Bass anglers are pretty darn finicky when it comes to topwater lures. Many of the older, discontinued models have cult-like followings and some fishermen won’t even consider using anything but the original. To each their own, but such a mindset will eventually cause you to miss out on some phenomenal lures over the years.
With that being said, I’m very glad I took the time to put away my tried-and-true topwater lures for a few trips in order to test the new Storm Arashi Top Walker. It was designed with the help of Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk and after speaking with him about it a few months ago, I couldn’t help but try it out for myself.
After countless casts in various bodies of water, here’s what I think you need to know about this lure.
- Intriguing sound
- Good hookup ratio
Anyone can walk it
When I take beginner anglers on guide trips, many of them have a hard time understanding how to effectively walk a topwater lure. For folks who fish a lot, it’s basically muscle memory but it can certainly be awkward for novice fishermen.
I’ve actually started using the Storm Arashi Top Walker quite frequently during my guide trips for one simple reasonâ€”it walks like an absolute dream. Unlike many other topwater lures I’ve tested, this particular lure starts walking immediately. You don’t have to twitch it a few times to “get it going”, which makes it an excellent choice when casting to schooling bass. I’m able to throw right past the surface disturbance and quickly get this lure walking directly through the strike zone with very little effort. Remember, sometimes you only have a short, five-second window to get a lure to the bass when they come up schooling.
As this lure walks across the surface, I’ve been impressed by how long its “strides” are. You can certainly speed your cadence to achieve shorter strides, but I’ve enjoyed most of my success utilizing a slow cadence to maximize its stride length and tempt the more inactive bass in an area.
Rattles sound great and increase castability
I have been conducting most of my testing with the larger Arashi Top Walker 13 and it has proven to be excellent in choppy conditions. While it does displace a lot of water throughout the retrieve, I think the rattles are the biggest reason for its effectiveness in stiff winds.
The Top Walker 13 contains seven internal rattles that create a unique blend of both clacking and rattling. You’ll find three small rattles in nose, two medium-sized rattles in the midsection and two larger rattles in the tail-section of the lure. As you’re walking it across the surface, you’ll certainly hear a distinctive “clack, clack” with each direction change, but you’ll also hear a higher-pitched rattle that sounds off with even the slightest movement of the lure.
In addition to these rattles having great tone, I also think they add a bunch of castability to the Top Walker. You can absolutely bomb this lureâ€”it loads well on the back cast and allows for insanely long casts. I’ve found it to be fairly resistant to helicoptering as well, so I have no problems casting into the wind, either.
Excellent hookup ratio
A lot of walking topwater lures tend to “roll” a great deal throughout the retrieveâ€”each time they change direction, they’ll come up on their sides for a split second. It doesn’t sound like too big of a deal, but this can make an enormous difference in your hookup ratio. Topwater fishing is a game of inchesâ€”heck, maybe even centimetersâ€”so you want your hooks to be below the lure as often as possible.
I’ve found that the Arashi Top Walker rolls very little, regardless of the aggressiveness or cadence of your retrieve. It maintains a surprisingly upright posture and keeps the hooks below itself at all times. I’ve lost a few fish on this lure, but the large majority of them have at least two hooks in their face when I get ’em into the boat.
Keeping consistent with the Arashi crankbait lineup, the Top Walker also has rotated hook hangers that are positioned perpendicular to the lureâ€”not parallel. This allows you to upsize your treble hooks without any tangling.
This is a really good walking topwater lure. Its castability is just flat-out ridiculous, it’s easy to fish and it’s totally ready to fish right when you take it out of the package. I’ve enjoyed fishing with it. I’m sure it will stay on my front deck throughout the fall season.