Storm Arashi: Initial impressions + bonus reviews
Posted: 15 August 2013 04:42 AM
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“Arashi” is Japanese for storm and while that tidbit may seem unrelated it fits the bait well.  The appearance of the bait is very “JDM” in it’s physical attributes and color selection.  The bait even comes in a “ghost minnow” JDM-esc color.  I don’t believe the Arashi is intended for the JDM market so much as it is indented for the US market and is actively targeting premium cranks (and anglers who purchase them) , which are all too often Japanese in origin.

I really have not fished the bait.  I’ve thrown it a few times and observed the action, but the weedbeds have been too high for 3 foot crank, let alone a 5 footer such as the Arashi Shallow to really put some hours behind it.


Why I bought it:

I like to think I know a thing or two about crankbait design.  I’ll turn a blind eye to a lot of things in a crank, but action, as wobble, is not one of them.  It’s a deal-breaker with me.  One of the design attributes I’ve seen over and over in really good action cranks, is a thin, crisp bill, with a well defined transition from body to bill.  A lot of your molded plastic stuff has an amorphous blob of plastic for a bill that is not only thick and blobish, but poorly transitions from body to bill.  Some molded plastic bait are better than others, such as the KVD squarebills, XPS squarebills and the Excalibur baits to name a few, but there is no replacement for a thin bill inserted into the body of the crank.  Traditionally this has been a construction technique only found in wooden baits.  I believe that the “wood bite” is depended upon the thin, crisp bills found in wooden cranks, more so than any property inherent in the wood itself. Some plastic baits do have a bill glued or fitted by some means into the plastic body.  The Rebel Shallow Wee R and Bomber Square A are a few of these baits.

When I saw the Arashi, I saw a “circuit board” bill on a plastic bodied crank and that caught my eye.  G10, or “circuit board” material is a fiberglass board that is exceptionally thin and strong.  It’s the pinnacle in crankbait bill material.  There is nothing thinner or crisper.  Period.       

Casting:

It cast really well.  I have the ghosted bluegill color and the weight ballast is located in the head portion of the lure.  There is not a weight transfer system, so I was not expecting it to cast exceptionally well, but cast exceptionally well it does.  The thing is a bulbous rocket.  Even in strong head winds the thing shoots off and flies without distance-killing aerobatics.  It’s a great casting crank.

Efficiency:

The Arashi is an effcient crank.  It dives quickly and with little effort.  Very little effort is needed to bring the bait through the water to the point of becoming almost too easy to crank resulting some overly fast retrieves.  You will have to force yourself to slow down on this bait.  A DT-06 feels like a snowplow by comparison.  The Arashi C-U-T-S through the water.

Action:

Roll:  It has little to no body roll in it’s wobble.  That’s a big negative in my book, but to it’s credit the KVD squarebill have no roll either and are great fish catchers, just not for me.

Axis of wobble:  The axis through which the bait transitions from left to right in it’s wobble, and on this bait, it lies somewhere between the head and the center of the body.  This means that the bait has a bit of a “tail kicking action’ (which is derived from a bait with an axis of wobble near the head) but not to the extent of other cranks such as the KVD squarebill or XPS squarebill.  Less tail kick than the KVD (head centric) but more than the Lucky Strike RC (center centric).

Dive angle:  It noses down and gets to work quickly (more so than other baits) and maintains that dive angle back to the boat.

Deflection:  Great.  It powers tough cover as well or better than anything I own.  As a bonus, it also “roots” around in the silt very well.

Buoyancy:  Appropriate.  Not too much and not too little.

Gimmick:

Every baits got one.  With the KVDs it the nonexistant hunting action and with the Arashi is the “self tuning” eye.  It’s nothing more than free floating arm with the line eye atlached to it.  It does nothing significant.  All my factory tunes baits, including $4.29 PBS XPS baits, have held the factory tune out of the box for years.  Tuning is not something I give the slightest damn about.  As long as the hinge on that arm does not rust and seize over time, I can take or leave that gimmick, and a gimmick it is.

Conclusion:

Dives quickly, roots around on the bottom well, cast great and comes through the water effortlessly.  The depth appears to be 5 feet, but it has been hard to discern the dive depth with all the tall weedbeds.  If you’re in the market for a 5 footer that deflects through cover well, is silent and is something new the fish have not seen then consider this bait.  The factory hooks are nothing short of excellent and the bait comes in a 2 other body types, a flat and deep diving model.  If the Arashi is not on your radar it should be but you may want to say tuned to determine if the bait it great or just average.  My initial impressions are that it is only average in action and in my book, action = performance. 


Bonus:

I also picked up some #14 Suffix Elite and BPS Pesky Perch soft plastics.  The G3 precision winding from Suffix really does work as it spools very nicely and is slow to take the memory of the reel spool.  Once on the spool it is similar to XT, so similar to the point of becoming moot.  If it was a more expensive line that would be one thing, but it’s pricepoint is aimed squarely at XT going as far as besting XT at my local BPS.  Good mono line at a good price.  That’s it.

Out of text for the Pesky Perch Review.   


 

 

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Posted: 15 August 2013 06:10 AM   [ # 1 ]
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Pesky Perch.. where to begin on these things.  1st off they are $5.99 for a bag of 4.  That’s insane as BPS plastics are known for the high count per bag and low price.  The action’s got nothing on a beaver bait.  The one thing they do well is imitate a dieing bluegilll when fished unweighted.  They have that slow dieing shimmy and I mean slow.  Be prepared to bust out the senko patience.

It hasn’t gotten me bit yet but the canals of West Okboji are spawning grounds for both bass and bluegills and I have seen both in there in an early postspawn (bass) bite under warming trends, so I’ll have to reserve my judgement until I get a chance to fish them at boji.  The ultimate question is if the Pesky Perche’s profile is effective as the action is poor at best.  They look like a bluegill but the action is like a lump of plastic and only taking on a good action when fished unweighted. 

EDIT Ok, i forgot.  I got one short striking fish on my 1st cast with the Pesky Perch.  Forgot about that one fish.

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Posted: 15 August 2013 09:14 AM   [ # 2 ]
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The Arashi & the KVD 1.5 flat are two crankbaits I’ve been looking to pop up in stores around here. Your review confirms that I will be buying a couple of Arashi’s once I find them. I’m not too impressed with the bluegill color paint scheme. I wish it was a brighter bluegill patteren, and less baby blue on it.

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Posted: 16 August 2013 03:56 AM   [ # 3 ]
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Yeah, I had a real hard time putting down the Chartreuse Blue back and struggled to reach for the Bluegill.  I wish I hadn’t done that as I believe the bait will be great in cold water.  I throw squarebills in the low 40s around spring turnover.  I really like the deeper diving nature of the bait, the thin bill to give the bait action at very low speeds and the non-excessive buoyancy.  It aught to excel in very cold, very dirty water in bright colors.

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Posted: 16 August 2013 11:35 AM   [ # 4 ]
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I do well in cold water also, I have many different brands of squarebills. sometimes one brand works better than the other. the next day maybe another brand, so I don’t have a real favorite, but have enough variety to always have something that works. this spring, the lipless really shined. the bleeding Traps really did well. Traps are my favorite for sure. Of course my go to, the spinnerbait. I caught everyone of my fish this spring on these 3 baits. it was a bunch of fun! On sunny days for squarebills, the bluegill color worked well, on cloudy days the chartreuse/black back worked well.

for lipless, bleeding chrome blue back worked the best in all situations and water color. spinnerbait - different skirt colors worked, no real difference in which was best, I have lots of colors of spinnerbait skirts but one constant is a red trailer hook. Anywhere from 2 to 4 willow blades per bait, mostly more than 2 blades. I down size my blades in clear water so I can move the bait faster and still keep it in the water, smaller blades less lift, blades spin faster. lots of flash, less vibration.

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