Saturday, January 30, 2016

IMA Issen 45S - lure review

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.

Bottom line

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!