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Lure Review



Like Fireworks, Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer Showing Us What It's Worth


Date: 6/29/20
Tackle Type: Lures
Manufacturer: Imakatsu
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.42 - INNOVATION AWARD

Few terms perk the collective eyebrows of tackle enthusiasts everywhere like "JDM." Short for the words, Japanese Domestic Market, the literal reference is to products made for sale in Japan. There are several companies in the fishing industry that go hand in hand with that term: Megabass, Evergreen International, O.S.P., Daiwa Japan, Shimano Japan. One such company, legendary for their innovative bait products is Imakatsu. Yet for all their innovation I can only find one review in our archives for their product and it's part of a multi-product drop back in 2009. Imakatsu's Javallon is the lone product to make it on our site. Today, we make a move to correct this egregious oversight with a look at one of their latest baits, introducing Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer.


Imakatsu Stealth Swimmer Specifications

Type Paddle Tail Swimbait
Material Soft Plastic
Colors/Patterns 10
Sizes 5.1" & 6.2"
Scent/Plastic Treatment None
# per package 2 (one slow sink, one fast sink)
MSRP $32.15


Impressions: I stumbled across the Stealth Swimmer on one of my browser-shopping expeditions through TackleWarehouse.com. This is a paddletail swimbait product offered in two sizes (5.1" & 6.1") and available in ten different colors. What peaked my interest was the description of an innovative hook system completely concealed within the bait. 


Sometimes, new products sneak up on us


When my Swimmers arrived, I found they were in packages of two, but the baits in the package were not quite identical. One is configured to sink slowly in the water column, the other is heavier and configured to sink more quickly. I also discovered that the hook is indeed pre-rigged and completely concealed within the slender body of the bait. The innovation was the use of a magnet in the belly of the bait to hold the hook inside - or was it?

Introducing Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer paddletail swimbait

Real World Tests: I couldn't wait to see what this bait could do in the water and quickly assigned it to help me review another product, my 2020 Calcutta Conquest DC 101HG. The reel was spooled with some 50lb Daiwa J-Braid, and a 15lb Sunline Defier Armillo top shot. I then partnered the reel with my Megabass F7-71X7 Aaron Martens 71 so I could fish the Stealth Swimmer on a nice, stout fishing rod to drive that jig style hook home on any potential bites. This was my original setup for the 6.1 inch, slow sink version of the bait.

One of two combos I chose to fish this bait

Even though the reel is not on my agenda for testing (Zander stole that thunder from me in the last article), I also wanted to fish my new Metanium MGL 151XGB. So I paired it with my neglected Evergreen International TKIC-71MH Super Stallion Inspirare, spooled it up with some 50lb Daiwa J-Braid and tied the 5.1 inch fast sink model straight to the braid.

The 2020 Metanium MGL looks as though it was made for this stick, but then again this reel looks good on just about every rod

The great thing about these baits is they come pre-rigged, so there's no fussing about with which swimbait head or weighted hook to use, making sure everything is aligned, and so on. Just tie the bait to the end of your line and have at it!


Well, I guess there is a decision to be made and that's whether to tie the slow or fast sink version to the end of your line. Fortunately, I had two setups so I could switch back and forth to see which would be more effective.


The 6.1" Stealth Swimmer vs a 7" bass.

First thing I had to check, because you never know what type of magic Imakatsu might have up their sleeves, was the position of the bait as it sinks in the water column. As you might expect from a paddletail swimbait, there's no finesse in the way they sink. The fast sink points straight down, but the tail does flutter as it dives. The slow slink kind of flops and flails about aimlessly. Once you click your reel over and decide to work the bait, the body in both versions remains relatively still and the tail kicks at any speed.


The Stealth Swimmer comes pre-rigged with a weedless hook harness

Next Section: A sneaky stealthy hook mechanism...









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