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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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TackleTour's 2010 Spinnerbait Shootout! (continued)

Damiki Gladiator: Damiki has been hard at work bringing over their entire cache of product. We’ve been slowly working our way through their catalog of offerings and the Gladiator is one bait that intrigued us right away.

Introducing Damiki's Gladiator Spinnerbait.

The Blades: This spinner features a tandem blade configuration (one willow and one Colorado) the end result of which is a surprising amount of vibration. This in turn translates into a high degree of confidence as you slow roll, drop, burn, or fish this bait in your preferred spinnerbait technique.

The Gladiator is a very compact spinnerbait ...

The Skirt: What I find most intriguing about this bait is the skirt. It’s a hand tied silicone skirt with a few little extra “bleeding” threads added along the hook shank for added enticement. There’s just enough skirt material to give the bait a lifelike profile, but not too much to where the skirt is overwhelming the bait. The end result is a very intriguing profile.

... featuring a skirt that is held in place by wire.

The Hook: Damiki makes use of their own, in-house brand of hooks for this bait and even though don’t generally like no-name brand hooks, the Damiki product proves sharp and held up very well during our time out on Falcon Lake, Texas.

The head design on this bait is somewhat unique as well.

The Head: The Gladiator comes in two sizes (quarter and three eighths ounce – 1/4 & 3/8 oz) and six color combinations.  The head has an interesting profile with disproportionately large, lifelike eyes that look effective in communicating the message of panic and disarray of a fleeing baitfish.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Damiki Gladiator Spinnerbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A top quality product 8.5
Performance Very good performer 8
Price Surprisingly affordable 8.5
Features A double Colorado blade bait you can fish somewhat fast 8
Design (Ergonomics) Small and compact 7.5
Application A good finesse spinnerbait 7.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


J Really nice, compact design L More size options would be nice
J Quality build  
J Surprisingly affordable  


Effectiveness: Thanks to its compact design and weight, the Gladiator is a spinnerbait that would be great fished on a medium powered casting rod or even a spinning rod instead of a medium heavy, all purpose stick, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Were this bait available in a larger, half ounce size, it’d probably be a bit more popular, but even its available sizes, this is one spinnerbait very worthy of consideration.


The refinement of this bait is superb, so much so we were surprised it retails for only $6.99.


Looking for the Damiki Gladiator spinnerbaits? Try Tackle Warehouse



Gann's Stilleto: Since our review of their jig product in our 2009 Jig Roundup, we’ve been looking for an excuse to fish more items from Gann’s Performance Tackle. What we appreciate is their attention to quality and the small shop, custom order availability of their product. So when it came time for our Spinnerbait Roundup, the Gann’s Stilleto Spinnerbait was first on our list.

Introducing the Gann's Performance Tackle Stilleto Spinnerbait.

The Blades: Gann’s Stilleto Spinnerbait features a tandem willow and Indiana blade configuration giving off just a tad more vibration than a double willow leaf blade combination. Each blade features a high quality finish that gives off a good deal of flash in the water.

The Stilleto features a tandem Indiana and willow leaf combo.

The Skirt: Gann’s hand ties the skirts of all their spinnerbaits onto the body of the bait. They do so starting at the very end of the skirt material, instead of the center, creating a larger profile for each of their baits. A decision that is no doubt influenced by the desire to attract better quality bites. The big bait fisherman in me likes this little attention to detail.

A look at how and where the skirt is fastened to the body of this bait. Note how the fibers are tied right at their ends instead of in the center of their length.

The Hook: As with their jig products, Gann’s Performance Tackle leverages the needle sharp point of Gamakatsu hooks for their spinnerbaits. This is another “nice-to-have” detail but certainly not a requirement given the number of quality hook brands out there today.

Thanks to the method used to tie the bait's skirt, the Stilleto offers up a large profile in the water.

The Head: The Stilleto Spinnerbait features a molded jig head made popular by one of our following manufacturers, Revenge Baits. Gann’s particular implementation also features an elongated body beneath the skirt providing the room to increase or decrease the bait’s weight without affecting the size of the actual head.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Gann's Performance Tackle Stilleto Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality conscious consumers will love this bait 9
Performance A top notch performer 8.5
Price Middle of the pack 8
Features Quality components and a hand tied skirt to boot 9
Design (Ergonomics) Detailed head design, sized from one quarter to one and a half ounces! 8.5
Application A very good double willow option 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


J Quality quality quality L This level of quality will spoil you
J Top notch components  
J A wide range of sizes/weights  


And as we all know, large profile baits equate to quality catches!


Effectiveness: In the final analysis, the Stilleto Spinnerbait is really a very basic spinnerbait. Where Gann’s makes its mark, again is in the quality of components and the care taken in each assembly. Rounding out the list of quality parts are Sampo ball bearing swivels which are very well regarded for their consistent, long lasting performance doing their work to keep your blades turning at minimal retrieve speeds. Looking for a quality, no nonsense spinnerbait product? This is it.


Looking for Ganns Spinnerbaits? Visit the company's website


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