Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reins Fishing: Making it rain killer soft Plastic baits

Being hidden away in the "Canadian wilderness" (the term our American friends use to describe even the largest of Canadian cities) it is not always easy to get my hands on baits from small or medium sized bait companies. Most of our retailers focus on the major brands that the majority of the weekend warriors will quickly notice and trust (meaning "purchase") and who can blame 'em. So if I want to think outside the box that often means "thinking outside the Country".. that is exactly what I did recently when I took the plunge and ordered my first assortment of baits from Reins Fishing, a Japanese import that has made its way into the US mainstream.

Reins currently has 9 unique baits, that at first glance most anglers would simply file under: Swimbait, Worm, Creature and Craw categories.. but these baits are not as common as you think, here is an inside look at 4 of them...

AX Craw:

The Ax Craw is one of the baits that drew me towards Reins, it was the first bait of theirs that I really wanted or more specifically needed to try. I have been working my way through a pretty large assortment of craw style flipping baits over the past couple season and the AX Craw caught my attention mostly due to the beefy flipping bait body yet smaller head and agile flapping claws. Most baits provide you with one or the other but not both.. 

This AX Craw will be getting some serious work in my arsenal this season in and around submerged timber, and in the odd pad section, it's large profile will ensure it is seen, and it's ribs, small arms and large claws will  make sure it is heard. Like most Reins baits, the AX Craw is salt impregnated and scented with their "shrimp" scent (similar to a Power bait scent). It is available in a 3.5 and 4 inch version, the one pictured below is the 4" as I truly believe in the "go big or go home" mentality when it comes to flipping baits

Fat RockVibe Shad

Looking the way this bait looks and with a name like "Fat RockVibe Shad" you would have to wonder if Reins ran a "name this bait" contest and a 4 year old child happened to win it.. but don't let the odd name and look fool ya, this bait is the real deal, it has all the keys I look for in a successful swim bait, all mashed into one

It's unique body shape includes a intestine shaped head/body  paired up with a ribbed tail section that is then paired up with a large paddle tail. Obviously this bait was designed to not only move well in the water but to make sure it got noticed when doing so. 

On top of the fact that this bait flat out catches fish, I have to give the team at Reins credit for creating a bait that was built to last (fish after fish). Too many of the swimbait/jerkbaits I have been using just don't hold up.. take the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig or even what I consider a Hall of Fame bait: the Reaction Innovation Skinny Dipper. Both of these baits get chewed up fast mostly due to the pressure put on head portion of the bait while fighting fish. The Fat RockVibe Shad fixes this by creating a larger denser head (and body) that is built like tank..albeit a soft bodied tank . I'm really looking forward to getting this bait on the water, I think it will not only spend some time as a soft plastic jerk/swim bait, but may also get to take a turn on my Alabama rig (yes I still mess around with that thing) and on the back of a swim jig

Ring Craw

The little brother of the AX Craw, the Ring Craw brings more to the table then just a smaller profile. This 3" bait fishes larger then it's measurements, mostly due to the additional appendages and fat round ringed claws. The body of the bait is beefy enough to hold a hook well, although I would recommend staying with a 2/0 or even 1/0 hook.

I started looking seriously at this bait after watching the success my fishing partner (Dustin) had with the Power Team 'Craw D'oeuvre". Both are compact baits, that can be flipped using spinning or casting gear, and give you a smaller profile with lots of action to drive bedding fish crazy. I know I already have mine packed for my Spring trip to Northern NY 

Bubbling Shad:

Fellow Dobyns team member Paul Mueller has been singing the  praises of the Reins Bubbling Shaker for awhile now, simply put he slays fish with it.. but, I'm not much into that style of bait (drop shotting or not) so I decided to take a portion of Paul's advice and take a serious look into another "bubbling bait", the Reins Bubbling Shad.

When it comes to shad/minnow baits I'm from the school of thought that you can do no wrong selecting a white, off-white or other white variant. But in this case I decided to give the "clear" a test drive and all I can say is that thing looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.. look at that baby sparkly and shine.

Unlike the Fat RockVibe shad, the Bubbling Shad has a smaller profile, and even when purchasing the larger size, I was kinda disappointed with it's overall presence. Like many of the ring worms on the market this bait gives off the (first) impression that a single hard hook set will rip it to pieces. I would say that this bait was designed with more flair but less durability, kinda like a finesse swim bait.

I'm hoping I get to be proved wrong, as this is the first Reins bait I have held that did not really blow me away, or make me think.. "yeah I could use that". It will get some time on the water this season, and maybe, just maybe, you will see me eat a little crow. 

Whenever ordering baits cross boarder, it helps to put together a selection, ordering just one of the above baits was not cost effective, so I waited until I could add a selection of their baits to my shopping cart, and I'm glad I did. If you are looking to give some Reins baits a test drive, I would recommend ordering them through Optimum Baits, not only do they have an awesome selection and fast shipping, but they also load up your order with an stellar assortment of stickers!

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