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Lure Review

Going lipless with Daiwa's TD Vibration

Date: 5/02/06
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.16

Traps, rattles, lipless cranks…whatever you prefer to call them, are some of the most versatile hardbaits out there when it comes to targeting fish at varying depths. Reel giant, Daiwa, stepped into the hardbait game with a series of premium offerings, including the TD Vibration. The TDV is a premium lipless crankbait that comes in a wide range of sizes and weights, and features some nice tweaks to help differentiate the lure from the field.

Daiwa TD Vibration Specifications

Type Lipless Crankbait
Class sinking
Material Plastic
Colors/Patterns 30 available now (3 sizes)
Size 2 1/2, 2 7/8, 3 1/4 inch lures
Hook sizes Vary depending on size
MSRP $12.95, $13.95, $14.95

There is no denying Bill Lewis spawned an entire category of lures with introduction of the original “Rat-L-Trap.” Since then the original has continued to flourish as many lure manufacturers introduced their own adaptation of this lipless marvel. Japanese lure manufacturers like Yozuri and Lucky Craft put the market into a more recent frenzy with their new-fangled designs….emphasizing detail in design just as much as clamor and action. The premium lipless crankbait revolution was upon us. As more and more company’s expand their offerings we now see lure companies coming into the rod space, and on the other end of the spectrum reel companies introducing lures to match their own offerings. Daiwa’s ever expanding lineup of lures includes some very innovative design tweaks, as well as some of the nicest finishes we have seen to date. At first inspection the detailed finishes easily rival premium competitor offerings….now its time to see if they perform as well in the water.


No its not a Lucky Craft or a Yozuri...it is the Daiwa TD Vibration


Real World Test: The TD Vibration was one of the original lures first introduced in the TD series, as well as one of the most anticipated. The lure is available in more colors and patterns than you will ever necessitate. I decided to focus on my favorite, which is the Black Shiner (the Chrome clown is my next favorite, followed by the Red Craw). The Black Shiner is my favorite because it is a great pattern to target both Bass and Stripers. To test the TDV (Team Daiwa Vibration) I fished with a number of different reels, and tied on with 12 and 14lb Trilene Big Game. When fishing lipless cranks the target fish are not line shy, in fact the reticent fish are not the ones you are pursuing with these belligerent rattling baits. A thicker stronger line is also preferable because these lures will occasionally snag, it just comes with the territory of retrieving these lures in and around structure.


The TDV features incredible detail in design...much like competing premium hardbaits


Casting: Ever cast a Lipless crankbait before? If you have you know these are among the easiest and longest casting lures out there. The combination of the aerodynamic profile and heavily weighted body make it easy to go for both distance and accuracy. The TDV is no exception, and the lures come in 3/8, 5/8, and 3/4oz weights, the lengths are 2 1/2, 2 7/8, and 3 ¼ respectively. I tied the test lures on a variety of rods and casting with just about any reel was no problem, I just wish all lures were this easy to position perfectly.


Lock and Load...


When it comes time to actually get serious about fishing the TDV, there are a number of things to consider, but a good rule of thumb is to try and match the hatch. Try and pick lures that look like the baitfish in both size and pattern. The reason I prefer lipless cranks with chrome patterns is because the goal with this bait is to grab the attention of aggressive fish. I feel like the shine and flash of the bait as it wobbles is a good match for the boisterous rattle. While this is my norm it is by no means the rule, and on certain lakes…especially the ones with the clearest water I will turn to less eye-catching patterns more often. When targeting deep fish you can either fish slower to allow your lure time to enter the strike zone, or simply upsize your TDV.


A side view of our favorite TDV


Retrieving: Fishing the TDV is not for the faint of heart. You’re going to have to put the lure in harms way to catch the most fish. In and around cover is where this lure will excel. There are weed beds to burn over but for the most part most of my success came by bumping about in close proximity to nasty structure.


A quick sweep is all it took to cast this lure a long distance

Lipless cranks like the TDV are all about speed right? Wrong…well partly wrong. While the vast majority of anglers simply burn these back in a straight line I found that with the TDV I could pick up more fish once I got creative with my rod tip. But before we get into that let’s talk about the tackle setup. You can fish the TDV with just about any bass rod, but I prefer a 6 to 7 foot medium rod for solid sets, and backbone to muscle fish out of structure, but not too much rod so you lose fish due to jarring. A softer tipped rod also makes it easier to lift and drop the lure off ledges, and keep fish on when they short strike. Short strikes happen on lipless cranks, and are the main reason why I shy away from braid and fused lines which do not offer any play. I highly recommend a reel that is 6.3:1 or higher ratio. This allows you the ability to work the TDV up and down the water column quicker, or burn the lure if you choose. One of the main reasons professional anglers turn to lipless cranks is because they give the angler more flexibility in multiple depths.


Notice the cupped spot on the lure's nose? That's the "stabilizer spot" which helps create a rapid yet stable wobble


Now that you have your rig set up and are casting away it is time to bring your lure back in….hopefully with a nice fish in tow. While you don’t have to burn this bait you do have to keep it in motion, otherwise you will be pulling weeds or twigs out of the lake at record pace. This lure should graze and thump just about any structure, but never actually sit down and invite a snag. At a medium retrieve I felt like the TDV delivered a loud rattle, but less side to side motion than a Lucky Craft LV500. While the lure may not seem as lively it does navigate structure very well. The tighter wobble is more like a “vibration” rather than a side to side “shake.” The lure feels extremely stable and upon closer inspection we understood why. On the front of the lure is a small cupped area, this “stabilizer spot” displaces water side to side to help create a more brisk and constant motion.


Next Section: Retrieve continued, Durability, and Ratings









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