Gear

Inside Elite Boats: Taku Ito

In 2021, Taku Ito ran a Skeeter FXR20 powered by a 250 horsepower Yamaha SHO. This is the rig he used to win the St. Lawrence River Elite in July.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In 2021, Taku Ito ran a Skeeter FXR20 powered by a 250 horsepower Yamaha SHO. This is the rig he used to win the St. Lawrence River Elite in July.
Here's a look at Ito's 2021 tournament rig.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a look at Ito's 2021 tournament rig.
The bow of Ito's boat is home to a MotorGuide Tour Pro 109 with a custom mount for Humminbird 360.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The bow of Ito's boat is home to a MotorGuide Tour Pro 109 with a custom mount for Humminbird 360.
A closer look at the MotorGuide Tour Pro109.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at the MotorGuide Tour Pro109.
Ito uses three graphs at the bow including a Humminbird Solix 15 G3N, Humminbird Solix 12 G3N and a Garmin 8612XSV.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito uses three graphs at the bow including a Humminbird Solix 15 G3N, Humminbird Solix 12 G3N and a Garmin 8612XSV.
A wide-angle look at Ito's deck, including his sponsor stickers.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A wide-angle look at Ito's deck, including his sponsor stickers.
Ito digs into the rod locker.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito digs into the rod locker.
Ito tends to carry 20 to 30 rods in his rod locker on tournament days.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito tends to carry 20 to 30 rods in his rod locker on tournament days.
The first bait Ito pulls out is a drop shot rigged with a Nories Latterie on a Ryugi Regular Guard Talisman hook.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The first bait Ito pulls out is a drop shot rigged with a Nories Latterie on a Ryugi Regular Guard Talisman hook.
A Nories Structure NXS 680MLS is one of Ito's favorite rods.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A Nories Structure NXS 680MLS is one of Ito's favorite rods.
Ito shows off a Shimano Stella 2500 SHG.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito shows off a Shimano Stella 2500 SHG.
Ito likes to use the Fuji Ez Keeper to easily attach his drop-shot weights directly to his rod.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito likes to use the Fuji Ez Keeper to easily attach his drop-shot weights directly to his rod.
This may look familiar as it is the same rig that Ito used at the Sabine River to secure a Top 10 finish. A power finesse Neko rig with a Nories Sankaku T San, paired with a Yamamoto Grub Guard and a 2/0 Ryugi Infini hook.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This may look familiar as it is the same rig that Ito used at the Sabine River to secure a Top 10 finish. A power finesse Neko rig with a Nories Sankaku T San, paired with a Yamamoto Grub Guard and a 2/0 Ryugi Infini hook.
A Nories Road Runner Voice Jungle 700JHS is another favorite of Ito's.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A Nories Road Runner Voice Jungle 700JHS is another favorite of Ito's.
Shimano Vanquish 2500SHG
Photo: Seigo Saito - Shimano Vanquish 2500SHG
Another look at the Fuji Ez Keeper.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Another look at the Fuji Ez Keeper.
Ito shows off a crankbait rod.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito shows off a crankbait rod.
This combo is a Nories Road Runner Voice Hardbait Special 760M paired with a Shimano Antares reel.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This combo is a Nories Road Runner Voice Hardbait Special 760M paired with a Shimano Antares reel.
A look into Ito's main tackle compartment.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A look into Ito's main tackle compartment.
Ito pulls out a crankbait box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito pulls out a crankbait box.
This box is full of Nories Shot Crankbaits amongst others.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This box is full of Nories Shot Crankbaits amongst others.
Nories Shot Over 2.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Nories Shot Over 2.
Nories Shot Over 5.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Nories Shot Over 5.
A closer look at some Nories Shot Crankbaits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at some Nories Shot Crankbaits.
Moriken Speedbite crankbait.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Moriken Speedbite crankbait.
Ito's box full of Nories Latterie, Nories Magnum Swamp and Nories Sankaku T san worms.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito's box full of Nories Latterie, Nories Magnum Swamp and Nories Sankaku T san worms.
A closer look at the Gary Yamamoto Grub Guard shown previously.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at the Gary Yamamoto Grub Guard shown previously.
The Grub Guard helps Ito put the Sankaku T San through heavy cover.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Grub Guard helps Ito put the Sankaku T San through heavy cover.
Ito writes the names of his baits in Japanese on the outside of his boxes with a sharpie.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito writes the names of his baits in Japanese on the outside of his boxes with a sharpie.
Ito's box of Nories Escape Twins.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito's box of Nories Escape Twins.
The Escape Twin is Ito's go-to creature bait.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Escape Twin is Ito's go-to creature bait.
On to Ito's favorite smallmouth baits. He called these “Takumizuke” which means Takumi’s marinated baits. He marinates his baits in special liquid for a month to three month sometimes longer.
Photo: Seigo Saito - On to Ito's favorite smallmouth baits. He called these “Takumizuke” which means Takumi’s marinated baits. He marinates his baits in special liquid for a month to three month sometimes longer.
Photo: Seigo Saito - "No don't look!" Ito said.
A closer look at his marinated baits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at his marinated baits.
He said smallmouth bass love Taku and Japanese baits like Sushi!
Photo: Seigo Saito - He said smallmouth bass love Taku and Japanese baits like Sushi!
A box of small, rubber finesse jigs.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A box of small, rubber finesse jigs.
These are called “Smoraba” which means small rubber jig.
Photo: Seigo Saito - These are called “Smoraba” which means small rubber jig.
A look at how Ito carries the majority of his terminal tackle.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A look at how Ito carries the majority of his terminal tackle.
Ito feels as if this storage method allows him to carry the maximum amount of tackle and take up the least amount of room in his boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito feels as if this storage method allows him to carry the maximum amount of tackle and take up the least amount of room in his boat.
One of the items is this wire contraption from Ryugi called Deep Tracer.
Photo: Seigo Saito - One of the items is this wire contraption from Ryugi called Deep Tracer.
The Deep Tracer allows your crankbait to run deeper.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Deep Tracer allows your crankbait to run deeper.
Like many of his Elite Series peers, Ito carries a box of swimbaits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Like many of his Elite Series peers, Ito carries a box of swimbaits.
Ito pulls out what appears to be a roll of tape or a roll of something.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito pulls out what appears to be a roll of tape or a roll of something.
It's actually a roll of hooks!
Photo: Seigo Saito - It's actually a roll of hooks!
Ito carries a wide variety of Ryugi weights.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito carries a wide variety of Ryugi weights.
Here is a Carolina rig weight called the Beets that Ito helped design for Ryugi.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here is a Carolina rig weight called the Beets that Ito helped design for Ryugi.
A close up of the tungsten drop-shot weight from Ryugi that Ito uses.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A close up of the tungsten drop-shot weight from Ryugi that Ito uses.
Another look at Ito's Japanese labeling on his boxes.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Another look at Ito's Japanese labeling on his boxes.
Ito carries a wide variety of Ryugi hooks in his boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito carries a wide variety of Ryugi hooks in his boat.
The Ryugi Double Edge, which Ito designed for Ryugi.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Ryugi Double Edge, which Ito designed for Ryugi.
A closer look at the Double Edge.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at the Double Edge.
Like most Elites, Ito carries a wide variety of treble hooks and replaces the hooks on all of his hardbaits before events.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Like most Elites, Ito carries a wide variety of treble hooks and replaces the hooks on all of his hardbaits before events.
Next is a peek at
Photo: Seigo Saito - Next is a peek at "Taku's topwater box."
Ito's go-to spinnerbait, the Nories Crystal S.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito's go-to spinnerbait, the Nories Crystal S.
Ito carries an extra trolling motor in the boat in case he needs to replace anything.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito carries an extra trolling motor in the boat in case he needs to replace anything.
If you see Ito at a tournament, make sure you stop by his boat because he has some giveaway items!
Photo: Seigo Saito - If you see Ito at a tournament, make sure you stop by his boat because he has some giveaway items!
Ito's day box is home to extra line, a Power-Pole remote and other miscellaneous items.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito's day box is home to extra line, a Power-Pole remote and other miscellaneous items.
Seaguar Grand Max is his favorite leader line.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Seaguar Grand Max is his favorite leader line.
They come in tiny spools so Ito stacks them together.
Photo: Seigo Saito - They come in tiny spools so Ito stacks them together.
Two Humminbird Solix 12s are at the console.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Two Humminbird Solix 12s are at the console.
BoatLogix made custom mounts so Ito can see over the graphs better at the wheel.
Photo: Seigo Saito - BoatLogix made custom mounts so Ito can see over the graphs better at the wheel.
SonarPros rigged out his 2021 Skeeter FXR20.
Photo: Seigo Saito - SonarPros rigged out his 2021 Skeeter FXR20.
Ito says that the Power-Pole Charge System is a must have for any tournament angler.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito says that the Power-Pole Charge System is a must have for any tournament angler.
Ito puts his trust into Lithium Pro batteries.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito puts his trust into Lithium Pro batteries.
A collection of Ito's favorite sunglasses, the Tiemco SightMaster sunglasses.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A collection of Ito's favorite sunglasses, the Tiemco SightMaster sunglasses.
Like many Elites, Ito carries multiple pairs of glasses with different lens colors for different conditions.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Like many Elites, Ito carries multiple pairs of glasses with different lens colors for different conditions.
Ito relies on Columbia outwear and shoes for comfortable fishing in extreme weather conditions.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito relies on Columbia outwear and shoes for comfortable fishing in extreme weather conditions.
Fat Bass apparel and Ito collaborated to bring out some sun protecting items.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Fat Bass apparel and Ito collaborated to bring out some sun protecting items.
Ito runs three Sony cameras to record the action on his boat, then puts together the footage for his YouTube channel, BASSFLIX.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ito runs three Sony cameras to record the action on his boat, then puts together the footage for his YouTube channel, BASSFLIX.
Thanks for the tour, Taku!
Photo: Seigo Saito - Thanks for the tour, Taku!