Product Review:

For two days we struggled. From morning to evening, bass chased tiny forage all around us but wouldn't strike lures that typically work so well at Lake El Salto.Fortunately, George Large of Rapala was there at the same popular Mexican bass fishery field testing the company's new lures.Try these," he said, handing me a couple of minnow-shapebaits."We already tried jerkbaits," I complained. "They aren't interested."George grinned. "These are different," he said. Admittedly, they did look a little different. They were only 4 inches long, smaller than most jerkbaits and the tail treble was adorned with Mylar and feathers.And as we soon discovered, Salto's bass liked them.Those two Rapala X-Raps that Large gave us saved the trip for my buddy Norm and me. In two days, we caught several hundred bass, including six 8-pounders and one 9-pound trophy.Granted, maybe the bite just picked up and that's why we caught so many bass. But bass behavior didn't change, as far as we could tell. They continued to chase small bait on or near the surface. Plus, Norm continued to heave his spinnerbait — with no success. He switched when I caught an 8-pounder on an X-Rap, though.The 2- to 5-pound bass that I had been catching weren't enough to tempt him, but when he saw that hefty largemouth, he was quick to change.Why did the X-Rap work so well? First of all, it casts like a bullet because of its weight transfer system. We could make long casts to feeding fish without spooking them. Sometimes, the fish hit before we even moved the bait, possibly attracted by the adornments on the rear treble.Mostly, though, they seemed to be attracted by the hard-cutting, darting action of the suspending bait, complemented by rattles. Additionally, with a textured translucent body and imbedded holographic foil, the bait looked extremely realistic as it flashed through the water.The "X," by the way, stands for extreme, and the X-Bait certainly is an extremely effective jerkbait, or "slash bait," as Rapala prefers to call it.Lobina's Western Video Series

 BASS Times Staff Review

 Quick question. What do drop shotting, flipping and swimbait tactics have in common?

 Answer? All three of these popular bass fishing techniques either originated or were perfected in the West. And what better way to master them yourself than through the Western Video Series produced by Lobina Lures."Each video is like a guided trip from your living room," said a Lobina spokesman.Each technique is presented by a well-known and highly successful BASS pro. Below are brief descriptions of the three instructional videos currently available.

 Swimbaits with Byron Velvick is a 45 minute video featuring "The Bachelor," whose other claim to fame is a record-setting win at the 2000 BASS Western Open at Clear Lake using this technique. Learn the "when, where and how" on swimbaits from one of the Tour's most talented pros.The Western Video Series will take the guesswork out of learning these popular fishing techniques, by eliminating simple trial and error. Even the angler who has mastered one or more of these techniques will benefit from the in-depth knowledge contained within them.Top quality with Kaenon

 BASS Times Staff Review

If you're looking for sterling product endorsements from the BASS Tour, the outcome of last year's CITGO Bassmaster Tour event in Florida spoke volumes about Kaenon polarized eyewear.Skeet Reese won the Leesburg event. David Walker was second. And Gerald Swindle finished fourth. All were using Kaenon eyewear. But it wasn't a fashion statement. Top pros like Swindle, Walker and Reese were wearing Kaenon for function and the optical edge this brand of top quality eyewear offers.Kaenon has been at the forefront of new eyewear technology since its introduction of the SR-91 lense back in 2001. Opinions of bass fishermen are one thing. Scientific evidence is another.Proof of the Kaenon edge came during a battery of tests conducted by COLTS Laboratories, which concluded that the company's unique SR-91 lense material exceeded current impact standards — vitally important for fishermen piloting high-speed boats and handling needlepoint hooks — and provided the highest clarity rating possible.The bottom line? Kaenon eyewear has proved itself both durable and highly functional.The other advantage of the SR-91 lense material is its incorporation of a new polarizing film called Glare 86, "which yields our unique lens tints of grey, copper and yellow," according to company spokesperson Sue Bohlen.In a nutshell, Bohlen explained, Glare 86 allows the angler to control the exact amount of light transmitted to the eye and is the only eyewear company now offering "varying light transmission levels," depending on the individual lense material selected.While expensive — most models in the Kaenon lineup have a suggested retail price of $170 — the advantages are easy to see. Just ask many of the top pros on the BASS Tour.Kaenon was founded by Steve Rosenberg, who was a marketing executive with Oakley for nearly 10 years.

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