Up Close with
One of Japanís Most Respected Lure Designers - DUO's Masahiro Adachi
During an era when many Japanese companies are outsourcing beyond their
boarders, your DUO Realis brand is completely developed and made in Japan. From
innovation- design and prototype development to manufacturing, DUO Realis
remains completely a vertical JDM company. Why in your opinion, is this getting
more difficult to maintain for other makers?
I believe itís simply a cost issue. Labor costs are expensive in Japan and I
believe most managing executives could only see the short term profits. I don't
necessarily think that products made in China or other low cost nations are bad.
On the other hand, if it benefits the users, then I am all for it. However, in
order to produce a highly effective lure that not only catches fish, but also
captures the anglerís hearts, I believe that it is in the best interest for the
users if we made the lures in our in-house factory under our control.
Masahiro Adachi still designs
lures by hand
It is understood some of your prototypes require up to 3 years before releasing.
We know this can be an expensive process. Is this type commitment dedicated to
all your DUO Realis lures?
We made a commitment that no lure would reach production until we confident it
achieved its purpose completely. This depends on the lure. For new projects,
there are times where it takes longer than 3 years. Even with simple adaptations
(maybe the slight in profile) it could extend beyond a year. This always takes
time and also prevents us from joining in on the race to produce lures which are
simply "popular" in a certain give time. I am managing this company with a long
term vision so time and cost are factors I have to live with. I must say though,
my style has given a big headache to the sales team. Lol.
We know some of your lure development is confidential as you continue to push
innovation and even technology but can you share a little about your lure
Yes, they are mostly hand made. Itís a little difficult to explain in writing so
please take a look at our production process on YouTube.
A massive smallmouth choking down
an Onimasu swimbait
DUO set the world on fire by introducing Spybaiting (an amazing technique). The
technique is deadly. We are seeing top pros on both BASSMASTER Elite Series and
the FLW Tour using the technique all over the country. Are you experiencing this
utilization in other countries?
technique has proved itself globally on many target species. As you know, itís
not only effective in Bass fishing but has been outstanding in producing various
other species. The only problem is that anglers tend to keep such productive
fishing secret. I personally understand this secrecy in anglers, but please
share this technique with others. It is a unique and educational presentation
teaching anglers lure precise lure placement.
Like drop shotting it is becoming a strategic presentation in professional
angling. And like you mentioned earlier, it is also effective on other species
from crappie, walleye to giant trout. What do believe are the factors for its
huge success with other species.
experience, the rolling action of a lure is vital for those fish that are on
the verge of biting or even reluctant to bite. There are many other
double propeller screw-baits on the market which are similar to our SpinBait,
however, the reason for its outstanding catch rate compared to the others is its
swimming posture and its rolling action. It goes without saying that there are
times where a lure without the roll is more productive, but overall, the rolling
action will increase the chance for a bite. This lure is the result of our long
testing in the tough lakes like the famous Lake Biwa in Japan against the clever
bass, so we are confident of its performance.
In 2014, the ďsecretĒ broke at the BASS Northern Open (St. Clair) where 2 of the
top 6 pros had tremendous success using the finesse technique. It didnít stop
there. The pro anglers that placed 9th, 10th, 12th
and 14th where using it. In addition, the Co-Angler champion of that
event won on the technique. Finally, the B.A.S.S. Northern- Open- Co-Angler
Angler Of The Year credited Spybaiting for his year-long success. And in 2015
BASS Open on Lake Erie a Co-Angler reported finishing 3rd using the
technique. This has to be a compliment to you and your organization?
We have great respect towards the American market, anglers and the fishing
grounds. Many Japanese companies who have been doing business in the US say its
OK to wear a T-shirt and Jeans to work or meetings..... I think otherwise.
The reason we wear suits at ICAST and the BMC is for this reason, the respect
towards your country and people. It is a great honor that our lure is performing
well in the tournament scene in America.
Masahiro Adachi hints at upcoming
new deep diving crankbait models that may soon follow the G87
It is evident your company takes lure development seriously. We recently
reviewed the G87 deep crankbait. What was your goal in developing such a lure?
There are many
lure manufacturers around the world and countless designers who work in
those companies. I know there are many designers out there who simply chase what
is "in" or "popular" and have a tendency to pump out thin and meaningless
products in a very short span. They might not have had a choice business wise,
but personally, I don't think thatís acceptable. They need to do some "proper
development". I would personally like to tell them this, but I don't think
that's going to happen so I simply send my message through the products I
cranking lures on the market don't actually get down to the specified depth or
require anglers to use thin line. Is this acceptable? A 10lb bass may attack
your lure 6m down, but anglers are limited to use 8lb line.... We are not
competing against each other to get a lure down deep, are we? We want anglers to
catch fish. To be honest, the G87-20 is at 80% of my ideals. Yes, anglers will
be able to catch fish with the current model diving down to the 6 meter mark,
but in reality, I can get the lure to dive deeper with a lighter drag. For a G80
model, it is possible to get it to dive down to 25ft and a G90 body will be able
to get down to 30ft of water.
The Onimasu is the first swimbait
to be born from DUO's Prometheus Project
We also recently reviewed your new Onimasu swimbait. In your own words can you
tell us about your Prometheus Project? What is the premise of the project?
Many people have this Prometheus project a little confused, so I would like to
take this opportunity to clarify things. The concept of this
Prometheus project is to scientifically analyze the biology of the baitfish.
Especially its fleeing movement when chased by a fish eater and how they switch
from normal to fleeing mode. Our objective is to replicate the bait-fishís
biology with the state of the art processing technology and printing technology.
Many tend to have this project confused as a big-bait line up, but the concept
is beyond size and color. Itís the "element" we give the lure. Many lure
manufacturers obviously focus on the lures looks and action. We want our lures
to be equipped with other elements of the baitfish. This element might be smell
or the most subtle sound the fish makes. I cannot give away all the trade
secrets at this stage as we are conducting a collaborative study with one of the
University of Fisheries in Japan.
Masahiro Adachi showing Cal a
prototype Onimasu at ICAST 2015, the brand continues to gain popularity in the
Is there anything DUO can share in the way of innovation or future lure
development that the USA maybe able to look forward to seeing?
There are various Japanese lure manufacturers who are attempting to enter the
American market with lures designed for the Japanese bass. Although, Japan has
several big impoundments with trophy bass, the North America is more diverse
geographically. North America offers the species more in the way of forage,
vegetation, topography, and climate.
In my opinion,
this is not a "totally" wrong approach as we are all chasing the same biological
species. However, there is a major difference in the style of fishing, size of
the field, ratio between boat and anglers and land-based anglers. At DUO we
consider and assess these difference in product development. We deeply invest in
research and development although it is very, very costly. The serious bass
anglers in North America can look forward to continued innovation and very
let your readers know we greatly appreciate their trust in our lures and
We would like to thank Mr. Adachi for the inside look at DUO