The Best Gear for Catching Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are one of the most popular gamefish in North America thanks to its reputation for being one of the toughest fighting freshwater fish around. Though they are plentiful and can be aggressive, the smallmouth bass won't bite everything you throw into the water. Anglers need the right gear to make their fishing trip a success. Here are some must-have rods, reels and lures that will have bass biting all day long.

4.5 inch BPS Sassy Sally

If you're fishing off rock shoals or any other drop off than you are probably looking to use your best drop-shotting rig. According to Bill Davis and Alan Gibbins, the hosts of The Fish Finders TV, a 4.5 inch BPS Sassy Sally makes for the perfect drop-shotting bait for smallmouth. Gobies are a predominate feeder fish for smallmouth, especially in the St. Lawrence River where Davis and Gibbins were fishing and the Sassy Sally imitates the bait fish perfectly. A good technique with the Sassy Sally is using a controlled downstream drift at about one mile per hour while having the sinker maintain contact with the bottom at all times. This will give the bait a more natural look. For more details, check out Alan Gibbins' original article on drop-shotting for smallmouth.

The Ben Parker Magnum Spoon

ben parker magnum spoon nichols
Tennessee Pro Angler Ben Parker partnered with Nichols to manufacture the Ben Parker Magnum Spoon, an 8-inch, 3.5 oz. behemoth that made its name during the June 2014 Kentucky Lake FLW Tournament. After being used by half of the top-ten anglers in the tournament the spoon was used by the Bethel University team to win the BASS College Wildcard event later that month. Size isn't the only thing that separates this giant spoon from the rest. The center of the spoon is flatter than a traditional spoon, meaning will stay in the strike zone longer. Though spoons traditionally require more manual labor to use, they produce great results for all kinds of bass fishing situations such as ledge fishing and fishing through heavy cover. Check out Mark Bilbrey's thoughts on throwing heavy spoons for summer bass.

Jackall Scissor Comb

Jackall ScissorComb
Debuting at ICAST 2014, the Jackall Scissor Comb delivers a crazy crawling action that will help you rake in those bass. The crawling action is produced by the four reversed arms coming off a bottleneck shape along with the two long tails. Though it looks delicate, the bait is constructed out of high density plastic - those thin appendages will not easily rip when a fish strikes. This six-inch bait features a compact bottleneck profile which helps it swim. It is recommended that the legs (four on each side) are attached backwards so they put out a lot of vibration in the water. The Jackall Scissor Comb retails for $4.99.

Silhouette Frog

The cast and burn technique is a very effective and exciting smallmouth technique but you need the right soft plastic frog to do it. Team Nitro Pro's Donna Bilbrey, owner of Warpath Lures, developed her signature “Silhouette Frog” to take things just a little further than other soft frog lures. The four-inch frog uses longer legs and larger feet that are turned inward to provide maximum water displacement and vibration. The black color provides contrast to surrounding lily pads and grass mats, creating a "silhouette" in the water that will stand out to the fish. Donna recommends beginners use a 3 – 4/0 spring lock hook and the frog's versatility allows it to be rigged with the shank of the hook on top down the frogs back or with hooks underneath the lure. For more information check out Mark Bilbrey's article featuring the Silhouette Frog.

Duckett Micro Magic Pro

duckett micro magic pro

The engineers at Duckett re-tuned last years Micro Magic models and fixed every problem anglers had with them. These improvements allowed them to win Best Freshwater Rod at ICAST 2014. The Micro Magic Pro rod sports a set of proprietary ring-lock micro-guides that make the rod super-tough and able to withstand regular fishing conditions and the hardships of tournament fishing. The rod's blanks are made from pre-impregnated composite fibers giving anglers increased sensitivity and greater casting distances. The Micro Magic Pro comes in multiple lengths (7' - 7' 10") and power configurations to cover any of your fishing needs.

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