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Lure Review

Kickin' It With Tylure's Sunfish


Date: 9/3/11
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Tylure Bait Company
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

It's been much too long since we looked at a bait from the following manufacturer. Yet when there are so many big bait companies out on the market, it's hard to keep things straight. Add to that, the longer than usual review process for these big baits because the bite is not always there and you get just about two years between reviews. Today we return to the product by Tylure out of California and take a look at their Kicker Sunfish bait.


Introducing Tylure's Kicker Sunfish.


Tylure Kicker Sunfish Specifications

Type BigBait
Depth Any
Class Sinking
Size (weight) 4.5" (1.2oz)
R.O.F. ~1 ft per second
Colors/Patterns 2
Hooks Trimmed 1/0 Owner ST-41s
MSRP $25


Impressions: Tylure's Kicker Sunfish is a two jointed, four and a half inch bait rated at an ounce and a half in weight. Ours tipped the scales at one point two ounces. It's available in three versions, a floater, slow sink, and a bottom fishing bed bait with the hook mounted on the side of the bait. What we had on hand to test was the slow sink version.

Like all Tylure big baits, the Kicker Sunfish features their clever hook holding system.

Field Tests: Because the Kicker Sunfish is so light, you can fish it on just about any heavy to extra heavy powered bass rod. I had mine tied onto the a Megabass F6-69XRC Racing Condition Super Destroyer paired with a Daiwa/Megabass Bespoke Racing Condition reel.

All the fins on this bait are made of soft plastic.

Action: As mentioned earlier, the Kicker Sunfish is a two jointed bait. Movement of these joints is rather restricted resulting in a swimming action that is very tight and subtle. This bait is best retrieved at a super slow to slow medium retrieve and has a modest array of tricks.

This strategy allows them to make the fins much more realistic.

On the jerk of the rod tip, the bait will dart to either side, but not make a complete 180 degree spin around. The erratic swimming behavior can also be imparted to the bait with a quick quarter turn then pause of your reel handle. If you break up your cadence in this manner all the way back to the boat, the bait can be made to swim very erratically.

The Kicker Sunfish offers good flexibility, but we'd like a little more

On a slow, steady retrieve, the bait swims naturally, but that swimming action becomes a little more labored when you pick up the pace resembling almost a struggling sunfish gasping for its last bit of life. Pause your retrieve in the middle of a medium fast retrieve, and the bait will dart off, and begin to slowly sink, like an injured fish.

Each bait is conveniently labeled for their sink rate.

Rate of Fall: Rated as a slow sink bait, this version of the Kicker Sunfish descends at a rate of right around one foot per two seconds. It is a very enticingly slow rate of descent with a slightly head down attitude.

Another look at the hook holding system.

Viewed through clear water, you can see the bait sit upright on its hooks when it touches down on the bottom making it a good option as a bed bait if you only want to purchase one version of the bait.

All it is made of is a nylon tube.

Components: The Kicker Sunfish features all stainless hardware, soft plastic dorsal, anal, tail, and pectoral fins, and a customized Owner hook on its belly. The original treble hook is trimmed to present a frog style double hook tucked beneath the traditional Tylure hook keeper. The trimmed treble is used in place of a frog hook, no doubt for the little tag in that is left in the hook which acts like a stabilizer keeping the intact ends of the hook in position for a hookset. Without this stabilizer, the hook would be free to rotate right or left and possibly spoil your presentation.

The Owner hook is clipped to allow it the freedom to sit against the bait out of harms way until a fish strikes.

Availability: The Tylure Kicker Sunfish is another hand crafted bait with availability at most traditional big bait retail outlets. At the time of this writing, Tackle Warehouse had this bait in all three configurations listed in their store, but with only the slow sink and bed bait versions in stock in one or two colors. With baits like these (individually hand made and painted) it's tough to tell when stock will be replenished, so when you see them available, snatch up what you can ASAP.


Tylure Kicker Sunfish Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A compact, but nicely put together bait 8
Performance We'd prefer just a tad but more movement in the body 7
Price Really good for a bait of this type 8
Features Hook holder is a nice touch 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Compact size yet highly detailed 8
Application Small enough to be fished like a lipless crankbait 8

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:


+ Compact enough for conventional gear - Just a tad more action during the swim would be nice
+ Priced like a soft bait - We've only seen two colors?
  - Smaller baits do have a tendency to attract smaller fish


Conclusion: The Tylure product strikes a nice balance between good action, detailing, and affordability. Were there another name attached to this bait like say 3:16 Lure Company, Huddleston, Rago, or 22nd Century, you know the bait would retail for at least double if not triple the current asking price. At twenty five dollars, you are getting a really well built, quality bait with an intriguing hook keeper. This bait is not quite as exotic as the product made by the afore mentioned companies, but it is also a lot more accessible and affordable which at the end of the day, counts for an awful lot.


This crazy spotted bass decided it wanted to take out the Kicker Sunfish.


We’d like to see just a little more side to side swagger in this bait so that it swims more like its larger sized competitors, but perhaps at only four and a half inches, all we really need to do is put this bait in front of a hungry bass’s mouth and “whoop, there it is!” After all, that’s kind of what happened for us while fishing this bait. Looking for a realistic sunfish bait that won’t break your wallet or your rotator cuff? Check out Tylure’s Kicker Sunfish, but be careful, lures like this can be addicting and ruin you for other types of baits.


Looking for the Tylure Kicker Sunfish? Try Tackle Warehouse










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