Getting to review the best products in fishing is a tough jobâ€¦..and someone has to do it, but seriously no one loves it anymore than we do.
Testing can be fun but in order to do it right we must have a systematic approach to the test and criteria that starts with the manufacturers marketing. If they say it catches 20 % more fish it better. If they say it dives to 18 feet, it better and if they say it will make each of us a better angler it better, as well. After that we have to put it to the regular angler set of tests. Getting a product endorsement from the Wired2Fish staff is serious business because we know that you have to spend your hard earned money to buy it, and itâ€™s about integrity. We want our recommendation to mean something.
We take this job very seriously and rest assured if itâ€™s reviewed on Wired2Fish we have actually fished with it – many times in tournament competition but more often than not it is in a controlled situation. We like to keep Wired2Fish readers appraised on what is hot during the time when it should be. Spring baits in the spring, post-spawn baits in the post-spawn, deep water lures in the dog days and fall baits in the fall.
We will on occasion do a series of stories about the new baits before they are generally available, but if they are in the Next Generation Tackle Box we have tested them.
We recently got to test two new products at the same time, the Spro Little John DD and Sunline Super Natural Mono. There was a method to our madness, and bass in our area are starting to move deep. We wanted to see if we could turn a few heads â€¦ pun intended.
We matched this combo on a Revo Winch, one sweet cranking reel by the way, a St.Croix Legend Elite medium-heavy 7-footer and used Humminbird electronics. We snuck that one in on you. You cannot fish deep without excellent electronics and the Humminbird 997 C2 Si is excellent. We use it in dual mode, Side imaging and regular depth finder, almost all the time.
We set out to fish points and main lake creek channel swings and looked to those that had a taper to a sharp drop in 12 to 25 feet of water. Our experience tells us that when water temps reach 75 degrees after the full moon in June, look deep. There is no question that this is a rule of thumb as some Illinois bass are still spawning and some are in the post spawn doldrums but many are ready for a little shad and crayfish gumbo too.
Our water color during this test was clear to stained and water temp was 75 degrees. There was very little wind and what there was, was coming out of the Southeast. The old adage says, â€œwhen the wind is from the east, the fishing is the least.â€ Not necessarily.
The first spot we stopped near is a gravel point with 8 feet of water on top and 31 feet on the drop. There is some coontail and hair grass spattered with deer tongue on the top of the drop. The first cast with the Spro Little John DD dug into the grass but with a couple of KVD quick snaps, it busted loose and a 4-pounder gobbled it up. The fish were positioned on four large rocks in 14 feet of water and with a slow retrieve to the rocks with the rod in the 3 oâ€™clock position coupled with a pull, drag and wind, the bass would smash it. The LJDD kicks out when it hits something and that triggers bass. Some baitâ€™s dig deep into the cover but the LJDD makes a move that triggers reaction bites.
We hit several other similar spots and the results were the same. Larger than average bass, and I truly believe some that donâ€™t see a lure very often. I believe I have been fishing over the fish and the Spro Little John DD gets deep and stays there. That is the difference. The flat-sided design of the LJDD allows it to cut through the water naturally, and combined with the bill shape, it allows the angler to feel everything while the bait is swimming.
The Spro Little John DD is neutrally buoyant, it does float, but with the soft tungsten counterbalance allowed it to be thrown long distances in the wind. The subtle low pitched rattle is a plus for some fish turned off to loud rattler style baits. The Gamakatsu trebles are super sharp out of the package and are matched to the bait perfectly.
The Little John DD pulls harder than some other deep runners but that is because it has a very wide wobble. It fishes comfortably even fished all day.
The Sunline Mono in green is soft yet tough stuff. We tested 12-pound test, and even though itâ€™s mono and has some stretch, itâ€™s perfect for cranking. You can cast it a mile and the sensitivity is above average even while cranking open water. Very thin diameter, looks like 8 pound, but is very abrasion and cut resistant. It lies on the reel very well, and the iridescent look of the line breaks up in the water making it virtually invisible.
One note on the line: When a bait gets hung you better have a plug knocker because this line is very tough to break and with an expensive diving plug, like the Spro Little John, you donâ€™t want to lose too many.