Category Archives: Tackle Reviews

Bull Shad vs. BD Shad


The Bull Shad is on the bottom and the BD Shad on top.

In this blog I’ll discuss the difference between the original Bull Shad swimbait versus the spin-off BD Shad from Trophy Technology LLC. First of the Bull Shad is a homemade swimbait hand made in the U.S. versus the BD Shad mass produced from China. I’ll give the Bull Shad the thumbs up for the lure being made in the U.S. not in China to increase the bottom line.

There is quite a difference in the price of these two swimbaits. The price was obtained from Tackle Warehoue and there could be lower and higher prices out there if you search around for them. The Bull Shad sells for $49.99 were as the BD Shad sells for $24.99. So I’ll give the lower price a thumbs up as I can purchase two BD Shads for the price of one of the Bull Shads.

As for the color pattern I bought both swimbaits in the Gizzard Shad pattern as that is one of the dominate forage fish in my area on the Tennessee River system. As for the paint job I have to give the BD Shad another thumbs up as the Bull Shad looks like a very quick paint job with very little detail. The Kill Spot on both lures is a single vertical line instead of a round or oval dot from the real bait fish.

BD_Shad BS_Shad

Both lures are the same length at 6″ from the nose to the tail not including the carbon fiber tails. As for weight there is on a .1 ounce difference between the two in that the Bull Shad weighted in at 2.1 ounces and the BD Shad weighing in at 2.2 ounces. This could be because of the larger cheaper hooks on the BD Shad that has cheap bronze hooks where as the Bull Shad has Owner 2X black nickel hooks and Hyperwire split rings. I’ll give the Bull Shad the thumbs up for the better hooks and the slightly lighter weight.


Looking at the way the swimbaits are made I’ll look at the joints of the two lures. AS you can see in the above photo there is a difference between the two body joints. On the BD Shad on the left you can see the angled body which will cause the swimbait to have a wider snake like swimming action. The Bull Shad has a flat even front edge with causes the swimbait to swim with a tighter more natural swimming action. For this I’ll give the thumbs up to the Bull Shad for it’s more natural swimming action.


Now lets look at the BD Shad on the left and we’ll see there is a small rare earth magnet molded into the swimbait. This is placed there as a hook holder that causes the front hook to lay flat along the body and not hang down as it does on the Bull Shad. The front hook hanger is also moved forward on the BD Shad more than on the Bull Shad. So I’ll give a thumbs up to the BD Shad for this innovation.


 Now the last thing I’ll talk about is the tails on the two swimbaits. As you can see from the photo above both have carbon fiber tails. The Bull Shad is on the left and the BD Shad on the right. I have seen some of the BD Shads that have really fast cut tails that are not true to form. To me the Bull Shad looks more natural so I’ll give the thumbs up to the Bull Shad.

In conclusion I’ll have to say I prefer the Bull Shad over the BD Shad first because it’s American made not in China. I like the swimming action better than the BD Shad and finally because Mike Bucca uses high quality hooks and split rings on his swimbaits. Thumbs up to the Bull Shad!

Note: I had to purchase both swimbaits and have not been contacted by either manufacturers of the swimbaits. This is my opinion only and yours might be different.

My Tackle Box – Grubs

Ahh the ole grub, this lure was once my favorite lure for big smallmouth bass. I’ve probably caught more smallmouth on these lures than anything else in my tackle box. But then again back then that’s about all i ever threw. A local smallmouth guru Leon Tidwell was the person that got me throwing these little fish magnets. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Leon caught lots of huge limits on them. And me being in Quad cities Bass Club with him and the other great anglers such as Ray Gresham, Sam Moody, Paul Cantrell, Jack Nesmith, Johnny Bryant, Wallace Smith just to name a few. We all threw these lures especially when we were on Pickwick Lake home of the world class smallmouth fishing.


When I did throw these baits I used a 5′ to 6′ rod as these were the only thing available at that time. Now I use a 6’6″ or a 7′ medium to medium heavy rod with a Shimano Symetre 2500 spinning reel spooled with 6 or 8 pound line. I like both monofilament and fluorocarbon line. If I’m around a lot of rock or shell-beds then I’ll use the mono instead of the fluorocarbon line for the extra abrasion resistance.jigheads

How I fish the grubs, the first thing is make sure there is current running on Pickwick especially. I like anything over about 50,000 cps current flow for the grubs to work their magic. On Pickwick I love to anchor while fishing, I discovered a long time ago that if you catch two fish and for sure three fish off of a spot then there will be lots of schooling fish around the area.

My favorite grubs were Harville that are no longer made in the 5″ length and of course the smoke with silver glitter on a 1/4 ounce lead-head. Action Plastics made a good grub back years ago that I caught a lot of bass on in their 3″ version of the same color. Pearl white along with chartreuse and pearl chartreuse were other favorites if the water was stained or muddy.

I’ll make a long cast upstream ahead of the shell mound and let the grub rigged on either a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce lead-head depending on the current flow. I work the grubs two different way, the first is to allow the grub to land on the bottom, and allow the current to slow roll along the bottom while very slowly reeling in the slack line. If the current is really rolling then I’ll use the 3/8 ounce lead-heads to keep it on or very near the bottom. And the second way is, once the lure hits the bottom start your slow retrieve and don’t stop, twitch or impart any extra action to the grubs. About the only thing I will do is that if I’m fishing near a sudden bottom structure change such as a drop-off or stair stepping bluff walls with several ledges under the water. I’ll allow my grub to sink back down to the bottom and start my retrieve again with the non-stop retrieve.

Almost all the bites will be very light with the smallies just coming from behind and inhaling the grub and just swim off with it. Sometimes they will hammer the grub with a sudden hard jar. This usually happens when there are a lot of active fish that are competing over the bait. Another fish the drum, will knock the heck out of the grub as will catfish.

So get a few lead-heads and grubs and see if you have as much luck on them as I did.

Minn Kota Trolling Motor Armature Broken

Well on my fishing trip this past weekend I had my armature shaft snap on my Minn Kota. I had noticed that the trolling motor had a vibration that I had never noticed before that morning. I ordered the parts to make the repairs myself. If you ever need parts for your Minn Kota trolling motor you can order parts from Northland Marine. They have great turn around time on shipping out the parts and great prices. The total for the parts to repair my unit was $189 for the armature, brush set, seal kit, weedless prop and nut kit.


Here is the broken shaft and where it snapped. shaftbroke

My Tackle Box -Rapala Shadow Rap

These are the new Rapala Shadow Rap jerkbaits I picked up at Gander Mountain today. The paint jobs are awesome looking. I got the two different sizes, the shallow ones and the ones with the longer bills that let’s the lure get down deeper faster.


My Tackle Box – Huddleston Swimbaits

Here are the Huddleston swim-bait’s I just received, there are four different sizes starting with the 8″, 6″ and 4″ Huddleston Deluxe. The smaller ones are the weedless shads, which are designed to be fished weedless through thick cover such as tree-tops and thick grass.hudds

My Tackle Box – LB’s Custom Lures –

I just received an order of 1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce swim jigs from my friend at LB’s Custom Lures. I wanted some big swim jigs in larger size for my fishing this year. I’ll be using Robo Eazy Shads as trailers on these large swim jigs. The skirt color I was was one that Larry and I developed back several years ago called TFS for Threadfin Shad.

LB's Custom Lures - Swimjigs

LB’s Custom Lures – Swim jigs

My Tackle Box – River2Sea S-Wave’s

I just received an order that I had placed with River 2 Sea. In this order I had ordered three different lures. The lures I ordered were the S-Wavers, in three different sizes but one of the sizes was out of stock. I ordered two of the S-Waver 200’s, five of the S-Waver 168’s (out of stock) and 5 of the S-Waver 120’s. These lures are hard bodied swimbaits made famous for the California lakes. I’ve decided that since I will not get to do much fishing this year with the illness of my Mom I’ll just try for BIG fish when I do get to hit the lake. I’ve also ordered some Huddleston swimbaits, Spro BBZ’s in different sizes and a couple of Moreau Rats and Frogs. I’ll post a review on these lures once I receive them.


Humminbird Onix – Software 2.0 Update Problem

Well as you know from all my prior posts I’m a big fan of the Humminbird units which includes my Onix 10ciSI. With the great service I get from Humminbird on any issues I have I have one complaint. Humminbird released their new software update for the Onix in which they noted that there were 690 errors or bugs found in the software. One of the bugs had to do with the Down Image view of the unit. They posted that the new Onix would include the name Hi-Def Down Image crystal as their Down Image units of which I have an 1158 C DI unit. Anyway after doing the update I no longer have Down Image view on my Onix after the update. The Down Image view worked prior to the update but not since.


Anyway I have contacted Humminbird and after talking to Customer Service (very polite) they wanted me to take some snap shots of the unit and email them to them to see if they could determine the problem this took me about a week as I could not get on the water with my unit. After emailing them the requested photos they determined that the unit would have to be returned for repairs. This is the second time I have had to return an Onix for repairs to them. They are very fast in making the repairs and returning the units back to me but it costs me about $35 each time to ship the unit to them.

One gripe I had with them was that the first time I returned the unit for repairs they send me back a older refurbished unit. I know this as the serial numbers did not match the one I returned for repairs!

I’ll keep you updated on this issue when I get the Onix back from Humminbird.