Make no mistake about it, the Monster Reel’N’Shad is a monstrous swim bait — one Mann’s Bait Co. proudly introduced to the market in January.
The latest in the artificial lure manufacturer’s Reel’N’Shad series provides just more than 9 inches of pulsating, swimming action from a durable soft plastic that doesn’t have a paddletail or extra hardware to make it swim realistically.
Its patent-pending design is unique and triggers bites from bass, redfish, stripers, lemonfish and even tarpon.
Mann’s Bait’s Director of Operations Mike McPherson has been with the new product every step of the way, and like Mann’s Regional Sales Manager Scott Wall he is touting the new swim bait as a breakthrough in bass fishing tackle, no matter the skill level of the angler.
And Bassmaster Elite angler Paul Elias is counting on it paying dividends on the tour in 2016. The 64-year-old Laurel, Miss., angler tried it out in December and caught redfish in the Venice area and bass the following day at one of his favorite lakes back home.
Elias and McPherson said they believe the lure will be a hit. Big bass at Toledo Bend and Lake Sam Rayburn should fall hard for it, Elias said.
“I’d like to think it’s going to get out there. The Monster came out too late for the fall fishing season, but it should be a great spring with it,” McPherson said.
It’s unlike other oversized soft-plastic swim baits, he said, because other models “have a big paddletail and the only thing moving is the tail.”
The Monster’s slot design is a special feature that allows water to move through the lure to create a realistic baitfish swimming motion.
The width and stiffness of the body on either side of the slot makes the bait undulate in the water.
In other words, Mann’s Monster Reel’N’Shad does all the work.
“It was created to emulate a baitfish without having to jerk it, pause it or stop it,” McPherson said. “Kind of KISS (keep it simple stupid). We try to make a bait where the guy doesn’t have to be an expert.”
He said the brainchild behind the new offering is Florida’s Ron Walter, who told company officials that if they could make the Alabama rig fly, they could accomplish anything, including his idea for a monster-sized swim bait.
He sent a video of his idea.
“Not everybody’s idea is as creative as others. (But) this was shazam!” McPherson said. “I expanded on the original idea, (and) changed things around so it could use a unique jighead.”
It took about a year to get the lure on the market.
“We were able to create something that looks like it’s going to be very functional in every size and color,” McPherson said. “We can make it swim naturally in the water. We make it less expensive and more natural.”
A 7-inch model is in the works, he explained.
Elias got his hands on the largest model last year and liked what he saw.
“I think it’s an awesome bait,” the touring bass pro said. “I’ve tested it in saltwater and freshwater: The results are amazing. The action is unbelievable.
“It’s going to be a really good bait for Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn, a good bait for swimming over the top of the grass. It’s going to be really good.”
The lure is, befitting its name, monstrous. Looking at the swim bait’s length or even reading about it, the question begs: Is it too big for bass fishing?
Definitely not, Elias said.
The freshwater model comes with a specially designed 7/16-ounce 8/0 Mustad EW hook that screws into the Monster Reel’N’Shad, he said.
The saltwater model has a similar hook with two good “grabbers” on the specially designed leadhead to hold the large soft plastic firmly in place, he added.
That freshwater hook is made for the soft plastic to “slide right on up and hold, so it looks natural,” Elias said.
And reds can’t stay off the lure.
“I tested it on redfish; I really had a good day and they weren’t biting that good,” Elias said. “I caught big ones, little ones and medium ones.”
The angler and a videographer went to the east side of the Mississippi River and fished the lure in the Redfish Point area.
Elias caught the biggest redfish of his life on a black/purple model. He also caught redfish on silver/bone and pink/pearl color combinations, he said.
Elias returned to his home state the next day and took the Monster Reel’N’Shad out for a test drive at Lake Eddins, a private lake managed for trophy bass.
He caught a 6-pounder, among others, on a pearl/shimmer version of the lure.
The lure isn’t just productive: It’s also durable, allowing Elias to catch three redfish before he had to switch baits.
The freshwater model probably will last longer because of the way the hook screws into the head of the soft plastic, he said.
The soft plastic is made with three main ingredients — PVC resin, DINP and light oil, according to McPherson.
Go to mannsbait.com or call 800-841-8436 for more information.