June MONSTERBASS Box | Tips & Tricks for the Baits in My June Box

This month, I received my June Northeast MONSTERBASS box and instead of doing a stereotypical unboxing, I’m going to run through my favorite way to use the baits I received.

Whether you’re new to fishing or have been chasing big bass for years, there’s always room for improvement. If you would rig anything differently, let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the article. 

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the baits I received and some tips and tricks for rigging them.

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #1: X Zone Lures Adrenaline Bug

Up first is the 4-inch X Zone Lures Adrenaline Bug. This beaver style bait is perfect for fishing on a flipping setup using a Texas rig. I prefer to flip a beaver style bait in submerged vegetation or around shallow laydowns. Rig the Adrenaline Bug on a 5/0 flipping hook with a ½-ounce bullet weight and get to work. 

I’d recommend two bobber stops to keep the weight from moving too far up and down your line when fishing in heavier cover. If you’re going to be fishing matted vegetation, upsize your weigh to make sure you’re breaking through that top layer. 

This Texas rig presentation is a great way to entice post-spawn bass this time of year and it’s incredibly versatile since you can fish it in heavy cover or more of an open water situation. 

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #2: X Zone Lures Muscle Back Craw

The next bait I received was the X Zone Lures Muscle Back Finesse Craw. This bait makes a great jig trailer. You could also Texas rig it if you’d prefer. 

However, the floating claws that are standard with X Zone allows this bait to be a perfect jig trailer. As the head of your jig sits on the bottom, the floating claws will make a presentation that most feeding bass can’t resist. 

Fish this setup around deep rock piles, laydowns, and even along the deeper edges of rip-rap. A jig is a great way to catch some better than average fish this season. 

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #3: X Zone Lures Blitz Worm

The final X Zone bait I received was the 11’ Blitz Worm. Now, in the Northeast, you might be wondering when a bass is ever going to take on a bait THAT big. Here’s a hint, they can and will eat a big worm! 

I prefer to target deeper rock piles and ledges with the Blitz Worm using a ½-ounce football jig with a screw lock. You can drag this bait along the bottom or hop it to get a great swimming action up and down in the water column. Once you feel the bite, reel down to the bait and give it a second or two to make sure the fish has it, then swing away. 

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to target some big bass this summer, don’t be afraid to try a big worm, like the 11” Blitz Worm from X Zone!

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #4: Chasebaits Big Wiggle Bomb

The Chasebaits Big Wiggle Bomb is a new take on a classic topwater lure. This soft, hollow body frog style bait is perfect for fishing up shallow around pads or submerged grass. This hollow body frog actually has a weighted hook towards the nose of the bait allowing it to slowly sink in the water column. 

Due to that weight, there are actually two ways you can fish it. 

First, you can burn it across the top of the water column to try and trigger an aggressive topwater strike. When those fish are reacting to a bait and feeding heavily, this can be a great way to fill the boat in a hurry. 

On days where the fish are more lethargic, you can let it sink down into the water column and slowly work the bait to you with small switches and a slow retrieve. This will give the bass a slower target and a different presentation than they are used to seeing. 

Either way you fish it, be ready for some great strikes!

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #5: Heddon Torpedo

The Heddon Torpedo is a true classic. This prop style bait has been around for years and accounts for thousands of fish catches. Its small profile makes it a great bait for the Northeast where the baitfish are smaller than their counterparts down south. 

The propellers on this bait give it some amazing action as you rip it or straight retrieve it across the water’s surface. You can fish it up shallow around structure that bass will be using as ambush points, or you can find schooling bass focused on baitfish around points or bluffs and elicit some great topwater strikes from the feeding bass below.

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #6: Savage Gear Fat Vibes

The Savage Gear Fat Vibes is a lipless crankbait with rattles. A lipless crankbait is a great imitator of baitfish in your area. You can swim it, yo-yo it, or work it like a jig along the bottom. 

A lipless crankbait like the Fat Vibes is great for working submerged grass beds or along deeper grass lines. It can also be fished in and around laydowns where baitfish are present. 

Regarding rigging, I personally use a Palomar knot with 12-pound fluorocarbon. Throw it on a moderate action rod which will allow the rod to load up when the fish bites it instead of a stiffer rod that might rip the bait from the fish’s mouth. I’d recommend a 7’ Medium rod with a moderate action for fishing your Savage Gear Fat Vibes. 

June MONSTERBASS Box | Bait #7: Z-Man Swing Bladez

The Z-Man Swing Bladez lineup has some great options for covering all of your spinnerbait needs. Whether you like to throw double colorado blades, double willows, or a mixture of the two, they’ve got you covered. 

For rigging, I’d use the same rod or a similar rod for the lipless crankbait setup I mentioned above. You can always upsize if you’d like, but personally, I want to feel those blades kicking while I’m retrieving the spinnerbait. 

Depending on the area you’re fishing, you can throw your spinnerbait on a 12 or 14-pound fluorocarbon and that should be plenty of line for a nice sweeping hookset and keeping those fish pinned to the boat. 

June MONSTERBASS Box | Terminal Tackle: Daiichi Hooks

Last but certainly not least, something an angler will always need, terminal tackle. This month, I received a pack of Daiichi hooks. These offset worm hooks are great for weightless soft plastic presentations or for a Texas rig. 

I prefer to slow down this time of year on those high-pressure days and toss around a weightless senko. I’m going to assume most of you have tried a weightless senko and found success, but if you haven’t, it’s a great way to catch highly pressured bass that might not be reacting to your moving baits.

If you’re looking for a great way to improve your bass fishing arsenal this season, check out the regional subscription boxes from MONSTERBASS. Get baits that will work in your area delivered directly to your door. 

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(9)

Log your baits in the ANGLR app to track which baits work best for you in certain water and weather conditions!

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review & Walkthrough

The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re looking for a high-end kayak with tons of features and stability that won’t break the bank, the Sea Ghost 130 hits a sweet spot. Here are 10 quick points to illustrate why we think it’s the right kayak at the right price for the majority of anglers who fish often. So, here’s our Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review!

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Price Point

We all live on some sort of budget. You can buy a kayak these days for a hundred bucks if you want, but you won’t use it more than twice a year. A cheap kayak is brutal on an angler. So you’ll need to invest a little if you plan on fishing a lot. On the flip side, you can quickly get carried away and drop several thousand dollars on a kayak. 

If you plan on primarily tournament fishing out of one or being on the water every single day, some of the really high-end kayaks may be exactly what you need. But for the majority in the middle willing to spend up to a thousand bucks on a solid ride, the Sea Ghost 130 is the ticket at $999. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Center Console

Though loaded with features, the center console of the Sea Ghost 130 is perhaps the most impressive. Just at the surface level, you’ll find two tracks for mounting, a magnetic section closest to the seat to quickly store loose baits, a cup holder, and two locking bungee system to store pliers, packs of baits or other gear. 

Once you raise the lid and look below the surface, you’ll find even more goodies. Two dry storage hatches with removable inserts ensure your most critical cargo like cellphones and keys won’t get lost or damaged on the journey. The console also sets up well for loads of customization options for electronics and the fact that the console is removable provides easy access for the rigging. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Foot-Controlled Rudder System

On lots of high-end kayaks, the rudder system is an after-purchase accessory. Not with the Sea Ghost 130. An easy to deploy, foot-controlled rudder system comes standard. Now with an updated high tension, super-smooth cable, the rudder system is even better than in previous models and something that sets the Sea Ghost near the top.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Hero Seat

Though the Sea Ghost is stable enough for any angler to stand, many kayak anglers prefer to sit while they fish. With the Hero Seat from Vibe, discomfort won’t find you anytime soon. Made from a soft but supportive and very breathable material, the Hero Seat proves why a good seat is so important in a kayak. And with dual mounting positions to gain a little better vantage point (high position) or a little more stability (low position), the Hero Seat is top-notch.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Tacklebox Storage

When fishing from a kayak, having everything within reach is critical. The tackle tray storage on each side of the seat is a neat feature that does just that. With a slot that perfectly fits a 3600 size tackle box and a bungee system to lock each box in place, you can really see Vibe’s attention to detail and focus on the angler’s needs. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Top-Load Gear Tracks

The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 now comes with top-load gear tracks. No more scratching or snagging since the whole track is now flush with the boat. And since the gear tracks are top-load, you can mount from one absolute end to the other. Another nice upgrade and something that other kayaks at this price range don’t have. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Three Flush Mount Rod Holders

Flush mount rod holders are pretty standard with most kayaks. But Vibe did a little something here again to set their boat apart. Adding flaps to cover the rod holders when not in use ensures they won’t be cruddy the next time you use them. Inevitably in a kayak, water, sand, mud and other debris find their way into every nook and cranny. The rod holders are no longer a safe haven for this grime with Vibe’s built-in covers. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Two Storage Hatches

With a 20-inch storage hatch upfront and an 8-inch hatch behind the seat, there are all sorts of places to store gear in the Sea Ghost. And since each hatch has a removable caddy bag, there’s instant access to the hull as well for rigging. Very nice feature that makes something again as standard as a storage hatch just a little different and way better.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Large Rear Tank-Well

With a large rear tank-well and adjustable bungee system, Vibe again offers up loads of room to customize your boat and the gear in it any way you see fit. Room for coolers, crates, backpacks, camping gear, and more means this kayak is able to haul whatever you need for your next adventure. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review: Paddle Park

Another semi-standard feature, but one you’ll surely miss if you buy a decent kayak without it. The paddle park system on the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 uses a two-prong approach. There’s a bungee to lock the paddle in place on the side of the boat and another bungee upfront to securely store one of the business ends of the paddle. This is great when getting your yak to the water and using only the front bungee gives you a nice way to store the paddle while fishing where you can ensure the paddle won’t fall overboard but also always be on the ready. 

All these features and more come together to create a very nice kayak for a very nice price. We here at ANGLR definitely recommend testing one out for yourself.

Log Your Vibe Kayak to Unlock Exclusive Badges and Rewards in the ANGLR App

Are you a Vibe Kayaks owner looking to unlock exclusive badges and rewards? Well, now you can! 

Download the ANGLR app and log your Vibe Kayaks for a customized experience built specifically for you. Privately track your fishing trips, log your catches and waypoints, and record specific stats to your Vibe kayak.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Review(1)

A Breakdown of the Bagley Baits Flat Balsa B2

Bagley Baits has always been known for its variety. But with countless models and color options created over the years, it was almost too much of a good thing. Focus has been one of the key elements Don Hultstrand and his team brought to the company upon their arrival in 2014. 

“Back in the day down in Florida, Jim Bagley could go in the back with a couple of buddies and  make up a few colors of anything they wanted,” said Don Hultstrand. “And that’s nice, but it’s not practical today. To produce products, you have to focus on what you’re doing and do it well.”

One of the old models that were extremely well received was the Bagley B Flat. A flat-sided crankbait with a tight action that worked extremely well in tough, cold water conditions. This was a bait that Bagley wanted to build on.

The Background of the Flat Balsa B2

“But the way it was made back in the day, we did want to change a bit. So we don’t call it the B Flat but the Flat Balsa B2 instead. It’s a really effective bait for spring and fall when fish can be a little lethargic. It’s a stimulator bait, I use it personally up in Minnesota. The smallmouth will not leave it alone.”

Over the last decade, Bagley completely overhauled its production process. Moving from lathing baits to pressing balsa wood blanks with heated molds to form and essentially cook the baits.

“It’s really unique, nobody else does it. The only negative is that the molds are expensive. So we can’t make as many different models.”

This compression not only makes the baits stronger, but it also creates little channels for a hook harness and cavities for small strips of lead to be added.

“Because of the way we can weight it on the inside, the Flat Balsa B2 is really well balanced and throws beautifully.”

The lip of the Flat Balsa B2, as well as Bagley’s other lipped baits, is still cut and glued in the same as it has been done for years. But when asked to go into detail on the placement of the lead strips inside the Flat Balsa B2, Hultstrand understandably declined to go into great detail. 

“Now that gets a little private. It’s a fair question but we don’t want to give too much away.”

The Internal Difference of the Flat Balsa B2

Hultstrand did reveal that the hook harness wire runs the length of the Flat Balsa B2, and says that feature is standard throughout their mold pressed baits now. However, in some baits, the wire will S around because of the location of the lead chambers. This is a must at times to open up space in the necessary locations for lead chambers in order to create the desired action.  

“In the old process, you had that belly weight and that was it. You couldn’t even weight a tail. If you tried to drill the tail to put some lead in it, the wood would split. Now we can put little tiny slivers of lead almost anywhere in the bait. So if you want something that is a little tail heavy or nose heavy or sometimes even top-heavy to get a more distinct wobble, you can do that. It just depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the bait.” 

Though all the details of the Flat Balsa B2 can’t be divulged, it is certainly a bait well crafted that will generate bites when other baits can’t, just like its predecessor the Bagley Flat B. With a thin and tall shad profile, tight action and weight in the exact location(s) necessary, the Flat Balsa B2 is the bait you’ll need when you need it most.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review

There are currently hundreds of options for you to choose from if you’re in the market for a new kayak. With all of those options available, I’m sure you have some questions… and rightfully so. If you’re about to make a purchase, you want to make sure you’re getting the right equipment for you. 

If you’re looking at the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 and wondering about the stability of the vessel, you’ve come to the right place. After owning mine for a few months, I began receiving a ton of questions about it. Some I could answer without hitting the water, however, when it came to stability, I felt like I needed to put the Sea Ghost through its paces before giving my opinion. 

So, without further ado, here is my Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 stability review.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review: Test #1 – Standing Up

Now, for more experienced kayakers and anglers, this one might not seem difficult in most rigs. I, however, come from a sit-inside kayak background where standing up was more of a gamble than a simple task. 

I’m glad to report that standing up in the Sea Ghost 130 was a lot like standing on dry ground. I didn’t wobble, the kayak settled nicely and it was easier than I anticipated. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review: Test #2 – Jumping

So, you’re probably wondering why you would ever need to jump in your kayak. In short, you probably never will, but I felt it was a good idea for testing the stability of the Sea Ghost… in a sense, I jumped for science. 

If you’ve watched the video already, you’ll see that my vertical needs some work, but I did land heavily causing the kayak to push a pretty solid amount of water. I had expected that to cause some stability issues, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it popped right back up and stayed incredibly stable. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review: Test #3 – Reaching Behind You

This is probably the most useful test outside of simply standing up. I’ve heard many horror stories from anglers who try to turn around to grab a new bait and all of the sudden are upside down in the water scrambling to grab their gear. The Sea Ghost 130 has a great storage area directly behind the seat where you could fit a crate for tackle, and a cooler for food and drinks. 

So, I wanted to see how far I could reach before compromising my stability. In short, I couldn’t compromise my stability even when I reached all the way to the rudder. So, test #3 was a success no matter how you slice it.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review: Test #4 – Standing On the Front

To answer your question, anglers would stand on the front of their kayaks in a bed fishing scenario. It allows you to elevate your position and get a clearer vantage point of the bed. I felt that this test might be the one to get me, but I was mistaken. 

After standing on the front of my Sea Ghost 130, I can report that it remained incredibly stable even with the stern of the kayak completely elevated from the surface of the water. 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Stability Review: Test #5 – Paddle From the Front

This final test coincides with the previous test. If you’re standing on the front of your Sea Ghost trying to coax a bed fish, sometimes you’ll need to reposition your rig. The only way to do that is by a simple adjustment with your paddle. 

So, can you paddle from the front hatch of your Sea Ghost? 

Surprise. Yes, yes you can. It was still incredibly stable and to be honest, having the paddle while I stood on the front helped me stabilize even more. If I tilted one way, I could simply paddle on the other side to stabilize myself. 

At this point, I was blown away by the stability of the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130. I had tried pretty much everything I could think of. 

So, why not try to stand at the very tip of the bow?

What the video doesn’t show is that I was able to stand on the very tip of the bow with my toes almost submerged in the water for 2-3 minutes… I was about to give up and save myself the trouble of purposely trying to flip the kayak into 54-degree water. The back of the kayak was air-born and I couldn’t think of another test that the Sea Ghost would fail in when the wind decided to help me out. 

Watch the end of the video to see the wind grab the elevated stern of the kayak and give me a nice refreshing bath! 

As a final note, if you chose to purchase a Sea Ghost 130, do so with the knowledge that you won’t be able to tip it… even if you try, but just in case, ALWAYS wear your PFD!

Log your Vibe Kayaks Get Rewarded

Are you a Vibe Kayaks owner looking to unlock exclusive badges and rewards? Well, now you can! 

Download the ANGLR app and log your Vibe Kayaks for a customized experience built specifically for you. Privately track your fishing trips, log your catches and waypoints, and record specific stats to your Vibe kayak.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(11)

Happy Father’s Day | Here’s Some Lessons For Dad

It’s July 17th, 1999. I’m in my granddad’s pickup truck with my dad headed to Atlanta, Georgia. I have a terrible memory, but I know the exact date because I have the original bill of sale from where I bought my first bass boat that day. Well… from where WE bought my first bass boat. 

See, dad and I had borrowed my granddad’s pickup because dad had an SUV, and I was of course 12 with nothing to drive. But I had been working all summer cutting grass to save up money for a Basstender 10.2 from Bass Pro Shops and we needed a pickup to haul it. Dad and I had made a deal. The boat was roughly $800 and I would work and save up $400, he would match that $400 and help me buy my first boat. And I was 12…

It was a great deal in my mind. So I busted my butt all summer. Dad was a realtor and had some houses for sale where his clients needed their yards cut. He would drop me off with a push mower (self-propelled before you go to feeling too sorry for me) and then come back and pick me back up in an hour or so when I had had time to finish. 

That was something you could do back then. It wasn’t as dangerous or inconceivable as it is now. And it was extremely important. It was work. Dad taught me how to have a work ethic at a young age. How it was ok to want something as long as I was willing to earn it.

Dad Lesson Number One: Do That For Your Kids

So it’s July 17th, 1999. We finish the 2-hour voyage to the nearest Bass Pro Shops at the time, and when we get there, it’s like a vacation in and of itself. The place was amazing. It is amazing. It’s like stepping into a whole other world. Everything you could possibly think of relative to fishing and the outdoors all in one place, before the era of TackleWarehouse, Amazon, and all the other “.coms” would deliver it straight to your door. 

We walk in, and despite the aisles and aisles of distractions, my singular focus has me on a direct path to the marine department. I drag dad by all the stuff he wants to look at, because after all, he was nothing more than a kid in a candy shop himself at that moment, to the Basstender 10.2. The object of my affection and obsession that whole summer. It was a plastic boat with two swivel seats and a trolling motor mount on the back. All a kid wanting to pond hop and piddle around in a slough at the lake could possibly want. But…

Right next to the Basstender 10.2 was the Basstender 11.3. The equivocal “Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle” that I had to watch Ralphie pine over in a Christmas Story throughout my childhood. This thing was unreal. A two-seater, the same as the 10.2, but with a casting deck, navigation lights, an aerated livewell, bilge pump, and a place to mount a foot-controlled trolling motor upfront and a little outboard mount in the back. 

The catch, it was another 500 bucks. Even if dad was still willing to go 50/50, I didn’t have the $650 necessary to meet him halfway. So I tried to catch myself and refocus, control my wandering gaze. But dad had already seen it. 

Dad Lesson Number Two: Go Above and Beyond When They Deserve It and You Can 

To be honest, dad hardly needed convincing. He had been eyeing all the bells and whistles of the “next step up” model sitting alongside the 10.2 as well. Before long we were cramming an 11-foot, 3-inch boat into a 6-foot bed and tying as much orange flagging as we thought necessary to prevent a ticket for the inevitable 70 MPH drive down I-85. 

When we got back home, we dumped it in the local farm pond and I gave it a test spin. No outboard yet, just a small hand-controlled trolling motor on the back. But you’d have thought I was in the fanciest rig that’s ever competed for $100k. I was on top of the world. 

All sorts of modifications came over the years to that little ride. My mom actually went with me a year or two into owning that boat and we bought a little 5 horsepower Nissan that still runs like a top today. She saw how important that boat was to me and wanted to be a part of it. So, shout out to mom and all the moms out there who don’t get enough love. 

Back to the story though. So we had a stint where we had a lake house on Lake Martin. I was probably 13 or 14 around then. I had my sick ride pulled up in the doc and there were only two rules: “Wear your lifejacket and don’t go more than two miles”. The “two-mile” rule was so I could always be reached if my parents wanted to check-in on me. See, I had a walkie talkie with a 2-mile range and they had its counterpart in the house. Cellphones weren’t real yet. Bag phones were, but that’s a whole other story. 

I would sleep in the basement so I could set an alarm and be out the door without disturbing anyone before daylight. I would get up around 4:30, ease down to the dock, hop in the boat and have my foot on the pedal with a rod in my hand to greet the sunrise. There were few days that I came back before dark. 

Fewer even still where I would have had a five-bass limit for more than 7-pounds. But still, I was in love.

Dad Lesson Number 3: Give Them Controlled Freedom

Countless memories were made in that boat. Some even in recent years as dad and I would load it down during my college days with enough camping gear to support a commune through the apocalypse. We found that a 5 horse Nissan takes roughly one hour to transport 2 tons of meat, eggs, cheese, lanterns, bass fishing gear, catfishing gear… you get the point, a grand total of 5 miles. But once we got where we were going, we lived like kings. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood, a better set of parents, but I have friends who are far less fortunate with the dad draft. This is a Father’s Day piece. A day when dads should be celebrated. But I think it’s also a day when dads should be challenged. 

This next part’s a little tricky. Because I think all good dads feel inadequate at times. Like they could always do just a little bit more. But that drive to be better proves you’re doing great. To those dads, I say, atta boy. Keep it up. I’m not a dad yet, but I’m sure it’s tough and no matter what you do you likely won’t feel like it’s enough. I’m sure my dad felt the same way at times and God willing I will too someday. 

But for those of you who know you should be doing better. Who know you’ve been dropping the ball. Step up. It’s so simple at the end of the day. It seems like kids want and need so much. But they really don’t. The only thing they really need is love and a good example. I’m so thankful I had and have that. 

And you never know where it will lead. I was a 12-year-old kid drooling over a plastic boat in Bass Pro Shops. And now I write about fishing for a living. Reaching out on behalf of all kids out there. 

Do the best you can, there’s no telling the difference it will make. But I guarantee, it will make a difference.

13 Fishing Concept C Review | A Breakdown of the Concept C Gen II

There are hundreds of options for baitcasting reels on the market today. With all of the options available, it can be tough to dial in which ones will pull their weight in bass. If you’re looking for a light and reliable reel that’ll last you for years, look no further than the 13 Fishing Concept C.

13 Fishing Concept C Review

The Concept C Gen II is the latest and greatest from 13 Fishing. Yes, it’s full of all the features you’ve come to expect from 13 Fishing like their Arrow Head Line Guide and KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper, but the Concept C Gen II doesn’t stop there. 

This reel comes in at an astonishing 5.89 ounces thanks to new material advancements. Using a Cast Iron Carbon material, the Concept C Gen II pushes the boundaries in pursuit of a reel that is capable of standing up to any conditions. The new Ti-Armor Aluminum drive gear is also 3 times as resistant to environmental wear. 

With right-hand models available in 4 gear ratios ranging from 5.6:1 to 8.3:1 and 3 left-hand models from 6.8:1 to 8.3:1, there’s a Concept C Gen II to suit any angler’s needs. The Low Friction 6-Way Braking System and a stout 25 pound Bull Dog Drag System ensure that you’ll be able to cast any bait smoothly and battle any fish with ease. 

The Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate puts even more adjustments quickly at the tip of your fingers. Try out the 13 Fishing Concept C Gen II for yourself and see what all the hype is about.

Log your 13 Fishing Concept C to Get Rewarded

Are you a 13 Fishing owner looking to unlock exclusive badges and rewards? Well, now you can! 

Download the ANGLR app and log your 13 Fishing gear for a customized experience built specifically for you. Privately track your fishing trips, log your catches and waypoints, and record specific stats to your 13 Fishing gear so you know which gear works best for you.

13 Fishing Concept C Review(1)

Throwing Balsa Crankbaits | What Makes Balsa Crankbaits Different?

There has been a constant evolution of the processes and materials that go into building a bait since the creation of the first artificial lure. From the earlier metal models to wood and then plastic, the effort to find the perfect material to create the most consistent and lifelike action has been relentless. For Don Hultstrand of Bagley Lures, without a doubt balsa is best.

“Balsa has a unique buoyancy, the right type of grain, it can hold paint without changing its characteristics and it’s really consistent in the water,” said Hultstrand.  

Balsa Crankbaits(1)

Both Rapala and Bagley almost simultaneously found balsa wood to be the perfect wood for building baits around 1960. A wood so light, but still strong, that it’s even used by companies such as Boeing to build commercial airplanes. But the most important thing, the action. 

“You get as close to lifelike action in that material as you can in almost anything that’s available today, including foams.” 

Now that lure manufacturers had the perfect material, it was time to work on the process. Baits were lathed for years. The balsa wood was spun and tools were used to chip away until a bait was formed. The lathing process, however, presented a few problems. 

“Lathing can get a little chippy and leave gouges. To cover the inconsistencies in the lathing process, the baits were dipped several times in epoxy. To give the bait a base coat and then to try to smooth out its finish.”

Tumbling” is also used to remove some of the imperfections. This process requires a large drier that spins while the baits tumble around with certain types of small rocks or other abrasive materials. 

“But you still kind of ended up with a slightly imperfect finish. But that was ok. The only real negative of building a balsa bait in the old days was the screw eyes.”

Since a metal hook harness couldn’t run from the line tie through the bait to the hooks, Bagley had to use screw eyes in the tail of the baits to create hook hangers. This isn’t as strong. For the belly hook, however, some reinforcement came by way of necessity. 

“For a bait to swim right, you have to create ballast. So there has to be some weight in the belly of the bait. We would ‘screw and fill’ the belly of the bait by cutting a little drill hole in it and then filling it up with lead. By doing that, you create ballast. And that little piece of lead usually had the hook eye so that you could attach the belly hook.”

These challenges from the past are no more for Bagley as they have now perfected the process of building baits with balsa. 

Balsa Crankbaits(2)

“We kind of rout the wood and then cut the baits in half. Then we put those two halves into electrically heated molds. Those molds are CNC made and very precise.”

Each mold has a male and female side that presses the halves separately. As the heated molds press the wood, it is burned and compressed. When the mold reopens, a new creation has been formed. The press has created a cavity inside the two halves as well as a channel for the metal hook harness. 

Balsa Crankbaits(3)

“Now we have 100% of the inside cavity to work with and can put little slivers of lead anywhere we want.”

Essentially cooking these baits also makes the baits extremely smooth and the grain incredibly tight. This creates an even stronger bait. Add the metal hook harness and you have the toughest balsa bait ever created. 

“So now we have, right out of the mold, an incredibly smooth finish that doesn’t need as much undercoat epoxy. A lot of people will look at a Bagley bait today and ask, ‘Is that a plastic bait?’, because it has that look of perfection that you can only get out of a plastic mold. But you also get the benefits of all the buoyancy that you just can’t get with plastic.”

And that is what makes balsa crankbaits different and why balsa is best for building baits.

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing | What’s Inside My MB Box?

Every single month, I get a box full of baits delivered directly to my doorstep. Quite frankly, it’s like getting that Christmas morning feeling as I open my front door… whether that makes me a small child or not is still up for debate. 

Regardless of how you feel when you get a box full of bass fishing baits, a MONSTERBASS regional subscription box is a great way for an angler to improve their arsenal.

So, what comes in each box? Let’s dive in and unbox my May MONSTERBASS Northeast subscription box!

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #1: B8LAB Ultimate Strike Shad

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(1)

The first bait I got in my May MONSTERBASS box was a B8LAB Ultimate Strike Shad which is a medium-diving crankbait. It will work well between the 5-10 foot range. This should work really well in the post-spawn as the bass move out of the shallows and position on rip-rap banks or shallower rock piles where perch will be staging. 

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #2: Chasebaits Rip Snorter

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(2)

Up next was the Chasebaits Rip Snorter, which is a weedless swimbait with an underspin. This bait will excel as the bass feed on baitfish are grass or laydowns, or it can even do well in open water when the bass are schooling. This little 3.5” swimbait does a great job mimicking baitfish that are found on most bodies of water. 

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #3: Lunkerhunt Kraken Crankbait

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(3)

The second crankbait I received in my May box was the Lunkerhunt Kraken crankbait. This bluegill pattern crankbait is a bit more of a deep diver than the Strike Shad from above. I plan on throwing it around the initial drop-offs just outside of where the bluegill are spawning. This is where some giant bass will be laying in wait. 

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #4: Booyah Squelcher

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(4)

The Booyah Squelcher is a big profile buzzbait. This will be a great bait to throw as the water warms up during the post-spawn as the bass start to feed heavily on baitfish. A buzzbait makes a ton of noise and mimics a baitfish along the surface of the water. If you’re looking for some fun, explosive strikes, try out the Squelcher this season.

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #5: Super K Swim Jig

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(5)

To be honest, I’m really excited about this Super K swim jig. I love throwing a swim jig in the post-spawn when the bass are positioning around shallow cover like bushes or laydowns. These low profile jigs can also be great in river scenarios where you find a good current break. You can throw a swimbait or a craw style trailer on the back to mimic baitfish or crawfish. 

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #6: Gene Larew Biffle Bug

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(6)

The Biffle Bug is a classic in the post-spawn. Named and designed by professional angler, Tommy Biffle, these work really on a swing head jig in deeper water as the bass move off the banks in the heat of summer. These not only catch a ton of fish but some giants as well!

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #7: Rabid Baits Rabid Craw

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(7)

The Rabid Baits Rabid Craw is the perfect finesse bait to throw during the post-spawn. Now, this is clearly a crawfish style bait, so you’ll want to throw it around some rocks. I’m going to pair these with a Ned rig style head or shaky head and throw it on pressured bodies of water or on days where the bass are a little more finicky than normal. 

MONSTERBASS May Unboxing Bait #8: Sandbar Tackle Worm Hooks

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(8)

Last but certainly not least, some Sandbar Tackle EWG worm hooks. These are a pretty standard hook that can be used for most styles of soft plastics. Whether you want to throw a weightless senko or texas rig a creature bait, these hooks will get the job done. 

If you’re looking for a great way to improve your bass fishing arsenal this season, check out the regional subscription boxes from MONSTERBASS. Get baits that will work in your area delivered directly to your door. 

MONSTERBASS June Unboxing(9)

Log your baits in the ANGLR app to track which baits work best for you in certain water and weather conditions!

13 Fishing Concept A Review | A Breakdown of the Concept A Gen II

With so many options out there these days, it can be incredibly difficult to find the right reel for you. Looking at all of your options in your local tackle shop can be enough to drive you insane… some look nice, others have more functionality… so which should you choose? 

We’re here to help. If you’re looking for a sleek new casting reel with some incredible functionality, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the 13 Fishing Concept A review that should help answer your questions!

13 Fishing Concept A Review

The 13 Fishing Concept A Gen II comes chock full of goodies. A heavy-duty reel with a super low profile, 13 Fishing has combined the best of both worlds with their second generation Concept A reel. The lightweight, but strong, HD Aluminum Frame is coated with Ocean Armor 2 Treatment ensuring that this reel will hold up over time no matter what elements you expose it to.

With 25 pounds worth of 13 Fishing’s Bulldog Drag system at your fingertips, you’ll be able to turn any bass or inshore fish you lock into. Everything with this reel has been meticulously thought out. From the Japanese Hamai cut hardened brass drive gear to the Arrowhead Line Guide and the KeepR Integrated Line Keeper, this reel is built to fish and fish hard. 

With a wide range of gear ratios in both right and left-hand models, you can find a Concept A Gen II for any application. Want a 5.6:1 gear ratio for deep cranking? The Concept A is for you! Want a reel capable of burning a topwater back between casts so that you can fire at surfacing schoolers? The 8.3:1 Concept A has you covered. 

At 7.4 ounces and with an MSRP of $180, the 13 Fishing Concept A Gen II is a quality reel that is just the workhorse you’ve been looking for.

Log your 13 Fishing Concept A to Get Rewarded

Are you a 13 Fishing owner looking to unlock exclusive badges and rewards? Well, now you can! 

Download the ANGLR app and log your 13 Fishing gear for a customized experience built specifically for you. Privately track your fishing trips, log your catches and waypoints, and record specific stats to your 13 Fishing gear so you know which gear works best for you.

13 Fishing Concept A Review(1)

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories | Basic Options not to Overlook

So you’ve just gone out and purchased your Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110. First off, congratulations on selecting an awesome kayak! But you’re not here for congratulations, you’re here to see what modifications and accessories you can or should add to make this kayak fit your needs on the water. Thankfully for you, we sat down with Joshua Thomas, Founder & CEO of Vibe Kayaks to get a full rundown of the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 accessories options.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories Options

Deck Padding

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(1)

Deck padding helps to deafen the sound you make while moving around on the water. It also makes it more comfortable to stand throughout those long days on the water. Deck padding is incredibly helpful in shallow water so you’re not banging and clanging around with pliers and tools between casts and spooking nearby fish. 

Anchor Trolley

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(2)

Having an anchor trolley allows you to position exactly where your anchor point is, be it bow or stern or somewhere in between. This can be incredibly helpful when fishing current or trying to position your boat along a windblown point. 

Anchor Pole

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(3)

The Vibe Anchor pole is incredibly helpful for shallow water anglers. Instead of paddling, quietly pole your way along so you can avoid spooking fish during the spawn or along grass flats. 

Rod Holders

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(4)

There are so many options for rod holders these days. As you saw in the video, Josh uses the Omega Pro from YakAttack. The Omega Pro has an extension in it which allows you to position the rod holder higher than other options. Another option Josh likes is a ram mount rod holder which allows you lock-in your reel in the rod holder to avoid it getting taken by a fish while you might not be paying attention. 

Line Cutterz Ring

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(5)

The Line Cutterz ring fits really well on the frame of the seat on your Sea Ghost. This ring allows you to quickly cut your line, even braided line, to swap baits easily on the water.

Surface Mount Retractor

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(6)

A surface mount retractor is easy to mount and allows you to leash fish grips, pliers, or any other tool you might want to keep handy directly on a cord that you can quickly grab and use, then allow it to retract back for safekeeping. 

Stand Assist Strap

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(7)

A stand assist strap helps you for standing up and sitting down in your Sea Ghost. This strap can even be helpful for getting in and out of your kayak safely. Josh recommends the YakGear Stand Assist Strap. All Vibe Kayaks come with a pad eye upfront that you can simply loop your stand assist strap through for easy installation.

YakAttack Command Stand

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(8)

The YakAttack Command Stand allows you to pull yourself up, lean against it while casting or reeling, and you can even add grips to it for holding your paddle. The YakAttack Command Stand has the ability to fold flat which makes it easy to transport or put away when you’re on the water and no longer need it. 

Kayak Crate

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(9)

Similar to rod holders, there are tons of different crate options for your kayak. Josh personally prefers the NRS Ambush kayak crate. It comes with three rod holders in the back, tons of pockets, and tackle trays inside. It’s a great way to store your rods, baits, and other tackle. 

YakGear Visicarbon Pro

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(10)

The YakGear Visicarbon Pro is a carbon pole with an orange flag for visibility and an LED light for those early mornings or late evenings on the water. Safety is of the utmost importance, no fish is worth putting yourself in danger on the water. As a final note, always remember to wear your PFD. 

Hopefully, this breakdown helps shed some light on the vast amount of Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 accessories available to your disposal. Remember to log your Vibe Kayak in the ANGLR app to get rewarded and log stats specific to your Sea Ghost like catches, distance paddled, and how many trips you’ve taken!

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Accessories(11)