A fishy tale about the world record rod

Manabu Kurita talks about his lucky rod.

Every angler has a rod and reel that just seems to catch more fish than the rest of the combos in his or her boat. Manabu Kurita, catcher of the pending world record largemouth, is no different.

On his lucky rod (Deps Sidewinder Flipping Edition) and reel (Shimano Antares DC 7-LV), Kurita had landed an 18 1/2-pound largemouth last year by catapulting a 12-inch Mother swimbait (handcrafted by Roman Made). And what's more, he caught the pending world record fish on this combination. But perhaps what makes it most lucky is the fact that it was still in his possession when the 22-pound, 5-ounce bass swallowed his sunfish on July 2 of this year.

Just one month earlier, the rod and reel were lying on the bottom of Lake Biwa.

In late May, Kurita was using the Deps/Shimano combo to fish a live ayu on Lake Biwa. Ayu is a popular food fish (about the size of a sardine) in Japan during the summer months, and bass forage on this fish spring through fall. After casting the weightless live bait, he had set the rod down while working on some tackle. While not paying attention, a bass ate the live ayu, dragging overboard his favorite rod and reel combination. He watched it sink to the bottom of Lake Biwa, which at its deepest point is 300 feet.

He assumed it was lost forever.

However, almost one month later, he was fishing near the same spot when he noticed a large bass floating in the lake. He trolled up to the dead, double-digit fish, to find a line coming out of its mouth. After pulling on the line for several minutes, Kurita's lucky rod and reel appeared from the bottom of the lake.

"It was scratched up from where the bass dragged it around the lake bottom, but it still works perfectly! It really is lucky," Kurita grinned.

Hard to argue that fact.

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