How to Get the Most From a Baitcasting Reel

We received a request for a video on how to adjust a baitcasting reels to get the best performance. Neither Tim nor Matt are reel mechanics but Tacticalbassin is all about helping anglers improve their fishing. This week these two fishermen will show you exactly how we adjust our personal reels when its time to hit the water.

As always, Tim and Matt rarely agree so instead of pretending, we're showing you the reels we actually use on a daily basis. For Tim, that means a Revo STX Gen 3, and for Matt, that's a Shimano Curado.

This video shows how we adjust both Shimano and Abu Garcia Reels without going into all the technical details. This isn't a reel breakdown by a reel technician, its a real world video of what each of us do to our personal equipment when we get a new reel and want it to perform at its best.

We hope this video helps! We know its not the video most expect to see, and I'm sure a reel tech or two will shake their heads but this is how the two of us fish our equipment year after year and it has stood the test of time.

Waterspout on Lake Berryessa!

Photo by Matt Allen

Its not every day we see this kind of weather in Northern California! Matt was on a guide trip on Lake Berryessa today when a storm cell moved into the area and began pouring rain.

Photo By Kurt Himmen


Shortly thereafter this waterspout touched down. You never know what you're going to get when you head to the lake.

Important Note... Kurt got his Grand Slam, landing all 3 species; Spotted Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Largemouth Bass, before the weather rolled in. What a fun day at the lake! Congratulations Kurt!

Squarebill Crankbaits: Tricks to Help you Refine Your Fishing

Over the years the guys have talked about a lot of different lures but one they've never discussed in-depth is the squarebill crankbait. Both Tim and Matt love to throw squarebills and have a lot of knowledge to share. In this week's video they break down styles of baits, running depths, rods, line, and even some quick recommendations on color. You don't want to miss this video!

Both anglers have their confidence baits and equipment. Despite fishing many of the same locations and groups of fish, Matt and Tim do not use the same equipment. 

To the surprise of many, Matt often throws his squarebills on fluorocarbon. This is one of the only applications where he believes fluorocarbon has an advantage over braid. He couples it with a 7' medium heavy, moderate cranking rod and a 7:1 reel. His bait of choice is the River2Sea Biggie Poppa.

Tim prefers to throw his squarebill cranks on braided line with a mono or fluoro leader. He couples it with a 7'6" Medium Heavy crankbait rod and a 7:1 Reel. His bait of choice is the Lucky Craft BDS 3.

We hope the tips in this week's video will help you refine your squarebill game so you can focus on putting more and bigger fish in the boat the next time you find yourself around aggressive fish in shallow water. Until next time, good luck out there!

How to Rig Swimbaits for a Variety of Conditions

This week Matt and Tim break down swimbait rigging. From Basstrix to Keitechs they explain the best options to help you load the boat on your next trip! Whether you're fishing heavy cover for big largemouth or suspended smallmouth in clear water there is an easy way to rig your baits to optimize every bite.

Tim kicks it off by showing the best way to rig a swimbait weedless. We've found two hooks that consistently stand out from the crowd. They are the 5/0 trokar and the 4/0 Owner Beast. It depends what bait you're throwing but if you use the 4.8 Keitech like we often do, you can't beat the Beast.

Next Matt breaks down his very own "Matt Allen Swimbait Head". If you've wondered what makes this head different, you'll see it here. The 30 degree line tie helps keep the bait rocking and rolling in the water while the combination wire and cone keeper system helps lock in both solid and hollow body baits. If you haven't used the Matt Allen Swimbait Head yet, you need to give it a try!

Lastly, Tim circles back around and teaches how to save $$$ and headaches by turning the above mentioned heads into underspins by adding a willow leaf to the bait. Forget messing with light wire underspins, just take your favorite head, add the pre-rigged blade, and create your own underspin!

We hope these tips help you as you build swimbait confidence this year! If you have questions feel free to leave us a comment, send an email, and don't forget to join us on facebook and Instagram to stay connected between videos. If you haven't done so already you're missing a lot of big bass pictures, videos, and the low down on the specific baits that are producing our most recent big bites!

Do You Want to Catch a Giant Bass?

Matt was invited to do a seminar at this year's International Sportsman's Exposition. His topic was the same as last year, but it came with a twist. Instead of giving a demonstration people had already seen Matt broke it into two seminars in one. The first focused on FOOLING a trophy bass, the second focused on TRIGGERING a trophy bass.

For those that weren't able to see it in person, Tim was able to video the entire seminar. This Tacticalbassin exclusive video gives you a front row seat to the entire 46 minute seminar covering both topics. Enjoy!

In this video you'll discover that targeting trophy bass is easiest when you separate them based on what they eat and target them accordingly. In other words, you don't throw the same baits for a bass that primarily eats trout that you would for a bass that primarily eats bluegill. Additionally, you throw different baits if you want to fool them than you throw if you want to trigger them.

The baits that are going to be broken down in this video can be found below...

Natural Baits to FOOL a trophy bass:

-The Huddleston is a great swimbait that is widely available and has fooled countless trophy bass.

-The Jig with Beaver Trailer is another deadly option for targeting trophy class fish

-The JSJ Hitch 6 Softbait is a new swimbait that perfectly mimics a baitfish, great for getting those monster bites!

-The California SwimJig has been catching giants for years, if you haven't added it to your arsenal yet the time has come.

REACTIVE Baits for Trophy Bass:

-S-Waver 168 and 200 are both GREAT options for triggering a trophy!

-The Flash Pointer 115 or Vision 110 both put trophy bass in the boat when used properly.

-The Magnum Fluke is an overlooked bait that puts monster bass in the boat!

The LV-500 Lipless crankbait is a western secret to target monster bass. This isn't a regular lipless and we don't fish it like you'd expect.

We hope you enjoy the seminar! If you have questions for Tim or Matt feel free to leave us a comment and we'll get back to you. Thank you for your continued support! Though it isn't yet on the website, we have hats and hoodies available for purchase. Please email Tim at and he will get you the details. Until next time, good luck out there!

How to Trailer Your Boat When Fishing Solo

A few months back we did a video on launching your boat by yourself. It was met with such great feedback that we decided to follow it up with a 2nd video showing how easy it can be to put your boat back on the trailer without help.

There are some great products out there today to make your life easier when trailering the boat alone. The most useful is an aftermarket step like the EZ-Troll Tongue Step. In this video we show how to do it without a device like this but if you wanted added safety, a step is the sure way to go.

We hope this gives you some confidence to go out and hit the water alone this year! Don't let a friend who has to work or who sleeps through the alarm clock mess up your next day on the water. Good luck out there!