(Editor's note: The following products were originally featured in the 2013 August/September issue of Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member. If you'd like to sign up for a digital subscription to access articles online, click here).
T. Allen Rods – Wave Series
Florida big bass specialist Doug Hannon, who died earlier this year, invented a lot of useful fishing tackle and equipment during his life, and the “Microwave Guide System” featured in the Wave Series of graphite spinning rods is his latest and last. The unique stripper guide captures the line’s energy as it comes off the spinning reel spool and funnels it through the first guide so that it doesn’t “fluff” out to the side and lose forward momentum. Longer casts and fewer snarls are two benefits. Eight models, ranging in action and length from 6 feet, 8 inches to 7 feet, 10 inches, are in the series. $199.99 to $239.99. (tallenrods.com)
Stanley Ribbit Top Toad
Following in a successful line of fake frogs, the hollow-bodied Ribbit Top Toad works like a standard Ribbit, but you can stop it on the retrieve and it will just sit there and float until the bass that’s been chasing catches up and engulfs it. A 4-inch high-floater with 3-D eyes, the Top Toad can be twitched along when fish want something moving slower, though its paddletail feet will still move enticingly. Pair it with Stanley’s 5/0 Double Take hook. Six colors are available for $4.99 for three unrigged Top Toads or $6.99 for a pack with a pre-rigged version and one unrigged Top Toad. (fishstanley.com)
Lew’s Spinning Reels
The Lew’s spinning reel lineup grows by two this summer, as the company is introducing a couple of high-speed series. The four models in the Tournament HS range (matched in size to the equivalent of 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-pound-test lines) have 10 ball bearings and graphite bodies. Spools are of double-anodized aluminum and ported, and the hollow stainless-steel bails are equipped with oversized aluminum line rollers to minimize line twist. Speeds vary from 25 inches per turn for the smallest reel to 38 inches per turn for the 12-pound-test version. $79.99
Team Lew’s Gold reels are similar in size, design and features to the Tournament HS line, but with upgrades such as high-strength carbon C40 sealed bodies and side covers, titanium line rollers, and stainless-steel screws. $129.99. (lews.com)
Minn Kota Talon Wireless Foot Switch
The same technology used in the Talon’s wireless push-button control switch has been incorporated in a new foot-control model. Put pressure on one side or the other of the foot control to raise or lower one or two units. The foot control features an LED mode display and an easy-access battery compartment. It can be mounted in a fixed position or removed easily, but in case you kick it off the deck accidentally, it’s also waterproof and floats. $149.99 (minnkotamotors.com)
Gene Larew Big Bug
Gene Larew and Tommy Biffle, the namesake of the lure series, adjusted the design to accommodate the extra mass without degrading the swimming action of the bug’s legs or negating the hooksetting efficiency of the thin-walled hollow body. They also retained the same flexible cupped tail as the original.
Pair the fake crawdad with a Biffle HardHead, the jointed jighead that Biffle also designed. The Big Bug is available in more than two dozen colors, including the popular Sooner run, mossy pumpkin, green pumpkin and watermelon pepper. $6.49 for a package of six (genelarew.com)
Tiger Headz Tungsten Shakehead
Environmentally safe tungsten is heavier than lead, which means it can be shaped into smaller packages to perform the same duties as lead. That factored into Straight Talk Wireless pro Scott Canterbury’s design of the Tiger Headz Tungsten Shakehead jighead, whose small size and distinctive shape allow it to slip through cover better without becoming snagged.
Packaged in threes in black or green pumpkin, the shaky-style jighead is available in a 3/16-ounce size with 3/0 or 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook, and in 1/4-ounce size with 4/0 or 5/0 hook. $6 per pack (tiger-tungsten.com)
Megabass Orochi XX Rods
Chevy pro Luke Clausen and others have teamed up to design a new line of rods for Megabass. The Orochi XX range is made of premium graphite with Fuji components. Models include Dropshot, Shaky Head, Fast-Moving Special (crankbaits), Jerkbait Special, Flat-Side Special (an all-around model for various types of crankbaits and swimbaits, according to Clausen), Spinnerbait Special, Extreme Mission Type-F (Carolina rigs, jigs), Tour Versatile, Jig & Worm, Perfect Pitch, and Flipping Special. $275 to $299 (megabassusa.com)
Accuracy and repeatability are everything when you’re depending on your electronics to get you back to a hot fishing spot tucked out of the way. That’s why the new Point-1 antenna from Lowrance warrants attention from anglers who use HDS Gen2, HDS Gen2 Touch or Elite-7 units. The compact, waterproof antenna is engineered to provide precise position, speed and heading information. The Point-1 is sold ready-to-rig with a 4-foot cable, hardware and installation guide. $199. (lowrance.com)
Dry Dudz Shorts
The shorts have an inner mesh liner designed to ventilate without chaffing, and perhaps their best feature is the woven 115-gram polyester cloth that makes them light and airy. They’re cut to boardshort length, meaning they will extend to or beyond the knees, and have zip or hook-and-loop pockets on the sides, rear and leg.
Prices range from $25 to $75, while styles range from conservative solid gray or navy blue to wild combo colors. (drydudz.com)