I'm always interested in the new products and techniques that come out for bass fishing. I received my first DUO Realis Spinbait 80 early this year and didn't know what to think of it. It looks like it would be an awesome mini topwater prop bait, except it sinks. It also looks like it would be a cool jerkbait, only it's not designed for it. It's designed for "Spybaiting" a new finesse technique from Japan.
At ICAST, I talked with David Swendseid of DUO Realis and he shared some wisdom on the technique. It's an ultra-finesse way to catch bass in clear waters and it can be fished at any depth you want it to since the bait sinks rapidly. The subtle movement and slow retrieve keep bass interested and it is unlike everything else we as bass fishermen do, since you are not imparting any exaggerated actions to generate a reaction.
Before using the bait, I talked with Swendseid and watched a video from Japan on the technique. One thing that caught my attention was the fact that it is recommended to be fished on nothing heavier than 6lb test (4-5lb is preferred). This has to do with how the heavier line impacts the action and the bigger line actually weighs the bait down. I fished it with 15lb Seaguar Kanzen braid with 8lb Tatsu leader (which is much thinner than normal 8lb line). I had it rigged on my dropshot rod which is a 7' ML and this was perfect for the technique. Since I love using braid as a main line, I asked David about this the other day and he said that is fine, but to use a longer leader than normal. 25-30ft of fluorocarbon leader with a nice, clean uni to uni knot will be perfect. The longer leader will counteract the effects of braid and allow the bait to do it's thing.
Fishing the bait was pretty strange and I tried my best not to shake my rod or do anything like I normally do when fishing other baits. I watched a few hours of my video and could tell I was doing too much to it, it is best with a slow retrieve, keeping the bait moving along at whatever depth you think the fish are in. The lake I went to was setup perfectly for it, deep, clear, rocky and home to big bass. I was fishing docks that had water as deep as 30-35 feet at the end and my boat was sitting in 50+ feet most of the time. I would count the bait down until it was near the bottom and start my retrieve. A good way to gauge the rate of fall is to simply watch it over the side of the boat in fairly shallow water.
I'm by no means an expert with this, but I am going to fish it a bunch now that I have caught some fish with it. In my opinion this is a specialty technique that will work any time you have relatively deep water that's clear, but wouldn't count it out in shallower water. I also believe that not many people are going to want to fish this way, it requires patience. Now is the time to really get to know this technique because not many people are doing it and it is almost certain that the bass you are fishing for have never seen it.
Check out my video from my first trip with the technique.