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Shaye's Six Picks from iCast 2015

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Z-Man Project Z ChatterBait

Z-Man invented a whole new style of bait with their Original ChatterBait. Since then, they've not only taken the praise but also the constructive criticism of their fans and pros and have re-invented the best vibrating jig on the market in the new Project Z ChatterBait. A strong hook, great trailer keeper and most importantly an improved line tie. This one has been out for a few months, but still one of my favorite new baits of the year. For more info, click here.

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Missile Jigs Ike's Mini Flip

I've always been a fan of compact, durable jigs for flipping and pitching around shallow cover. Unfortunately I've had a hard time finding such a jig... until recently. This jig is basically a old school bitsy bug on steroids. A solid construction, strong hook and great selection of color schemes makes this one of my favorite baits of the year so far. I've also used this jig to fish brush and rock in deeper water and have been pleased with the versatility of the jig in that respect. Ike and Missile Jigs definitely hit one out of the park with this one. For more information on Ike's Mini Flip, click here.

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Gambler Burner Craw

Gambler has come out with one of the most versatile soft plastics in quite a while with their new Burner Craw. I've used this bait as a trailer on swim jigs, flipping jigs, football jigs and ChatterBaits. I've also swam this bait with a light weight, pitched it on a light weight, punched the bait in thick vegetation and almost anything else you can think of. The bait may look like several others at first glance, but what it lacks in instant awe power, it makes up for in durability, color selection and action. A great choice of colors and it's versatility makes the Burner Craw one of my favorite new baits of 2015 so far. For more information, click here.

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Fitzgerald Rods Stunner HD Series

Fitzgerald Rods emerged a few years back in Florida where the company quickly took hold of the market for custom-built flipping sticks capable of prying giant Florida bass from thick matted vegetation. With the winner of nearly every BFL, EverStart and Open held in Florida holding a Fitzgerald Rods flipping stick, it became obvious that there was something to this rod. Fans of the flipping stick sampled other custom made fishing rods in the Fitzgerald lineup and quickly a brand took hold. High demand for rods and the desire for a more competitive price point led Trevor Fitzgerald to investigate the option of having a line of production rods. In an effort not to comprise quality for convience, the Stunner HD Series was born; a solid rod built with the best components and made available for a competitive price. I've sampled several of these rods already and I'm very pleased. For more info on Fitzgerald Rods Stunner HD Series, click here.

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Abu Garcia Ike Series Rods

After purchasing one of Ike's Delay Series (made for reaction baits) and one of Ike's Power Series Rods (made for power fishing) I was instantly hooked. Not only do the rods perform but they also look sharp and come in at a price point that is very reasonable ($129.00-$149.00). I put the 7-2 Medium Heavy Power Rod to work immediately with a jig and fished everything from a square bill to Series 5 XD on Ike's 7-0 Medium Delay Series Rod. Caught multiple fish and was very pleased with both. I've since purchased Ike's 7-10 Medium Heavy Delay for larger crankbaits and plan to buy more in the future. For more information on Ike's new line of rods. Click here for more on Ike's Delay Series.

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Strike King 8xd Crankbait

Strike King changed what most people thought about crankbait fishing when they introduced their oversized behemoth of a crankbait, the 10XD. Jumping from its much smaller predecessor, the 6XD, the 10XD was off-putting for some some people. Although the 10XD has the ability to trigger bites from a whole new set of fish, working the bait is about like arm day at the gym times a hundred. Seeing the need for a larger profile bait, but one that would be considerably easier to reel, Strike King filled the gap with the 8XD. Built to dive 20-plus feet deep, the 8XD provides a big meal with a not so demanding work load. For more info on the Strike King 8XD, click here.

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