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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Lure Review

Trophy Sticks, custom design, clever hydrodynamics, and a little art all rolled in one (continued)

Casting: The Trophy Sticks are easy enough to cast but don't cast as far as some of the branded plastic jerkbaits, especially ones from Lucky Craft and Yozuri that have a weight shifting cast control system. Though as little shorter in distance the lures are large and heavy enough to get pretty far out with any rod over 6'6" in length. We did all our fishing with 12 and 14lb monofilament, so downsizing your test will increase casting distance though we wouldn't recommend it... after all with this lure your going for a trophy fish.


Each lure is coated with a thick layer of gloss to protect the finish


Retrieve: Once in the water we began to examine the Trophy Stick's unique retrieve. At first we struggled to see how the bait worked as it exhibits a very different slow rolling action rather than an erratic side to side swim so often found on other jerkbaits. The action is tight, and even when ripped this lure will surge forward relatively straight rather than dart side to side aggressively. At first this puzzled us, as we wondered if the lure would even garner attention from big fish. It was only after we began trolling the lure close to the boat that the bait's action really started to shine.


The Trophy Sticks make use of a extra thick diameter bill for added durability


At a medium to constant retrieve the bait swims in a slow wobbling movement that looks much more lifelike that other stick baits that whip back and forth. Never judge a book, or lure for that matter, by its cover... and as we have found out in the past what anglers and fish see are two completely different things. During the tests we found many bass and stripers eager to pursue the subtle action the Trophy Sticks exhibited. The scale pattern looks even more authentic in the water, and flashes like a live minnow as it flees from predators.


From all angles the "scarred" eyes look realistic, and they too are coated with the same thick layer of gloss


Durability: Stickbaits take most of their abuse from fish rather than structure, so the vulnerable points are typically both the finish which often comes in contact with the hooks, and the durability of the hooks themselves. Anyone that has fished Lucky Craft Pointers can attest to the arc shaped scratch that forms on the side of the lure after a few trips. Trophy Sticks make use of Daiichi hooks and rings and to prevent scratches the lure is coated with a serious amount of gloss, honestly the gloss is so thick that it actually looks wet at all times. Striper after striper the Trophy Sticks held up to the abuse, the scaled finish was well protected beneath the gloss and looks as good as the day we started fishing the lures. Stripers over 10lbs in weight are known to bend out hooks, but the Daiichi hooks held up well. They opened up just a bit but were easily bent back with pliers.


A striper caught with the Trophy Stick


Price & Applications: Though we were not able to test the Trophy Sticks on giant Brown Trout...yet, we did pit the lures against some decent sized striped bass. This lure is designed to attract and get big fish to commit and will work well on bass, stripers, muskie, pike, and we intend to try the lure on salmon and trout in the coming weeks.


When it comes to price the Trophy Stick is by no means a cheap bait, and retails for $15.99 to $16.99 depending on size. The lure has a completely different appeal to many of the lures currently being mass produced. The Trophy Sticks look real down to the small scale pattern, and "scarred" 3D eyes. They may not swim as aggressively as other lures, but they do swim realistically. Whatever the formula is, fish seem to like the Trophy Sticks, and especially if you're trolling, this bait can call in the big ones.


Trophy Sticks Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Trophy Sticks exhibit a quality of construction and design once found on handmade balsa lures in the past but features new materials and design mixed in 9
Performance The lure didn't attract as many bite from smaller schoolies which seemed to prefer lures with a more aggressive side to side action. The Trophy Sticks did catch both medium and sized fish though, while the numbers were not as high the quality was good 9
Price This isn't the cheapest lure out there but it is inline with premium Japanese offerings 8
Features The strength of this lure is not rattles or a cast control system but a return to the basics. The lure makes use of a balsa design, unique finish, quality Daiichi hooks, and a shield of gloss thick enough to protect the lure's finish over twice as much as the average stickbait 8
Design (Ergonomics) The lure design is the converse of many Japanese mass produced lures... and sometimes variety can be a really good thing. The Trophy Sticks do not have a cast control system but they make up for it with a different looking lifelike finish 9
Application The Trophy Sticks are not a hard ripping lure, instead they are fished best with a medium to slow retrieve or even trolled. They can catch a wide range of large fish species 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A unique subtle action L Not for aggressive jerk/ripping
J Good for a wide range of species L Not the cheapest price
J Good trolling lure  
J Big fish eat it  


The Tasty Tui Trophy Stick lure is great for stripers, and we landed numerous double digit fish with this pattern

The Trophy Sticks are a breath of fresh air. Just when everyone else is going for more aggressive retrieves, or analogous styles of finishes, Trophy Sticks break that mold by evolving a design that has proven to work for them out in the field. These lures may not cast as far as the competition, nor do they swim with an aggressive side to side darting pattern, but what they do is catch fish with a combination of an artistically realistic finish and convincing side rolling action. This is not a lure that you go out and start ripping away on, it is far better retrieved at medium speeds or trolled. One of the best things about the Trophy Sticks is the lure' s versatility in terms of targeting a wide range of species, though there are only three patterns currently that's all most freshwater trophy hunters really need. Which brings us back to the question, does the world need another minnow bait, the answer is a "yes" in the case of Trophy Sticks.  










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