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Lure Review

Don't Cover Your Eyes! It's the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper

Date: 8/1/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Reaction Innovations
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25


Introduction: From the company that brought us the Sweet Beaver, Ball Breaker, Big Unit, and Vixen comes an equally provocative new product name, the Skinny Dipper. What in the world, you ask, could a product called the Skinny Dipper be and what does it have to do with fishing? Why of course, this product is nothing other than Reaction Innovations take on a SWIMbait!


Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Shad Bait
Size (Weight) 4.5" (14 grams)
Colors/Patterns Approximately 13 Color Patterns
MSRP $4.50/7 Pack

Impressions: The first thought that really came to mind when I held my first package of Skinny Dipper baits from Reaction Innovations was "Swimming Senko". But once I opened the package and took one of these baits out I could see they were a little different. These baits are quite bulky and actually remind me more of a slender, tube version of the Sweet Beaver that just so happens to have a swimming grub paddletail. This bait features a surprising amount of detail for a soft plastic and even has a slit down the middle to facilitate rigging.


Introducing the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper

Rigging: The Skinny Dipper can be rigged any number of ways. Certainly the natural thing to do would be to rig it weightless with an EWG hook. But you can also rig it with a bullet weight, at the back end of a jighead, or drop shot it. As with most plastic baits, imagination is the key. I started off rigging it with the newly introduced Reaction Innovations BMF Flipping Hook both weightless and with a bullet weight, but found it swam more naturally with a 4/0 or 5/0 EWG.


Complete test rigs for Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper Field Tests

Rod Daiwa Steez STZ711HFBA
Reel Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light 103L
Line 20lb Sunline Shooter FC


Rigged with the RI BMF Hook and a bullet wait

Rigged weightless but with the RI Screwed Up Bullet


Casting/Pitching: Certainly rigged with a weight, this bait is as easy to cast and pitch as any other. Thanks to its almost half ounce in weight by itself, the Skinny Dipper is also very easy to cast and pitch weightless. Rigged on my Daiwa STZ711HFBA, my primary mode of presentation was pitching to structure such as docks, tules, rock piles and other visible items. Positioned away from shore, it was very easy to roll cast this bait as far as I needed to get it barely onto the shore and then, gently pull it into the water and swim it back.


The Skinny Dipper features a very subtle groove up top to help conceal the hook point from weeds...

But more importantly, a slit along its underside to facilitate rigging and help hide the hook.

Retrieving: Fished weightless, the Skinny Dipper sinks at a medium rate somewhere between one to two seconds per foot. It needs to be retrieved at a medium to fast pace in order to get the tail kicking. At a slow, to crawling pace, the tail doesn't do anything. During the medium to fast retrieve, when the tail is kicking, there's a small degree of top to bottom wobble in the bait. If you use a straight shank hook like the RI BMF, this wobble is a bit more pronounced than if you use a large EWG hook. The shank of the EWG hooks seems to act as a bit of a rudder, stabilizing the bait just a tad.

Another look at that slit along the belly.

Weedlessness: The Skinny Dipper can be rigged totally weedless, Tex-posed (my preference), or with the hook fully exposed as cover dictates. If rigged totally weedless, you're going to want a heavy or extra heavy powered rod to make sure you can drive the hook point home through the firm plastic of this bait. There is a slit at the bottom of the bait to facilitate concealed rigging along with a subtle groove at the top of the bait to help keep the hook point out of the way of weeds if you choose to fish it with the hook exposed. These are some very nice touches, but the hook develops a tendency to slide out of that groove after a few casts.


Though the connection to its tail is relatively thin...

The Skinny Dipper still needs to be moving at a good pace for its tail to work its magic

Next Section: Durability and the rundown









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