Banging big squarebill crankbaits through thick cover is an excellent way to catch fall bass. As the shad infiltrate the creeks, laydowns and grass lines become prime ambush spots for hungry bass, making shad-imitation lures a must-have for the autumn months.
I’ve been relying on the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill in heavy cover situations this fall and I have been more than impressed by its design and fishability. I’m a diehard crankbait angler and it’s been a while since a squarebill has caught my eye, but I plan on making the Arashi a staple in my crankbait box this year.
Runs true at every speed
When the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill first hit the market, I was hearing rave reviews about its self-tuning line tie. After getting a chance to fish with it for a few weeks, I can tell you that the hype is well-deserved.
The self-tuning line tie gives it a free range of motion that consistently keeps the crankbait running straight regardless of your retrieve speed. I love to burn a crankbait to elicit reaction strikes and this is an outstanding crankbait to do it with. I put it on a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel and cranked it as fast and as hard as I possibly could and the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill will not—I repeat—will not kick out and helicopter at any point in the retrieve. This has proved effective in schooling situations and also on high-pressure days when you need to force the bass the react quickly.
When retrieved slowly, the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill has a very wide wobble and runs nose-down. I’ve used this retrieve when fishing around shallow bream with a lot of success and again—it runs totally straight regardless of what it collides with. When you bang it against a piece of cover, it momentarily kicks out and comes right back to its path within a few reel cranks.
A lot of anglers utilize balsa wood crankbaits when fishing around shallow cover. When a balsa lure hits something, it floats to the surface quickly, allowing you to continue your retrieve while maintaining a natural presentation. The Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill is as buoyant as many balsa crankbaits I’ve fished with.
When you’re burning this crankbait over laydowns or around stumps, it’s extremely difficult to get snagged. If you slightly decrease your retrieve speed upon coming into contact with any type of cover, the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill will crawl over the cover—it’s somewhat of a four-wheel drive crankbait.
The high buoyancy of this crankbait also makes it easy to fish in ultra-shallow water. I’ve been doing the bulk of my damage with the 03 series which dives to the 3-foot mark, but have actually been casting it into 1 to 2 feet of water. If you keep your rod tip high and slow your retrieve, the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill will bulge underneath the surface and create a bunch of commotion. Even if you’re around gnarly laydowns, this crankbait will usually come through them unscathed.
The Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill has a circuit board lip in order to give it a more erratic “hunting” action on the retrieve. Some crankbaits that feature this type of bill design are quite fragile around the thick stuff, but that hasn’t been the case with this one.
I’ve paralleled a lot of riprap with this crankbait and the bill has stayed perfectly intact—no chips, no separation from the body and no cracking whatsoever. The whole point of a squarebill crankbait is to slam it into everything possible and the Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill has allowed me to do that without worry.
In addition to the bill’s durability, the body and paint scheme of this crankbait is also durable. I’ve been using the same one for weeks and there are no visible signs of hook rash or any other cosmetic damage.
Sharp hooks that stay close to the body
The Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill comes with premium black nickel VMC treble hooks and I still haven’t had to change them. They come out of the box sticky and they stay sticky for quite some time. I’ve been having to somewhat “force” a crankbait bite lately in my area, so I’ve caught a lot of cheek-hooked bass with this crankbait and haven’t lost one yet.
The hook hangers on this crankbait are also rotated 90-degrees. It may sound like technical nonsense to some, but this design keeps the hooks close to the body, which has reduced my hang-ups around heavy cover. In addition, the extra space this design creates allows for larger, after-market hooks if you so desire.
A lot of bulky squarebills tend to catch a lot of wind, resulting in a wounded duck-type cast. Not only will this decrease your casting distance, but it also twists your line and causes line management issues throughout the day.
This crankbait is indeed bulky, but it casts straight and keeps a straight trajectory in the air, increasing both casting distance and accuracy. Even in windy conditions it’s a pleasure to cast.
If you’re a crankbait junkie like me, I recommend getting your hands on a few of these lures. They’re priced at $8.99 and will last you for a long time to come.