“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.