BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 68

Keepin’ it in the



your goal is to target a trophy bass in California or anywhere in the USA (and indeed, the world) choosing a “big bait” measuring eight inches or larger is not your rst step, it’s the system that will heave these monster baits. Not only are different baits used for trophy bass, but rod, reel and line combos differ too. Guys often ask me what rod to pick up, and I tell them it’s a mistake to think only of the rod. The real question is, what would be the best system you can put to- gether; rod, reel and line combo. It is hard to think that the equipment we would use for throwing big baits would be that big of a deal. For instance, the system I use is an 8 foot 7 power Lamiglas Big Bait Special rod paired with a Shimano 400, and the line I nish the system off with is 25 lb test Maxima UltraGreen. I put all three components together to create perfect balance and with bal- ance you create strength. If you vary by us- ing 15 lb test line, the stretch of that line will absorb so much energy, it will slap the rod like a wet noodle, and your accuracy

Big Bait System Set - Ups

disappears and your hooksetting gets de- stroyed. It’s kind of like a linebacker wear- ing high heel shoes, they may look good, but under the stress the shoes will fail. If you change any part of his equipment, pads, helmet, mouthpiece - something bad can happen. What, you do not think football relates to big bait shing? Think again buddy. That moment when the sh of a lifetime cracks your bait like a Dallas linebacker and grenades any or all parts of your system, you will know why. One other common mistake is to use a big bait rod (whatever model) with a smaller reel, say a 200 or even 300. You need to know the capability in all aspects for each part of your equipment. If you’ve got a big bait, which can be from 3-1/2 oz to 6 oz minimum, when you wing that thing out there, the spool can empty to half spool. You’re only going to bring in 15 inches of line compared to 25 inches per revolution at full spool. The mechanics of just bringing in the lure for the technique changes every time you turn the reel han- dle. The nice thing is when you go to the

400 size Shimano reel, line recovery from the start to end of the retrieve is very con- sistent. If you do not think it is that big of a deal, then why are you not catching more and bigger sh? This should really make you think about things way before you ever get to the lake. People should understand, depending on their budget, that you can’t cheap out on quality, because the rod, reel and line will be subject to more stress than ordi- nary bass tackle. There’s a lot of casting in- volved with heavy baits, which can quickly cause wear and tear to poor quality tackle. If you plan to use several big bait rods, you are better off having systems that are the same. What needs to happens is that you want this system to become a continu- ation of your body. For example, my big bait rods for tubes, swimbaits, big monster ripbaits, huge 2 oz spinnerbaits, are all the same. No matter what tool (lure) I use or technique is required I feel it from my toes to my rod tip. I’ve found the guys who are better at catching bigger sh more of-




January/February 2011