What's a Buzz with Reaction Innovations : Introducing the
Total Score: 7.5 -
Introduction: Buzzbaits are among the easiest, yet most thrilling lures to throw when in hot pursuit of black bass, or really, any species that are willing to bust the surface to grab a meal. When temperatures were warm enough, there was a time I'd fish the California Delta with little more than a buzzbait rig in my hand all day long. Today we take a look at one of the more progressive bait companies in the industry and their take on this tried and true favorite. Introducing the Reaction Innovations
Squeaky Dolphin Buzzbait.
||6 Color Patterns
||Brass Clacker, Hand Tied Skirts
Impressions: Reaction Innovations is well known for their provocative packaging and product names and while the
Squeaky Dolphin is packaged with none of the traditional artwork so common with their other products, the name of this buzzbait, it would seem, does have some roots in urban vernacular. Just the same, the bait itself speaks of quality through and through with a hand tied skirt, Gamakatsu hook, custom brass clacker, and an interchangeable blade.
The Field Tests: It's been a while since I've had a chance to toss a buzzbait regularly so when these baits showed up at TT HQ, I was thrilled to see them. I prefer to make as long a cast as possible with these types of baits, so to achieve this objective, I chose an eight foot long rod and Shimano DC reel to for the field tests: specifically, a generation one Dobyns Rods 805CB and a Shimano Antares DC7.
Squeaky Dolphin is
available in one size
only, 1/2 ounce.
Squeaky Dolphin is available in only one size, half an ounce, so decisions on what weight to throw are already made up for you. At this weight, most all buzzbaits are easily cast to whatever target you desire and this product is no different. The
Squeaky Dolphin sails through the air and thanks to my long casting combo, this bait sailed and sailed and sailed though attempts in fun to spool my reel were met with disappointment.
Rigged and ready to go on a Gen 1 Dobyns 805CB.
Squeaky Dolphin comes up to the surface relatively quickly though not instantly, but the real story behind this bait is the blades. As its name infers, this buzzbait has one
squeaky blade right out of the package! An added feature of this blade is the option of changing it on the fly - sort of.
The eye on
the bottom of the Squeaky Dolphin's head makes the bait resemble a squid.
The secret behind the changeable blades is also the very reason behind the blades'
squeak. If you look closely, you can see a sort of rivet in the middle of the blade right along the wire shaft. The shaft is actually threaded from this point all the way to the back of the blade. The rivet, then, is actually a two-piece,
gnarled bolt. Loosen the back piece to create a space between the two pieces, then turn them simultaneously all the way back off the shaft and the blade follows suit.
comes to the surface
but the real story
behind this bait is
The trick here is in getting either part of the two-piece,
gnarled bolt to move initially. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to get things moving, but once I did, it was fairly easy as long as I could keep in mind the threads are turned counter to the norm. As expected, with such a unique design, the
Squeaky Dolphins blades are unique to this product so if you want to swap out blades, you need to stick to the Reaction Innovations replacement parts.
The bolt that holds the blade in place is responsible for the Squeaky Dolphin's squeak.
Looking again at the gnarled bolt, or more specifically, the top half of this bolt, you can see it has a special taper with a slight overhang. This top cap of the bolt rubs against the rotating blade of the buzzbait creating that right-out of the box squawk and squeak. No need to hang this buzzbait by your car antennae on the way to the lake to break it in!
As the blade spins, the friction between it and the bolt results in instant
squeaks and squawks.
In fact, even letting the blade spin freely while running on the boat is actually discouraged by Reaction Innovations as this will cause premature wear on the bolt's cap which will in turn, change the characteristic of the blade's noise actually make the bait quieter.
And of course, the other benefit is, you can replace the blades if you so desire.
Lastly, another strategy behind the bolt or rivet's placement is make it less likely the critical juncture between the blade and the bolt becomes clogged with weeds affecting both the churning action of the blade and the noise created by the two surfaces rubbing against one another. A lot of thought went into the creation of this buzzbait!
Another look at the unique eye on the underside of the Squeaky
Next Section: A
closer look at the components