Reaction Strike - Shimmy Shad
Author: Rob Belloni
The Shimmy Shad was Reaction Strike’s first bait and has been around since at least 2006. There are 6, 8, 10 and 12 inch versions that come in a total of nine colors. A weedless version is available that uses a wire brush guard, and all of the baits come stock with a large treble hook attached with a wire loop on the belly. The top hook looks like a Mustad UltraPoint and the bottom hook is likely Mustad as well. Retail prices are in the neighborhood of $5 to $14.
When the Shimmy Shad came out there was decent interest because more than a few people were looking for the original (out of production) Basstrix. The Shimmy Shad doesn’t have the exact Basstrix shape, but it is darn close and the lure does have the Basstrix action with a slightly head down attitude and a wobbling tail kick.
There are not many 12” soft plastic baits that can be had for less than $15 but the Shimmy Shad hits that price point. It’s nice to have a large but inexpensive bait on occasion when you want to send a bait down in to the trees or other such lure eating cover. People tell me that the mesquite bushes in Texas eat high dollar swimbaits like candy.
As I recall, the original Basstrix did not have a wire loop on the belly for a trap hook. The larger size Shimmy Shads have two, one under the chin and one near the tail. This is a nice addition for fish landing purposes. The hooks they provide are monstrous but easily replaced with smaller 4x type hooks.
I have four Shimmy Shads. When I got them I thought I might actually use them. When I tossed them in the swimming pool to check out the action, I nearly cried. All of the baits rolled in a circle at anything but the slowest speeds. I pulled the treble hooks off and it was even worse.
Why does this happen? Did I get mis-pours? Did they sit in the package and cure wrong? Were the molds just no good? Was it a bad batch of plastic? I don’t know, and really I don’t care. The baits didn’t swim and therefore have no value to me. Maybe new pours are available that swim fine, but the bottom line is that I’m getting these things just like every other Joe Consumer and this was my experience.
Someone will tell me now that I should cut a little notch by the tail, boil my bait, and add some mojo weights. Yes, if you did all this you might be able to get these lures to swim. Then again you might not. I don’t need a bait like this bad enough to spend the time to do it.
What else is there to say… A decent trout pattern would be nice. The trout color they sell has giant black spots and looks fairly ridiculous. While the baits are rigged for musky and striper with a massive super strong treble on the belly, it wouldn’t break my heart just to see a 4x Gamakatsu down there or some type of smaller, sharper hook. With a lure that is barely thicker than your finger, you don’t need hooks with huge gaps in them. You’ll hook and land just as many – if not more – with a hook half the size.
This could have been a decent substitute for the original Basstrix. With a little refining of the manufacturing and packaging process it might turn out to be. Meanwhile if you bought baits like mine I’d be thinking about melting them down in to some plastic worms or senko clones.