Give it some Stick!
By John Cheyne
|Lure Name||Stick Shad FW|
|Lure Type||Jerk bait|
|Price||UK price unavailable|
Some lures get you drooling at first sight and others can leave you a little underwhelmed on first inspection but end up being firm favourites. It looks like the Sebile Stick Shadd is going to be one of those lures that I place in the second category. Sebile lures have a fantastic reputation in Europe and the USA, but so far they have struggled to make any real headway in the market here in the UK. If this lure is anything to go by, that could change pretty soon.
Until the moment the Stick Shad lay in my hand, my only other experience of Sebile lures was a few casts with a borrowed “Magic Swimmer”. I’d been impressed with the action and look of the swimbait but my first impression of the Stick Shadd was that it was big and a bit plasticky. The finish was nice though with cool eyes that feature the Sebile logo and a smart metallic finish that mostly seems to be sprayed on the inside of the bait, so it shows through the clear plastic body, but won’t get scratched by Pike’s teeth. Because the model I reviewed was specially sent to me by Sebile, it came without hooks, however when bought they come as standard with top of the range Owner hooks and the lure itself is fully wired through with very strong wire so that it can be used to catch Big GT’s in tropical waters, so it’s certainly man enough to handle Pike.
First time out I took my shiny new lure to a nice clear gravel pit that holds a good head of small fish. As much as anything I wanted to see how the bait worked in the water and I wasn’t too bothered about looking for monsters. First cast saw the lure achieving a pretty impressive distance against the wind. it’s torpedo shape and internal weighting certainly help it cut through the air, so it was thumbs up on the casting front. A few casts later and some slow even pulls on the retrieve left me scratching my head. The review lure I was testing was a floating model and the slow deliberate pulls only really succeeded in getting the Shadd to dip below the surface for a second and come back to the bank in a fairly straight lifeless manner. Hmmm time for a radical re-think. next cast I just flicked it out to where I could watch it in the clear water properly, then really gave it some stick, with a fast retrieve and constant downward jerking inputs from the rod.WOW! what had been a fairly lifeless lump of plastic, turned into a diving jerking scurrying baitfish, desperately trying to avoid the clutches of some unseen predator. The Stick Shadd had come to life!
From that point on it all got to be a lot of fun. I worked my way around the high bank of the pit, watching the lure working in the water. It really does have a fantastically erratic action when you really work it. The third swim I tried a greedy jack smacked the lure and came thrashing in. he must have been all of 3lb, so not exactly worth a photo, but a first fish none the less. Working the lure fast and hard all the way I eventually landed three small pike and had hits or follows from three more. Definately a good start!
Working It !
If you hold it up to the light, you can see that the Stick Shadd has a tungsten weight both in the belly just above the centre of the keel and also in the top half of the tail, above the centre line of the lure. These weights, along with the long thin keel that is moulded into the underside of the lure obviously help to give it it’s fantastically erratic movement in the water. I was already pretty converted to the attributes of the Sebile, but it’s hard to say you’ve really tested a lure properly if all you’ve caught are some miniature jacks. So next trip out I was determined to get something slightly bigger, it didn’t need to be a monster, but it would be good if it looked like a predator rather than a live bait!
This time we were out in the boat on one of our favourite lakes and after a morning spent pulling and jigging softbaits through a deep part of the lake that had produced for us in the past, it was time to head for some nice shallow weedy areas and give the Sebile Shadd some Stick! It was the first time Gary had seen the Shadd in action and he was suitably impressed, although he did point out that I was going to be knackered after half an hour if I kept working the lure as energetically as I did on the first few casts. Luckily just as he was beginning to chuckle to himself a nice solid pike slammed the lure. It was a good fish and putting up a terrific tussle, so Gary decided to ignore his netting duties and get a couple of shots of the pike hitting the surface. It looked like a nice low double as it surfaced near the boat, but a second or two after Gary snapped it in water-frothing action, it shook it’s head once too often and the lure slipped free. I have to admit I swore.
- Dissapointed but not defeated we let the boat drift on and a little later the lure was smashed a again, right by the boat and this time there was no mistake. it maybe wasn’t as big as the one that got away (they never are!) but it was a decent fish and enough to prove for sure that the Stick Shadd is a lure worth using.
The Sebile Stick Shadd is without doubt a fun lure to use. You have to work it hard, but if you do you’ll be rewarded with a diving , banking, spooked up baitfish action that definitely seems to trigger hits. It’s very solidly built and suffered virtually no marks or damage at all from the 5 sets of teeth that crashed into it during testing. Of course the biggest drawback is that it’s a pretty hard lure to track down in the UK right now, but with a bit of luck and a few more people asking their favourite lure retailer to get some in stock we may see them become more readily available in the UK. It will certainly become a regularly used lure for me in the future.
|Build Quality||Wired through and pretty much bullet proof||(9/10)|
|Quality of finish||The heads nice and the body has a decent if unspectacular finish – it is certainly hardwearing though||(8/10)|
|Performance||This bait dances and dives like few others, but you can dispense with the Wii Fit, you’ll be too busy doing the Stick Shadd work out!||(9/10)|
|Value For Money||No UK price at the time of writing so we have to give it a 5||(5/10)|
|Variety of Options Available||We’ve only tried one, but the Sebile catalogue lists 3 sink rates, 5 lengths and 15 colour schemes!||(10/10)|
|TackleTart Factor||The plastic feel may put some jerkbait snobs off, but it’s sexy in our book!||(7/10)|
The Sebile Stick Shad is awarded the LureTour Silver award
Sebile Lures are distributed in the UK by www.topwaterlures.co.uk
The full Sebile catalogue is available online at www.sebile.com
Esox Lucies 140g Jerkbait rod, Shimano Calcutta DC reel, 80lb Power Pro Braid