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Lure Review


Like Fireworks, Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer Showing Us What It's Worth (continued)


The slow sink version is easy to keep near the water's surface and great when you want to swim it over some visible, submerged weed beds or pulled parallel to the shore along a rock wall. I liked using the fast sink as a search bait casting adjacent to visible structure and bouncing it off stuff as well as exploring within the weed beds themselves. Weedless performance is excellent.


The hook rotates out of the bait delivering excellent hook up ratios


As I was switching back and forth between setups to get a feel for both versions of the bait, my first hit came on the bait tied to the Metanium/Super Stallion combo. I should have known the Evergreen rod would get the first hit given Katsutaka Imae's relationship with the rod manufacturer. In fact, my Evergreen combo was out fishing my Megabass combo so severely, I wondered if the Conquest DC was ever going to get some action.


The hook is held in place by a magnet in the bait's belly

I thought about switching reels, but that new Metanium pairs too perfectly with the Super Stallion. In fact, it looks like it was designed with that stick in mind, and quite frankly, the same can be said of the new Conquest DC and my X7, so what to do? Well, I decided to do the practical thing and simply switch the lures. That move paid immediate dividends for the X7/Conquest combo, so obviously the difference was the fast versus slow sink versions of the bait, not the combos. Obviously, but it was a fun potential spiritual connection to think about while it lasted.


Once you hook up, the entire bait slides free from the harness!

Design & Ergonomics: Back to the matter at hand, the bait! My assumption with Stealth Swimmer was that the hook and weight system were integral to the body and that the manufacturer decided to supply two different sink rates with each package to give the angler options. What I came to realize after that first hookup was the weight systems are independent of the bait and are actually made to slide out as soon as you hook up so as to preserve the bait from excessive damage as you battle your catch.

This is the weighted head of the fast sink (H) version. The slow sink's harness is in the exact same shape, but where this harness is lead, the other is plastic

Not only that, but the hook itself pivots within the bait as if on a hinge because that's essentially how it's attached to the weighting system. This makes the hook up ratio with this bait extremely high. What's more, after you've landed your fish and need to reset the bait, the harness slides right back in and snaps in place almost the same as when you're opening the bail on a spinning reel. That mini "click" is from that magnet embedded in the belly of the soft plastic bait. The entire harness is the innovation, not just the magnet. It's an altogether simple yet intricate, ingenious design.

First strike honors goes to the Metanium/Evergreen combo

Price & Applications: Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer carries with it a somewhat hefty price tag of $32.15 per package of two baits, but you're kind of getting four baits in two because the rigging systems are interchangeable. If you're on them, with one rigging system, but your bait gets torn up, you can switch that harness to the other bait. Thing is, because the bait slides up along the line, the baits will last through multiple strikes, but the plastic is soft enough that they do will get torn up by fish after multiple strikes. This bait is definitely not recommended for toothy species.

The Conquest DC gets broken in.


Imakatsu Stealth Swimmer Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Baits are super soft in consistency with colors that are very well executed 9
Performance Incredibly effective with a unique hook harness that slides in and out of the bait easily 10
Price A stealthy enthusiast paddletail 6.5
Features It's all about that hook harness and the integrated magnet within the bait's belly 9
Design (Ergonomics) Available in two sizes, 10 colors, and packaged with two sink rates 8
Application A very versatile paddletail swimbait product right out of the package 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:


+ That hook harness is ingenious - More expensive than traditional paddletails
+ Baits are super soft and effective at all speeds - Soft plastic bodies will take damage from strikes
+ Hook up ratio is excellent  


Conclusion: It's not often I have an opening in my review queue to purchase a product on a whim like Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer. Usually I'll hear of the product first and know something about it or it will just show up at TackleTour headquarters direct from a manufacturer. I have to say, my journey with this bait from the initial assumption the hook harness was integral to the bait, and curious as to why there were two different versions in the package instead of both baits being the same sink rate, to discovering what it's all about was almost cathartic.


The Stealth Swimmer's hook harness is so unique it takes home our Innovation Award


As soon as I saw the bait dangling up the line from the hook, and I got a glimpse of the harness in the fish's mouth, my first thought was, "Oh crap, the stinking bait fell apart." But after the fish's photo op with the product, and the catch, photograph, release exercise was complete, I took a closer look at the harness, slid it back into the bait, it all clicked. I mean, literally, that harness slid back into the bait with a "click." I heard an "oh-oh-oh!" in my head as fireworks went off. I couldn't believe it. Boom! The bait was good as new. In that instant, Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer proved to me it deserved TackleTour's Innovation Award.


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