Collapse to Cast - Shimano’s ARMAJOINT Swimbait
Introduction: Shimano’s new ARMAJOINT swimbait is designed with an
innovative dual jointed system that is magnet loaded to enable improved casting
distance and accuracy by collapsing and maintaining a more compact and stable
shape during flight. In the water the ARMAJOINT can be swam a variety of ways
and behaves like traditional S-glide action swimbaits so there really isn’t a
learning curve to start fishing this bait effectively from the very first cast.
Shimano's innovative new swimbait, the ARMAJOINT
Over the last three seasons Shimano has been making a big push into freshwater
lures and last season one of their biggest introductions was their Flash Boost
equipped World Minnow and World Diver jerkbaits.
The ARMAJOINT features a very unique joint that allows the
bait to collapse during the cast
Earlier this year the company added crankbaits to the portfolio and this
ICAST the company is introducing a swimbait into the mix. The ARMAJOINT 190SF is
a Flash Boost equipped dual jointed swimbait, and that first joint is quite
unlike any other.
In the center of the joint you can see what looks like a
bearing, this is the magnet that applies force to the scissor-like joint
The “ARMA BOOST” joint is an articulating joint that can scissor up and down
allowing the bait to fully collapse. While the first thought is that this bait
can collapse and prevent fish from using it as leverage during the battle the
actual reason why this unique joint was created was to improve casting distance
The ARMAJOINT has a long slender profile that mimics trout
and shad well
The ARMAJOINT is already an easy swimbait to cast weighing in at only 1.89oz.
but to reduce air resistance and spinning in flight the unique joint mechanism
separates from the center mounted magnet during the cast which allows the
ARMAJOINT to fold into a more compact shape. At impact and during the retrieve
the joint will reengage and help the lure create a smooth swimming action.
A look at the articulating ARMA BOOST joint
The entire process doesn’t require any extra input from the angler, simply
launch and retrieve and this proprietary ARMA BOOST feature works exactly as it
is designed. Though there is a second joint and a third bait section the amount
of movement allowed in the hinge is very limited. This rear section allows for a
little extra kick but for the most part the ARMAJOINT fishes more like a
The ARMAJOINT features both FLASHBOOST and SCALEBOOST
Shimano sent us an ARMAJOINT in trout pattern prior to ICAST and we’ve been able
to fish with the bait for just over three weeks. The ARMAJOINT can be fished at
all speeds effectively, and it doesn’t wash out. It also can be paused and
jerked with the rod tip for a more erratic action. At rest the bait rises very
slowly, and this is when the FLASHBOOST suspended reflective foil gives the bait
some additional flash, which is designed to mimic the behavior of an injured
baitfish, or in my opinion helps to draw extra attention and gives the bait a
more dynamic appearance at rest.
Under the sun SCALEBOOST gives the bait more depth
I’ve already caught four fish on the ARMAJOINT, including one over six pounds
that bit the bait when it was paused. Another interesting feature in the bait
are the hooks which are loaded into retaining springs to keep them from swinging
wildly during the cast and position them closer to the body of the bait during
the retrieve. When the bait is struck the pressure of the fish immediately
deploys the treble hook and allows it to swing freely to help keep the fish
Ready to see what the ARMAJOINT can do
Like many custom swimbaits the ARMAJOINT is finished with a soft plastic tail.
Shimano equips the ARMAJOINT with a very durable and stretchy tail that is
pinned into the rear of the bait. This tail appears to be made from elastomeric
plastic, like the tails on some Jackall baits. While this material is extremely
durable it cannot be stored or placed next to other plastics as it will react
and deform. I learned this the hard way already and it is a good thing that
Shimano provides an extra replacement tail with each ARMAJOINT.
The best fish I've been able to catch on the ARMAJOINT
thus far and it ate during the pause
The ARMAJOINT swimbait will be available this Fall with an MSRP of $49.99
dollars. There will be a variety of patterns at time of launch including Trout,
Hasu, Gizzard, Shad, and ST Purple.
A look at the stowable hooks
Our Quick Take: While many swimbaits are designed to attract more fish
with either more realistic finishes or strike triggering action the ARMAJOINT
has also been designed to increase the effectiveness of throwing a mid-sized
swimbait by implementing features designed specifically for increasing casting
distance. By being able to cast the lure between 20-40% further than lures of
similar weight the ARMAJOINT can cover more water and spend both more time
drawing fish and staying in the strike zone before it returns to the angler.
The Shimano ARMAJOINT is an interesting new swimbait that
focused on improving casting distance making this a good searchbait and can stay
in the strike zone for long periods, and even flashes at rest
I’ve already had success fishing the ARMAJOINT and like the versatility
the new bait offers. It can be fished slowly, quickly, and I’ve already caught
my biggest fish on it during the pause. Whether you are a believer in FLASHBOOST
or not the added feature does give the bait a more dynamic pulse even when
suspended. I think Shimano has created an interesting swimbait, and one that is
not only chock full of features but offers anglers something new and exciting in
which to present fish this season. This is one of the baits I cant wait to spend
more time fishing after ICAST.