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Lure Review

Just what the Doctor Ordered, flexible spinnerbaits from Ko-Man-Chi


Once a fish attacks the bait the strike is also registers a little differently, strikes feel slightly subdued, possibly because the wire is absorbing some of the initial impact. Here is where the flexible design adds value, unlike normal wire based blades the flexible arm design allows free movement all around so that fish cannot use a hard wire as leverage to shake the bait. This makes it possible for the bait to make constant adjustments no matter which direction the fish decides to run or head shake. I found this design particularly effective at keeping those fish that broke the surface of the water pinned on. Overall the lures, while somewhat bizarre looking, absolutely worked in the field. Not only did fish readily strike the bait but they also stayed solidly hooked on throughout our tests. Using quality hooks does help though, and the various hooks employed by Ko-Man-Chi all got the job done nicely. the one thing that we would like to see are the spinnerbaits available in some heavier weights for those applications where you really want to get down and into structure quickly.


Because the bait is flexible it can easily collapse within a fish's mouth helping deliver better hooksets in what normally might be short strikes. This design also helps compensate for fish using the wire as leverage to shake the hook during the fight


Durability: The Ko-Man-Chi spinnerbaits also exhibited excellent durability overall. These baits can take a ton of punishment. The flexible wire design prevents fish from bending out or snapping wires and while the metal tube can bend slightly it would take a Peacock Bass to really do any damage to it. The head also holds up well and because there is no real paint pattern to scratch or flake off the only thing we noticed was scrapes from rocks on the metal finish, none of which altered the performance of the bait at all. The Sampo swivels used in the platinum and Tournament series lures are excellent and help the blades spin up quickly the second the bait is retrieved. 


Ko-Man-Chi makes use of high quality ball bearing swivels from Sampo and Worth


Price & Applications: Initially I wondered if that larger diameter tube on the front of the bait would turn off fish from striking but during our tests fish readily committed to the bait. While all of the Ko-Man-Chi baits perform similarly the differences previously mentioned include the hook and swivel type. Prices range from $8-12.50 each for the Tournament and Platinum series and depending configuration. These baits are also still somewhat hard to come by and while they can be purchased at local retailers in Quebec the best place to get them is direct from Ko-Man-Chiís own EBay store or to place a custom order. Dr. Spinnerbait lures can be customized with a wide variety of patterns and configurations, simply describe what you are looking for to the Ko-Man-Chi team and they will likely be able to match the hatch for you.


One of Ko-Man-Chi's custom baits is a combination of a jig and a spinnerbait


Customization is a major factor for Ko-Man-Chi and Robert routinely does custom builds for anglers. I tried a number of prototypes that all exhibited a unique action and change the way anglers can address different situations. For example one of his custom designs has no skirt at all. Instead it has a swimbait hook that allows anglers to add their own paddletail or tube bait to the lure. Ko-Man-Chi isnít just solely about spinnerbaits either and has their own line of plastics which includes everything from worms and tubes to grubs and brush hog styled baits.


Another custom is designed to allow anglers to add a swimbait tail 


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Ko-Man-Chi Dr. Spinnerbait Platinum Series Spinnerbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Ko-Man-Chi spinnerbaits are built with high quality components and the construction of this flexible wire design is very good as is the head even though it isn't painted with a particular pattern 9
Performance Though I initially wondered just how effective the bait would be it proved to be good at both slow rolling and burning retrieves. The added vibration this blade puts out makes sense for murky water conditions as does the shiny he which puts out extra flash 8.5
Price The Ko-Man-Chi blades are more expensive than your average spinnerbait but inline with premium spinnerbaits, and there is the fact that these blades are quite unlike traditional blades, thus we rated the product as "good" in this category 7
Features As feature rich as spinnerbaits go. this blade takes a new approach to flexible wire design and succeeds 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Just as easy to fish as a traditional spinnerbait 8
Application The Ko-Man-Chi spinnerbaits are goof wherever traditional spinnerbaits are utilized and also seem to do well both when moving quickly or slow rolled. This bait holds up to largemouth bass quite easily and moving forward we would love to test it on other species as well but for now we can certainly recommend this blade for largemouth. What we would like to see is some heavier weights for getting own deep really quickly. 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Innovative design, not just another me-too spinnerbait - More expensive than your average spinnerbait
+ Puts out added vibration - Not yet available in heavier weights
+ Flexible wire design helps keep fish pinned  
+ Can be both burned or slow rolled effectively  
+ Ko-Man-Chi is willing to do very custom orders for anglers  


Conclusion: When anglers start fishing lures one of the most commonly selected baits are spinnerbaits. These simple baits are easy to fish, wonít snag up, can be used at a variety of depths in a wide range of conditions and donít usually require an aggressive set to stick fish. The same basic formula regarding spinnerbaits hasnít changed for years. Perhaps the bait market is becoming saturated, or pressure from competition is driving innovation, whatever the case we have seen a number of intriguing new designs from manufacturers which make the lures more realistic, or in the case of the Ko-Man-Chi Dr. Spinnerbaits address a number of issues including creating added vibration, a more realistic compact proper profile in the water as well as help keeping fish pinned once they are hooked.


The Ko-Man-Chi spinnerbaits put out plenty of fish attracting vibration and flash, and once fish strike the flexible wire design helps keep them pinned on

The Dr. Spinnerbait series of new blades are shrewdly designed and give anglers something new, something fish havenít quite seen before. This is a lure that both beginner fishermen and experienced blade anglers can both appreciate. Ko-Man-Chi has a cool design on their hands and these baits are not only fun to fish but proved effective at drawing strikes from fish in both shallow and deeper water when slow rolling or on a brisk retrieve. With a ďout of the boxĒ design the Dr. Spinnerbait series of flexible spinnerbaits are a worthy recipient of our Innovation Award, hopefully we will see more of these baits stateside soon.

Looking for Ko-Man-Chi Spinnerbaits? Try the company's website










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