Hand carved, hand tuned and ready to target big bass, the Roman Made Negotiator is the staple in the line-up. This wooden swimbait is ideal when bigger fish are targeting larger bait fish or trout. The subtle "S" pattern entices fish from deeper water and gets them to strike violently.
At 7 inches and 3 ounces, it's perfect for throwing on lighter swimbait rods or flipping/punching rods. Here at Tackle Express, we use 15 pound Seaguar Abrazx fluorocarbon because it's strong and very abrasion resistant. 15 pound line allows the bait to move freely and has the perfect sink rate to enhance the lures big bass capability.
As with any swimbait technique, there are several approaches one can take to fish this lure correctly. Try out each technique at different times of day and rotate through them until you find out what get's bit. Here are some basic techniques we recommend.
When you get a fish on, wind wind wind!! You don't want to let the fish shake it's head or break the water's surface. Most of the time that's when the fish will throw the bait. The heavier the bait, the easier it is for them to throw the hook. Get it to the boat now and I strongly recommend you have a net ready. If it's a smaller fish, you can boat flip it but it's best not to take a chance on loosing the fish and the bait.
Swimbait Basics: We do better on a steady retrieve. You can work the bait with the handle a little bit or the rod tip, but in general a steady retrieve works best. If you have a bass following the bait and you are running out of room, stop the bait and twitch the handle to make it turn 180 degrees. Often times this will evoke a strike, after all, you are almost out of water to work the lure and as soon as the fish sees the boat, it's gone!
It's best with all the techniques not to let is sink out for a long time. As soon as it hits the water, start turning the handle. Keep your rod tip down close to the water and pay attention. Visualize in your mind what you're going to do when you get bit. When you do get bit, start winding fast and set the hook with force, but not so much that you break off.
Parallel: While in a boat or from shore, make as long a cast as you can while maintaining proper distance from the shore. Proper distance from the shore is within 5 to 7 feet. On a beach or sandy flat area, you may need to throw further out, just pay attention to the bottom topography. Here in California, we have steep walls and at times throw the lure within a foot or two of the bank. It may be 30 feet deep or several feet deep, just try to keep it shallow and run it slowly along the bank.
Pulling into Deeper Water: One of our favorite techniques is pulling the fish off structure and out into deeper water. We have pulled fish 25-30 feet of the bank and still had them hit it. Sometimes they will bump it a few times on the way but that's when the 180 degree turn of the bait comes into play. They usually will chase a bait into deeper water when they are really fired up and ready to go! Usually the fish are on rocky deep water access areas and especially like to ambush on points.
For points, throw to the left or right of the point as far down the line past the point as you can. Pull that bait as close to the shore as possible and keep it in line with the point as you enter deeper water. Steady retrieve is a must, you want the lure to look unthreatened and just chill. If a bass ready to pounce is there, it will attack it. Try one side and then the other side of the point with only one cast per side. Multiple casts will not help the situation, if they are gonna hit it, they will the first time.
Crossing a Point or Submerged Hump: This technique works for both crossing a point and working the bait over a submerged hump. I work it in two or three different angles and bring it over the hight spot but not in very deep water. The depth you want the bait to be in is 3-10 feet and cast across the point or hump keeping the splash from the bait as far away from the strike area as possible. By keeping the splash at a distance and working the lure into the strike area, you can make multiple casts without spooking the fish. Often times we let it sink out before we retrieve and put the rod tip in the water to keep it a little deeper. On deeper areas around 10 feet, I'll put half the rod in the water to keep it in the strike zone. When you get bit with your rod in the water, wind fast and keep winding while you bring your rod tip up.
Roman Made is one of the best swimbaits on the market and I strongly suggest you put some time in with it. I guarantee you the numbers of fish won't be high, but the fish you catch will be bigger and the thrill of catching a fish on a swimbait is unmatched.
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Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass:
The lake is holding about five feet from full pool and the release of water into and out of the afterbay has ceased. The water in both lakes is clearing rapidly with the onset of high pressure and high air temps with surface readings at the upper lake reaching 72 on Friday. The overall bite has ramped up with the smaller largemouth still dominating the counts.