Hard Baits

Jenko Fishing Shinobi Shad Review

Jason Sealock

There are many new spy bait options on the market since DUO released the original Spinbait back in 2013. But thus far, all have been created for bass fishing, specifically targeting smallmouth bass in clear water. Jenko created the new Shinobi Shad to give crappie anglers a very unique new option for crappie fishing. It's smaller and more like a crappie minnow than other spy baits on the market that seem to resemble smelt more than shad. Here's what you need to know on these new spy baits for bass and crappie.

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Most unique colors

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Jason Sealock
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Because the Shinobi Shad was designed for crappie, it comes in colors seldom seen in other spy baits. This is good news for crappie and bass anglers alike as we often find that purple and chartreuse really trip the triggers of smallmouth bass up north. And we already know how deadly color options like pink, orange and chartreuse can be on crappie in varying water clarities.

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Great small bait profile

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Jason Sealock
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The Shinobi Shad is barely 2 inches and weighs 1/4 ounce. So it's also a bit lighter than most of spy baits on the market. That means you have to consider what tackle you fish it on. Remember it's a finesse technique intended for crappie. But you can employ it for bass given certain considerations. 

I found you have to work this bait slower than heavier spy baits. And it helps if you use smaller diameter line so it doesn't lift or try to turn on its side. So I recommend 4-pound line for the Shinobi Shad. You could move up to 6-pound line but you reel it a bit slower and fish it in shallower water. 

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The right size

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Jason Sealock
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I think its size makes it a great option for fishing shallow clear water, where forage is often smaller. I think this could be a dynamite bait for throwing at bass you can see as well as crappie around shallow cover like weed bed edges and docks. 

But I've found it works great around rip rap, an obvious form of shallow cover that holds both bass and crappie throughout the year. That's where I've caught most of my fish on it thus far. I am anxious to see how this bait does in the winter in the same places I like to jerkbait when the shad are dying. It's going to match the shad well. The Addiction and Tennessee Shad colors are going to be good choices as well as the staple Pro Blue.

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Crappie and bass options

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Jason Sealock
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I like having loud bold colors and very natural prism colors in the line up. Gives you a lot of options for bass and crappie in a variety of water conditions. Sometimes a hot color like Chartreuse can work better on dark shady banks, late in the evening and early in the morning more than a really natural transparent color will.

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Ideal new option for crappie

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Jason Sealock
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I've already caught several crappie on the Shinobi Shad fishing it on 4 pound line casting to brush in 6-8 feet of water and on the edges of docks and rip rap. I'm anxious to try it in a few more scenarios as well. I've already heard guys have had success pushing them like jigs on long poles over brush. I think they could be neat baits for casting to fish you see on Panoptix or Livesight as well. 

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And already producing some nice smallies

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Jason Sealock
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I've caught a few nice smallmouth already on Shinobi Shad even though I've only had them for about a month. I have found that if you reel it too fast it will try to ride up on its side. You have to reel it slowly on light line to get the most action out of it. Its shape coupled with only weighing 1/4 ounce limits your retrieve somewhat. 

But all in all, I'm happy with having another option for spy bait fishing specifically for crappie. You can find the Shinobi Shad at TackleWarehouse.com in 10 colors.