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Lure Review

Project Prometheus Catches Fire with the DUO Onimasu Swimbait (continued)

Real World Tests: I couldn’t wait to get the Onimasu on the water just to see if the lure would live up to all the hype, as well as the performance levels that we have observed from previous DUO baits. I acquired three test baits and decided to put them through the paces in both our home water of the California Delta and Clear Lake primarily targeting largemouth bass.

The head and eye are instantly recognizable as DUO

Operation: Though the Onimasu is somewhat of a mid-sized swimbait at just under eight inches in length it is also extremely sleek and narrow so that it weighs in at only 2-3/4oz., making it unexpectedly easy to cast, even with lighter action swimbait rods. The sleek form factor of the bait helps it sail through the air and it can stealthily enter the water whether it is bombed over long distances or underhand lobbed strategically. I found that the ideal rod to fish this bait is 7’4” to 7’6” in length with a line weight rating up around 25lbs. and a lure weight rating up to 2 or 3oz. maximum. These lighter action rods allow you to cast the Onimasu easily and still have the sensitivity to discern exactly what is happening on the other end of the line.

You don't need a broomstick to fish this bait

The Onimasu’s action is driven by the lure’s unique profile and especially the fore-region. While traditional glide baits are able to sway a certain amount that is close the centerline of travel the Onimasu retrieves back to the boat or shore with a wide gait when it is cranked at normal speeds. On average I found the bait’s swing to be around two feet wide when utilizing heavy mono line. It is really fun to fish this lure in clearer water because it swims close to the surface, making it easy to witness both followers and heart pounding strikes firsthand.

First fish on the Onimasu, it may not be a giant but it's a start

Unlike many glide baits I found that the Onimasu does not roll over when retrieved quickly, and on the front of the lure is an angled ballast which allows the lure to be twitched without surging upward and appearing unnatural to predatory fish. On the first two days I fished the Onimasu in the California Delta I caught a limit of fish on both days using the Gizzard Shad and Kokanee patterns, but the largest fish I landed was just over three pounds. I knew that I could do better but was still inspired that even these small to mid-sized largemouth were so willing to not only chase but commit to the Onimasu.

Evening on the Delta, time for the Stripers to come out and feed

On the second evening we head back out to Big Break, a region of the West Delta and though I couldn’t find any more largemouth I was marking big schools in shallow water. I tossed in the Onimasu and it only took two casts to see schoolie stripers shadowing the bait.

In the span of 30 minutes I caught nearly thirty schoolie stripers with the Onimasu, it was nearly every cast when burning the bait

On my third cast I burned the Onimasu back to the boat and WHAM, the bait was hammered by a 21 inch Striper. The bait tracks extremely well under high speed and in the next minutes I fished all the way until dark landing over twenty more Stripers, all between 15 to 30 inches in length. My arm and shoulder was sore but the Onimasu held up well and both the hooks and split rings remained fully intact but the sides of the baits did incur some scratches and gauges resulting from treble hook rash.

Fishing in the Onimasu in the Clear Lake algae bloom, can you spell S-K-U-N-K?

The next week Cal and I headed to Clear Lake to try and get into some bigger largemouth. The first day we were there proved to be an exercise in patience as the water was completely stained with an algae bloom that took visibility down to under a foot. I fished all day in what looked like toxic sludge and ultimately skunked while Cal was able to manage just two fish using jigs. The next day we ran all around the lake, which was not an easy task with the strong wind, but we were finally able to find some clearer, though still pretty green, water. Still, no matter how slow I fished the Onimasu I couldn’t get any fish to give chase.

Cal gives the Onimasu Largemouth Bass pattern a shot

Cal asked me if I had another Onimasu bait to tie on and the only thing that I had left was the Largemouth Bass pattern. Personally I am not a big fan of largemouth bass patterns for targeting bass. Yes, I know they can work but I just find that in most cases other patterns, especially shad or trout, are more effective. Cal worked the Onimasu differently, imparting more pauses and rod twitches to get the bait to swing half way back around and create extra displacement in the water as well as more erratic motion. Ten minutes later Cal landed a largemouth just over six pounds, which goes to show just how much I know about largemouth patterns. Suffice to say that bait ended up in Cal’s tackle box and I haven’t seen it since.

Performance Ratings for DUO Realis Onimasu Swimbait

Castability (1-5)
Ease of Actuation(1-5)
Quality of Movement (1-5)
Position at Rest (1-5)
Durability (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

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