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Lure Review

Creature Fever: Wave Worms Tiki Stick Goes Pro and Gets Heavier and Softer (continued)

Retrieve: Like the Senko the Tiki Stick SSP weighs just over .3oz. each. and interestingly we found the laminated lures to be just slightly lighter. In the lab we wanted to see how these measurements affected the actual rate of fall so we conducted a drop test in the lab. Using a mechanical release we were able to drop both the 5” Tiki Stick SSP and 5” Yamamoto Senko simultaneously into the water to observe the sink rates and attributes.


The SSP is clearly loaded with plenty of salt and in the lab tests consistently sank faster than the Senko. The question is whether a faster sink rate is necessarily a good thing. Many anglers want the stickbaits to sink slowly to give the lure more time in the strike zone. As expected the slightly lighter laminated versions sank slightly slower and the rate of fall was nearly identical to the traditional Senko. Even when we slowed down the video capture it was a photo finish.

In addition to solid patterns there is also the "Laminated Smoke Shad "

The SSP falls consistently but not as even as the Senko, the softer material flexes in the water upon impact with the surface and can shimmy from one side. Because the lure is so soft it wiggles enticingly and seems to come alive during the fall. In the field this translated into a lot of strikes during the initial fall and we also found the SSP very good or drop shot fishing where just a little movement with the tip of the rod was enough to impart plenty of action on the soft worm.

While there are not as many patterns as the Senko the popular colors are all here

In the field the Senko is hard to beat and while the SSP did not outfish the Senko it came close on numerous occasions when we had two anglers on the front of the boat fishing side by side with alternating casts. Overall the Senko is just a little more consistent on the fall and seems to get more hits when the lure is left to do the work. The SSP is effective when dropped vertically but the real strength of this lure are techniques where a little action is used to draw strikes, like drop shotting and wacky twitching.

Another wacky rigged fish over vegetation

Durability: Though similar in feel to a traditional Senko the SSP held up a better over time and the soft plastic was able to absorb strikes without ripping apart where the hook was rigged. After a few fish the top of the worm did eventually shred and there were times when a especially aggressive head shake from fish was enough to knock the worm off, but for the most part we found the SSP to be quite durable for a salt infused bait.

Looking for a cost effective alternative? The Tiki Stick does deliver

Price & Applications: Though the SSP is good when a little action is applied like other stick baits if you move the bait too fast the lure just doesn’t seem to draw as many strikes as when the presentation is restrained. Like a Senko the SSP works very well when it is fished slowly, and it is critical to give the bait time to sink tantalizingly down to through vegetation to the bottom of the lake. Though it can be fished with weight the SSP is a very good lure to fish weightless either Texas or Wacky rigged. Strikes feel light as fish inhale the bait like a natural worm, so fishing the lure with a more sensitive line like fluorocarbon will better transmit those subtle takes. Patience is key to successfully fishing the SSP, give the lure time to draw strikes. Though the Tiki-Stick didn’t outfish a traditional Senko in our field tests where it does beat the Yamamoto offering is in price. The Senko retails for around $7.49 for a pack of ten 5” worms while a ten pack of the Tiki Stick SSP retails for a much more affordable price of only $4.99. When it comes to choices in patterns the Senko is unmatched but Wave Worms does offer the SSP in number of very popular colors including watermelon red flake and black and blue flake as well as a smoke shad laminate. While there may not be a dizzying array of options there are enough to match the hatch in most situations.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Wave Worms Tiki-Stick Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality very good overall construction, clean looking worm impregnated with plenty of salt 8.5
Performance While the Tiki-Stick caught fish it never flat out outfished a Senko (though it came close on a number of occasions). This bait is good for more than just Texas rigging and is a good choice for wacky and drop shot rigs where that extra soft plastic helps impart more action 8
Price An excellent price that is far more affordable than a lot of the competition 9
Features The basic features including salt and the addition of a light scent (MOLOPO) 8
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to fish, but does require patience and a subtle action to fish effectively 8
Application Good for fishing over vegetation and can be rigged a large variety of ways 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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Good for many applications - Not as consistent a fall as the Senko
+ Good durability  
+ Soft body collapses nicely  
+ Excellent price!  


Conclusions: When it comes to consistency in the rate of fall and sheer fish catching ability the tried and true Senko is hard to beat but at $7.49 per pack these lures are now at the high end of the spectrum when it comes to cost. Delivering very similar characteristics with a super soft construction the new Tiki Stick SSP exhibits a quality sinking action that is complete with faint tail twitches, and this lure’s flexible construction also makes this a great bait for heavy drop shot rigs. Fish tend to hang on the Tiki Stick thanks to the lures ability to collapse and also possibly because of the addition of the MOLOPO scent, giving anglers a little extra time to set the hook. If you are looking for a cost effective soft stickbait option the Wave Worms Tiki Stick Super Soft Pro is a familiar “creature” that delivers quality strikes and fish, just remember to fish it slowly and delicately and it will reward you.


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