A Collaboration Between Two of Japan's Finest, Ito & Imae - The IxI Shad
||Megabass of America
Total Score: 7.83 -
In this era of elevated
branding, partnerships between rival factions are almost unheard of - especially in the fishing industry. It would seem most are intent on finding success on their own or riding the coat tails of another's success through imitation. So when we heard of a budding partnership between JDM legends Katsutaka Imae of Imakatsu and Yuki Ito of Megabass, we were anxious to see what fruits such a collaboration would bear. Introducing the I by I (IxI - for Ito x Imae) Shad Type 3 Crankbait.
Megabass IxI Shad Type 3 Crankbait
Yuki Ito & Katsutaka Imae collaborate to create the IxI Shad
I must admit, when I heard of this potential collaboration, I was imagining a bait of much greater proportions. Instead, the IxI Shad is a two and a quarter inch (2 1/4") mid to shallow water crankbait designed to cast far and be worked in depths from four to ten feet of water. As its name would suggest, it has an elongated, shad like profile instead of the usual tear drop shape of most shallow water cranks. It is, in all honesty, quite unremarkable inside and outside of its packaging. It of course has the usual detailing and finishes from Megabass, but because of its size and shape, this bait can easily be overlooked.
This is a one quarter ounce crank that casts easily
That's likely part of the strategy. Few are going to suspect the potential of this bait simply viewing it on the tackle store peg-board. They're going to see this tiny little bait and think #1, it's too small and #2, because it's so small and light, it won't be very easy to cast. The IxI Shad gives you the impression it should be fished on spinning gear, but what they don't realize is this is the perfect bait for finesse enabled casting reels and even those on the border between finesse and standard applications.
On board Daiwa's Millionaire SV70 & a Megabass Tomahawk F3
1/2-65GTC Hien Type-S
Real World Tests:
This would have been the perfect opportunity to take my Daiwa PX68L SPR out for a little exercise. Paired with my Megabass F3 1/2-65GTC Hien Type-S, this would have been the perfect combo with which to test the IxI Shad's flight capabilities. But being the responsible editor I am, and trying to make the most use out of my time on the water, I have to be more efficient than that. At the time I was fishing the IxI Shad, I also had on my list to evaluate a certain Daiwa Millionaire SV70. So I paired that reel with my Hien Type-S instead and spooled it with 8lb Seaguar Tatsu for good measure.
The secret behind the IxI Shad's castability is in Megabass's new
LBO II balancer system
Castability: What really had me excited to fish this I by I crankbait was the incorporation of Megabass's LBO technology. I had fished one of their saltwater jerkbaits with this tech several years ago (Marine Gang 140) in failed attempts at surf fishing for striped bass on the beaches of San Francisco and marveled at how well the bait would cast. A very audible, "clack" could be heard with each swing as the bait sailed further than it had any right to fly. Unfortunately, reviews for that bait, rod, and reel never materialized because I was unsuccessful at getting any striper to bite despite news that other anglers were having very good success. Surf fishing
can be a tough deal out here in Northern California.
The IxI Shad is available in 11 different colors
Section: A moving balancer system...