Shin Fukae Tournament Blog: PAA Table Rock Lake, 2013

PAA Series

Table Rock Lake

Branson, Missouri

7th place

15 fish, 38.54 lbs.

 

 

Heading into the third PAA series of the 2013 season I was leading provisionally with a slim margin on the Angler of the Year race. To gain an advantage over the competitors with the point race as well as to secure the qualification of the TTBC championship, I wanted a strong finish badly and I did pre-fish to figure something out before the cut-off.

 

Even though I have fished the lake before, the most of time was spring season. Plus, the lake had some record high rainfall in early summer this year so it was a whole lot different conditions compare to its usual. Those made me disturb enough when pre-fishing and I did run around all over the lake which had above summer full pool of water level to find whatever I can rely on from before sunrise to after sunset every day.

 

Despite fishing at deep water usually is dominant in the summer time on this lake, it looked like the unusual rainfall changed it completely and the thermocline was messed up. In fact, the lake produced to many anglers plenty of shallow bites on the tournament days. I caught some fish on the surface too during the official practice but I stayed and focused on fishing deep brush at 20 to 30 feet of water for all three competition days since I thought that was the strategy I could believe more than anything else and I worked hard to get some key bites from it.

 

I did not get many bites on the competition overall and catching a 5-bass limit every day was not easy to me especially on the final day, but I fortunately could make it with consistency for all three days by using two different presentations. Those were Texas-rigged plastics teamed up with either Megabass Orochi XX (F7-72XX) rod or Orochi X4 (F6-71X4) rod as well as Dropshot with using the Yamamoto baits and Gamakatsu G-Finesse Swivel Shot combo on the Megabass Orochi XX spinning rod (F3-611XXS). The rods for the Texas-rigged baits I choose basically depend on the weight sizes and at this time I picked the F7-72XX for the heavier weights while using the F6-71X4 for the lighter sizes. I have been using the Megabass Orochi Series rods for four years now and those helps to bring my performance out for sure, I think.

 

With the 7th finish on this event, I made another Top-10 finish following the last two events. Thankfully, the high finishes three times in a row on the PAA not only kept me as a provisional point leader with final event left on the tourney but also got me into the Toyota Texas Bass Classic which is called bass fishing world championship.

 

Next up for me is the Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe in Texas (Oct.4-6). I have fished the lake before so hopefully my prior experience works out at the event next month but I will give it my best shot whatever happens. The 2013 season to me is entering the final lap and it would be time to make a last spurt. Last but not least, thank you for all your support and the wishes.

Chris Zaldain Joins National Pro Staff

CHRIS ZALDAIN WILL FISH MEGABASS OROCHI XX ROD SERIES

Talented second-year Elite Series pro joins veterans Martens and Clausen

 

Megabass of America, the US arm of Japan’s most revered builder of high-end fishing tackle, announced today that second-year Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain will fish the company’s Orochi XX series of rods in forthcoming tournament competition. He’ll join seasoned veterans Aaron Martens and Luke Clausen as the tour-level pros using this world-class series of rods aimed at comprehensively covering all major US-tournament applications.

 

“What amazed me most about the Orochi XX rods is the tremendous attention to detail,” said Zaldain, who won the Bassmaster Central Opens points title in 2011 and already had seven top-ten finishes in a short B.A.S.S. career. “They use the finest high-modulus graphite, which makes them super-light and sensitive. I’ve had light rods in the past, but many of them are not balanced. These just feel perfect in your hand. It’s obvious that everything from how they’re molded, to the way the cork is sanded, to the guides and the epoxy has been thought through in tremendous detail.”

 

Zaldain will have all 11 rods in the series – nine baitcasting and two spinning – at his disposal, and he expects to use them all daily, but it’s the spinning rods designed by Martens that have him most excited.

 

“Being from California, I love light line fishing in deep, clear water,” he said. “I’m sure that these ultra-sensitive rods will improve my chances and allow me to feel and land fish that I otherwise would have missed.”

 

With proven champions like Martens and Clausen already onboard and contributing to the design process, Zaldain brings a dose of youthful energy and a fresh voice to the team.

 

"Chris is, without a doubt, one of the brightest young stars in our sport today," said Yuskei Murayama, Vice President of Megabass of America. "Not only has he proven himself a force on the water, but as we've gotten to know Chris these past two years, he's continued to impress with a level of poise, integrity and intellect that far surpass his years. We are honored that Chris has chosen our rods to support his passion for fishing, and look forward to growing with him in the many years to come."

 

Zaldain is also sponsored by Hi’s Tackle Box, a California retailer dedicated to keeping customers on the front lines of emerging tackle trends and a leading Megabass dealer. Zaldain will be at Hi’s on June 29th, representing Megabass and his other sponsors. If you’re in the area, stop by for the Megabass rod raffle, and talk fishing.

 

The Orochi XX rods are already available at Hi’s, as well as leading online and physical tackle shops nationwide.

 

Media Contact:
Yuskei Murayama

[email protected]

(415) 539-6626

 

·       For more information about Megabass of America, go to www.megabassusa.com.

·       For more information about Megabass generally, go to www.megabass.com.

·       For more information about Chris Zaldain, go to www.zaldain.com.

MEGABASS OF AMERICA MAKES MAJOR U.S. STRIDES

New subsidiary of Megabass Japan will enhance US distribution

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Megabass, Japan’s foremost innovator of premium fishing tackle, hereby announces the company’s substantial efforts to increase the visibility and availability of its unparalleled products in the U.S. market. The independent distributor previously known as Megabass USA will merge with its Japanese partner and a new subsidiary known as Megabass of America, Inc., will emerge. Megabass founder and CEO Yuki Ito will be the subsidiary’s CEO and current Megabass USA leader Yuskei Murayama will be his Vice President.

 

“Megabass is driven by a passion to create products that excel not only as tools, but as works of art that have the capacity to inspire anglers both on and off the water,” said Ito. “Extending our presence to the U.S. will allow us to share this passion with the U.S. angling community, and engage in a direct design dialogue that will fuel product development for the United States.”

 

Megabass of America will put in motion a well-honed game plan to make its product lineup more readily available to U.S. anglers, while also tailoring the lures and rods to the specific demands of American waters. This strategy will include increased marketing efforts and product development focused on the U.S. market. The reordering of the company will also effectively create a direct distribution point from California, resulting in cost savings which will be shared with retail stores and anglers alike in the form of new MSRP’s and sales policies. This will allow all serious tackle stores and anglers to effectively incorporate Megabass gear into their fishing arsenals.

 

“I am incredibly excited to join forces with Megabass and have the opportunity to work directly with a company I truly believe in,” said Murayama. “As a part of Megabass, we have an unrivaled platform from which to better serve the needs of the U.S. market, and I am confident that anglers and retail stores alike will see an immediate, and long-lasting benefit.”

 

Megabass lures, rods, reels, line and other gear have always been the industry gold standard. While the new corporate structure will increase operational efficiencies, Megabass’s production process is unfaltering in its dedication to innovation, quality, and attention to detail embodied by the company’s rich tradition of handicraft.

 

Please stay tuned for upcoming releases from Megabass of America

IS-71 Hyper Lariat

Watch Megabass founder and chief designer Yuki Ito work the IS-71 Hyper Lariat reel!

See video
Related product: 

XPOD Jr. Topwater Action

Factory footage of the XPOD Jr. in action, showcasing the incredibly versatility of the transforming lip!

See video
Related product: 

Megabass F6-72X4 Wins Editor's Choice!

Introduction: Megabass was officially established in 1985. It wasn’t until 2003 that I fished my first rod from this company, and already at that time, there were discussions of “the good ole days” with many feeling Megabass had passed its prime. Any time a small builder grows and begins to offer their product on a larger scale, people will gripe. Despite the criticism, Megabass has continued to grow and while there are many other manufacturers in Japan, they, along with Evergreen International, are the top two rod companies that come to mind when anyone on our side of the pond begins a discussion concerning Japanese domestic market (JDM) fishing rods. Of course, with official US distribution channels and a new US consumer friendly warranty, Megabass is not purely “JDM” any longer.

 

F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction Specifications

Material Megabass X4 Graphite (Based off of Hi8X)
Length 7'-2"
Line Wt. 12-30lb
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 3 1/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides 8 + Tip Top (all double footed, stainless steel framed with SiC inserts by Fuji)
Power Rating F6 = Extra Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 5 ounces
Origin Blank rolled in China with carbon material from Japan, everything else is done in Japan (see Design/Ergonomics section)
MSRP $409

 

Up until recently, even with official US distribution, Megabass was still largely considered a rod made for the Japanese market because all their lengths, tapers, designs, and frankly, prices, catered to their home country. Late in 2010, Megabass set out to change this when they debuted a new line of rods within their Orochi series named, Orochi X4. We offered a preview of this series back in September of 2010, but even at that time, we didn’t really know what to expect.

 


Introducing Megabass's Orochi X4 series of rods.

Judging by the specifications and names for the individual models within the X4 line, it seems Megabass decided to take some of their most popular rods across all lines and offer them in this new X4 series. For example, there is an X4 interpretation of the Evoluzion series Elseil, one for the base, Destroyer series Seven Eleven, and one for the Orochi Huge Contact Destruction.


In October of 2010 Megabass USA reached out to us for an independent assessment of these sticks.

In October of 2010, Megabass USA received their first shipment of these X4 sticks and reached out to us not only to gauge our interest in reviewing a model or two, but really, to get our private assessment as to whether or not these sticks had something to offer against their original counterparts. It seems even Megabass USA was receiving what they felt might be marketing rhetoric from Megabass Japan and they just wanted some reassurance that this new series was worthwhile.


Among the sticks they sent? X4 versions of the Aaron Martens Limited (top) and Seven Eleven (bottom).

The Lab: Megabass USA sent over the only three models they had in stock for an appointment with our RoD WRACK. These sticks were the F3-610X4S Aaron Martens Limited, the FX-711X4 Seven Eleven, and the F6-72X4 Destruction. Here’s what we found out.


Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the new Orochi X4 F3-610X4 (yellow curve) versus the original F3-610DGS. Note that while the shape of both curves are almost identical, the X4 version is just a hair more powerful than the original.

F3-610X4S vs F3-610DGS: The original F3-610DGS was a classic the second it debuted back in 2004 within the newly created Orochi Big Contact series of rods. It was BASS Elite Series Pro, Aaron Marten’s weapon of choice and an easy winner of our Editor’s Choice Award back in 2005. The new, Orochi X4 interpretation of this same rod is a hair lighter, and a fraction better balanced, but with a slightly higher balancing torque even with a longer rear handle. The X4 interpretation has the same, soft tip as the F3-610DGS, yet it has a bit more backbone. It is also about $70 less than the original.


Fig 2: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the new Orochi X4 FX-711X4 (yellow curve) versus the original F7-711X. Note how both curves start out the same suggesting the X4 version has the same tip as the original, but the yellow curve flattens out a little suggesting the X4 version also has a better backbone.

FX-711X4 vs F7-711X: The original Seven Eleven was my introduction into the Megabass rod line and our original Enthusiast Rod review back in 2003/4. What I still find unique about this rod is its uncanny accuracy when making overhand and sidearm casts. The X4 version has the same spiral guide configuration, is a full gram lighter, balances out two inches worse than the original, yet has a balancing torque of 0.26 ftlbs vs the original’s 0.31 ftlbs. As you can see in the deflection chart above, while the X4 version of this stick seems to share the same tip as the original, as more load is applied, the FX-711X4 deflects less than the original suggesting it has even more backbone.

Lab Results for Orochi X4 Comparison to Original Models

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
F3-610X4S AM Limited
2.01
Fast
4.2
8.25
0.18
F3-610DGS AM Limited
2.16
Fast
4.3
8.5
0.15
FX711X4 Seven Eleven
1.71
Fast
4.9
11
0.26
F7-711X Seven Eleven
1.76
Fast
6
9.5
0.31

So on those two rods alone, what we discovered overall is with the new Orochi X4 blanks, Megabass is able to produce a rod that is not only more powerful than its original counterpart, but lighter as well! The rods’ balance point and balancing torque numbers are mixed depending on the models involved, but we found an interesting phenomenon in both these analysis. In both comparisons, the rod that balanced out better, had a higher balancing torque! That's completely counter intuitive, but goes to show you that you cannot go by balance point alone.


The F3-610XS features the same, eccentric first guide as the original.

 

So, that’s the story on two of the three rods that Megabass USA sent over, but what about the third? I had fished the previous version Orochi Destruction, but before I had a chance to fish that stick extensively and write a review it found a new owner. To be honest, things were not going well in my relationship with the original Destruction. I just didn’t care for that stick very much. At  6.6 ounces, even though it was well balanced (8.5” balance point for a 7’4” stick), I found it a bit heavy, too moderate, and overall it felt kind of clumsy to fish when compared to other rods in that series like the F8-78DG Super Destruction, a rod that won Editor’s Choice honors during our Swimbait Rod Wars of 2008.


Of the three rods Megabass USA sent in, this is the one Cal had to have.

 

So one day, while fishing with a friend, he eyed the beautifully crafted Orochi Huge Contact Destruction stick and asked to try the rod. Long story short? He fell in love casting it, and wouldn’t put it down until I agreed to sell it to him. What’s one to do?


Introducing the F6-72X4 Destruction.

When Megabass USA mentioned they wanted to send the X4 Destruction together with the other two sticks, I agreed, but really, did not expect much based on my past experience with the original. I figured I'd WRACK it up, and send it back. Well, I soon found out the F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction is a different animal than its predecessor. The second I picked it up, I could not believe it was based on the original Orochi Huge Contact Destruction. Gone was the heavy, clumsy feel I recalled of the previous version, and in was a new, lighter rod with a very responsive tip. As tested, the F6-72X4 came in at only five ounces, 1.6 ounces less than the original.  But, and there’s always  “but”, the rod has a balance point of nine inches above the centerline of the reel seat. Not great but it shares a similar balancing torque to the Daiwa Steez STZ741XHFBA-XBD with 0.23 ftlbs - decent.

Lab Results for F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction

Model
Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction
1.39
Fast
5
9
0.23
F7-74DG Orochi Huge Contact Destruction (Avg RoD 2-32 oz only)
1.26
Mod-Fast
6.6
8.5
--
Swimbait Stick All Purpose Average
1.69
--
4.92
7.65
0.19
Evergreen TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion
1.29
X-Fast
5.1
6.5
0.15
Daiwa Steez STZ741XHFBA-XBD
1.24
Fast
5.3
8.5
0.24

Now in all fairness, the original Orochi Huge Contact Destruction’s model number was F7-74DG, so it was rated a full step heavier in power and had two extra inches in length than the X4 Destruction. In reality, while they may share the same “Destruction” name, these are not the same sticks. Regardless, and needless to say, Megabass USA did not get the X4 Destruction rod back. No, I had the perfect testing ground for this rod in mind, so instead of finding this stick in the return tube with the F3-610X4S and FX-711X4, they received a call with my credit card number and an authorization to charge!


Fig 3: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the new Orochi X4 F6-72X4 (yellow curve) versus the original "Destruction" rod (orange curve). Note how both curves start and end very similarly, but how the yellow curve has higher values in the middle suggesting the X4 Destruction has a much softer tip.

Where was this testing ground you ask? Of course, it was the Amazon. With a rod this powerful, there’s little question it can hold up to catching a few largemouth, but after the positive lab results of the X4 Aaron Martens Limited and X4 Seven Eleven, I had to see for myself, what these new X4 blanks were all about. Yes, I took it upon myself to reshuffle my planned arsenal for the Amazon and made room for this new stick from Megabass. Quite the sacrifice, but someone had to do it.


Fig 4: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the new Orochi X4 F6-72X4 (yellow curve) versus our Search For One baseline rod (orange curve) and our All Purpose Big Stick Average (red curve). Note how the yellow curve pretty much splits the difference suggesting the F6-72X4 might be more at home used as a heavy or extra heavy rod rather than an all purpose bass stick or a big bait stick.

F6-72X4 Orochi Destruction: Before packing the rod up for the Amazon, I did run it through our standard barrage of lab tests including an appointment with the RoD WRACK. Naturally it was quite a bit more powerful than our Search For One candidates, yet still because of its tip, this stick felt more versatile than its power would suggest.


Fig 5: Add to Fig 4, the curves of Evergreen's Super Stallion (light blue curve) and Daiwa's XBD Steez Frog Rod (purple curve) and the proper technique fit for the F6-72X4 begins to take shape. But it's still a bit lighter in power than either of these two sticks.

 

The way it tested out? Almost right in between the curve of our Search For One baseline stick, the MBR783C GLX2000 and our Big Bait Stick All Purpose Average. Comparisons will be made to Evergreen International’s TKLC-71MHX, but the X4 Destruction is a hair softer than that rod as well as Daiwa’s STZ741XHFBA-XBD frogging stick (a rod that aligns perfectly with the Super Stallion by the way).

 


Fig 6: This chart offers up our last comparison and illustrates the deflection characteristics of the new Orochi X4 F6-72X4 (yellow curve) versus two heavy powered bass rods, an MBR844C GLX (orange curve) and a Phenix MBX707H (red curve). The F6-72X4 shares a similar tip to these two sticks, but even more backbone.


In more domestically available comparisons, the F6-72X4 reminds me a bit of the G.Loomis MBR844C GLX. Now, it’s been sometime since I fished an MBR844C GLX, but as I recall, that was another heavy powered stick that had a really nice tip to it. The Phenix ULTRA MBX707H, also charted above, is provided as another basis for comparison but while the X4 Destruction starts out the same as these two sticks, after about twelve ounces of load, it begins to separate demonstrating more power than either.

 

Lab Results for F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction
1.39
Fast
5
9
0.23
MBR783C GLX2000
1.72
Fast
4.8
5
0.11
G.Loomis MBR844C GLX (Avg RoD 2-32oz)
1.47
Fast
4.2
7.75
--
Phenix MBX707H
1.54
Fast
4.1
11.5
0.25

Overall, the F6-72X4 Destruction demonstrates to us in the lab that it strikes an interesting balance between having a nice tip, and just enough power when it counts, but does that translate out on the water? Let’s find out.


I knew just where I wanted to test this stick... the Amazon!

Field Tests: For the Amazon, I paired the X4 Destruction with a Daiwa Zillion Type R fishing reel spooled with 55lb test Sufix Performance Braid. But before packing the rod away for our trip to Brazil, I did manage to get out on the water with it so I could get a better understanding for how it handled. For this purpose, I paired it with a Scorpion 1001 XT spooled with 50lb Sufix 832. At the end of the line, I tied a half ounce, Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog.


It's all about the tip in this rod.

Casting: Even though the X4 Destruction is rated from three eighths of an ounce up to three and a quarter ounces in lure weight, I wanted to be sure it could handle a “light,” half ounce frog, so on my first cast I took it easy just to see how the rod would load up. Despite our findings in the lab, the stick surprised me. It felt a lot like the previously reviewed  Chimera Evoluzion but longer and that rod is rated as an F5 from Megabass – one power lighter.


The F6-72X4 casts like no other "heavy" or "xtra-heavy" stick I've fished.

So, on my next cast, I let go a little more. I just about spooled my Scorpion 1001 XT. With just medium effort, I cast all the way through to the backing on that reel using only a half ounce bait. The words that came out of my mouth to Zander who was with me? “This stick is sick!”


Matched with a Daiwa Zillion Type R, this combo is sick.

I didn’t really fish the rod much on that first trip as it wasn’t really froggy weather nor is the X4 Destruction the length I prefer in a frogging stick – it’s a little long for me. So back in the rod locker it went until it came time to pack for the Amazon.


The Caribe Lure jig doesn't look like it, but this lure is not that easy to cast for distance without a rod that loads easily for the cast.

Fast forward a few weeks, and the first and primary bait I threw on this combo during our entire trip was a half ounce Caribe Lure hair jig. You wouldn’t think there are any tricks to casting such a basic, no frills lure, but this is actually not a very easy jig to cast. Even when wet, the hair of this bait’s skirt seems to catch wind and choke off casts made on rods that don’t load well enough to overcome this natural drag.


Zander has finished up the official review of the Daiwa Zillion Type R and as you have read this real was awesome in the Amazon


I ran into this exact issue with the vaunted Evergreen International TKLC71MHX Super Stallion. While this stick can cast a three eighths ounce spinnerbait no problem, the Caribe Lures hair jig wasn’t as easy to cast. The rod can handle it okay, but there were times where I wanted just a little more tip so I could really lay into a cast and the Super Stallion did not deliver on these occasions. Such was not the case with the F6-72X4. This stick made it a breeze to cast these jigs both for distance and with accuracy. That nice, soft tip that surprised me casting the frog, really came through with the hair jigs we threw for peacock bass.


This little Paca nearly knocked the rod out of my hand when it hit!

On the upper end of the spectrum, I did tie on a seven inch, Triton Mike Bull Shad (version 1), a bait that weighs approximately 2.75 ounces and the X4 Destruction handled that bait fine as well. Based on that experience, this stick’s lure rating is probably fairly accurate, but for some reason, this stick didn’t quite feel right as a big bait stick to me. It will handle them, but I feel this stick can do so much more.


The F6-72X4 has good sensitivity.

Sensitivity: There were two ways to work that hair jig fishing for peacocks. One was to work it like a rip bait, and the other was to fish it like a standard bass jig either crawling it along the bottom or fishing it with slow, deliberate hops. It was when fishing the baits slow, that the F6-72X4 Destruction showed me its sensitive side.


As the fish got bigger, the F6-72X4 did not yield.

Many of the takes on our November 2010 trip to the Amazon were very soft, subtle inhales. A lot of the fish just weren’t quite ready to commit in full Amazonian fashion and it took a pretty sensitive rod to feel these subtle takes. The F6-72X4 left little to be desired in this department doing a great job of communicating that “something’s not right” sensation to me on countless inhales.


Some prefer stainless steel frames on their guides to titanium for better durability. We're pretty sure the X4 series features stainless framed guides with SiC inserts (by Fuji) as a way to keep their cost down.

Conversely, on those hits that were “no doubters”, the F6-72X4 did such a great job amplifying those strikes, I almost dropped the rod on a couple of occasions on fish that were the size of four our five pound black bass. The thinner, lighter blank on the Orochi X4 Destruction really does a great job of transmitting information back to your hands.


Megabass's Orochi X4 blanks feature two layers of braided graphite and are visibly thinner than their Orochi Huge Contact counterparts.

Power: With that new, thinner, lighter blank, one would expect the blank to suffer in the power department, yet as our lab tests demonstrated, the X4 interpretation of both the F3-610DGS and F7-711X hold their own against the originals and even deliver a tad more power.


Another look at the Daiwa Zillion Type R mounted on the Destruction.

As noted, the original Orochi Huge Contact F7-74DG Destruction was actually a full power heavier than its X4 counterpart, but the F6-72X4 proved itself more than worthy in among the toughest testing grounds one can encounter while battling freshwater prey, peacock bass.


This combo was, by far, my favorite on the trip.

I landed several fish over 10lbs on that trip including two 18 pounders and not once was I left with the impression that the fish were overpowering me. Quite the contrary, even with its super limber, easy loading tip, the Orochi X4 Destruction has power to spare and held its own against those amazing fish.


This 18lber hit very softly, but when I set the hook? Well, you kinda had to be there.


Application: So for what techniques is this rod really suited? I think its sweet spot is with any bait between one half to two and a half ounces that is best presented with a long cast. A few baits that come to mind include: buzzbaits, jerkbaits, paddletail swimbaits, hard bodied swimbaits, jigs, six and seven inch Senkos, spinnerbaits, frogs, toads, deep diving cranks, poppers, walkers, gliders. You get the idea.


I about spooled the Zillion Type R casting Ima's Big Stick with this combo.

Design/Ergonomics: Several years ago, there was a time just about each and every Megabass stick had its own unique look. While other manufacturers homogenized their lineups, Megabass bucked that trend and made each stick a journey in and of itself with masterful detailing and cosmetics. That's what attracted me to Megabass. Sadly, those days are pretty much gone. While Megabass has, in a sense, joined the masses and homogenized the look of each rod within the same lineup, attention to detailing has not been overlooked.


The F6-72X4 features very thin grips that in turn are very comfortable to hold while casting and working your bait.

The Orochi X4 Series is perhaps Megabass’s most conservative line of rods to date. The X4 Destruction features full foam grips though the rear grip is an extra-small diameter accentuating the rod’s light and crisp feel. You will find no power hump here. It has double footed guides all the way up the blank, so you know it’s built for serious duty, and the guides are stainless steel framed, Fujis with SiC inserts. There, of course, is no hook keeper on the rod.


Detailing is more subtle in this series, but wonderful nonetheless.

One little tidbit of information provided on the rod’s manufacturer’s tag attached to the rod sleeve? “Carbon Blank material in Japan. Reel seat made in Japan. Blank assembly in China Megabass Production. Grip made in Japan. Final assembly and inspection in Japan" - finally some insight into a Megabass rod’s origin. All we had to do was take a closer look at the manufacturer’s tags, something we tend to take for granted and often overlook. With an MSRP of $409? I can accept the mixed origins of this rod.


The Orochi X4 series features Fuji's ECS reel seat rather than the more aggressive ACS.

Warranty: After several years of negotiation with Megabass Japan, Megabass USA is finally able to offer a new, more North American consumer friendly warranty on their rods. This warranty applies only to purchases made through Megabass USA and their authorized dealers within the United States of America and applies only to the original owner of the rod. It is a standard, three (3) year warranty covering manufacturer defects in materials or workmanship. There is no replacement program for accidental breakage and the owner covers shipping charges to and from Megabass USA. For more details, as always, contact Megabass USA directly.

Ratings:

F6-72X4 Orochi X4 Destruction Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Reserved for Megabass, but beautifully crafted nonetheless. 9.5
Performance This rod really surprised me 9.5
Price For JDM? a 9, but in the grander scheme of things, very good. 8
Features The new X4 blanks are good. Components are solid. 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) I thought that rear grip was going to be too thin, but as it turned out, it's really comfortable. 9
Application Suitable for just about any bait between half and ounce up to two and a half ounces - a really versatile stick for its power. 9

Total Score

8.92
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ JDM pedigree without the JDM price - Stainless framed guides instead of titanium
+ Fantastic casting stick - X4 Series is available at my local tackle shop... this could get ugly
+ A lot more power than you expect after picking the rod up  
+ MegabassUSA intends to distribute through select, local tackle shops so you can hold the rod in your hand before buying it  
+ New, 3yr warranty  

  

Conclusion: Thanks to an exchange rate that has dropped 40 points over the last couple of years, it’s been growing increasingly difficult to remain enthused about purchasing high dollar gear from across the pond. It’s tough to conduct a search for that “one” when you have to shell out eight, nine hundred to over a thousand dollars for each stick knowing that if that stick breaks, you’re pretty much out of luck. Though the Orochi X4 series is priced at the high end of domestic offerings, this entry-level Megabass rod has just enough JDM character to ignite a new flame of enthusiasm. This is close what JDM sticks used to cost when the exchange rate was more favorable.


Almost forgot... this stick catches bass too.

Throw into this equation, a rod that performs like the F6-72X4 Destruction, make it available at local tackle shops so you can actually hold the rod in your hand before making the purchase, lengthen the warranty period from one to three years, and you have a recipe that is likely to redefine how many perceive the “JDM” category.


You may have already noticed but ...

Elitists will scoff at accessibility, and certainly, on paper, we’re talking about a rod that spec’s out comparable to a Daiwa Zillion or Shimano Cumara, and both those rod lines have a much more extensive warranty at about half the retail price. But are those rods a “Megabass”?


Not only does this stick win Editor's Choice, it is officially Amazon Certified!

Evergreen International’s TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion is more rod than the F6-72X4 Destruction. The Super Stallion is roughly the same weight, but more powerful, has better sensitivity and is better balanced. It also does not cast as well as the Destruction and it is over twice the price before shipping. Similar assessments can be made against Evergreen's Heracles series. But import an Evergreen stick to the US, and you do so at your own risk with no warranty support from the manufacturer. Factor in shipping and you can almost buy three F6-72X4 Destructions for the price of one Super Stallion purchased new from Japan. Of course, we are talking about one company’s top end offering versus another’s entry-level series.


Th
e F6-72X4 Destruction was so much fun, I already have my eye on two more sticks from this series, and you know what? I can drive over to my local tackle shop right now and purchase them. When is the last time you could say that about a Megabass stick?

How does the X4 series stack up against its Destroyer, Racing Condition, Evoluzion, and Orochi Huge Contact siblings?  Different components, different graphite, better pricing, more availability, and for the F6-72X4 (since it’s the only rod from the series I’ve actually fished thus far), as much fun to fish as anything I’ve handled in the Megabass lineup. I was a little disappointed to find out this stick only had stainless steel framed guides instead of titanium, but I kind of expected it from the rod’s price point. The enhanced, lower modulus Hi8X graphite blank felt great while fishing, so I’m glad to know it’s not hiding behind any mysterious metal compositions like with the Evoluzion series. Mixed origins between China and Japan? I’m ok with that because the rod performs and isn’t priced like a standard JDM stick. Bottom line? This rod is so much fun, I already have my eye on two more sticks from this series, and you know what? I can drive over to my local tackle shop right now and purchase them. When is the last time you could say that about a Megabass stick? From that very first peacock bass moving forward, the F6-72X4 is easily this Editor’s Choice and gets honorable mention for Ultimate Enthusiast as well as Best Value.

Reproduced courtesy of TackleTour.com. For the direct link to Tackle Tour's review, please click below: http://tackletour.com/reviewmbx4destruction.html

Megabass Vision 110 Dominates Beaver Lake FLW Tour

It's rare that a tour-level event is completely dominated by a single bait, but that was the case last week at the FLW Tour Walmart Open at Beaver Lake in Arkansas. As Megabass pro-staffer and 4th-place finisher Randy Blaukat told BassFan after day 2, "If you're not throwing a Vision 110, you're probably not catching a lot of fish here."

There was very little hyperbole in that statement. A couple of guys who made the Top 10 (Stetson Blaylock and David Dudley) relied primarily on soft plastics, but the Japanese-made Ozarks fish-killer was a big part of the arsenal of the other eight under the late-winter/early pre-spawn conditions.

"It's a bait that the pros have been throwing for a couple of years, but they just haven't been saying a lot about it," Blaukat said. "This was a tournament where nobody could really hide it."

There were lots of anglers in the original field of 158 who threw it, too, and walked away without earning a cent. Those who fared the best were also keyed in on the "where" and the "how."

2nd: Stacey King

> Day 1: 5, 12-04
> Day 2: 5, 11-01
> Day 3: 4, 12-05
> Day 4: 5, 16-12
> Total = 19, 52-06

Stacey King topped the trio of "old-timers" who finished directly behind winner Bryan Thrift – he, Ron Shuffield and Blaukat were all regulars on the Bassmaster circuit before the FLW Tour came into existence in the mid-1990s. A four-fish bag on day 3 greatly hindered his victory hopes, and Thrift dashed them completely by catching a 4-pounder in the last 5 minutes of the final day.

In addition to the Vision 110, he also caught weigh-in finish on a Storm Wiggle Wart and a Cotton Cordell Super Shad. The latter is a vintage tail-spinner that's long out of production.

He switched back and forth between the three baits throughout the tournament. The jerkbait was most effective in the mornings, the Wiggle Wart produced well in the afternoons and the tail-spinner was the ticket when the sun was out and the wind was light.

  • Jerkbait gear: 6'6" medium-light Bass Pro Shops CarbonLite rod, BPS CarbonLite casting reel, 10-pound BPS XPS fluorocarbon line, Megabass Vision 110 (various colors).
  • Cranking gear: 7' medium-action BPS Cranking Stick, BPS casting reel (a vintage David Fritts signature model), 8-pound XPS fluorocarbon, Strom Wiggle Wart (phantom green).
  • Tail-spinner gear: 7' heavy-action BPS Johnny Morris Signature Series rod, BPS Johnny Morris Signature Series casting reel, 17-pound XPS fluorocarbon, Cotton Cordell Super Shad.

    Main factor in his success – "Probably persistence and having found three different workable patterns. When one died, I had other ones to fall back on."

    Performance edge – "My biggest stringer came on the tail-spinner so I might say that, but if I hadn't caught the others on the Wiggle Wart and the jerkbait, it wouldn't have mattered."



    Photo: FLW Outdoors
    Isolated rock formations were the key to Ron Shuffield's pattern.

    3rd: Ron Shuffield

    > Day 1: 3, 6-08
    > Day 2: 5, 16-04
    > Day 3: 5, 18-10
    > Day 4: 3, 7-14
    > Total = 16, 49-04

    Shuffield achieved a high finish despite a total catch that was four fish shy of the tournament limit. He led going into the final day, but his worst fears were realized when the much calmer conditions on the final day shut down his clear-water bite.

    "Because of my poor first day, I didn't really get locked into any type of area," he said. "I really just kept practicing.

    "Most of my fish ended up coming from isolated rock formations, whether they were in a pocket off the main lake or a creek. Some were boulders on flat points and some were veins of big rock like you see in a channel swing."

    He had two baits in common with King – the Vision 110 and the Wiggle Wart.

  • Jerkbait gear: 6'6" medium-action Fenwick Techna AV rod, Abu Garcia Revo STX casting reel (6.4:1 ratio), 10-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line, Megabass Vision 110 (Tennessee shad or cosmic back).
  • Cranking gear: 6'6" medium-heavy Fenwick Techna AV rod, Abu Garcia Revo Winch casting reel (5.4:1 ratio), Berkley Trilene Big Game line, Storm Wiggle Wart (phantom craw).

    Main factor in his success – "Weather played a key role – the clouds and wind on the second and third days really helped."

    Performance edge – "The Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon allowed me to keep the jerkbait down deeper and let it stay fairly stationary – sometimes I'd have to let it sit quite a while to get a fish to bite it. Also, my Typhoon sunglasses let me see that isolated rock structure real well."



    Photo: Megabass
    Randy Blaukat managed to weigh a limit each day and his sacks got progressively larger as the event wore on.

    4th: Randy Blaukat

    > Day 1: 5, 9-05
    > Day 2: 5, 11-13
    > Day 3: 5, 12-09
    > Day 4: 5, 14-13
    > Total = 20, 48-08

    Blaukat's weights kept improving as the tournament progressed. Like Shuffield, he did a lot of "practicing" during the event as he was frequently forced to depart from his primary areas on multiple occasions – either by crowding or uncooperative fish.

    "Every day was a grind – none of them were easy," he said. "Eight keepers was the most I caught on any day.

    "Because I wasn't getting very many bites, the important thing for me was to take it one fish at a time. I stayed focused and persistent and I was confident in my technique."

    He threw a Vision 110 Silent Riser (no rattle) and another Megabass jerkbait, the Live X Revenge.

  • Jerkbait gear: 6'10" medium action Megabass F3-610DGS spinning rod, unnamed spinning reel, 6-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon line, Vision 110 Silent Riser (cosmic back) or Megabass Live X Revenge (PM Ayu).

    Main factor in his success – "Probably getting comfortable with the rhythm and cadence of the jerkbaits."

    Performance edge – "The Megabass baits – they're almost like fishing with live bait."



    Photo: Matt Arey
    Matt Arey's primary area was a creek loaded with active fish.

    5th: Matt Arey

    > Day 1: 5, 8-13
    > Day 2: 5, 13-05
    > Day 3: 5, 13-08
    > Day 4: 5, 12-10
    > Total = 20, 48-04

    Unlike most competitors, Matt Arey suffered from no shortage of bites. He caught as many as 50 fish in a day and even boated a couple of dozen under the bluebird skies of day 4.

    For him, it was a pure numbers game. He just kept working through fish after fish until he had the best bag he could compile.

    "A lot of the lake was so dead, but the creek I was in was just alive," he said. "It didn't have a lot of timber in the middle of the channel so the fish made more of a push toward the bank.

    "It was a little warmer than the main lake and it had some color to it. The key was the different transitions – where it went from chunk rock to pea gravel or pea gravel to bluffs. There were four or five different drains in there and some swings and turns that made good transitions."

    The Vision 110 produced every fish he weighed in.

  • Jerkbait gear: 6'10" medium-action Denali Norwood Series rod, Shimano Curado casting reel (6:1 ratio), 8-pound P-Line fluorocarbon line, Megabass Vision 110 (elegy bone or Tennessee skeleton).

    Main factor in his success – "Finding an area that had an active group of fish in it."

    Performance edge – "I'd say the rod. When you're throwing a jerkbait for 4 straight days it's pretty stressful on your wrist and arm, and the lightness of it was a huge factor."

  • Read more by following this link: http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3864

    Article reproduced courtesy of bassfan.com

    Check out the FLW Reeltime Report video here: http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/flw/tournament/2011/6547/beaver-lake-video/152028/reeltime-report-day-3-beaver-lake/

    Another Thrift Thrashing (on the Vision 110!)

    ROGERS, Ark. – The 2010 tournament season was a rollercoaster ride for Bryan Thrift. He claimed his first Walmart FLW Tour win on his home lake in front of family and friends. A few months later, he won the coveted Angler of the Year award. But Thrift also remembers 2010 for what he lost – his father, Tommy, to cancer. But 2011 couldn’t have started any better. Thrift and his wife, Allison, are proud parents to newborn baby Wylie Thomas. And at Wylie’s first tournament, his dad delivered another textbook thrashing.

    Not too long ago, Thrift was known as a dock skipper and a bank burner. But as he ages, his angling arsenal continues to diversify. This week on Beaver Lake he demonstrated the ability to master cold water and make key adjustments in the tournament’s final hours.

    On day one Thrift caught three quality keepers and then left his primary area. He was hoping to find a few kicker largemouths in Beaver’s muddy water, but he returned empty-handed.

    “I thought after the first day I was done,” said the Shelby, N.C., native, who sat in 36th place. “I ran up the river and never got bit. Little did I know, where I left was where the big ones were at.”
    The exclamation point: Bryan Thrift seals victory with a 4-pounder
    After a tip from friend and fellow North Carolina pro Matt Arey, Thrift put on a jerkbait clinic. Throwing to water waist deep, Thrift would work a Megabass Vision 110 as hard and fast as possible over rock piles and timber in the Rocky Branch area of the lake.

    “Matt really showed me what I was doing wrong. Once I got the action right, I really figured it out. I ripped that thing until my arms got tired, and I then I’d rest and rip it some more. And the key for me was that 6-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy Damiki Dark Angel rod. It’s got backbone, but it’s also got a lot of tip, which is the exact action you want in a jerkbait-crankbait rod.”

    While the Vision 110 (Pro Blue) was his primary lure, Thrift also weighed in a few keepers this week on a bluegill-colored Damiki DC-200 crankbait. Both were tied to 10-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon.

    While Thrift stunned the crowd Saturday with a 20-pound, 8-ounce stringer, Sunday was much more stressful.

    “I caught a 4-pounder in the first 20 minutes, and then it really got tough. At about 1 p.m. I decided to abandon my shallow-water program and fish deep cedar trees. At the time I only had three fish. Instead of working the bait fast, I’d dead-stick it and let it fall for 20 or 30 seconds, all the way down.”

    That late-game adjustment made all the difference as Thrift filled out his limit. But he didn’t seal the deal until the closing moments.

    “With about 10 minutes left in the day I pulled into Prairie Creek, about half a mile from the takeoff, and Pro winner Bryan Thrift celebrates his second FLW Tour win with his wife Allison and son Wiley.threw my jerkbait beside a cedar tree. It’s sinking down through there, and my line jumps and I catch a 4-pounder right before weigh-in. Hands down, that was the winning fish.”

    The Chevy pro then reflected on his latest milestone.

    “I don’t want to slow down,” said Thrift, who has posted seven top-10 finishes and two wins in the last eight events dating back to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup. “I want to catch them everywhere I go. That’s my goal.”

    He said this win might mean more to him than last year’s triumph at Norman, his first Tour win.

    “I’d have to say it is, even though this one wasn’t at home with a bunch of friends and family around. But it’s my first win with my new son, Wylie. It was his first tournament, and he got to see me win.”

    For a total weight of 54 pounds, 8 ounces, Thrift earned $125,000. He also set the record Saturday for heaviest single-day catch on Beaver Lake.

    King rallies to second

    At the day-three weigh-in, veteran pro Stacey King made a prediction that not bringing in a fifth fish Stacey King rose to second place after catching a final-day stringer weighing 16 pounds, 12 ounces.would come back to haunt him. At the time, King was more than 5 pounds behind Ron Shuffield and Thrift. But true to form, King made a huge rally, only to come up 2 pounds, 2 ounces short – approximately the size of a decent Beaver Lake keeper.

    “It cost me the tournament, there’s no doubt about it,” said the Reeds Spring, Mo., pro. “I had a great week; I hate that I didn’t win, but I’m not upset.”

    For most of the week, King used a Storm Wiggle Wart and a Megabass Vision 110. But being the wily veteran that he is, King had an inkling it was time to bail on the jerkbait.

    “I wasn’t real confident getting bit in the calm, clear conditions. So I switched to a Cordell Super Shad tailspinner, and it worked great. When it’s still and bright in the Ozarks, it can be a great little bait. But that lure is probably 25 or 30 years old; they no longer make it.”

    King would cast the tailspinner out into trees 20 to 40 feet deep and pump it off the bottom. On day four he weighed in three largemouths and smallmouths for a total of 16 pounds, 12 ounces. Of the five he weighed, four came on the tailspinner, the other on the Wiggle Wart. He also culled eight or 10 keeper spotted bass on the tailspinner.

    King fished the Rambo and Van Hollow creek arms, which are generally considered midlake.

    For finishing in second place with 52 pounds, 6 ounces, he earned $35,000. In approximately two months, the Tour heads to Table Rock, King’s home lake.

    Shuffield falls to third

    After catching 16-4 and 18-10 on days two and three, EverStart pro Ron Shuffield fell back to earth EverStart pro Ron Shuffield finished the Beaver Lake event third with 49 pounds, 4 ounces.Sunday, catching three bass weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Shuffield knew the high-pressure system, complete with bluebird skies and calm winds, would hurt his jerkbait bite, but he stuck to his guns.

    “What really killed me was the lack of wind, and I knew it would,” said the Bismarck, Ark., native.

    Shuffield fished Indian Creek, near the Starkey Marina and close to the dam in an effort to fish new water every day. Above all, he tried to fish cover that wasn’t obvious and hadn’t been pounded on during the four-day tournament. Some of his best spots had isolated rock formations, located halfway to the backs of the coves. Shuffield explained that the bass are trying to move into their spawn areas, so they’re staging and suspended over water 20 to 35 feet deep.

    All week long, he kept three rods ready on the deck. One had a Storm Wiggle Wart tied on, and the other two featured Megabass Vision 110 jerkbaits. All three were tied to either 8- or 10-pound Berkley 100% fluorocarbon.

    “The jerkbait accounted for a little more than half of my fish, but the occasional Wart fish seemed to be the bigger ones. Today I didn’t get a bite on the Wart; all three came on the Vision 110.”

    For a total weight of 49 pounds, 4 ounces, Shuffield earned $30,000. He finished second last year in similar jerkbait conditions on Table Rock Lake.

    Blaukat fourth

    Pickens Plan pro Randy Blaukat rallied to fourth place on a strength of a 14-pound, 13-ounce limit.Pickens Plan pro Randy Blaukat improved his weight every single day of the four-day tournament. On day one he caught 9-5, and on day two he registered 11-13. Yesterday he caught 12-9, and today he finished with 14 pounds, 13 ounces for a total of 48-8. While it looks great on paper, Blaukat struggled for much of the day Sunday.

    With only two fish at noon, he left his spot near Hickory Creek and returned to Prairie Creek. But instead of targeting the same fish he did the first three days, he backed off and fished deeper.

    “I was fishing in like 8 to 10 feet of water, and I then I moved out to 12 to 19,” said the Joplin, Mo., pro. “That was a key move as the fish had pulled out with that front. I ended up culling three times.”

    Blaukat used two baits all week – a Megabass Vision 110 Silent Riser and a Megabass Live-X Revenge, which has a longer bill and thus dives deeper. Both were tied on to 6-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon.

    His day-four limit consisted of four largemouths and one spotted bass. For fourth place, Blaukat earned $25,000.

    Arey fifth

    If the $125,000 purse was awarded to the angler who caught the most keepers during the week, then Matt Arey fights a 3-pounder to the boat.Arey would be heading back to Shelby, N.C., with a much larger bank account. During the first three days of competition, Arey was averaging approximately 30 keepers per day – absolutely unheard of on Beaver Lake. His bite slowed considerably Sunday, but he capitalized on the six bites he received and finished the day with 12 pounds, 10 ounces. Arey’s four-day cumulative weight registered 48 pounds, 4 ounces, good enough for fifth place and $20,000.

    “I caught every fish this week throwing a Megabass Vision 110 on 8-pound P-Line fluorocarbon,” he said. “I was fishing mostly in the back two-thirds of the Blackburn arm. I would put my boat in about 20 to 35 feet of water, and the fish were positioned in 7 to 18 feet.”

    Arey used an ultrafast motion with his jerkbait to trigger reactions strikes. And after day one, he told his good friend Thrift about it.

    “You can’t give a machine extra oil. Then it was game over.”

    Arey also finished fifth at the 2008 event on Beaver. That tournament saw vastly different conditions as the water was extremely high and warm.

    For the complete article, please follow this link: http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/flw/tournament/2011/6547/beaver-lake-headline-story/152031/another-thrift-thrashing/

    Article reproduced courtesy of www.flwoutdoors.com

    For the FLW Reeltime Report with details on Thrift's winning jerkbait pattern, click here: http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/flw/tournament/2011/6547/beaver-lake-video/152033/reeltime-report-day-4-beaver-lake/

    Aaron Martens - The Making of a Bass Super Star

    I know, I know, this blog is suppose to focus on all things related to fishing in Central Canada.  But let me spread my wings a little further afield today and comment on last weekend's Bassmaster Classic because I am still flying on Cloud 9.   

    Two good friends and supremely talented anglers, Kevin Van Dam and Aaron Martens fought it out for the win.  In the end, Kevin was first and Aaron was second - for the 4th time in his short but illustrious professional fishing career.  In the process, the pair shocked the bass fishing world with their record book catches.  

    (B.A.S.S. / Jason Cohn)

    Believe it or not, I've been privileged to know Aaron since he was a personable young kid in his early 20s, when he was just starting out on the professional tournament trail.  And let me tell you, even back then, when we were fishing together for muskies in Northwestern Ontario, a species he'd never before even seen, you could tell he was destined for greatness.   

    How Aaron got into bass fishing, though, is an interesting story in itself.  It was because of his mom, Carol, who is a dear, dear friend and one of the best bass anglers on the planet!  

    Living in Los Angeles, Carol used to take her three sons fishing at Malibu.  While the boys caught mackerel from the southern California pier, Carol would walk the famous surfing beach and enjoy the sun.  In the evening, she’d gather up the clan and head home.  

    Then one day, the fishing gods intervened. When she was picking up the boys, her youngest son, Aaron, hooked a spirited fish.  Not wanting to leave quite yet, he handed the rod to Carol and implored, “C’mon, mom, reel it in.” It may have been the smartest thing the fourteen year old ever did.    

    “It was so much fun reeling in that mackerel,” Carol remembers these many years later, “that we decided to stay a few extra hours. Then we began getting up at sunrise and fishing in the surf. We’d catch a halibut on every cast.”  

    (What you see is what you get - one the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.    Photo B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito)

    Eventually Carol and Aaron graduated from catching mackerel and halibut at Malibu to fishing for bass and crappies in the mountain reservoirs that supply water to Los Angeles.  Famous bass lakes like Casitas, Castaic and Pyramid.  

    Then fate intervened a second time.  

    “We'd rented a small aluminum boat and motor at Casitas,” Carol remembers, “the same day that a bass tournament was underway. We watched the boats launching and the blast off and Aaron turned to me and said, “That is what I want to do.”    

    The die was finally cast a few weeks later when the Martens rented a boat up on Pyramid Lake, a small reservoir snuggled in the steep sided mountains outside of the city.   

    “At $60 a day it was getting expensive to rent boats all the time,” Carol remembers. “And the wind was howling so hard and the water was so rough, I decided if Aaron and I were going to do this all the time we needed a boat and motor of our own.”  

    So, Gerry (Carol’s husband, who is a passionate back packer and mountaineer having trekked around the world), Aaron and Carol headed for the Sport Show in nearby Long Beach, looking for, as Carol recalls, “An aluminum cheapo for $3000.”  

    They found a $30,000 bass boat instead  

    “I am not a compulsive shopper,” Carol laughs, remembering the event as though it was yesterday, “but I saw this magnificent Ranger bass boat.  I touched it, turned around and said to Gerry, “I want it.” Gerry said, “You can’t have it.” And we had a 3-hour argument right there on the spot.  Meanwhile, Aaron just stood in shock. We’d never even been in bass boat before.  We’d never even towed a boat. In fact, we didn’t even have a vehicle that could pull it.”  

    In the end, perseverance ... and fate for the third time … won the day. The Martens owned their first boat.  A shiny metal flaked Ranger 388 with dual consoles pushed by 175 Mercury horses. It was time for serious fishing.  

    “The first tournament Aaron and I ever entered was a West Coast Tournament event,” Carol remembers. “We finished third and cashed a cheque. We were ecstatic. Our first big win was at Casitas when we finished third. Then we got on a roll.”  

    A roll indeed.   

    Gerry Martens remembers that when Carol and Aaron would walk through the front door after a tournament, he wouldn’t even ask how they had fared. “I’d simply say, “How much money did you win this time?” he remembers with a wide proud smile.  

    By 1994, Carol and Aaron Martens were winning everything in sight. That is the year they captured Team of the Year honours on the Southern California W.O.N. Circuit, Team of the Year title on the North ABA (American Bass Association) trail and Team of the Year in the W.O.N-dering Division.  

    But Carol says the most exciting day was when she and Aaron won the Tri-State (Arizona, New Mexico and California) WON tournament on Lake Mead.   

    “It was the dead of summer and the temperature was 120 F every day of the tournament,” Carol recalls. “We won our first Ranger boat, motor and trailer and Aaron and I were on cloud nine. We sold it and split the winnings.”  

    By 1995 there was little left for the Martens to prove.  So Aaron turned pro.  It was a wise decision.  He won three bass boats, motors and trailers in three successive tournaments over a three-month period.  

    Then, in 2000, after rising to the top of the professional level in California, Aaron set his sights on the biggest prize of all. The Bassmaster tournament trail.  

    “Gerry and I will never forget the B.A.S.S. event on Lake Mead,” Carol remembers. “We were on a business trip in Mexico and Aaron phoned us to say that he had won. He was only 28 years old and he was in shock.”  

    Since that time Aaron's been on a rocket ride to the top of the sport winning the Bassmaster Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title in 2005, and finishing in the runner-up spot in the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 20011 Bassmaster Classics.  And get this: he has finished in the money in 109 of the 148 tournaments he has entered, accumulating almost $1.75 million in winnings.   

    So it is a safe bet we're going to be seeing Aaron Martens standing on the stage soon, with the television cameras rolling and the press flashes popping while he holds the Classic trophy high.   And when he does, you can bet he'll remember being a 14-year old, fishing on the pier at Malibu Beach, handing his rod to his mother and saying, “C’mon mom, reel it in.”  

    (B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito)

    For the original article by Gord Pyzer, please follow the link below: http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/users/gord-pyzer/blog/aaron-martens-the-making-of-a-bass-super-star-70262.aspx

    • B.A.S.S. Elite angler Aaron Martens is perennially ranked among the Top 10 in the US--and with an AOY title in 2013 and 2004, multiple tour-level wins, and over $2.6 million in career winnings, it is no question why Aaron continues to dominate the sport.

    Bassmaster Classic 2011

    In a historic Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta, Megabass pro Aaron Martens turned in a remarkable performance, bringing in a total of 59lbs over three days of competition. Aaron's total weight beat the 56lb. 2oz. Classic record set by fellow Megabass pro Luke Clausen in 2006, and powered him to his fourth 2nd place finish in the Classic in just nine years.

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