Top 5 New Items from the Bassmaster Classic
The Bassmaster Classic is an exciting event that all centers around the biggest tournament in bass fishing. Aside from the actual fishing, the Classic expo is nearly as exciting as the fishing itself. Hundreds of manufacturers and tens of thousands of bass fishing fans pack the floors of the show looking for deals, to talk with pro anglers and see the new tackle. The Classic has turned into a mini-ICAST with many manufacturers’ releasing new products at the show as a way to both increase sales and get the hottest gear in front of loyal bass fishing fans. This year was no different, many companies released new products; but, these five items caught my attention more than anything else.
The Rapala Scatter Rap Series
Rapala did some promotion prior to this event; so, I wanted to see these new baits as soon as I arrived. The idea was to use their existing models and give them a very different action, one that is more evasive and unpredictable like a small baitfish. The lip used is very unique; almost like a big shovel and the video I have seen proves the action will be much different than anything else the fish have seen. Mike Iaconelli credited the use of the new bait for his 4th place finish at the event. The new lip makes the bait dart and dive side-to-side, creating a new look and way to get a reaction bite.
Kistler KLX rods
These rods were released before the Classic, but are still very new and are just now being sold. If you think the KLX name sounds like another top rod out there you are right. Kistler teamed up with the legendary Gary Loomis to create this rod, making it a collaboration with two heavy weights in rod making. The rod is based on a blank from Gary’s North Fork Composites and features Fuji Alconite mirco guides. It comes in 31 different models in both spinning and casting. The rod retails from $159 and up and feels amazing. Another thing I liked was the fact that the rod is made and assembled here in the U.S. To keep the costs low, the rod is only available directly from kistlerrods.com.
The MGXtreme takes light to a whole new level. At 4.9-oz, the newest Revo family member is ridiculously lightweight. The thing that separates this reel is the fact that it is a full size reel, boasts quality components and has the strength you need to fish for big bass. Many lightweight reels feel cheap, almost plastic-like; but, I did not get that impression from this one. The weight alone was not enough to get my interest, they made some other improvements too. They have added what they call CeramiLite hybrid ceramic spool bearings to make increase casting distance and smoothness. The biggest downfall is the price, as it comes in at just under $500. Even at this price, it was the talk of the show from bass fishing fans to top pros.
Smithwick Rogue Perfect 10
At an event where most of the field was using jerkbaits, it was fitting that a new jerkbait was released. The Smithwick Rogue is a classic bait, one can even say it was the granddaddy of modern jerkbaits; but it has mostly stayed the same since it first became popular years and years ago. As other brands got flashier and started coming with better components, paintjobs and actions, the Rouge has been left in the shadows for many bass fishermen. The new Perfect 10 model is a slightly larger and deeper diving design that is built to catch bigger fish. The lip design makes it dive deeper and quicker and might be enough to revitalize the Rouge. They also beefed up their color selection and all come in a nice translucent color. One final reason I liked this bait was the price, at $6.99 they are much easier on the wallet.
Trokar Wacky Weedless Hook
The Trokar hook lineup has continued to grow and evolve. These super sharp hooks have made a place in the boxes of many serious bass anglers and they have now started making more and more designs. In addition to their worm hooks, trebles and swimbait hooks, they now have two designs of wacky rig hooks. The weedless and standard are the two options. I am a fan of the wacky weedless design and think the Trokar models will be perfect for the technique. It comes in four sizes and will retail for $6.99 for a pack of six.
The Bassmaster Classic is an event worthy of attendance every year. It’s sheer size and excitement level are great for checking out new items and getting up close with professional anglers and manufacturer’s alike. Hopefully, someday they can make it closer to the West Coast.