A Kansas bass angler is doing more than holding his own on the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit.
Casey Scanlon is also designing artificial lures — specifically swim jigs and flippin’ jigs — with his good friend and Bass Kandi Baits’ Mike “Redbone” Holland in Ragley near Lake Charles.
The 31-year-old Scanlon was between Elite Series tournaments when he fielded a call about the BKB Swim Jig while on Table Rock Lake.
He was being featured on “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” with Mark Zona.
Scanlon was eager to talk about the BKB Swim Jig and praise Holland, who he met during the first Elite stop a couple of years ago in Orange, Texas.
They have been friends ever since, and recently became partners in the growing artificial jig manufacturing side of Bass Kandi Baits that Holland established in November 2010.
Since then, Holland said, Bass Kandi Baits have won more than 100 bass tournaments and are popular among pros on the Bassmaster and FLW tours.
Holland and Scanlon are expanding their artificial jig line and designing more models this summer, Holland said.
“Mike’s an excellent lure maker. He’s really knowledgeable and an awesome guy,” Scanlon said. “It really was a pleasure working with him and designing the product.
“A lot of companies cut corners for cost reasons. He spared no expenses.”
Holland, project manager for Turner Industries, said that attention to detail is a major part of his business plan.
“We wanted the best, and the best costs a little more,” he said. “Sales are doing good with it. We’re getting all good feedback with it.”
And that’s with limited exposure thus far on the market. Holland said the BKB Swim Jigs and BKB Flippin’ Jigs are at Lake Charles Cajun Tackle, Simon Outfitting in Orange and Mondo Tackle in Kansas City, Mo.
Scanlon, who is in his fourth year on the Elite Series, said the BKB Swim Jig helped him finish in the money at this year’s tournament on the Sabine River out of Orange, Texas.
“I used it in the Sabine River tournament. I got a good paycheck in that one,” he said. “It’ll catch anywhere in the country.”
He used years of swim-jig fishing experience to design the lure, he said.
“I had an idea kind of what I wanted,” Scanlon said. “I fish a ton of jigs. I started working on it about this time last year. I got my first prototypes last fall, and we just made them available for the market this year.”
It was a lengthy, painstaking process, Holland said.
“Getting the prototypes, we’d tweak them,” he said. “It took a couple tries, as it usually does.”
Scanlon, who has won $241,033 (22 finishes in the money out of 43 total tournaments with one win, one runner-up finish and a third-place showing), explained his approach.
“I wanted a narrow head on a swim jig, a cone head-style that goes through cover real well,” he said. “I’ve also had trouble finding a jig that doesn’t roll over when I put a twin tail trailer on the back of it.
“My goal was to create a swim jig that goes through cover and doesn’t roll over.”
Mission accomplished, Holland said.
“I like it. I do have more experience on swim jigs than flipping jigs. It’s the best swim jig I’ve ever thrown,” he said. “Casey did a phenomenal job on the swim jig. I don’t know if he told you (but) it goes through anything.
“We were going to call it the All-Terrain Jig, but there’s a company called All-Terrain. (But) it is an all-terrain jig.”
That’s what Scanlon said makes it so important in his arsenal.
“Basically, it gives you a lot of options,” he said. “It comes through the cover really well.”
There are some appealing features to the BKB Swim Jig, including a wire keeper barb and room to add a rattle system. Its armament is a 5/0 heavy-wire super Mustad hook.
“It’s a beast hook, very strong,” Holland said. “You don’t have to worry about it bending.
The jigs are available in 3/8- and ¼-ounce sizes.
About the other features, Scanlon said there is an extra collar molded on the hook shank that gives you the option to add rattles, which he likes but finds many swim jigs lacking in that department.
The keeper barb, Holland said, will hold a soft plastic on, which means the angler doesn’t need super glue.
“You can throw a (BKB) Speed Bug on it. This is good with a double trailer on it,” he said. “It won’t roll on you.”
Scanlon said the BKB Swim Jig is available in eight colors. He prefers black/blue and june bug, which, he said, “are really good colors all over the globe.”
“We’re looking to add new colors and new sizes,” he said.
The Elite pro said he usually fishes the BKB Swim Jig on 40-pound Maxima braided line. Under certain conditions, he will throw it on 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
He uses a 7-foot medium-action fishing rod.
“You know, a 7-foot rod and braided line is a good combo,” he said.
The bottom line is attracting and catching bass, and that’s happening on a consistent basis with the BKB Swim Jig, Holland said.
“It took several months for this all to happen,” Holland said. “It took time to make the best swim jig we’ve ever thrown, and he’s thrown thousands of them.
“It’s the best swim jig you’ll ever throw.”
Log onto basskandi.com or call 337-370-9190 for more information on BKB Swim Jigs and other Bass Kandi Baits products.