Continuing the series started with my last post, here is the 4th place in my "top 5 trout lures".
As the title suggests, it is the awesome Ito Craft Emishi 50S.
Ito Craft is one of those small Japanese manufacturers that just blows you away with the quality of their products. Whether we're talking about minnows, spoons, rods, nets or custom reel parts, everything is just top notch.
Even though the "modern day" Emishi is no longer made from balsa wood, but from plastic, it still fishes extremely well and catches tons of fish in the process!
Length - 50mm
Weight - 3,8 g
Type - Sinking
One thing that sets this lure apart from the others in my list is the "hand made" feeling to it.
The painting/foiling technique is the same as the one most accomplished Japanese lure makers use for their hand made wood minnows.
The paint patterns are simple but extremely well and cleanly executed. Quite a few colors to chose from which is also a plus.
The finish holds very well to repeated impact with the rocks and to the sharp hooks scratching against the body of the lure while playing a fish.
The treble hooks are extremely sharp and hold on to the fish very well (don't know exactly who makes these hooks, al I know is that they are custom made for Ito Craft).
I know that some people had issues with the lip of these lures breaking, but I had no problem with that, and believe me, I have put these lures through some horrible stuff!
This is one easy to work lure!
The Ito Craft Emishi flashes, darts and twitches like mad regardless if you are fishing it in a fast stream or a lake (or even saltwater for that matter).
You can totally see and feel that this lure has been refined over the time during hours and hours of testing.
Once you stop the retrieve, the lure begins to flutter on the fall, which is also a great thing when the fish are curious but less aggressive, encouraging them to bite the lure after the stop.
It casts like a bullet thanks to its heavy weight and compact body and gets quite fast to the desired depth fluttering on its way down.
But, just like the IMA Issen 45S, the down side for this lure is that it is really aggressive and flashy, and this won't work in any kind of condition. Most smaller fish get really cautious around it and it's quite rare to actually catch something small on it (not necessarily a bad thing most of the times).
Doesn't seem to work really well on high pressure waters where the fish are used to seeing lures and fishermen except when the water is still cold and the bigger fish are actively feeding.
Again, this is not an easy lure to get your hands on.
Stocks usually are quite low even in the shops that sell them on a regular basis, and the price is not necessarily small either.
There are some Japanese shops that sell them at a very decent price, but when you add the shipping cost and taxes, it's no longer as decent as it seems.
Otherwise the price for one of these lures on the European market is anywhere between 25 and 30 euros (Ouch!).
As I said, the Ito Craft Emishi 50S is one of the best trout lures out there. Not the most versatile, or the most easy to get (even if you are prepared to pay the premium price), but one of the best none the less.
With its great design and finish, with its excellent quality and mouth watering looks, this is a lure that no trout fanatic should leave out of their boxes!
With the start of the trout season slowly creeping up on us, I decided to make a list of my top 5 trout lures so far.
I will dedicate one post to each lure, and will try to post them in an order that makes sense.
Now bare in mind that this is based mostly on personal choice, style of fishing, personal results and it is strictly tied to the waters I fish here in Ireland.
That being said, I do believe that the River Dodder, for example, makes up for a perfect testing ground. It has all you could hope to encounter on a "trout water" - from shallow fast running water, to deep waters with strong currents, to flat calm almost no-flow areas. And depending on the time of the day or the time of the year, you will find fish feeding in all of these places. So I do get to test lures in a pretty wide array of conditions.
But getting back to rating lures, my number 5 is the amazing IMA Issen 45s.
IMA is best known for their seriously awesome salt water lures like the Sasuke, Komomo, Salt Skimmer (and the list goes on and on), but less known for their trout lures. But I do believe this will change quite soon judging by the success people had with the Issen or with the Sukari (the other trout lure in their catalog).
The Issen 45S comes in some jaw dropping colors (we must not forget it is an IMA lure), from very natural looking to some that look like they belong in a 70's disco. But they all have something in common - they catch fish!
So let's get to it!
Length - 45mm
Weight - 3.7g
Type - Sinking
Only a quick glance, and you'll be able to realize that this is a premium Japanese lure.
Extremely well designed and executed, with lots of details and a high quality finish.
Plenty of colors to chose from - which is also a great thing. Also the lure has a really good impact resistance so the colors will stay on the lure even after multiple bounces off rocks (which will inevitably happen on a trout river).
The IMA Issen comes equipped with high quality single barbless hooks that are extremely sharp and hold on to the fish really well.
Another thing that impresses me is that the eyes for the hooks are on a swivel, which means a better hook up rate and less chances for the trout to use leverage to pull the hooks when it's jumping and shaking around.
This is a lure that will cast great thanks to the compact and heavy body. You'll be able to make long and precise casts, and this, a lot of the times, will make the difference between catching trout or not.
The flat body will dance and flash, attracting fish from a great distance even in slightly colored water (as a matter of fact this is the first lure I'll try when the rivers are swollen and the visibility is poor).
It is really easy to work this lure, even though you'll need a rod with a bit more power on the tip, especially when fishing in stronger currents.
It has great balance in the water so you'll be able to fish it across or along the stream without worrying that the lure is not working properly.
In my opinion the only downside is that this is quite an aggressive lure, and a lot of the times, especially when the water is warmer or the fish are not very active, it will spook them out. So it is not the most versatile trout lure out there. But it does what it's designed to do and does it really well!
Now we all know that premium Japanese lures are not what you would call cheap. Neither is the IMA Issen. A trout lure that is around 20 eur in Europe cannot be considered cheap. There are loads of other great lures on the market that cost quite a bit less (even Japanese ones), but in my opinion this lure is totally worth the extra money.
Another downside is that the IMA Issen is not so easily obtainable off the European market. Even shops that are focused on selling only trout gear don't seem to have it in their stocks.
But if you are willing to shop on ebay or directly from a Japanese shop, then you will be able to get this lure quite easily and at a decent price.
The IMA Issen is a great lure to have in your fishing arsenal.
It looks great, casts great, fishes great and catches fish! What more do you need?
It is not a cheap or easy to get lure, but it is totally worth the extra effort.
Definitely a lure I would never leave at home when in search for trout!