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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

Seaguar Report

Three spinning reels

Over the past few years, braided lines with a fluorocarbon leader have become a go-to set-up for anglers fishing spinning gear. It's a combination that works exceptionally well and generally; the only question is which connection knot to use. But, some anglers still prefer to use straight fluorocarbon, whether for lure performance or convenience.

This group includes Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Menendez and television personality Mark Zona, who make a case for using fluorocarbon on spinning gear.

Why Fluorocarbon?

Those who know Mark Zona, either through meeting him or watching him on Zona's Awesome Fishing Show or his work with Bassmaster, see that he has quite the personality. He takes this into account with his line selection for some techniques.

Mark Zona with two nice smallmouths

"I'm a hyper person and fluorocarbon helps me get rid of some of that added action to my lures," he says. "Braided line is great, but the zero stretch causes baits to have a much more exaggerated action with each small movement of your rod. That's good sometimes, but fluorocarbon allows the bait to look more natural and subdued under the surface."

By Al McGuckin

2-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle

Inside Gerald Swindle’s museum-like man cave sit two Bassmaster Angler of the Year trophies below a wall full of whitetail deer mounts, and he’ll be quick to tell you there is tremendous connectivity between his profound success as a pro angler and the many days he’s spent sitting in a treestand.

“You look back through the history of pro fishing at the dudes I looked up to – guys like Denny Brauer, Larry Nixon, and Ken Cook – and they were naturals as archery hunters, too. You can’t tell me there’s not a connection there,” Swindle emphasizes. “You see the same qualities these days in Greg Hackney and Jason Christie – two of the absolute best pros in the business who are equally as wicked in the whitetail woods,” he adds.

So, what exactly is the connection between consistently successful whitetail hunters who are also the world’s top bass anglers? Swindle says there are several reasons, and he graciously highlighted those at the top of his list.

Z-man Report

Z-Man TRD TicklerZ

In October 2015, upon releasing another bass and clicking his little “fish counter” for the 238th time, the legendary Ned Kehde paused to inspect the single Finesse WormZ™ at the end of his line.

Little did he know it, but Kehde’s implausible performance had effectually established what would soon become known as the ElaZtech® World Record.

238 bass on a single, very broken-in soft plastic bait.

It appears Kehde may have started something. For, this September, Brian Waldman of Brownsburg, Ind took the record to another level, once again validating the inexplicable durability of Z-Man’s radical softbait material, ElaZtech. Nineteen outings and 32 hours of fishing between August 19 and September 16 produced an extraordinary 245 bass, 5 pumpkinseed sunfish, 2 bluegills, 2 green sunfish and 1 bullhead—all on a single Z-Man TRD TicklerZ.

An inveterate veteran angler and longtime member of Kehde’s revered Midwest Finesse News Network, Waldman maintains a meticulous fishing journal that captured the trials and tribulations of his prodigious, occasionally tense mission.

“I’d read Ned’s posts about catching 238 or more fish on a single 4” Finesse WormZ and started thinking about possibilities,” recalls Waldman, a retired research technician.

“At the same time, I’d been reading posts on a different fishing forum where anglers were boasting about catching six or more fish on a single Senko-style bait before it fell apart. Imagine, being satisfied catching six bass on one bait, while we’re catching more than 200 with ElaZtech!

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