Skip to main content

OMG! JDM is a Hot New Movement in Bass Fishing

Advancing fishing line trends may surprise you.

OMG! JDM is a Hot New Movement in Bass Fishing

I remember when my friend Dave drove into my yard with his new Toyota Tundra TRD. It was a nice truck—certainly expensive—but I couldn't help but fixate on the "TRD" letters that decorated the rear of the vehicle.

"Toyota Racing Development," said Dave when I asked what it meant. Although I didn't fully understand it then, it conveyed a sense of refined excellence, additional attention to detail, and advanced engineering.

I felt the same way recently looking at Seaguar's website. The home page for the fishing line manufacturer touts “Exclusive Seaguar JDM Lines." Like the day I wondered about the "TRD" plastered on Dave's Toyota, the "JDM" acronym piqued my interest.

What in the world is JDM and why is it the next big thing in fishing? Luckily, I know a guy who can answer that question.

So, I called him.

A Pro's Perspective

Bradley Roy is a professional bass angler from Lancaster, KY. Now a competitor on Major League Fishing's Bass Pro Tour he was the youngest angler to fish a Bassmaster Elite Series event when he qualified to fish the Elites in 2010 at the age of 19. He's a three-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier and—here's the kicker, he happens to be sponsored by Seaguar.

The upshot of the conversation is this: JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market, a designation for cutting-edge and innovative fishing tackle specifically designed and manufactured for the Japanese market. The gear is used in Japanese Finesse Fishing, a technique that emphasizes using delicate tackle and presentations to catch pressured fish. It originated in Japan, where anglers face crowded fisheries and spooky fish. JDM rods, reels, lures, and lines are known for their exceptional quality, light weight, and finesse-fishing applications.

And its popularity is growing in North America.

Still Learning

Japanese Finesse Fishing and JDM products are still a new phenomenon, even for anglers as advanced as Roy.

"I've been messing with it for a few years now, but I'm just starting to figure it out," Roy said. "It's something I'm incorporating more and more because it can be a very effective tool to have in the toolbox."

Like all tools, however, it's not something effective in every situation. You don't put in a nail with a screwdriver, for instance. And you wouldn't use 6-pound test line to burn a spinnerbait through thick vegetation.

"Everybody likes to catch fish in certain ways," he said. "Some people really like glidebaits or topwater baits, but those approaches don't work in every situation. The same is true for finesse fishing. There is a time and a place where it works great."

Recommended


It does appear, however, that the times and places where the techniques of Japanese Finesse Fishing are most effective are increasing.

"To me, the proof is the tournament results," he said. "Years ago, almost every bass tournament was won by anglers using baitcasters. Today, you see more and more wins coming from guys using spinning rods, and spinning rods are the rod of choice for those using lighter and more nuanced techniques."

The JDM Difference

Roy remembers the first piece of tackle he saw with a JDM label on it.

"It was a chatterbait and it had different colors that were available to me," he said. "I was also struck by how high-quality that bait seemed."

Like TRD Toyota trucks, JDM gear does come with added layers of sophistication and additional higher-end touches.

"It seems most of the JDM gear, and I'm speaking as a consumer, feels like it comes with added attention to detail," he said, "You get the sense when looking at JDM baits that it's been manufactured in a way that takes into consideration high-quality hooks, advanced colors and patterns, and enhanced action."

For recreational anglers—that is, those of us not getting baits sent to them on the regular by our sponsors—JDM gear can involve a significant cash investment.

Megabass a lure manufacturer founded in Japan in 1986, is a good example of JDM's price tag. A typical Megabass jerkbait retails for $25. A glidebait can approach $100. These are certainly not the baits you want to break off in the mouth of an aggressive pike. The price of Seaguar's fluorocarbon lines may take anglers used to buying cheap spools of monofilament at big box stores by surprise.

01-megabass-glidebait

Where Does It Go?

Roy thinks the JDM influence will continue to gain strength in North America. He points to an increase in tournaments, the explosion in the use of forward-facing sonar, and the rise of participation in fishing as indicators that fish will be more pressured in the coming years.

"Japan certainly has less public water open for fishing than we do here in the U.S.," he said. "But some of our best fisheries are seeing an increase in angler activity and we're seeing fish populations that are being pressured more and more."

That means more finesse is in the cards.

"My opinion it's a good thing," he said. "There's no doubt that North American companies are getting better at learning just what makes fish bite. And any time you tell me I’ve got more size options, or color options, or improved quality of gear, I like that."




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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

Angler and Rescuers Reunite After One-In-A-Million Offshore Epic

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Destinations

World-Class Channel Cats below the Selkirk Dam in Manitoba with Blackwater Cats

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

Controlled Drifting for GIANT Blue Cats with Phil King

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

3 SIMPLE and EASY Catfish Rigging Tips with Captain Ross Robertson

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Destinations

CATFISH FEVER!

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

How To: Rigging For Fall Catfish

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Gear

The PERFECT Rod to Carolina Rig With G. Loomis GLX Bass Rods

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Destinations

In-Fisherman Classics: Stalking Giant Flatheads AFTER DARK

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Destinations

In-Fisherman Classics: Big Cat Safari - Finding Spring Channel Catfish

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Fishing

New Podcast! Life on the Lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

In-Fisherman Classics: Where to Find Post-spawn Walleyes

In this throw-back video, Dave Csanda shares some insight on the best way to tempt big walleyes into eating with what he...
Learn

In-Fisherman Classics: What Are the Top Walleye Baits Of ALL TIME?

In-Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

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

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now

Never Miss a Thing.

Get the Newsletter

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, I acknowledge that my email address is valid, and have read and accept the Terms of Use