who caught a nice Spotted
Bass from Lake Lanier in Georgia that fell victim to the ima Flit 120 in
Ghost Minnow!

Each month we’ll pick one winner who will get to choose the apparel
item of his or her choice as a thank you for supporting and using IMA
products. Send to


Don’t sleep on the Shaker

Been doing a bit of fishing lately.  One thing has become apparent in this low to mid 50 degree water; the IMA Shaker with it’s flat sides and more subtle action is out producing the new highly touted IMA Square Bill designed by Bill Lowen.

Pictured above is the nicest bass I caught the other day, but put a bunch in the boat on an IMA Shaker thrown on 12lb Fluoro on my brand new Dobyns 684 CB Crankbait Rod, pretty sweet rod for jerkbaits and light wooden baits like the Shaker, Shad Raps and several other baits.

Both great baits, but this time of year, its hard to beat the profile and action of the Shaker, so my advice, while the traditional Square Bills are getting all the headlines right now, if you live up north, stick with the Shaker for a few more weeks.  Then when water hits 60 degrees and up, pick that Square Bill up and do work!

As you can see, they were eating the SHAKER! 

Anybody need some free fishing gear?

Been a crazy week, lots of travel and other stuff going on, been neglecting the blog.  Congrats to Arizona Pros Dean Rojas & Cliff Pirch for both notching tour level wins earlier today.

Not too long ago, I got a nice shipment of new Akinetix gear in, they make some very affordable and functional polarized fishing sunglasses, including youth & woman’s models, definitely worth checking out.  They even have floating shades for those of us that our clumsy.

They also have some nice moisture wicking gear and other gear.  So to celebrate spring, I am running a little contest, on my Facebook Page, so just follow this link to enter.  You have until Sunday April 24th to get entered.  So head over and enter to win some free gear and check out the Akinetix website as well.

The Akinetix Shield sunglasses pictured are what i have been wearing on the water!

Sights from 1st Day of 2011 Northwest SportShow

Made it down to the Minneapolis Convention Center to take in first day of the best Sport Show in Minnesota.  This is kind of the official start of spring for most of us anglers, we should have ice out just around the corner, so this is the last show to get some last minute tackle or get that boat ordered so it gets here for opener!

Here are a few highlights that I found on my first walk through:

Nice Selection of Dobyns Rods at this booth, only a few store like Capra’s carry them in Minnesota, so here is your chance to feel what every body is raving about on the forums

Or better yet, check them out at Capra’s booth & buy one, they have a show special, you can save 20%!!!

The Legend Boat Alpha is worth a stop to check it out, very nice boat and when you are done checking it out, enter to win the free drawing for a Lowrance HDS5 at the very same Simply Fishing Extreme Marine booth!

Seems to be some Steam around the new HAVOC baits, saw them at Capra’s, Joe’s & Reeds, sure a few others have them too!  I think you get a free hat with purchase of 4 bags, which will cost you about $12

These 2 Phoenix bass boats are probably the biggest surprise to me this year, I’ve known about the brand, but had no idea anybody carried them up here, turns out Southside Marine out of  Waseca, MN just started as a dealer for 2011.  These boats are pretty cool, worth crawling around in.  I got more pics showing storage of this boat and other stuff at show here on my Facebook page, check it out!

I will be headed back on Saturday, so expect another update on Saturday evening, plus you can watch my Facebook Fan Page & Twitter feed for updates from the floor as I walk around.

Last tip, FREE BEER samples at the Northern Beer booth, don’t ever say I don’t bring value, LOL.

Leave comments if there are things you want to see or saw at the show I should check out,