So what’s up with this bait Ott DeFoe won the Classic on? Before that huge win, willing to bet most of us hadn’t either heard of, looked hard at or owned the Storm Arashi Vibe lipless crank.
Little known fact is that Brandon Palaniuk is the evil genius — oops, just the genius part lol — behind this bait. So I tracked him down, hooked him up to the feeshn info extractor and here’s what we got. He REALLY feels this bait does things other liplesses don’t do so….
> “That bait’s been around for 4 years — I’m glad it finally got what it deserves. I think that bait’s pretty special in the world of lipless crankbaits but it hadn’t gotten that exposure….
> “The starting point for it was I wanted something that was extremely stable that I could fish in lots of different conditions.
> “One thing I always had an issue with with lipless cranks was when you rip it out of the grass or pull it, or even reeling it, it would run sideways. Or when you ripped it out of grass, it would blow out — the hooks would get hung up or it wouldn’t come out clean. That was the starting point…I thought we could build a better one.”
So the first requirement was better stability:
> “The 2nd criterion for it was to be able to fish it super, super slow and still have action. I think that’s why it worked so well in the Classic.
> “Early in the year…the first warm days, the fish will push up shallow but the water temps are still only in the ’40s. The fish don’t want a bait moving super fast, but a lipless bait can be the best way to catch them.
> [Some other lipless baits] you can’t fish that slow and still have that bait move [vibrate].” But with the Vibe “you can turn your handle much slower and still get vibration out of that bait.
> “A lot of times I throw it on a 7:1 reel. I feel like fish will eat it from the side and knock slack in it, so I want to eat up that slack [with that higher-speed reel]. About as slow as you can turn a 7:1 and still keep contact with the bait, that’s as slow as you can move [the Vibe] and still have forward momentum.”
More on the bait
> “Another place where this bait shines is if the lift and drop technique. The bait starts to vibrate much quicker…takes a lot less force to get that bait started.
> “Say you’re fishing in 3′ of water, and you’re only lifting that bait 6″ to 1′ off the bottom. If it takes 6″ to get another bait started, you’re just getting that last little bit of vibration and then nothing. This bait will start to move right away, then gains in intensity until you drop it back down.
> Those are the 2 things I felt that if we could achieve, the bait would do all the other things like come out of grass cleaner because the bait’s not rolling on its side….”
Couple important design things
> “It has a thinner back than a lot of baits which helps with all of [the above].
> “It also has a self-tuning line tie, which first came out in the Arashi Square 3 and Square 5. So…the [Arashi] has the ability to pivot off your line slightly to help keep your bait more stable. It has a slight amount of movement side to side, but it’s more front to back [while squarebill movement is more side to side]. So when you stop your bait, it allows the nose to dive down and keep a direct line of contact. So when you pull — pull back up — that allows it to come through the cover better, and allows the bait to start at a slower speed.
> “If it’s not self-tuning, what can happen is your bait will be off kilter. So if you draw a straight line down that bait, you want the belly and back sitting perfectly on that line. If the line tie isn’t perfectly straight or if the weight’s not perfect, it will…hang left or right over the belly of the bait and that can end up killing a lot of your action. Rip it out of the grass or try to burn that bait…causes it to blow out.
> “The Vibe is a great burning bait too. When I went to Japan last fall, I found out a bunch of people were using it there on Lake Biwa because they fish their lipless baits super-fast. They fish them a lot different…purely a reaction bait, as fast as you can fish it.
> “It has a much softer rattle…more of a One Knocker style…has that subtle low-volume sound.
> Even though the Vibe comes with sharp VMC black nickel trebles, Brandon says, “Usually I change mine out…to VMC 7547 regular-shank or short-shank hooks…#2s, #4s…mix. If I’m in a lot of cover, I’ll go with #4s.”
> The bait also has rotated hook hangers that “nest” the hooks closer to the body.
> Right now the Vibe is only available in 1 size: 9/16-oz (2.75″).
> Favorite colors: “This is the only bait [Storm] has in a color called ‘dirty shad’ — faded chartreuse and a black back. It’s one of my favorite colors — I tried to get them to make it for other baits. Other than that I like ‘rusty craw,’ the one Ott doctored up [at the Classic, pictured above], then ‘green gill’ and ‘black silver shad’….”
Here’s dirty shad:
Here’s Brandon talkin’ the Vibe: