Author: Rob Belloni
The Deps Highsider has been around since at least early 2008 – which is when I first heard about the bait and saw that some were becoming available in the US. Deps is not a huge name here but has become known for the Buzzjet and the Barinsky Frog. The Highsider is a pure wakebait, weighing 2.4oz and measuring 6 and ¾” long. With the feathered tail, it fishes more like an 8” lure. The hardware and hooks are premium – brand unknown. There’s no reason to replace anything on this lure. There are at least 12 Japan colors and it appears that there are four in the US.
My experience with Deps products has been that they are high quality, consistent out of the package, and run true. The Highsider was no exception. My bait was flawless to the smallest detail. The finishes are realistic like a photo finish, but more polished on the edges with no weird transitions in color from the sides to the joints. The Real Bluegill and Real Bass patterns live up to their names, and if you check out the color chart on the Japan site you’ll see some killer striper and trout patterns as well.
The Highsider runs on the surface and is a wake bait in the true sense. You can crank it down a foot or two if you force the issue but the natural action is slow and steady on top. It’s not a fish action, but more of a snake action. Does this matter? Hard to say. With wake baits I’ve often felt like fish are honing in on the disturbance and correlating what they feel and hear with what they are expecting. This is why one individual wake bait can be so much better than a similar one.
Does the Deps Highsider have the magical fish-catching qualities to stand the test of time? It’s hard to say, but I have heard generally good reports. I’m not hearing about huge fish on the Highsider, but I’m hearing about enough quality fish to tell me that this is a lure that works. This could be a strong tournament option when you’re looking for those 4-9lbers on a surface bite.
I mention the tournament thing because the hook setup is just right for short striking fish and for putting the hooks to the smaller bites that often matter in tournament situations. You might also consider other tails for the lure, for example removing the rear hook and gluing on a Triple Trout tail – then replacing the hook could give a unique action. There’s room for experimentation here.
Square or rectangular bills are a favorite of mine because they come through cover and around wood with ease, and they give you side to side action - not rolling action. The Highsider bill will hang up a little more than say an MS Slammer because the bill is angled out (not straight down) but you'll still be able to bump around the willow bushes with this one without much difficulty..
That I can’t get the cool Japanese colors from TW? That the tail feather colors don't match that great with the bodies? There's no major flaws with this lure. The baits are $46, which is quite average when compared to competing lures and they should last a good long while.
Overall this is just a solid, medium-small sized wake bait with a great finish, great hardware and a nice waking action. I like Deps products. Check it out – see what you think.