BassWestUSA - July/August, 2009, Page 47

Lowen has designed a rod that he feels maximizes his effectiveness, and it’s now available from All-Pro Rods ( “For years we swam a jig on a flipping stick and by the end of the day you’d be worn out,” he said. “So we took that (7’6”) rod and put a spinnerbait tip on it. You can roll cast and skip docks with it in a way you can’t with a flipping stick.” Roumbanis uses his 7’6” American Eagle Rods RoumBASStik Toad rod (see www., available at for many of the same reasons. “It’s a medium-heavy action which allows you to let them load up on it,” he said. Both of them use a high-speed baitcasting reel spooled up with braided line (30 lb. Stren Super Braid for Lowen, 40 lb. Power Pro for Roumbanis), so that little bit of extra give provides needed cushion on the often-jarring strikes. Clemons agreed with the two touring pros: “If you use too stiff a rod you tend to jerk it away from the fish when it hits.” Despite their highly-refined equipment and semi-secretive ways, both anglers stressed that this is a simple technique to learn and utilize. The biggest mistakes you can make are to limit the times and places you fish a jig and to only fish it vertically. “To be honest, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Lowen said. “It’s a simple technique and guys think too much about it.”

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“Unless it’s weighted real heavy, a tube is inherently weightless,” he explained, so by keeping his rod tip high he can allow the lure to follow the contour of the cover he’s fishing without making a ruckus and without having to burn the bait. He’ll occasionally add a 1/16 or 1/8 ounce bullet weight “to keep the nose down when you kill it,” but otherwise it’s a feather compared to even the lightest jigs. His favorite colors are black with blue flake and black with red flake. BW

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Bill Lowen Readies his Namesake Swim Jig on day two of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic.

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July/August 2009