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Feature : TackleTrends

TackleTrends from Japan : Subsurface Prop Baits (continued)


Tiemco: In 2010, Tiemco released "Stealth Pepper 55S" and "Stealth Pepper 70S", these are sort of downsized versions of the Screw Bait. This sinking double swishers features original, very thin (0.2mm thickness) stainless props. The props spin very well even in reeling very slowly. Because this bait matches the size of Lake Biwa's native baitfish, AYU, the Stealth Pepper 70S was one of best sellers in 2010.

Tiemco's Stealth Pepper Natural.


This year, at the annual fishing show in Osaka, Tiemco showed a new size of Stealth Pepper. This is Stealth Pepper 110S features a 0.3mm thickness stainless steel prop. Also new are the Stealth Pepper Natural 55S and Stealth Pepper Natural 70S.  Natural type means literally silent and invisible props made of soft clear plastic, creating just a very slight turbulence.


The Stealth Pepper Natural comes with clear props.


Fish Arrow: Last Autumn, Fish Arrow starts selling "Wheel Head", a small jighead with an original 0.2mm thick, stainless steel prop and an original long shank jighook made by Decoy. The head is made of tungsten plastic, and comes in 0.6g(1/48oz), 0.9g(1/32oz), 1.4g(1/20oz), 1.8g(1/16oz) and 2.4g(1/12oz) sizes.


Takeshi Matsumoto is one of the leading bait designers of Fish Arrow.

It is intended as a finesse style shakey head to be fished on 3-5lb.test fluorocarbon fishing line. Takeshi Matsumoto, Fish Arrow bait designer, likes to use the Fish Arrow Flash J with it. The Flash J is a soft plastic jerk baits featuring a real, baitfish profile and an aluminum foil center (hence the “flash”). It is available in 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 5 inch lengths. Takeshi selects the bait to match the size of baitfish. He says, "It is simply easy to fish. Just keep reeling and watching it, or just let it fall to the bottom." He showed how to fish this rig on TV and through the Fish Arrow website, and caught many big fish so the Fish Arrow Wheel Head is now very popular in Japan.

These "Wheel Heads" were his creation.

This year, at the fishing show in Osaka, Matsumoto showed a brand new jighead, the "Whicky Head". This is similar to the Wheel Head, but is designed for wacky style with same 0.2 mm thickness prop and original Decoy hook. It means "Flick Shaking" with flashing, spinning turbulence and noise. He explained "Bass has never seen, never feel the action like this before". He tested it last season and he also caught many fish on it. It will come in 0.9g(1/32oz), 1.4g(1/20oz), 1.8g(1/16oz) and 2.2g(1/13oz) sizes and be available this spring.


As you can see, they are quite successful for him!


Decoy: At the same show, Decoy displayed brand new prop enabled hooks too. This is another collaboration with Fish Arrow as Matsumoto helped design and test these hooks. They’re called "Screw Hook” and their props are the same 0.2mm thickness as Wheel Head and will come in small, medium and large sizes. Hook sizes are 1/O - 5/O. He says "These hooks are good for buzzing Frog type baits and swimming fluke type baits like Flash J and also good for Carolina rigging. They will be available soon".


Matsumoto is also credited for the design of Decoy's new "Screw Hook"


A close-up of Fish Arrow's Flash J rigged on a Decoy Screw Hook.


Lucky Craft: Even Lucky Craft is joining in the prop bait trend. At their booth in Osaka, they introduced three different sized sinking double prop baits. They are called "B-Straight” and will be available in 65mm, 78mm and 95mm. Body designs are same as Pointer65, Pointer78 and Pointer95 but without a lip.


Lucky Craft debuted their interpretation of the subsurface prop bait at this year's tackle show in Osaka...


... and so did Megabass!


Conclusion: Trends in Japan's Bass Fishing industry have a habit of finding their way to US shores and vice versa. It is truly a global pass time. The only question now is, how long before we begin seeing subsurface prop-style minnow baits from US manufacturers? TackleTour would like to thank and congratulate Hideki Maeda on his debut article with us and we look forward to many more to come. In the meantime, you can be sure that we already have a few of these baits on hand to see just how effective they might be on the fish up at Clear Lake and in the California Delta. Stay tuned for more to come.









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