May 31, 2012

Lure Gallery

I like taking pictures. My followers would have certainly noted that. I have been a little creative lately and took some pictures. I am sharing most of them. Enjoy

My bench.

Duel Hardcore Minnow

DUO Bay Ruf Manic 115

Manic in the box

Seaspin Mommotti 180

Seaspin Family

Skagit Designs

Skagit Designs

Skagit Designs Match Bait Jet

Duo Tide Minnow Slim

Duo Tide Minnow 90

Smith ULM 115

DUO Tetraworks Yurameki 

Zip Baits

May 30, 2012

Some thoughts on Japanese Tackle Shops Part I

You probably already know about my trip to Tokyo I made a couple of weeks ago.
I spent some time in some of the famous shops available in the Shibuya and Shinjuku area.
In this post I want to write my considerations about the experience I got visiting this places. I think an experience to a Japanese tackle shop is not just about the quantity of lures you see on the wall but also about the way the store is designed, the atmosphere you find inside and the help and attention the sales assistants give to you.
I can start by saying that I have visited many stores in the US and Europe so I have an idea of what to expect from a fishing store.


Sansui store in Shibuya. The most famous one.

Sansui store in Shinjuku.

Sansui is certainly one of the most famous stores in Tokyo. I am aware that they are many bigger store available in the Tokyo area but Sansui is one of the oldest (since 1902) and most respected one.
They sell basically everything from saltwater to fly fishing and perhaps it is the last aspect that has influenced the design of the shop. I can say that once you step in a Sansui shops (regardless of the type) you feel yourself like in a fly shop in Bozeman, Montana. It has that feel of coziness that I saw before only in US fly fishing stores. There is lots of woodwork inside and it definitely lacks that cold ambient made of concrete floors , weak lighting metallic cabinets, and white walls, something that I see often in store here in my country or Europe.
Wooden floors, wooden cabinets, cute fish-themed decorations, soft lighting, tons of tackles on movable wall racks (great idea btw) and great stuff.
This aspect cartainly adds experience to the shopping, at least for me. You find yourself in a place where you feel the "fishing" enthusiasm and tradition. I always consider fishing an art and a shop should reflect that aspect. Whether a GT popper or a midge fly I think it all encompasses the creativity, workmanship and pursuit of perfection. I see this sport-hobby always from this point of view and this is why I have much respect for everything well made (possibly by hand) in this industry.


I liked the idea of the small basket you pick up at the entrance. It is very common in Japanese store and I think it is great. You can take a small or medium sized basket according to your needs. No worry about keeping your hands busy holding tons of lures, just use the basket.  I enjoyed the wooden cabinets filled with spool of braids and Meiho boxes.

Sansui Logo.
The checkout

The payment process was entertaining too. They pack everything in some nice Sansui branded paper bags and tape the top of it. They make a nice box with everything in order. Maybe "order" is the key word to express the way a tackle store in Japan is setup.
Too bad I couldn't snap pictures inside the store, maybe this is the only drawback of these store. Anyway I was lucky enough to find a setup of photos on the Sansui blog. Here is the link. Please have a look

As for tackle I saw lots of stuff. I realized that they carry tackle according to the season. I saw more stuff for   light fishing than offshore fishing. I asked to my friend who lives in Japan and he confirmed that the seasons affects the amount and type of tackle a store keeps in stock.
There were many rods on display and some very nice reels (read Stella and Saltiga) under some shiny glass cabinets. Very tempting.

Last for not least, there was a very nice books/video section where I had the luck to get some catalogs for free and some magazines. I wish I could read and understand Japanese. I think I will work on that too.

This ends the first part. Next time I will write about Jumbo and Tackle Berry. These stores were also very pleasant to visit (less for my bank account but who cares).

Coming soon...

Tackle Berry in Shibuya.

Lure Photo 30: DUO Tide Minnow 90

Details here

May 29, 2012

New IMA Lure: Komomo SF-90

IMA has introduced another size to the famous "KOMOMO" series. The SF-90 is a compact 90mm model that will certainly please the angler looking for the small lure when the situation requires it.

According to IMA's website the main advantage of this compact size will be a long distance casting and the famous komomo subsurface shallow action.
I think this lure is essential for fishes like the European seabass when feeding on small preys in shallow waters.

Surprisingly it comes with size 4 trebles. Probably because of the "fatty" body.

Here are the specs:
90mm / 14g / 30-60cm range / ST-46 #4

May 28, 2012

Seaspin Video: Lanzarote Part I

The guys at Seaspin had great fun catching monster fishes, testing new lures and taking photos. What can I say? I envy all of them. They are doing what I always dreamed of.  We can just enjoy this video and maybe one day go there and catch something too. Get ready for some crazy action and lure testing (tested lures are the new Pro-Q 145, Coixedda 130 and metal jig Leppa.

By the way, I got so excited about the video that I took a picture of my favorite Mommotti 180 before going to bed. Enjoy.

May 26, 2012

Let's Pockets! Maria Style.

A fresh shot of the Maria Pockets Pencil F55. A tiny pencil that will do some work in ultralight fishing. Below is the video. Enjoy!

Where to get more info: Maria

Where to buy it: C9 Tackle

Used Lures? Why not.

I always enjoy a brand new lure in a neat packaging. I take them out, usually take a picture and admire the details on it. Later, when the time some, I put it in my tackle box and head to the sea. A couple of casts and the lure shows the first marks of the trebles or gets some chips on the paint. That is normal, no lure will remain mint as new once you start casting it.
I wasn't very interested in used lures until I went to Tackle Berry in Japan. I found some incredibly good deals on lures that otherwise would cost about 20-25 dollars to get brand new. Only a couple of scratches on the paint would mean 40-50% discount on the retail prices. I think that is a great thing. If a saving of 10 dollars per lures is involved I can happily get used lure for fishing. After all those lure would get some scratches anyways.  If you dig even deeper in these store as Tackle Berry you can even find some lures with %70 discount when sold without hooks or with major scratches (those that you would get after one year of use). I wouldn't really mind and this is why I got an IMA Komomo for less than 800YEN or a Smith Saruna for 500YEN. Put a couple of owners trebles and you are good to go.

If you leave outside Japan you can't unfortunately get any items sold by the famous chain Tackle Berry. It is such a pity because I would prorably get many lures.
There is however a great alternative for guys like us who leave beyond the Japanese border. 
Cloud Nine Tackle is offering many used lures for sale. You can find many lures at amazing prices and the best part is that the owner, Jed, chooses those lures that are used but yet in great condition. It is basically like getting a mint lure without a box at 40-50% discount.

This is a used lure. Hard to tell really.

Make sure you check the used lures section. It is really fun and you can find the lure you were looking for.

May 24, 2012

Maria Pop Queen (the video)

This is a popper the I consider to be a classic. I have tried many ones but the Maria Pop Queen has always given me good hits and I think it has the most "reliable" popping action of all the poppers.
It is an old design but old doesn't mean bad (Heddon Spook anyone?) and actually I think they should keep producing it for years. Today I have found the video that shows the popping action. Enjoy.

May 23, 2012

Tackle House Bezel

This is a lure that was just released by Tackle House a month ago. There isn't much detail on their website but I think this lure will be a great choice for many anglers who like to cast offshore for little tunny or even tuna. The weight, size and , most important, the hooks show that this lure is ready to take some hard bite in blue waters.
What surprises most is the use of some oversized hooks (size 2 St-66 trebles), split ring (size 6) and thick wire.  The construction looks very solid and you wouldn't be worried of casting it some bad waters.

I took some photos in order to show the details of the lure. After all the photos on the Tackle House website (see here) don't do justice to this amazing looking lure.

Bezel 100mm 36g sinking minnow. Color N.7

The bib looks incredibly solid and it is really thick.
Difficult to break that thing.
Notice the hook. It is really big. It is a size 2 ST66 hook.

The belly is flat. Not sure why, need some testing to figure it out.
On the website it says "efficient water flow on belly".

Notice the split rink attachment point. It is definitely heavy duty.
Detail of the back. Japanese quality all over the place.
Detail of the box. I love the design of the boxes. Notice the drawing
of the Bezel in the inside.
Contact and Love <3  

These were some close-ups pictures. I think it is a good way to start as a first look at the lure. I don't know if there will be some chance in the near future to try is since it requires to be tested in open waters or for some real pelagic. Maybe it would work on a rocky shore searching for bonitos. I think my friend TheUrbanCastMan (check here) would utilize this lure for his fishing grounds.

Seaspin 2012 Catalog

My Italian friends at Seaspin have finally published the digital version of their 2012 catalog.

The catalog is nicely made. It includes all the new lures plus an interesting page with all the "coming soon" products. Very good!

May 22, 2012

RC in Tokyo Part II

Let's see some of the gear I got from Sansui, Jumbo and Tackle Berry.
As I told you before, the stores were full of stuff and unless you have a limitless credit card you have to be careful not to burn your pockets and run out of limit. I tried to control myself and buy only those items that I considered worth buying and investing money (lol).


I got several braids. I think Japanese brands like Varivas and YGK offer the best braid out there. I found some nice deals on these two brands at Sansui. The first braid I got is the YGK G-Soul PE all category. This is an entry level braid with dynema 4 strands. It is a bit better inquality than the three strand G-soul X3 but I heard that it is a really good 4 strand braid for the price. The color is a pleasant white, the kind I like the most. A detailed review will be coming soon.

Another braid I got is the Varivas High Grade PE line. This is a brand new line as I never seen it before. Actually there was a nice ad on the japanese fishing magazine that introduces the line. It is a general purpose 4 strand PE line priced very good. I think the Japanese companies are trying to keep the cost down and enter the market of low priced braid. I think this is a valid alternative for braids like Power Pro or Tuf Line.
Review coming soon.


I got many lures. Today I am writing a short intro on two lures that I bought with much satisfaction and curiosity. The first one is the DUO Bay Ruf Manic 115. This is a lure that I was looking to buy as I did a small intro before here
This is what DUO says about the lure:

-The Manic Movement
The lure’s buoyancy, weighting, volume, and body shape have all been delicately adjusted. The action created by this sensitively balanced lure is a tight rolling only; there is no wobbling or sinusoidal action. The rolling action is so tight that some anglers will not even think it is moving; rest assured it does leave a vibrant wake even at the slowest retrieval speeds.
-Wake Performance
As soon as you initiate retrieval, the lure will float to the subsurface and create a exquisite wake. The tight rolling action will add a weak but unique swell in the V shaped wake, appealing more efficiently to the game fish.
-Casting distance
By moving the hook-eye from the tail section of the body, the lure was left with an aerodynamic pointed end. It has amazing castability for its size.
-Irregular action
With some twitching and jerking of the rod, the lure performs an irregular action reminiscent of bait-fish on the surface. A creative angler can find myriad uses for this lure.

The other lure is another new entry in the market. The Tackle House Bezel

This is a small but heavy minnow (36g for 100mm) that aims at pelagic fishes such as bonito and even little tunas. The hooks are owner ST-66 which are pretty much heavy duty. It is ideal for offshore casting and the action sure it is interesting. there isn't much info yet on this lure. Needs to be tried.

Contact and Love...only on Japanese lure boxes.

The Fish Gripper

This is a tool that I have reviewed before on my blog (here). I already own a very nice original boga grip but I was looking for something small to carry for my light fishing. The quality seems ok. I think it needs some grease as it looks too "dry". Anyway, the looks is cool, the carbon accent is great and the blue anodizing gives a nice touch. Just needs to be tested on some toothy fish like barracudas and bluefish!
You can get this gripper online too. It is available at C9 Tackle Store

Other lures and gear

I have got several used lures at Tackle Berry and a cool looking hip bag at Jumbo store. I will review those pretty soon.

This is a very nice (too bad I can't read) mook on shore jigging. 

May 20, 2012

RC in Tokyo Part I

Here is, the first part of my report. 
I have dreamed about going to Tokyo for at least 7 years. I tried to make plans before (and save money) without much success. This time I just went online, booked the hotel and pack my bags.
My interest for Japan goes beyond fishing. I have always been fascinated by the country's culture. It is not only a world of anime and fishing tackle, but also food, landscapes, architecture, arts, religion and other cultural aspects that makes this country unique.
Anyways, as a fishing blogger, I can write a little about Tokyo from that aspect we all love: fishing.

My blog deals mostly with JDM lures and tackle, so going to Japan was a big thing for me. I only had 5 days to spare for my trip so unfortunately I had to skip some plans I made before but still had time to manage some important visits and meetings.

First Day

I stayed in Shinjuku so the first thing to do was to visit the famous Sansui shop located in Shinjuku. I went there in the afternoon and despite being a small shop I managed to stay there for 45 minutes. The shelves are movable and all of them contained lots of stuff. One wall was full of saltwater lures, another one full of hooks , another lines, freshwater tackle and so on. It was lacking a little bit on fishing clothing but was pretty much stacked with hundreds of lures. I realized that they stock tackle according to the season. The LRF section was great but the offshore or, let's say, "heavy lures" section was not that great. Anyway the staff was very courteous and helped me with the limited communication. I couldn't take photos inside. Too bad.
I also got a Salt Lure magazine which I enjoyed "looking at it" a lot.

Sansui in Shinjuku was my first stop related to fishing tackle. The famous shop
is quite small but has lots of gear on the shelves. Too bad they don't allow
to take pictures inside. 
Second Day

The second day was the busiest one. I met with my great friend Takatoshi. He is an amazing guy who has
become quite a sensation on Facebook. One of the objectives of this trip was to meet him and spend some time together. I really value this kind of strong bonds with angler worldwide and meeting him was a great honor for me. 
He took me to Sansui Shibuya and Jumbo. These two are one of the biggest stores in central Tokyo and indeed it was quite a great experience.

One of the most important moments of my visit. Meeting with my fellow friend
Takatoshi. We spent a great day together. I thank him again for the great
I spent most of my money in these two stores. I got some nice lures and gear which I will review in my second part of the Tokyo Report.
Jumbo looked a little more spartan than Sansui, but nevertheless it had many products on sale. I really enjoyed the saltwater lures and the bag/clothing section. I got myself a nice hip bag and some lures for seabass and LRF.  
Also I got myself a shore jigging mook (magazine style book) and lots of Meiho boxes which I love to use.
Just before leaving the store I saw some nice and hard to find (for European anglers like us) 2012 tackle catalogs. I figured out they were free and I took those by makers like Shimano, Smith, Valleyhill and Tidewalk. Too bad they were missing the Daiwa master catalog but I cannot complain.

Second stop to the 3 stores Jumbo shop in Shibuya.
I found many interesting lures and gear at this shop.
This is where I have used my credit card heavily.

Second Sansui store. This is the famous one located in Shibuya. The first
floor is all saltwater stuff and this is where I have spent lots of time.

Second floor was full of fly fishing gear. This shop is just amazing.

My last stop was at Shibuya's Tackle Berry shop. These chain shop sells mostly used tackle which in many cases lets you find the deal you always looked for. The lures section was good and I managed to find some nice lures in mint condition at some ridiculous prices. Also found a brand new fish gripper and some treble hooks.

If you need second hand lures and gear just visit Tackle Berry.
This is the shop in Shibuya. I have found some amazing deals on lures
made by Skagit Designs and Smith LTD.

2012 Smith catalog.
Third Day

On my third day I have met for dinner with Jed, the owner of the famous online tackle store Cloud Nine Tackle. Again I was very excited about meeting him. I bought many items from his shop and meeting him in person was a great honor for me. We went to a nice restaurant where we had nice food and talked a lot about fishing techniques, lures and his online store business. We discussed the tackle and fishing trends in Europe, the comparison with the Japanese market, YEN and Euro currency exchange fluctuations and so on. It was definitely an amazing evening.
Almost forgot. I even ate some Mebaru Sashimi. I never had the chance to catch it but at least I tasted it.

Jed and myself at dinner. I thank him for the great evening.

If you go to Tokyo you cannot skip some great sushi and interesting places like Akihabara. I couldn't stop taking hundreds of photos. Here are some of them. Enjoy.

Anime everywhere.

Fish market. Notice the Aji on the left.

An icon for Japan: Gundam.

Nice Toyota GT car at the Toyota Car Museum.

Colorful night at Ueno.


Sashimi. Delicious.

This is the rail system. Amazing.

Sake and more Sake.

I really liked this. I think it is a flounder.

Two beers I have enjoyed drinking during my stay: Asahi and

More to come soon. Please wait for my part II.