Maybe one of the wildest soft plastic creations to hit the fishing tackle retail market in recent memory, the OSP Saikoro “Dice” Rubber soft baits (buy here and here) definitely grab your attention and likely simultaneously have you scratching your head at the same time. Afterall, you are looking at a square piece of soft plastic roughly the same size as a dice with multiple strands of silicone pulled through every side.
I fished the dice baits all through the spring from prespawn to well into post spawn and have been somewhat floored by how effective they were at catching all manners of fish shallow. I think I now understand the “escape” premise that this bait is based on. Let me give you a brief background on the bait’s origins, current status and then what you can do with it to catch a bunch of bass in clear water and even dingy water alike.
A BRIEF HISTORY ON SAIKORO “DICE” RUBBER
Dice Rubber became known when OSP pro staffer Yuki Minemura who was doing well in tournaments in the Kanto region of Japan got on stage and talked about how awesome his Saikoro bait from Field Side was. Problem was Field Side quickly was overwhelmed with orders, and as the baits were handmade and very slow to produce, the Dice Rubber creator, Hideaki Tabuchi was struggling to keep up with demand. Minemura really wanted to share this unique bait with more anglers and through a collaboration was able to get OSP to mass produce the smaller version of the baits that Minemura was throwing the most with Tabuchi’s blessing.
The baits, however, are still fairly difficult and manual to produce so demand is still greatly exceeding capacity and supply right now. OSP has had a few drops stateside this spring on retailers like TheHookUpTackle.com and now Tacklewarehouse.com as well as Japanese retailers online overseas. There is a limited amount available at Tackle Warehouse right now, but they won’t last long even at their pricey high demand ask.
THE OBVIOUS AND NOT SO OBVIOUS APPEAL
The premise behind the Dice Rubber is not centered around its wild looks, although that undoubtedly has appeal to bass used to feeding on crustaceans and invertebrates in the water. Rather, the appeal of these baits is how the appendages create a tremendous amount of drag in the water. When the bait is allowed to sink and then pulled away, a ton of water displacement is what draws the bass’ interest.
This “escape” vortex is created when the bait pushes such a large amount of water for it’s small size and then reflexive “opening” when you stop your pull and the bait begins to slowly fall back to the bottom. So it has almost a crawfish appeal where the bait collapses, pushes a bunch of water when it scoots off, but then opens up and flares and falls weightlessly back to the bottom when it stops.
This lively action gives the bait an ultra-realistic attraction even thought it probably doesn’t look just like anything the fish have seen in the water. But all of that together makes these baits seem alive in the water.
THE SPECS ON DICE RUBBER
The original Field Side baits are offered in a few different sizes. I was able to pick up a few this spring at the Bassmaster Classic in the Fulks Custom Baits booth. Mine were the larger size. OSP is making one of the smaller sizes with their Saikoro (which means dice in Japanese) “Dice” Rubber soft baits. They come in a multitude of colors. Each bait is roughly a 1/2-inch square with 3-inch legs coming out of every side. The baits weigh around 1/16 ounce for the Non Salt version and a bit more for the salted version. The Max Salt version is simply to get the baits a little deeper, but I’ll talk about that a bit more in-depth in my fishing experiences.
FISHING EXPERIENCES WITH DICE RUBBER
So I started using the Dice Rubber samples I got at the BASSMASTER CLASSIC in March as well as the samples OSP sent me right after the event. So I had the baits when the fish started coming shallow in the prespawn and got up on the banks cruising in April. I was able to catch both largemouth and smallmouth that I saw with the Dice Rubber. I would cast it ahead of the fish and when it got near their level I would give it a hard pull.
When I watched my bait on Garmin Livescope I was fascinated by what I saw. Literally the biggest bubble trail I’ve ever seen on a lure, showed up on that initial hard pull. I didn’t jerk the bait wildly. Just a pretty hard steady pull to raise the bait up, and displace maximum water. You could see the fish both with your eyes and on the screen react to that initial pull. As I later found out, that’s the key to being effective with this lure.
Fast forward to the spawn and I was targeting fish again on beds I could see as well as targets I could see on Livescope. I would pitch the bait or short cast it to my target and let the bait sink slowly down to the level of the fish and then give it a short pull to get that water displacement. Almost every bite came on that first movement after the fall. Some fish bit on the fall, but most of my bites on this bait come after that first move.
I really believe it’s because the fish feel all of the water displacement and see the bubbles coming off that are trapped by the 24 separate legs.
I had an absolute ball catching bass on the Dice Rubber this spring and I believe it’s going to be a dynamite shallow bait again in the late summer and fall when the fish come back shallow after their deep summer feeding period. We’ve talked about this new iteration of plastics with silicone strands in previous articles.
IDEAL DICE RUBBER SETUP
I started out fishing the OSP Saikoro Rubber soft baits on bait finesse casting setups. But I ended up switching to a combination of bait finesse and spinning. With the spinning setup, I could skip them a little bit under some branches and overhangs. So I like the spinning setup for this technique quite a bit. I like the added sensitivity of bait finesse for light techniques like this. But the bait is very wind resistant and makes casting it any distance a challenge at times with BFS.
I also settled on a No. 1 BKK DSS hook. I played around with wacky rig hooks and neko hooks. But I liked the drop shot hook for most weedless presentation, and I ended up later in the spring, pinching off a small nail weight. You could put the nail weight in the bottom of the Dice Rubber and nose hook on the DSS hook for a weedless rig that got great hookups much like a drop shot on spinning tackle.
What was really impressive was I was able to catch bluegill, crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, sauger and even a couple catfish on this bait. It smells alive, looks alive and acts alive. And I was maybe most surprised that one bait caught a lot of fish. OSP formulated their plastic to be a little more durable than the original formula and one bait catches a bunch of fish and I never lost one. That might have been a fluke but I was maybe most concerned that I Was going to go through a bag in half a day and at these prices that would not have been very cost efficient. But I was impressed they did so well, held up so well and stayed on my hook so well fish after fish.
Well that’s my two cents on the OSP Saikoro Dice Rubber soft baits. I am always interested in new tackle that is a little different but has a really neat application. So if you get a chance to play around the Dice Rubber system, I think you will find it’s a lot of fun for fishing for tough pressured fish in clear water that also works in stained water equally well.
You can find the OSP Saikoro “Dice” Rubber soft baits at online retailers like: