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Interview with Japanese manufacturer, Jackson

Posted by admin on June 3, 2017

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1) Most of us here in the US have never heard of Jackson. What can you tell me about your company?
Jackson is well-known manufacturer in Japan. We started creating fishing tackle in 1980. Our products consist of fishing rods and lures for salt water, freshwater and trout. We are placing focus on expanding business to the US market starting in 2015. You will see our promotions soon.

2) You manufacture a variety of items from rods to lures. However, I suspect most readers are interested in your lures and as they pertain to bass fishing. What can tell us about these items?
We have contracts with a lot of pro anglers bass fishing in Japan and our products have been developed by the top anglers among them. Shunsuke Eguchi and Naoyuki Ichimura, are the main developers at the moment. They are top bass fishing tournament winners. The product line is amazingly practical and features very fine quality. Eguchi is a professional of the finesse style which is why we also have strength in finesse style products.

3) What unique features separate your lures from other manufacturers?
Each product is developed individually by our knowledgeable and experienced pro-staff and we have a long history making tackle. So every angler knows the Jackson name and our products ability well.

4) Do you have plans to expand into to the us market? If so when?
We have just started to our project to expand business in US. Dealers and reps are wanted!

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5) More of a fun question, what are the biggest differences you see between Japanese bass fishing and bass fishing in America?
We would say the place where we fish from which is mostly bank fishing while more anglers fish from a boat in the US. There is also a difference in tackle and the size of bass is also different from Japan. But they are still same kinds of fish. The techniques and fun is the same!

6) What is your favorite Jackson lure?
Flow shad series, which developed by Naoyuki Ichimura as a new product. Also the Blank shot is one of my favorite.

7) Would you like to add anything else?
We are quite open to find reps and pro-staffs in US market and feel US market is attractive.  Thant being said, for consideration in being a product tester, rep or pro-staff, you can contact HERE with a  resume and cover letter.

Thank you for your time. Just so our readers know, you recently sent me a package to test a few of your products on American bass. Over the next few months our readers at BHQ can expect to see some reviews of these Japanese lures. Stay tuned.
http://jackson.jp/
https://www.facebook.com/jackson.united.states/

Zeth Kinnett
www.zethkinnettfishing.com
Fish On & Keep Dreaming!

 


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It’s nearly frog season for most Bass fisherman. And in some places they’ve been hitting a hollow body frog for a while now. So if you are looking to add or to pick up a few new hollow body frogs this season read on because my experience with Teckel frogs has been nothing but stellar.

There are many soft hollow body frogs on the market today but not all live up to the hype. The Teckel frog is the creation of Hideki Maeda. Hideki began as a frog novice like all of us. He did however get his feet wet on what are likely the best frogging waters in the world, the California Delta.  Less than an hour away from where I write this very article and the place that turned Hideki into quite the frog aficionado. At the time when Hideki began throwing frogs he noticed something. He noticed a lot of room for improvement in the frog dept. So in the early 2000’s Hideki assisted in the design of a new frog which he had hoped would solve his dissatisfaction with the current at that time quota.  Of course that first frog didn’t quite cut it for Hideki, being a frog perfectionist and all.  Hideki wanted nothing but the best. So he continued to assist in the design of other frogs.  Hideki created a masterpiece but sometimes all good things come to an end as did his last creation. What to do… Create your very own frog brand. And so came the creation of Teckel frogs.

What makes a good soft hollow body frog? The creator, an artist with a vision to create perfection is what makes a good frog and this is exactly what Hideki has done. In the US there are two Teckel models available, the Whacker and the Honker. We will get into each in a bit.

There are a few things a good frog must consist of. #1 being overall quality components. What this means is sharp hooks but not just any sharp hooks. As I see it there are two options with the style of hook you choose for your frogs. A large wide gap double hook or as in Teckel’s case Gamakatsu round bend hooks.  Now all round bends are not created equal and should not be. One very important and necessary feature must be that those hooks must angle upwards as they do in the Teckel frogs. This alone will increase your hookup ratio tenfold.

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But what else?  Well, I am glad you asked.  #2 on the list of importance would be the suppleness of the hollow body and it’s ability to collapse easily when bit.  Hideki’s creation has no issues in this dept. These frogs are so soft in fact that the barb on the hooks will dig into the body. One thing to note however is that the body is thick enough that it will last.  It’s important for a frog bait to have a thick wall that is also soft. What this allows is for ease of skipping the lure. A frog that is too soft will not skip well. A frog that is to stiff will not hook up well. A sot frog with a thick wall creates the best of both worlds.

Continuing on now, yes there are more important features of a quality frog. The next few I would say being pretty equally important.  Isn’t it nice to know that there is a frog out there which incorporates every possible positive feature you could pack into a frog? That’s not the case with many that focus on marketing just one or two features and you essentially end up with a frog short of features and full of nothing but hype. ok. I’ll get on with it.

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Ask yourself how well does my frog cast? No frog is going to cast like a heavy Sammy rocketing through the air but some things will help. Part of this being your own devising.  The Teckel frogs cast well and this is because of two reasons in my opinion. Being of a decent weight 1/2oz. and maybe more importantly their narrow profile which sort of allows them a better ability to slice through the air. Now one thing you can and should do to all of your frogs is modify them by trimming the legs.  This will allow you to cast further, become hung up less and will aid in short strikes while also providing more action on the pause. The legs will flare more. So, bust out your scissors and start trimming. How much is up to you.

Also important in frog design is the ability of your frog to float.  One would think that it is only common sense to design a floating lure to actually float but so many frogs today do not float. They take on water like the Titanic.  This is not a good thing and squeezing water out of your frog every cast gets old real quick. Hideki’s creation from my experience does exactly what it’s supposed to do and nothing that it’s not. It floats very well. I have not found myself squeezing incessantly.

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What good is a frog if it has all of the above features and still does not perform? It’s no good. Good thing for you, Teckel frogs are nothing but goodness.  They perform. Their action is bar none, amazing and consistent. These frogs will walk the dog as good as a Sammy and even almost do a 180 turn if you work it right. This action turns the bass on and makes for tight lines.

As far as I am concerned there is no better frog regardless of the hype. Here is a list of features:

  • Tapered shape which allows for easy movement through heavy vegetation.
  • Downward nose which has the effect of making the frog push more water.  More commotion and allows bass to hone in on and track lure more easily.
    Fitting. Hook fits close to body to create a more weedless lure. Easily bend the hooks out for greater hookup when fishing sparser vegetation.
  • Stiffness of body.  Teckel frogs utilize a soft yet stiff body which allows for increased hook up ratio yet easy of skipping.
  • Built in Shock absorption.  Hideki’s creation is unique in that the frogs utilize a figure 8 wire at the nose which increases durability of the frog by preventing the nose from tearing during a hook set.
  • Drainage hole in the frogs rear. This hole does not penetrate so you will need to check out here in order to see how this feature works. Essentially by adding this hole you will have the ability to cast out any water that may somehow make its way into the frog.
  • Square body.  If you were to take a cross section of this bait you would find it to be relatively square. This allows the bait to hold it’s shape well for skipping situations yet allows the use of softer plastic for better hook up. Also the bottom of the frog is flat which allows the frog to make a softer more subtle landing. Even flat this frog walks better than keeled frogs.
  • Up turned Gamakatsu double hook.
  • Variety. Teckel offers a variety of colors to match any condition.

Lastly here, lets go over the two models available in the USA.  These two models should have you covered for a variety of situations.

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Lets start wit the Honker. The Honker replaces the standard rubber strand legs with metal feet which create a sort of waking effect and more commotion so if you are fishing heavy slop, murkier water, overcast, or windy conditions this is the model you want. This extra commotion from the Honker will allow bass to track your lure and hone in on it. Simply put you will catch more fish under the conditions I listed.products_whacker_img01.jpg

Now, the Whacker model is great for exactly the opposite conditions. If you are fishing open water, sparse vegetation, sunny days, clear water, well then you want the Whacker tied on. The subtle action of the rubber legs flaring in the water will trigger many strikes alongside it’s uncanny ability to walk the dog.

That about sums it up. You can find Teckel frogs here on TackleWarehouse. So what are you waiting for?  Forget about the rest and get yourself some Tickle I mean Teckel. Yeah you might feel all tickley inside after hooking up with your new frog from Teckel.

Click here to check them out on the Teckel Website>

Zeth Kinnett – Fish On & Keep Dreaming!

BHQ Angler website: www.zethkinnettfishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/zethkinnettfishing


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First things first. We must all thank Kent Saxon for taking some time out of his very busy schedule to allow us this rare insight into Gator Trax boats. So, from myself and hopefully all of our readers at BHQ… Kent, we thank you for bringing a little South to the West.

Kent: No problem….ya’ll. LOL!

I’m sure none of us are strangers to aluminum bass boats. There are plenty on the market. However, when it comes to finding a very capable aluminum rig that can compete with the glass manufacturers out there, well that’s another story.

Let’s get into a little history. Aluminum bass boats have been in production for many years. Since before I was born. Gator Trax has been producing boats for over 15 years so you know they’re experts at what they do best.

That being said, lets get into things a little deeper by asking a few questions so we all can become more familiar with Gator Trax high performance aluminum bass boats.

Zeth:
Let’s start with the most obvious question because I know there are some unique, key build features about your bass boats. What are they and why do you incorporate them?

Kent:
First things first we strive for quality. We cut our teeth in the shallow water boating industry with mud motors, tunnel hulls, jets, and the like. With this style of boating, it a matter of when, not if, you are going to hit something. We expect it. So we’ve been building boats for 15 years that stand up to jumping logs, rocks, sand bars, etc…open water is a breeze! That being said, our first priority of focus is on making you a boat that will never need repair. We back that up with a lifetime warranty by the way. Our hulls are made of .190 aluminum, 5806 marine grade alloy, and a web of proprietary bracing under our floors to prevent stress cracks due to unnecessary flexing. Most of the production aluminum bass boats out there rely on spray in foam to strengthen their hulls. This is a cheap and ineffective way of bracing a boat. We make many of our hulls with no foam at all, it’s optional. So we MUST brace the boat properly, or suffer the consequences.

Next in line of prioritization would be performance. Our performance features include an exclusive pad that allows the boat to get amazing top end speeds for a tin boat that is indestructible, as well as a reverse chine system that allows the boat to turn on a dime and eliminates chine walk at high speeds. These boats are amazingly easy to drive.

Lastly, but probably the most fun to talk about, is our ability to customize these boats however you want them. You choose the size you want, then we ask you, “Ok, how do you want it laid out?”. The rest is up to you. As much deck or as little, as many boxes or as few as you want. When you’ve seen the other boats out there and you say, “ I wish this was like that,” or “why cant my rod box hold an 8.5’ rod”…. this is where you come. That’s what we do. Along those custom lines as well, each boat is hand laid. There are no patterns to your decks and boxes so, your deck was made when a fabricator called out “48 and 3/16”, then the deck was cut and SEAM welded in place! No tabs that get beat with a rubber mallet till they “fit”. Your parts were cut for YOUR boat the way YOU wanted them made… perfect.

Zeth:
Comparing apples to oranges. Especially since there are many dare I say myths about aluminum vs fiberglass.
What is it about Gator Trax high performance bass boats which allows them to compete with the glass boats on the market?

Kent:
Usability. How many guys do I know that are basically afraid to use their boat? Lots. Don’t bump that dock! Don’t let us touch that cypress tree! Oh Lord, we scraped an oyster reef! Why they feel that way is understandable. Have you priced boats lately? Better yet, have you had fiberglass repair done lately? How’s the gel coat holding up to the brutal sun after 7 years? What are those spider web looking cracks in my transom? All problems with glass boats. While our boats are not as light as say an Allison or Gambler…(hulls made for speed, not fishing), they are lighter than most production glass bass boats. The BEST thing about aluminum is nothing has to be permanent. Don’t like your deck layout 3 years down the road? Bring it back and we can rip it out, add to it, or eliminate it altogether. Paint it back and you’d never know it wasn’t built that way originally. Wreck the boat and put a dent in it? We can fix it for less than a new rod n reel in most cases. Overall, aluminum offers the end user much more flexibility with their changing lives and conditions as well as a hull that can get a new paint job and hydroturf flooring every 10 years and still look and function like the day they bought it. You WILL NOT do that with glass.

Zeth:
Now, I understand that your Strike Series bass boats are custom made to the tune of 3-4 boats per year. This means any buyer will get attention to detail, quality and pride in craftsmanship from you. Could you tell us a little something about this custom experience?

Kent:
It’s the Gator Trax Experience. No different than any of our other boats, the experience you get when buying one of our Strike Series Hulls is unique. You will not be told that there are 3 models, 2 colors, and one motor choice… not here. We will wind up asking you more questions than you ask us. These hulls are not cheap and it’s too much money to get it wrong. We want you thrilled when you leave here. And because you play such a large role in the design of your own personal boat, it gives you, our customer, a great feeling of being part of the Gator Trax Team. We build about 350 custom boats per year. 98% of those are shallow water flat bottom boats. They are our “bread and butter” boats. We started building these Strike Series boats (they weren’t called that then) for our own personal use. Well, after being hounded at boat ramps and when people would see them here at our factory, we relented and built one for a customer. I’m not joking… we literally used to hide them in our boat sheds at the factory so no one would ask us to make them one. They are very time consuming and we can make 10 of our flat bottom boats to one of these. So after much demand, we decided to make a FEW each year to those on a waiting list. Yes, there is a list. Sorry.

Zeth:
A major factor in whether to choose aluminum over fiberglass for many people is the price factor. How does a custom Gator Trax bass boat compare in this dept?

Kent:
Right on track…with QUALITY glass hulls. See, there really isn’t anyone making a high performance, quality, aluminum bass boat. I know many of your readers just hit the roof! Sorry guys. What you think is high quality and high performance is just what you are used to. There is something better out there. Our hulls will out turn, out run, and DEFINITELY out LIVE any other production aluminum bass boat on the market… insert name here… doesn’t matter. But our prices are going to be higher than theirs. You get what you pay for. But as it compares to a glass boat, we are right in line. Our Strike series hulls have gone out as cheap as $32K and one left last week for $58K. Since they are all custom, the price tag is really up to you. We sell everything… Electronics, Trolling motors, Power-Poles, Talons, Humminbird, Garmin, Lowrance, Mercury, Suzuki, Honda, jack plates, double axle aluminum trailers with brakes, you name it, we sell it. So the end price varies greatly from one custom boat to the next.

Zeth:
Just out of curiosity… Kent, who are your typical Custom Bass boat customers? Why have your past customers come to you?

Kent:
Previous tin boat owners…. always. I rarely get a first time boat buyer. Why? They just don’t know. “A boat is a boat”…right? Wrong. But a new boat buyer sees a pretty bass boat with a nice plastic dash board, really cute plastic cup holders, the boat’s name printed on the trailer…. its shiny… looks like it’s made well… got a great price and hey, they finance! That’s it… no research, SOLD! He gets it financed for 10 years and before the note is finished being paid its riddled with stress cracks from one end to the next and most every option it had was riveted on and everything is loose and falling off and the boat is ready for the burn pile on the back 40. My customers are guys that played that game already. They have already experienced a poorly designed hull that looked much better on the showroom floor than it performed in the water. They’ve torn them up, worn them out, or got tired of interior layouts that didn’t suit what THEY wanted. They begin to research… they find us online, and then they get in line to have one built. One of the MOST common statements I hear constantly is, “…man, I’ve been looking at your boats for 2 years now. I’m ready to buy the last boat I’ll ever have to buy, and I want it the way I want it.” No problem.

Zeth:
Are there noticeable handling benefits to your custom bass boats over glass? I mean, I would think there would be with the ability to have a custom built hull which would suit the bodies of water you fish most.

Kent:
Our bass boats are made to traverse choppy seas and still draft very little water. Unfortunately with boats, you cant have it all in one boat. If anyone ever figures out how to do that, there will be only one boat made. If your V is too deep, your ride is great but you draft way too much to get in the backwaters. If it’s too shallow, you can get most anywhere you want but it will beat you to death in a 2ft chop. We have tried to incorporate the best of both worlds into our hulls. As much as you can anyway. Our bass boats are made to traverse shallow water easily, yet still offer a comfortable ride in a chop. As far as drivability, our hulls don’t get into that death wobble of chine walking seen in many glass boats. Our hulls wont slide in a turn either. It’s like riding on a rail in a curvy river.

Zeth:
Durability is an important factor when buying a boat. I know this is something Gator Trax prides itself in.
Just how durable are Gator Trax bass boats?

Kent:
Well, we’ve never had to repair any of them… none. Some of our customers will bring us a boat that’s 10 years old. We repaint it, put new flooring (hydroturf) down, and the boat looks like it did 10 years ago. Cosmetics is about the only thing that needs a refresher each decade. So… pretty durable.

Zeth:
Lets finish off with just two more questions.
Seeing as how your boats are custom made, what are some of the more unique and cool modifications you have built into a new bass boat?

Kent:
I wouldn’t know where to start. I used to be amazed at some of the things guys come up with. Now, its just second nature, it’s what we do. Removable sight-fishing platforms, intricate deck hatch layouts, and tricked out lighting are amongst the coolest. Its not the big things usually. Not necessarily something you can see a mile off that impress. It’s the list of 27 items this customer gave me incorporating everything from where he wants his switches, to how he wants the wires run, to the custom center console for two with a race car style shifter on the floor, that makes these boats truly custom. It’s the little things.

Zeth:
Lastly I’d like to ask you if there is anything else you would like to touch on before we part ways here?

Kent:
If guys would like to get a quote, its easy. Just shoot us an email to kent@gatortraxboats.com and give me a wish list. Tell me the size, the motor, the trailer, the paint, electronics, trolling motor, the layout… everything you can think of that will help me get you an accurate quote. We will take that wish list and make you a line itemized work order so you can see exactly where your money is going on each item. We will also make a diagram of the boat and then email that back to you. Now you have something tangible to look at and an accurate price. We can tweak that work order back and forth until it’s just right for you. Lead times are generally 12 weeks or so depending on the time of year and we have plenty of shipping options to get your boat to you in an affordable manner.

Zeth:
Well that about sums it up for our interview. Kent I would like to thank you again for taking the time to share Gator Trax boats and for spreading the word about high performance aluminum bass boats.

Click here to check them out on the Gator Trax website >

Zeth Kinnett – Fish On & Keep Dreaming!

BHQ Angler website: www.zethkinnettfishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/zethkinnettfishing

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Carolina Rigs, Jerkbaits, Jigs, Spoons, Frogs,.. What do all of these baits have in common?
They are lures you primarily work with your rod rather than your reel.

Imagine you are out on your favorite lake in a cove full of standing timber… You flip into a tree full of branches just waiting to snap your line. You lift your rod and let your jig fall a second time. Suddenly your line swims to the side so you set the hook only to feel nothing but air. One of two things likely happened.

It is possible that the bass picked up your favorite jig knocked slack into your line and looped around a branch. Goodbye lure. Goodbye fish. You set the hook but under water what you didn’t see was that either you were to slow and the bass spit the jig or you had to much line out and couldn’t reel in the slack fast enough to get a positive hook set so when you set the hook the jig hardly moved and the bass again spit your jig.

It’s commonly believed that a 7:1ish ratio reel is great for any technique where you are working your lure with the rod. In my experience this is true in comparison to a slower retrieve ratio. Still however, as far as removing slack goes there is a better, more efficient tool most of the time.

High speed reels such as Quantum’s Smoke PT Speed Freak are gaining in popularity for good reason. If you want to increase your landing percentage and stop repeating bad patterns of habit you must choose to upgrade or add to your arsenal.

I recently began using the Quantum Smoke PT Speed Freak with one of my favorite techniques, a double Keitech Shad Impact. I catch bass year around on this rig. Thing is, I could have caught more. Every time you jerk the rig with your rod to impart action you put slack in your line. Slack that can mean a missed hook-set. With the Quantum Speed Freak a turn or two is generally enough to pick up your slack due to the 35” per turn taken up. This means you will remain in contact with your bait more often and miss less bites due to increased sensitivity from having less line out and as well due to your ability to obtain a positive hook-set since you no longer will have excess slack in your line.

I hope my little spiel and run on sentences have made you think twice about matching your reel to the technique you are using.

High speed reels have many other uses as well. I won’t labor on for much longer. I’ll get straight to the point. No other reel is better for frog fishing. When the bite comes, pause…, take up slack and Set the hook reeling like crazy to get that bass on top of the slop and into the boat rather than buried and ultimately lost.

It all makes sense to me and I hope it does to you as well. Use your imagination and come up with more ways to use these new hi-speed reels. Think about any situation you have had where you had to much slack and lost the fish. Would a higher gear ration have helped you? I think so.

Go check out the Quantum’s Smoke PT Speed Freak. With an 8.1:1 ratio pulling in 35” of line per turn of the handle, dare I say, you may hardly miss another fish or well at least not because of too much line slack. At a mere 6.4oz and with 11 bearings you’ll be sure to smoke ’em on your next outing.

Zeth Kinnett – Fish On & Keep Dreaming!

BHQ Angler website: www.zethkinnettfishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/zethkinnettfishing

 


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Just the other day I was speaking with one of the sales assistants at the U.S. headquarters for Spinlock.  We came to the conclusion that I may be the one and only angler using a Spinlock PFD. This wont last for long.  Let me tell you a little about this company and the Spinlock Deckvest LITE.

Very well known within the sailing community, Spinlock is an independent and innovative company based in Cowes, UK which produces award winning inflatable personal flotation devices.  Along with supporting many charities Spinlock is also a company that is dedicated to reducing its impact on our environment and waterways where within our beloved bass live.

Spinlock-Deckvest-LITE-02_2.jpgOk, so what about the Deckvest LITE?  The Deckvest LITE is a U.S Coast Guard Approved (USCG) – Category V with Type III Performance inflatable PFD with 38lbs. of industry leading flotation.   One of the most technologically advanced and yes I’m going to say it, fashionable, PFDs on the market, the Deckvest LITE does come in 4 colors including my personal favorite tropic white. Fashion aside, what really makes this PFD shine is it’s barely there light weight 900g design which lends itself to all day comfort.  With soft touch materials and a breathable backing you’ll be comfortable rain or shine.

Yes you can even buy accessories like a bass boat since it does after all come with an attachement for a kill switch.  If you are not looking to make such an investment in accessories you can always purchase a PLB/VHF to attach to the clipping area.  My personal favorite accessory is the Belt Pack so I can keep my pliers, scissors etc in the most convenient place possible.

Beyond comfort, fit and accessories the flesh and bones of any inflatable PFD lays in it’s inflation system.  The Deckvest LITE utilizes a water activated Halkey Roberts Alpha Auto Inflator that is designed so that only water flowing upwards through the unit will cause it to activate.  Water spray and rain running down the PFD will not trigger activation.  You also have the option to convert the PFD to manual only.

Spinlock seriously cares about you and your safety.  By signing up for a 5-year warranty you will also receive reminders for pre-season safety checks, notifications for winter care and storage.  Clearly the Spinlock Deckvest LITE PFD is one item you can count on and one you can’t afford to not seriously consider.  Try Spinlock the next time you are ready to upgrade, replace or buy a new PFD.

Head over to spinlock website to check out the many other features and benefits of a Spinlock Deckvest LITE PFD.

Fish On & Keep Dreaming!

Zeth Kinnett – Fish On & Keep Dreaming!
BHQ Angler website: www.zethkinnettfishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/zethkinnettfishing

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