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Lure Review

A Collaboration Between Two of Japan's Finest, Ito & Imae - The IxI Shad (continued)

Anyway, so when I learned Megabass was making use of a revised version of this moving balancer system in the IxI shad, I was all in. What the tech entails is instead of individual bearings sliding around in a channel within the bait, Megabass has designed a cylindrical housing for those bearings so they move in unison. It behaves in the same manner as the loose bearings, but it takes more force and momentum to get that cylinder to slide back. Only the inertia of your cast will get that weight to shift to the bait's rear section, and that last minute shift in weight really helps direct the bait's momentum resulting in a more true flight of your lure through the air. This truer flight also helps you achieve greater distances - at least that's how it worked in the jerkbait.

The IxI Shad bounces around in shallow water quite well

The IxI Shad is indeed, a very easy bait to cast, but missing is that audible clack of the LBO and forceful flight of the bait itself.

Perhaps the silent shift is part of the version II refinement of the LBO or maybe it's because of the size of the bait. Afterall, it's still only a quarter of an ounce, so It's probably a bit much to expect that forceful flight experience I had with the Marine Gang 140. Having said that, the IxI Shad is certainly an easy bait to cast and place with accuracy despite my expectations.

Hooks are thin wire, but no outbarbs

Dive Time: In the water, this little crankbait goes right to work once you click over your reel and begin your retrieve. Daiwa's Millionaire SV70 is not a blazing fast reel (6.3:1), but nevertheless, I was able to crank the IxI Shad at all speeds without it running afoul.

Unlike some cranks, the IxI Shad's bill is fully integrated to the bait's mouth

The most interesting behavior of this bait is when you throw it in relatively skinny water of maybe four feet. It's designed to be fished deeper, but also made to deflect off obstacles, so it's possible to do a little 4x4'ing in skinny water with this bait similar to a square bill.

The IxI Shad doesn't give you as much feedback as a squarebill, however, so that strategy takes some practice.

Detailing is superb

Design/Ergonomics: Given its size and thin, shad like profile, the IxI Shad really is a very unassuming little bait. For now, it is offered in 11 colors and it comes with the typical Megabass thin wire hooks. These are in-barb hooks though, not the outbarbs. The biggest deal about this bait is something you can't really see, that LBO II weight distribution system.

The IxI Shad retails for $19.99

Price & Application: Though the IxI Shad is small in stature, it certainly is not small in price. Though some product prices have come down for Megabass, premium is still premium. The IxI Shad retails for $19.99. That's roughly $8.88 per inch.


Megabass IxI Shad Type 3 Crankbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Small but refined 9
Performance Casts and swims well 9
Price A small but premium priced bait 6.5
Features It's all about the LBO II 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Available in 11 colors 7.5
Application A good choice for mid-depth cranking 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:


+ Small bait that casts easily - Thin wire hooks will need replacement after a few successful trips
+ Good deflection performance - I miss that audible reinforcement of the LBO system
+ Sharp stock hooks  


Conclusion: Overall, I have mixed feelings about this bait. I like its size, castability, how it bounces through stuff in skinny water, etc.. It's an effective little finesse style crankbait. What I really miss and wish it had is that audible clack of the LBO and that forceful flight through the air that I experienced with the Marine Gang 140. Had it been that blatant in casting performance, I'd have been over the top with this bait. Granted, I also like my DC reels to have the audible whine.


Small in stature, but pretty big in performance


In the water, baits can be as subtle or not by design, whatever triggers that bite. I'm fine with that. But above the water, while I'm using the product, I want a reminder of all the effort and design that went into the bait. Give me that audible clack and forceful flight, and with every cast, I'll be thinking about Yuki Ito sitting down with Katsutaka Imae in a smoke filled room. In the distance is a work bench with hand carved bait bodies, weighted bearings strewn about, maybe a couple of shot glasses next to an open bottle of cognac. The two are sharing a laugh and saying, "wait until the fisherman get a load of this feature..." Without that reminder, all of their ideas, arguments, compromises, solutions, kind of get washed away in my mind.


Yuki Ito and Katsutaka Imae demonstrate good things come in small packages with their IxI Shad bait


Don't get me wrong, the IxI Shad is an effective bait. Considering its origins, the enthusiast in me was just hoping for an extra little something to put it over the top and ignite that mystery and intrigue that fuels my enthusiasm as products with JDM origins often do. Yes, this bait casts better than a quarter ounce bait has any business casting, and thanks to the exacting placement of the line tie and specific weighting of the bait, it works through cover well. So, if all that mystery and allure doesn't mean anything to you, and you just want to catch fish, don't let my silly addiction to enthusiasm hold you back. Give the IxI Shad a shot.


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