One of our favorite tackle manufacturers out of Japan is Megabass. This year we've some very interesting and innovative designs from them. We don't use the "i" words loosely. We think those words get overused by folks just making their versions of baits that already exist. But it's not the case from what we've seen coming down the pike from Megabass.
The first bait that wowed us this year was the Vision 110 FX. They really changed the jerkbait market with their weight-transfer jerkbait the Ito Vision 110. The new 110 FX has a lip that actually collapses and makes the bait even more aerodynamic on a cast allowing for greater distance and opened up applications. The lip then jumps back into place on a the jerk. Very cool and a lot of thought and engineering went into this design.
The Knuckle60 appears to be another squarebill in an overcrowded squarebill niche. However what we found very cool was the lip on this bait can be adjusted to give you both a shallow wake bait and a mid-range square bill for working cover. The bottom of the crankbait is keeled so that it gives you two distinct actions when the lip is adjusted -- a more hunting action on the square bill and a wide wobbling waking action on the wake bait. The bill locks into place much like their popular X-Pod topwater lure.
The Spark Shad is a soft swimbait made for both castable umbrella rigs and single swimbait heads. The bait is weighted with heavier plastic in the belly to keep the bait's roll more natural and force more action towards the back of the swimbait and tail. The force of water and keeled design make the bait swim very natural while looking very appealing cosmetically.
The Orochi XX is a new line of rods designed to the specifications of Aaron Martens and Luke Clausen. These rods will be more in tune with power techniques with weight forward designs and more finesse techniques with light sensititve tip designs. Their will be 12 rods to start and they are hoping the price point will be well under $300 which is significant when you talk about a rod designed and shipped from Japan with these quality materials and specifications.
The RetGraph FIII is a reel with a built in line counter that can measure not only the distance of your cast but also the speed of your retrieve, depth of the water your lure sinks to and distance from your rod tip to the lure. We think that has a cool factor for bank fishermen that can't tell how deep they are fishing. It could also be handy when getting fish on a certain cranking retrieve and wanting to duplicate it easily.