Skip to main content

Cool Stuff that Works

Cool Stuff that Works

Got to admit, I'm rather ok with the fact that I frequently get to touch, test and take for a spin some of the fishing industry's coolest equipment. Lures, lines, rods, reels, apparel, electronics and other slick stuff that works—one of the real joys of fishing lies in the discovery of great gear. And there's a ton of truly sweet stuff out there, more and more all the time.

So, in what I envision as an ongoing experiment of sorts, let's take a look at some currently cool, and in some cases obscure stuff that rocks fish or otherwise just plain makes our time on the water a little more sublime. To kick this off right, we'll take a look at everyone's favorite category—lures and baits. And by all means, if you've got something you'd like to share—a deadly unknown lure, or another cool tool—drop a note below. That's what this is all about.

Jack's Custom Baits — Perhaps not since the original Rapala Minnow have I seen such phenomenally realistic finishes on a dandy little crankbait. Each individual lure is hand tested in the field in Poland, and is accompanied by a written certificate of authenticity by the craftsman who made and tested it — bentleyfishing.com.

Sébile Vibrato — My friend and famed bass fishing writer Mike Pehanich put me onto these remarkable bladebaits last year during a smallmouth trip to Lake St. Clair, Michigan, where it produced bite after bite. Back home in Minnesota, the Vibrato has been equally impressive, be it for bass or walleyes during spring and fall coldwater phases — sebileusa.com.


Upton's Custom Hand Poured Baits — Josh Upton lives near Diamond Valley Lake, California where he hand pours some of the most malleable, alluring softbaits on earth. Among a host of creations are his 4-1/2 and 6-inch Reapers and giant 8 to 13-inch Straight Tail Worms — uptonscustoms.com.


Maniac Custom Lures Micro Jigheads — I've looked for a tiny mushroom-style jighead forever, and Maniac's 1/64 ouncer is a gem. Perfect for working 1 to 1-1/2 inch tubes, grubs and other trout-panfish softbaits — maniaccustomlures.com.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2012/03/ULS-YP-1lrs.jpg
Rapala Ultra Light Shad — Destined for panfish glory, this diminutive shad bait is going to take a ton of big crappies, perch, white bass, trout and pretty much anything else you throw it for. Downsized cranks are hot on many fronts, and this one's another winner - rapala.com.
//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2012/03/kravesunfish.jpg

Musky Armor Krave — Shame on you if haven't trolled or cast this crankbait yet for muskies. Right along with the Jakes, Believers and Depth Raiders of the world, Krave and Krave Jr. are classic cranks in the waiting. With a flashy slab sided profile and side-to-side roll, these buoyant baits have tagged plenty of big fish for some of the sport's top names - muskyarmor.com.

Rippin Lips Leakin Livers — From muskies to catfish, at In-Fisherman that's how we roll. And I'd hate to let you go fishing for channel cats without a bag or two of Leakin Livers. The new wave catfish bait is made of 100% natural materials and is clean and easy to use. Pinching a bait "activates" the scent and flavor within, which continues dispersing underwater for over an hour - rippinlips.net.

Black Dog Baits Lunker Punker — Best big fish walk-the-dog bait I've ever thrown, end of story. Last year it produced many muskies up to and exceeding 50-inches for me, as well as several big largemouth bass. And guys who throw the lively Punker for stripers get whacked by 20s and 30s all the time - blackdogbaits.com.


//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2012/03/GR1-1.jpg
Joe Balog's Goby Replica —What I know for sure about gobies is that everything in freshwater seems to like to eat them. Actually, you don't even need gobies in your lake in order to catch big smallmouths, largemouths, trout, pike and walleyes on this bait. It looks nearly identical to a mottled sculpin, which is more common across much of North America than most anglers realize. This soft, lifelike swimbait fishes best with a slow, bottom-dragging crawl. Or sweep the bait a few feet, then pause for several seconds. Fish will try to kill the Replica deadsticked, too - gobyreplica.com.
//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2012/03/FHMJ_GNPPK_HEROlrs.jpg

VMC Half Moon Jig series —Progressive designs built on the foundation put in place by the classic Gopher Tackle Mushroom head jig decades ago. VMC's offerings feature forged shank Vanadium steel hooks, and flat head bases for snugging softbaits tight. Various head designs include the 60-degree Half Moon Jig, 90-degree Finesse, as well as Shaky and Darter heads to match a multitude of softbait approaches - vmchooks.com.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tactical Changes for Smallmouths

Tactical Changes for Smallmouths

Doug Stange deploys an one unique in-line spinnerbiat option for smallmouths.

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

In-Fisherman's Managing Editor, Rob Neuman, sits down with bass pro Josh Douglas, to get insight on the all-new ShimanoVanford spinning reel. It features a LongStroke Spool for long-distance casting. The Vanford spinning reel will be available in 7 sizes: 500-5000. MSRP: $299.99 - $239.99.

Sight Fishing Carp

Sight Fishing Carp

The In-Fisherman staff slips into stealth mode sight tactics for barrel-shaped carp.

Daiwa Tatula Swimbait Rods

Daiwa Tatula Swimbait Rods

No matter what your bass catching goal is, Daiwa's Tatula line of rods is perfect for every job according to MLF Bass Pro Tour veteran Cody Meyer. Here's why.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Little is known about the effects of softbait ingestion on bass.Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass Bass

Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass

Gabe Gries - August 11, 2020

Little is known about the effects of softbait ingestion on bass.

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

It is buoyant and enhanced with garlic and salt.Venture Lure's Finesse Worm Midwest Finesse

Venture Lure's Finesse Worm

Ned Kehde - August 25, 2020

It is buoyant and enhanced with garlic and salt.

Do pike under ice cover choose the same types of habitats they use in summer?Pike Movement and Habitat: Summer vs. Winter Pike & Muskie

Pike Movement and Habitat: Summer vs. Winter

Dr. Rob Nuemann

Do pike under ice cover choose the same types of habitats they use in summer?

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

These watches have dozens of features for anglers.Garmin Quatix 6 Marine Smartwatches Accessories

Garmin Quatix 6 Marine Smartwatches

In-Fisherman Staff - September 14, 2020

These watches have dozens of features for anglers.

Thick padded walls keep your drinks and food cool on those hot summer days.Mammoth Coolers: Highlander 30 Flip Lid Soft Cooler Accessories

Mammoth Coolers: Highlander 30 Flip Lid Soft Cooler

In-Fisherman Staff - June 08, 2020

Thick padded walls keep your drinks and food cool on those hot summer days.

The Aqua-Vu Micro Revolution is a great solution for kayak anglers or smaller boats.Aqua-Vu Micro Revolution Accessories

Aqua-Vu Micro Revolution

In-Fisherman Staff - May 28, 2020

The Aqua-Vu Micro Revolution is a great solution for kayak anglers or smaller boats.

Durable, lightweight, and sturdy components.GeigerTec Marine Electronics Mounts Accessories

GeigerTec Marine Electronics Mounts

In-Fisherman Staff - June 17, 2020

Durable, lightweight, and sturdy components.

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now