West Coast Pros Weigh In on the Japan Cali Lure Connection

Aaron Martens and Ish Monroe Weigh In


Winter 2021


season with just what I have in my boat. Look at Matt Bennett – he had to borrow tackle to have options. Look at Steve Kennedy – he wins by keeping it super- simple.”

While his most profligate lure-buying days may be in the past, Monroe still depends on Japanese engineering to get the job done. He said that his sponsor Daiwa sends teams of engineers to spend time with them to perfect performance.

“A lot of companies don’t do that, but that’s why Daiwa has always been a leader,” he explained. “They were the first company to have infinite anti-reverse, the first company with a 7:1 reel. More recently they came out with AGS guides, a complete new guide system that’s lighter and more sensitive. That’s all about the company, but it’s the direct result of Japanese engineering and culture.”

Martens said that the Japanese tendency toward cleanliness influenced his own boat storage solutions and tackle treatment, but the Japanese tackle companies’


relentless tinkering to build a better mousetrap is consistent with his nature.

It’s the reason that he either invented, refined or revived a wide range of previously-obscure tools, like the Scrounger. It’s the reason that he joined Duo Realis in recent years.

In 10 trips to Japan, he’s worked countless hours with tackle engineers to get things right but building relationships has impacted his approach to the sport.

“I like the eating and the people,” he said. “They’re all super-friendly, super-organized and super-clean. I can’t