BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department
Going Straight, Never Tune Again!
by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
Crankbaits run left or right when they need to run straight down the middle. When they don’t run true, they need tuning. Utilizing a pair of needle nose pliers, carefully bend the line tie to the left or the right or even slightly up or down to get the lure to run correctly.
Kellogg’s Ranger pro Dave Lefebre demonstrated crankbait tuning. For baits running left, hold the crankbait with the line tie facing you and bend slightly to the right. The opposite is true for the baits running to the right. If the bait isn’t getting down fast enough, bend the wire downward. Too steep? Bend slightly upward. Lefebre says great care must be taken to avoid damaging the line tie. The FLW pro says baits sometimes come out of tune from the package, after being snagged, hitting rocks, with a fish, or even being crammed into a tackle box. He checks crankbait tracking on every cast.
Pulling out a never seen before crankbait, the new Arashi Series from Storm Lures that takes the guesswork out of tuning, Lefebre says the design was so unique even pro staffers were kept in the dark until the pre-release. Lefebre returned home from a long tournament road trip to find a package from Storm lures. “They sent a box with the new prototypes from Storm. They kept it a big secret to secure patent protection.” He called other pro staffers to hear what they thought about them and none had yet wetted them. Never off the water long, Lefebre ran the new Arashi in the lake to see what the improvements produced. “It is a power crank for cranking into cover smashing it off of stuff; it has a circuit board bill that doesn’t break. Full contact crank, this is the linebacker of crankbaits.” While practicing for June’s Potomac Everstart tournament, he finished 14th, Lefebre demonstrated this bait’s action, eager to put it to tournament use.
Lefebre evaluated Arashi’s performance. With the new self-tuning line tie on a hinge, the bait hunts for its center. The initial pull of the lure allows the line tie to move left or right and up and down to find the ideal retrieval spot.
But, once glancing off cover, pulled or stopped, the process begins again, subtly allowing the Arashi to drift left or right, shallower or deeper until the center is once again located.
This erratic action has never before been manufactured into a lure. In the old days, “imperfect” lures would “hunt” but were impossible to reproduce. Old timers bought dozens of lures seeking a “flawed” bait possessing this hunting characteristic. Storm has achieved this “imperfection” in every bait, on every cast, right out of the box. But it’s the no-tune feature that will attract fishermen, saving time when tying on a bait in the heat of battle and not worrying about bending a line tie when storing or tuning them.
A month later Arashi was unveiled at the July ICAST fishing industry show in Las Vegas! A huge hit! Retailers jumped on board, securing their orders. Anglers might see these lures in late summer or early fall! Lefebre says, “Once the word is out, there might be a run on these unique lures making the availability slim!”
Looking for the tournament test opportunity, Lefebre stashed his inventory in his Ranger tackle box. His next tournament stop was the Lake Champlain Everstart event in late July. Noting Champlain’s unusually high water, Lefebre used his two practice days to develop a pattern pitching soft plastics and jigs to flooded shoreline trees. On the first tournament day, after running 85 miles in rough water, he went into panic mode as the water had receded, leaving his “hot” spots high and dry. He rocketed his Ranger to places he fished in the past, strips of grass on rocky points. He got a few bass targeting inside weed lines with rocks on shoreline points. But now, he was close to developing a pattern and discovering his new “secret weapon”.
On day two, Lefebre employed spinnerbaits and chatterbaits along the rocky shoreline and lost what felt like big fish. Seeking an alternative to these baits, he opened his tackle locker and grabbed his go-to crankbaits box jammed with some extra baggage. Before he left the Potomac River, he had stuffed a few of the new Storm Arashi crankbaits into this box. Casting to the same spot, it didn’t take long to reel in a much-needed 4 pounder. In fact, 3 of the 4 pounders he landed in this event came on the Arashi! Not losing a single fish or even getting snagged on the final day 3, he landed 30 fish enough for him cull to his 5 fish limit to come from behind close to a win, finishing 2nd.
After fishing the Arashi under tournament pressure, Lefebre reflects on this amazingly overdue self-tuning line tie system. Noting the versatility, Lefebre says this bait can be retrieved very fast, without rolling over, or even crawled over heavy cover.
“It’s weird that no one has done this before; it’s such a good idea!” Lefebre smashed and crashed his Arashi off rocks to trigger strikes. He says the bait is very solid and the circuit board lip held up well allowing for even more strike-triggering deflection.
A subtler feature alteration produces big results. Simply rotating the belly and tail hook hangers 90 degrees, Arashi crankbaits accommodate larger hooks and by keeping hooks closer to the lure body, they’re nearly snag free in heavy cover.
Lefebre says Arashi shallow divers are tops in this category and expects the flat sided and deeper divers to win tournaments across the country! Slightly heavier, the Arashi casts a mile but has high buoyancy to deflect and trigger bass bites.
At $8.95 this high-end lure is cheaper than other power cranks. Arashi’s self-centered feature is an innovation poised to take the crankbait world by Storm.