06/19/2022 – Weekly Specials

Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there and especially my dad, the Chark in Charkbait has been a mentor and role model to me for as long as I can remember. He is the best dad I could ever ask for, and more than that, a friend and colleague who I spend every day with. The lessons and experiences he has passed on to me have been invaluable and something I hope to never forget or take for granted. I love you dad, we need to spend more time out fishing together!

The big fish are around so make sure you’re geared up with an 80/100lb setup, the night bite has been great but guys are still picking off daytime bluefin on sinker rigs and heavy dropper loop setups with bait. The smaller fish are mixed in so there are plenty of numbers on the boats, smaller jigs have been working well for the smaller daytime fish as well as the usual bait outfits. The fishing has been pretty inconsistent but we hope it picks up a bit once we get more of the hot water.

If you’ve got pictures of some of your catches with our gear feel free to send us some pictures either to me at sergey@charkbait.com or Mark at information-1@charkbait.com

If you have any suggestions, complaints, questions or comments about the website please feel free to email me at: sergey@charkbait.com or give me a call at the shop.

As always, thank you for visiting our Weekly Specials and hope to see you at the shop!

Sergey Smith


Nobody that fishes iron seriously can get away without a dozen, or two dozen available. Colors, shapes, sizes, the guys that are good tend to try a few things to see what’s going to work best on a given day. Nothing “funner” than to catch a fish on your work rather than a baits labor. It’s not so easy finding a compact tackle bag that allows for enough iron as well as other necessities. Most bags aren’t made for so many relatively long chunks of iron in a tackle tray.  We’ve had some firms make these over the years, part of their storage line, OpenWater, Albacore… This year two new products have been introduced which fill this tackle storage void. Calcutta and Daiwa have both introduced new jig bags. Both are very, very, very similar products but for the cosmetics. Both have 21 storage cavities, each 1 1/2″ square. The bags are compact, about 9″ across, 4 1/2″ deep and 7 1/2 high. Both have side pockets and a heavy duty triple strip sewn in handstrap. With respect to the handstrap, it’s a concern. Nice to see both firms have some redundancy in the way the straps are sewn onto the bags. In this respect, both are very good, but the Daiwa bag handle is sewn onto the bag from beginning to end six inches compared to one very good triple stitched inch of bag attachment on the Calcutta. Both bags are very good, Daiwa slightly better for heavier weights, both bags essentially the same in all other respects but for the cosmetics.


We’ve been waiting on the sports series to arrive for a while now after seeing them at ICAST and being blown away by how light and comfortable they were. If you don’t mind an ankle deck boot over a 12″ size then these are going to be the best boot you can buy. They are super light compared to the standard ankle deck boots and seem to fit wider feet a lot better making them more comfortable. They still retain the rugged design of the tradition boots and are 100% waterproof. As someone would rather risk the chance of hooking myself by wearing flip flops than a standard boot, these are now on my shopping list because of how much better they feel.
As fishing has evolved so has fishermen’s needs, so we continue to innovate and solve for how our boots and footwear can help them feel safe, confident, and comfortable. The Ankle Deck Boot Sport brings you everything you would expect from your XTRATUF® boots but in a sportfishing specific silhouette that is up to 30% lighter than other 6 inch boots in this category. This Sport is built from a new high-performance foam PRO LITE which is ultra-durable and slip resistant, all while being a one-piece outsole. This boot delivers the comfort and agility of a sneaker with long cushion life and high energy return, all while offering the same traction benefits of a full rubber boot.


We’ve seen plenty of flying fish lures out there but none have the versatility of these new Sea Monsters. These lures use a very thick and durable rubber material that is almost indestructible under most circumstances, we’ve even seen them bend one of these around a pullup bar and knock out a few reps without even making a dent. It’s nice to see that they come in both a large and small size to cover the early season and the later season when the bluefin are feeding on large flyers.

Each lure includes 4 sets of wings, or 8 total which is great because they are actually reversible so they work on both sides unlike some of the competition. They also include a pre-crimped leader and hook setup so you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself, the leader is very heavy and they use the best hooks available on the market a large Owner Jobu single and an ST-76 5X treble hook. Along with this you get a ton of rubber bands to attach the rig to your flying fish and a set of instructions.

These lures work both on the troll and with a kite setup which will be great for private boaters who don’t want to run a kite or don’t have the wind to do it. Best of all these are all handmade in the USA and they are a local Huntington Beach company that guarantees the quality of their product.


The Slammer has been Penn’s higher end workhorse line for years through each generation, and the IV is no different. They maintain and improve on the great water resistance they added in the last generation with the addition of a hydrophobic line roller bearing, improving one of the most commonly replaced part on any spinning reels. They continue using the CNC brass main and pinion gears which add great durability and smoothness over aluminum or other common gear materials. They are an all metal reel with the frame and sideplate being durable enough for all saltwater applications, and a rotor that will hold up to high drag pressure. The drag system is as good as ever with some improvements to heat dissipation which will help out on longer fights with bigger fish.

The Slammer IV is packed with more features than ever before. Building off of our proven IPX6 sealed body and spool, we redesigned our Slammer® drag system to not only be better sealed, but also offer a wider range of usable drag, all while being bearing supported for extra smoothness. Adding our all brass CNC gear technology, 8+1 stainless steel bearing system and Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing has made the Slammer IV the ultimate workhorse reel.


MagBay has made a ton of great wahoo lures in the past and they’ve been missing the classic wahoo bombs until now. They’ve made some changes to improve the rigging with the addition of a spinner blade. Each lures has both mylar and rubber skirts so you have the flash of the mylar to get bit and the durability of a rubber skirt that adds to the performance of the lure. They’re the perfect size at 6 inches and around 6 ounces total which makes them super easy to cast and retrieve quickly to get a bite. These bombs have an integrated hook that is attached to the head instead of being wired through like the Catchy bombs, this makes them a bit more durable with less sliding around. These don’t come with a wire leader so you’ll need to crimp your own, we’d recommend 90-135lb range 7-Strand wire and at most 3 feet. Make sure you use darker crimps and rings as well as camo or dark wire that way the wahoo will go after your lure and not your connections.


First time I saw this reel, felt it, I was thinking $200-300. I was very wrong, Okuma is aggressive in building their share of the sportfishing reel business. These new reels are a bargain, but I’ll hold off on the particulars for a bit as we go over what’s so darn trick about these new reels.

Cosmetically, the new Coronado follows the design theme of Okuma’s best – their Makaira spinning reels. They are indeed nice looking reels but the beauty is more than skin deep. These are bait feeder design reels, allowing you to easily freespool a bait. The Azores from Okuma offers a non-baitfeeding type operation with some similar benefits as the Coronado. If you want the bait operation benefit of a baitfeeder, are looking for a capable but relatively inexpensive saltwater capable reel, this is very likely the piece for you. They’re great for a range of line classes depending on size, especially focusing on live bait fishing in the 20-50lb range.


Yo-Zuri’s Bonita lures have had some changes over the years, all positive steps in the lure’s development. The current series posted here now represents their best efforts, and recognizes that pricing is an important consideration just as is the build quality, rigging and overall construction of lures like this. Knowing that the target species is wahoo, a fish with an incredible bite and razor sharp teeth, Yo-Zuri improved the materials used several years back. The new material is harder than most such lures  (Power Body). In the past Bonitas and Marauders were made with compressed foam which was prone to degradation with use. These lures are thru wired for strength and security, and they feature ball bearing stainless steel swivels to the hooks – which are also flat forged stainless steel. The color change technology which Yo-Zuri introduced in 2012 is maintained, only for the top of the lure. That feature has no real world appeal to fish in my humble estimation, but it’s trick to see. That was a huge talking point with the prior generation, now it’s downplayed – and that makes some sense since I’ve never noticed a wahoo approach the bait at 10 knots from two different directions before making it’s mind up about eating a bait or lure. There was little if any benefit from the feature other than adding cost, so it’s basically gone. Additionally, the ribbing which had to be incorporated made the lure’s body rough, not smooth. For best hooksets some feel that the more slippery body allowed the lure to slide through the ‘hoo’s mouth allowing for a better hook up rate. I’d tend to agree with that thinking. Rigging is done correctly, with quality components, material used for the lure’s body is also top notch. And, for the new lures, pricing is far more aggressive with costs of $29-39 rather than $55! The 2016 Bonita lures are just what we like to see, nice quality, good materials, and they are very well priced.


Penn’s newest International reels were first shown at ICAST 2017.  Penn’s new line does indeed represent a significant improvement over what they’ve been supplying in the past. The VISX models compete with the top echelon of long range oriented reels.

The older generation reels were excellent for what they were intended to do, trolling duty. But, at the rail there were other large game reels which killed them. Penn could not compete, that was clearly indicated by folks targeting cow sized tuna on the long range fleet.  Avet’s Pro series set the standard back in 2005 and they’ve kept improving.  And, for those wanting to fish the USA standard – Penn – Cal Sheets got a fair amount of business improving and enhancing those tanks. Then came Okuma’s Makaira series, as we were first to announce, the Makaira series reels were game changers for the industry. That was proven fact. Penn went back to the drawing board, hard, and I will suggest copied several design aspects of the Makaira design (pull vs push, silent dogs…).  That’s easily confirmed by anyone who does a side by side comparison and pushes the lever and turns the handle. The guys at Penn spent their time well, the new VISX series in the International line-up stand on their own, they are excellent reels.

For long range style fishing, comparing top notch gear, Penn now can compete with Okuma Makairas, Avet Pro series, Accurate ATD’s. Penn is back in the game big time with their VISX series. The VISW’s are also a nice improvement over previous generations of wide trolling oriented reels. Internationals now compete very well with the best of long range reels. Thankfully, Penn International Series reels are still made in the USA.

The PENN International VI series is designed and manufactured in the USA of domestic and imported components. Precision machined from high-strength, lightweight, aircraft grade aluminum in our Philadelphia machining center. Our experienced crew has been designing and producing durable, high-quality reels in this facility since 1932.  The VI consists of a large stainless steel gear train for strength and speed, and a Dura-Drag system which results in a smoother start up and virtually eliminates hesitation, even under extreme drag settings.


United Composites decided to do a limited run of red blanks in various models, not many will be made but we’ll have various models updated on this page as they come in. Most of the blanks will be GUSA Premium’s since the red pairs well with the woven carbon they use, but we’ll have some GPX prototype blanks as well as some other models coming in. The GUSA Premiums don’t have glass so you won’t see the red glass at the tip but you’ll see the red glass on the 9E and rail rod blank models once they’re in.

The GP series is an evolution of the US models that UC has been famous for, with the addition of a layer of woven carbon fiber they’re able to add a bit of extra power and lift towards the butt end making them great for fighting big fish. On top of that the pattern of the weave looks great with the red gloss they used on these blanks.