UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Tackle Review: Strike King Tour Grade Rage Blade

Strike King Tour Grade Rage Blade Swim Jig

There’s a new bladed swim jig in town from Strike King, and this one is sure to shake things up once the bass fishing masses catch on to some big changes it brings to the table. Not only does it rattle your rod tip and attract violent strikes from afar, it helps solve a couple of nagging problems inherent in a posse of its predecessors – poor hookup ratios and frustrating hangups. Fittingly, it’s called the Tour Grade Rage Blade.

A better mousetrap?

Tons of fat bass have been caught on bladed swim jigs. Conversely, big numbers of large fish also have been lost on these lures, due in part to a common blade/head design that causes the blade to ride on the same plane as the hook point. This can result in poor hook penetration and promotes snagging issues, especially around wood cover. The blade on the Rage Blade is designed to help alleviate both problems, according to Phil Marks, Strike King products manager and successful Rayovac FLW Series angler.

“About three years of development and field-testing went into this bait to get it right,” Marks says. “But it was well worth it because the hookup ratios are significantly better, and it comes though cover extremely well. The Rage Blade tilts the tables in the angler’s favor – it is truly a better mousetrap.”

Strike King Tour Grade Rage Blade Swim Jig

Key design features

Head/Blade – The Rage Blade features a one-piece football head/tear-drop-shaped blade combination that pivots freely on an oversized wire eye. This allows the blade to fall by the wayside when a fish eats it, maximizing hook exposure and promoting faster and more consistent hookups. The unique design also helps the lure navigate heavy cover like a 4X4 because the head/blade combo can pivot down when the lure contacts a branch or blade of grass, forcing the entire unit to roll over the snag. It also produces loads of thump at slow or fast retrieves.

A hook for bear – The dual-tempered custom Gamakatsu hook is built from 4/0 Siwash wire and has a 4.5/0 gap for maximum strength and bite.

Line tie – The small-diameter wire line tie optimizes blade movement, while its one-piece construction eliminates the worry of a snap swivel cracking open when it isn’t supposed to.

Other features – Strike King added a 3/32-ounce lead skirt collar to help keep the lure down in the water column on fast retrieves. A needle-sharp spike keeper secures trailers.

Strike King Tour Grade Rage Blade Swim Jig

Performance report

Saying you have a better mousetrap is one thing; filling the bill is another. After putting the Rage Blade to the test last spring, I can assure you it is everything it is cracked up to be – and more. In addition to more consistent hookups, I was highly impressed by how effortlessly it slips through submerged hydrilla beds, pad stems and stumps, how simple it is to get the blade thumping, and how well it casts in big wind. Something else I noticed is the lure has a tendency to ride a little higher in the water column than other bladed swim jigs when retrieved at the same speed. In fact, making the lure wake the surface is a breeze. You can get it down by upsizing from your normal bladed swim jig size, slowing the retrieve speed or swapping out the skirt for a small swimbait. Using a 3 1/2-inch Lake Fork Tackle Live Magic Shad trailer, I was able to slow-roll the 1/2-ounce Rage Blade through submerged grass in 12 to 15 feet of water with no problem.

Recommended Tackle

Rod: 6-foot, 6-inch to 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy

Line: 12- to 15-pound-test fluorocarbon

Specs

Colors: eight Sizes: 3/8 and 1/2 ounce

Accessories: Perfect Skirt with twin-tail trailer

Price: $5.99

Contact: Strike King Lure Company

Tags: chatterbait  strike-king  matt-williams  tech-tackle-reviews 

/tips/2016-07-23-1000-islands-day-3-midday-update

1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-22-1000-islands-midday-update-day-2

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-19-flw-podcast-126-icast

FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-14-2017-walmart-flw-tour-schedule

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-12-si-se-puede-yes-we-can

Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-5-rookie-lessons-learned

5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-flw-podcast-125-scott-martin

FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-review-lew-s-custom-speed-stick-lite

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-reunited-and-it-feels-so-good

Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-2016-icast-preview

2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-07-flw-canada-kicks-off-at-tri-lakes

FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-tour-pro-cooksey-recovering-after-accident

FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-podcast-124-jeremy-lawyer

FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-29-stetson-blaylock-s-recipe-for-a-wacky-rig

Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-28-morgan-claims-third-flw-tour-angler-of-the-year-title

Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-24-three-things-by-dd-kentucky-lake

Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-23-how-to-catch-smallmouths-with-hair-jigs

How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-22-two-exciting-events-to-look-forward-to

Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-21-tagging-along-with-sprague-in-kentucky

Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-19-waunakee-hs-wins-wi-title

Waunakee HS Wins WI Title

The Waunakee High School duo of Colin Steck and Nathan Lorenz brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Wisconsin State Championship on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Central Conference championship on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on September 23-24. READ MORE »