CastAway Rods BASS Elite Series Pro Staffer Russ Lane tallied top-10 finishes in the last two Bassmaster tournaments he competed in – the Jan. 23-25, 2014 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Tohopekaliga and the Dec. 5-7, 2013 Bassmaster Classic Wild Card event on Lake Okeechobee – fueling the veteran angler’s confidence heading into the 2014 season.
On Lake Toho, Lane finished eighth among more than 200 anglers, landing a total of 37.12 pounds of bass despite extremely challenging conditions. That followed an impressive performance in December on Okeechobee, where he finished fourth with 59.2 pounds against an equally talented field. Lane credits these back-to-back top-10 finishes to his flipping talents, his ability to adapt to tough fishing situations, and the quality and performance of his tackle.
According to Lane, the weather was cold and Toho’s bass were tight-lipped during the Southern Open. “One cold front came in just a few days before tournament started, and another front arrived during the second day of the event,” Lane noted. “Water temps were in the low 50s and bites were few and far between.”
Lane was able to capitalize, however, on a small window of opportunity each day on Toho. “The fish were only willing to cooperate for a couple hours in the late afternoon, so I had to make the most of things during those brief periods,” explained Lane. “Flipping was working for me, so I stuck with that technique and my CastAway Invicta INV-FP76 extra-heavy action flipping stick the whole time. It was the first time in my competitive career that I used just one rod over the course of an entire tournament.”
Lane paired his CastAway Invicta flipping stick with a Shimano Curado baitcaster spooled with 60-pound Sunline FX-2 braid, enticing the finicky Toho bass with a black and blue Big Bite Real Deal Craw weighted with a 1½- ounce tungsten sinker. “I worked hard during practice and found a couple of areas that had matted grass, clear water and a lot of fish,” said Lane. “Whenever you get these cold front conditions in Florida, however, the fish bite very softly. You need a rod that’s sensitive enough to feel those subtle bites, but has enough power to get the fish out of the thick vegetation. The CastAway Invicta flipping stick provides the perfect balance of sensitivity and strength required under those extreme conditions.”
Lane pointed out that the lightweight, yet super strong, graphite construction of his Invicta INV-FP76 rod allowed him to flip for long hours without any fatigue. “That’s the beauty of this flipping stick, and all of CastAway’s rods – for as strong and durable as they are, they’re surprisingly light.” He also appreciates the golf club style grips. “They allow for a super comfortable, secure hold even when wet, without interfering with the sensitivity of the blank. I can feel the vibration of a hit transmit from the rod tip all the way to the handle.”
While Lane’s Invicta INV-FP76 flipping stick saw plenty of action on both Toho and Okeechobee, he also uses other CastAway rods to put fish in the livewell. Lane relies on six models with different lengths and actions specialized for handling various fishing techniques. “Along with my flipping stick, I use CastAway Invicta Series rods made for cranking, topwater, casting jigs, working big worms and finesse fishing,” he said. “Those are my ‘go-to’ rods. Each one is light, strong, durable, and perfectly designed for its intended application.”
With plenty of confidence in his abilities and his tackle coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes in two high-profile tournaments, “Big Daddy” has momentum on his side with the new season just around the corner.
To learn more about the complete lineup of tournament-quality CastAway Graphite Rods, visit www.castawayrods.com or call (936) 582-1677.936
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