While it seems you can never have enough crankbaits, Storm®’s Arashi® line-up includes all the sizes, shapes and colors you’ll ever need. With the impending introduction of new super-deep-diving Arashi models, “you can literally cover the water column from top to bottom,” says Brandon Palaniuk, a five-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier.
Palaniuk created a buzz about Arashi baits in 2013 when he used then-secret prototypes of the Arashi Silent Square 3 and Square 5 to jump to a commanding early lead in a Bassmaster tournament on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin. Since then, Storm has released rattling versions, surface-waking versions, flat-sided versions, deep-running versions and soon, super-deeper-running versions — the Deep 18 and Deep 25.
Whether anglers need a lure that has a lively rolling action, a tight wiggle action or a moderate rolling action paired with the perfect tail kick, “Arashi has them covered,” Palaniuk says. “Arashi” (Ah-Rah-Shee) means “Storm” in Japanese. Storm is one of many respected names in the Rapala family of brands.
All Arashi baits are equipped with an innovative self-tuning line tie, which “allows the bait to get back on track quicker after deflecting off of cover,” Palaniuk explains. “And you can turn this bait on a high-speed reel as fast as you can possibly move your hand on the reel, and it will run true all the time. It will never blow out, never kick out to the side.” All Arashi baits also feature rotated hook hangers that accommodate larger hooks for a better hooking percentage.
Following is a rundown on which Arashi baits Palaniuk uses from top to bottom, shallow to deep.
Wake ‘Em Up!
Looking for active, shallow bass? Tie on an Arashi Wake Crank. “It’s a great search bait — perfect for calling fish in,” Palaniuk says.
Productive in both clear and stained water, the Arashi Wake Crank has a spot on Palaniuk’s boat deck from the post-spawn period all the way through the fall. “Whenever fish are up shallow, the Arashi Wake Crank’s a good option,” he says. “Between a topwater and a shallow-running crankbait, it gives the fish a different look.
When he encounters submerged vegetation growing to about six inches or so under the water’s surface, “I’m usually going to go with that Wake Crank,” Palaniuk says. “Because generally the fish will be sitting up higher.” He’ll throw it also around laydowns, stumps, weed lines and the edges of lily pad fields.
Silent, But Deadly
Arashi Silent Square 3’s and 5’s are different than any other square-bill on the market, Palaniuk says. And they’re almost always his go-to shallow runner. The numbers in the names indicate the baits’ maximum diving depths.
“My first choice is usually a Silent Square,” Palaniuk says. “In cleaner water, I’m going to go with more clear and natural colors and silent baits, because the fish I’m targeting are generally going to be sight-feeders.”
He’ll throw Silent Squares “up until the point where the water gets dirty enough that I think I need a rattler,” he explains.
“This time of year, if I’m fishing shallow on a reservoir with a bunch of grass, then I’m going to probably tie on a Square 3 or a Square 5,” he adds. “I’ll probably also have an Arashi Wake Crank.”
Shake, Rattle and Roll
The Arashi Rattling Square 3 and Rattling Square 5 feature a multi-ball rattle system that imitates the sound of baitfish feeding in the shallows.
“Typically, dirtier-water situations are when you’re going to want a louder, rattling bait,” Palaniuk explains. “As you get into more dirtier water, fish have to use other senses because they can’t see as well. So they’ll use sound and the vibrations, which they detect with their lateral line.”
Featuring a sturdy, square, circuit-board lip and premium finishes, both Rattling Squares and Silent Squares are built to withstand repeated contact with cover. “Generally, when I’m fishing Arashi Squares, I’m target oriented,” Palaniuk explains. “I’m throwing ‘em around rocks, logs, brush, something like that. And I’m throwing right into the middle of it.”
Arashi’s square bills were specifically designed to help deflect the baits off of heavy cover without hanging up. “It’s going to hit that cover and its going to roll my hooks away from whatever I’m banging into,” Palaniuk explains. “So it will come through that type of cover pretty freely.”
Designed to target the 7-foot water column, the Arashi Rattling Flat 7 swims with a tight wiggling action, creating maximum flash and vibration.
“The flat one is going to have a tighter roll, a tighter wobble, so generally in colder-water situations is when you’re going to want to throw that,” Palaniuk explains. “It’s less invasive, it doesn’t have that real hard thumping action to it. So when those fish are kind of lethargic in colder water, that’s really when that’s going to shine.”
With an internal weight transfer system and multi-ball rattle, the Rattling Flat 7 not only is ideal for long-casts but also produces a loud, variable pitch rattle to further egg on the bite.
Deep and Deeper
Able to quickly and easily dive to 10 feet, the Rattling Deep 10 swims with a moderate rolling action for the perfect amount of search, with loads of tail kick. Its multi-ball rattle produces a loud, yet variable pitch for added attraction while the internal weight transfer system allows the bait to hit the farthest mark on the cast.
Although the Arashi Deep 18 and Deep 25 won’t be unveiled officially until July’s ICAST, the fishing industry’s biggest U.S. sports show, Palaniuk leaked some details recently.
“Having baits that will get down into those deep strike zones quick and stay down there, that’s super important,” says Palaniuk of the new Arashi Deep 18 and Deep 25. “Because a lot of times, you’ll have fish that will be sitting down there — you can see them on your electronics — but you can’t really get them to bite. But being able to burn a crankbait down there in front of their face will get a reaction strike.”
Palaniuk has had rods rigged with Arashi Deep 18 and Deep 25 prototypes on his boat’s deck since the mid-May Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Arizona’s Lake Havasu, where he placed 10th and Bassmaster.com captured GoPro footage of him cranking in some chunky largemouth that had absolutely choked Deep 25’s.
Last week, Palaniuk threw Deep 18s and Deep 25s enroute to a 10th-place finish in the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork, a fishery famous for its deep-dwelling monsters. And he’ll surely have both tied on in upcoming Bassmaster tournaments, especially on Kentucky Lake, a Tennessee River reservoir reknown for summer ledge fishing.
The Rattling Flat 7, Rattling Deep 10, Deep 18 and Deep 25 all feature round bills rather than square bills. Generally, round bills are more for deflecting off the bottom, whereas square bills are more for caroming off of cover.
“A round bill is more of your deeper-diving bill,” Palaniuk explains. “It’s still going to deflect off of cover really well, but the need for that square lip isn’t necessary, because generally, you’re not throwing it into super-heavy cover.”