After a day of prefishing in late May for a Bassmaster Open on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake, one of the tour’s up-and-coming bass pros was eager to talk about a crankbait he used on his way to finishing 14th this year in this year’s Bassmaster Classic.
The crankbait was very, very similar to a model Brandon Palaniuk used successfully and gave quite a bit of notoriety to in a Bassmaster event in 2013. That’s because it was the same crankbait — with a distinctive difference, one you can hear as it vibrates through the water.
Palaniuk, the 26-year-old phenom from Idaho, threw a Storm Arashi Rattling Square 3 on the final day of the Classic on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. He weighed five bass for 16 pounds, 13 ounces pounds that day and finished with 54 pounds, 6 ounces to win $14,000.
“The last day I caught them on the rattling version of the Square 3, a red craw,” the fourth-year bass pro said a few weeks ago as he warmed up to one of his favorite subjects — a crankbait he helped develop.
“It’s a crankbait just a little bit different than anything on the market right now. Its features sets it apart,” he said.
It’s just what the doctor — er, bass fishermen of all skill levels — ordered after Storm introduced the Storm Arashi Silent Squares a year ago.
It was unleashed at ICAST 2013, and Palaniuk did it proud at the Bassmaster tournament on the Mississippi River in LaCrosse, Wisc.
But Palaniuk wanted to add sound to the arsenal. He was instrumental in the making of a noisy Arashi, which means storm in Japanese. The Rattling Square 3 and the Rattling Square 5 were born, with the numbers indicating the depth they dive.
“We know the silent version already catches fish. So when guys want a little bit more sound, now we have that option,” he said.
The Rattling Square models feature a multi-ball rattle system. When the water’s dirtier, bass can pick up the noisier version by the sound and vibration.
For sure, Palaniuk said, water clarity determines which Storm crankbait he ties on the business end of his fishing line.
“That’s why we wanted the rattling version, to be able to better adapt to whatever the current conditions are,” he said. “You may want the same bait — because the action of it is phenomenal — but you just may want a little bit more of a presence to it.
“So the rattling allows you to do that.”
The features he touted are proven pluses for the crankbait.
Its armament makes him confident that if a bass slaps at it, the bass will get caught because of rotated hook hangars that accommodate larger treble hooks. The Arashi Rattling Square 3, which is 2 1/8 inches long, comes out of the box with two No. 4 Premium Black Nickel VMC treble hooks while the Arashi Rattling Square 5, which is 2 5/8 inches long, comes standard with two No. 2 Premium Black Nickel VMC treble hooks.
“In our tournaments, one fish can make a difference,” he said.
Perhaps the most-integral feature, as far as he is concerned, is the intricately built, patent-pending self-tuning line tie that corrects the crankbait’s retrieve no matter what.
“The self-tuning line tie allows the bait to get back on track quicker after deflecting off of cover than a conventional shallow-diving crankbait,” Palaniuk said.
He had a first-hand experience with that feature when he fished on the Mississippi River. He realized after a while why he was getting bites while others on the same pattern weren’t.
“I was fishing fast current. The fish were behind rocks. (The lure) would hit the rocks and bounce off, like a normal crank bait. But the self-tuning line tie would kick in and bring it right back and get a reaction strike from the fish,” Palaniuk said.
A sturdy, square circuit board lip has a premium finish that goes with the rest of the crankbait, which is built to withstand repeated contact with cover.
“Anytime you’re throwing a crankbait, especially a shallow-water crankbait, you want to be deflecting that bait off of cover,” he said. “So you need to have a bait that is able to handle that abuse.
“And that’s where the circuit board lip and the premium finishes come into play. The circuit board lip keeps the bait on track at any speed.”
Both Rattling Square models are available in 12 color patterns: hot blue shad, bluegill, baby bass, crappie, blue back herring, wakasagi, rusty craw, mossy chartreuse craw, red craw, hot chartreuse, parrot and black silver shad.
But there’s more to the new Storm Arashi Rattling Square 3 and Square 5 than noise, great hooks, a self-tuning tie, etc.
“It’s got quite a pronounced wobble and a pretty good roll to it,” Palaniuk said, noting the Rattling Square models have large heads that extrends to thin, sharp tails, plus they are ultra-bouyant, which allow them to back off cover to practically eliminate hang-ups.
For more information on the Storm Arashi Square 3 and Square 5 crank baits and other artificial lures, call 952-933-7060 or go to www.stormlures.com.