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Lure Review


Drive bass crazy with Strike Pro's alluring Finesse Walking Stick
 

Date: 12/11/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Strike Pro USA
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.83

Introduction: Walking-the-dog with a stick bait is one of the best ways to entice fish to commit to a topwater strike. We had the opportunity to tow a Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick on the line to see just how well this new lure performs on the surface for multiple species of fish.

 

Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick 85 Specifications

Type Stick bait
Class Top water
Material Plastic
Colors/Patterns 10 available
Size 3 5/16" (5/16oz)
Hook sizes #6
Price $5.97

   
Impressions: Having fished many top water techniques throughout my career, a stick bait has always been one of the techniques I hold close to my heart when it comes to targeting fish that are actively pursuing baitfish. Having much success in the past with the all-famous Zara Spook, I proceeded to investigate new designs that would hopefully enhance my topwater catch ratio even further.

 

Introducing the Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick for active top water action

 

Taking a first look at the Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick, it's a completely different design then the traditional Spook. The Finesse Walking Stick has an arced bottom, an indented flat mouth, and a much slimmer profile. And of course, you can't miss the premium coating that Strike Pro incorporates onto all their tournament quality lures.

  

Complete Rig for Finesse Walking Stick 85

Rod AiRRUS Co-MATRiX (AS661M)
Reel Quantum Hypercast Ultra (HPX20)
Line 12 lb. Sufix DNA

  
Field Tests: The Finesse Walking Stick was designed to allow anglers to walk-the-dog with ease. To test this contemporary lure we set out in search for this design's primary target, largemouth bass, and other aggressive fish that target surface prey with gusto.

 

The thin profile and overall shape flies through the air and cruises on the surface of the water smoothly and effectively

 

Casting: To test the Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick 85, spinning gear was used with 12 and 8 lb test monofilament. Tossing this thin profile lure was simple with the 12 lb test using Quantum's new Hypercast Ultra but even better when it was tied onto 8 lb test. The nicely contoured body is both slim and aerodynamic. Inside its shell is a rattling system that holds two sizeable bb's that help contribute to the weight of the lure for long and accurate casts.

  

Retrieving: Working this lure has to be one of the most fun means in which to fish for bass. This lure isn't something you can you just toss and retrieve. The angler must work the Walking Stick effectively to be successful. Because of its exact molding and shape, the Finesse Walking Stick does make the technique of "walk-the-dog" easier than the traditional cigar style lures.

 

Not just a neat side to side action, the Finesse Walking Stick also spits and rattles

 

There are a few ways I like to make this lure run, and the very first one I would use when the water surface is calm is just walking it back to the boat, simply working the Finesse Walking Stick in a constant zigzag pattern. You can also try to vary your retrieve by including pauses or more intense twitches. Depending on the surface action, I normally work this lure with a medium speed and have had much success on bringing fish up even if they down deep. If the fish aren't exploding underneath your lure, definitely slow down, pause, and allow the lure to sit at a 45 degree angle, where some fish interpret the lure as a weak or wounded fish and commit to a strike.

 

What's absolutely fun is when you see bait fish breaking the surface of the water. This is where the Strike Pro top water bait works well. In this situation I would make a quick cast and start retrieving the Finesse Walking Stick fast. I mean really fast, creating the zigzag pattern and a lot more splashing, kicking, and jumping action, basically making as much surface commotion as possible. In many situations with bass, both large and smallmouth, and even stripers, I have had them chase the lure and strike at it multiple times, even leaping out of the water with its mouth wide open, shooting up after the lure that I have sent jumping a few inches out of the water.

 

After using this lure for a while, you'll notice some scratches on the side caused my the sharp VMC hooks.  You can barely see the scratches in this picture thanks to the nice coating Strike Pro uses

 

Aside from its eye-catching surface tango, the Finesse Walking Stick also spits like a popper. But the mouth design does not resemble traditional poppers with deep concave mouths. This lure has a indented flat mouth that allows it to spit when walked, but not enough resistance to disturb the superior side to side action. Too add to the audible attractiveness, the Strike Pro lure employs a rattling system that produces a respectable clicking sound.

 

While retrieving with the side to side walking technique, you might encounter the line getting caught on the front hook, but here's something to try. I have tried both tying the line straight onto the lure or using the Rapala knot with a small loop to prevent the hook from catching the fishing line, and have had much success with the lure's walk-the-dog action. Or simply use a line that does not sink as fast.  Monofilament line does the best when it comes to walking the lure properly, as braided and fluorocarbon lines doesn't have enough stretch when twitched. If you like to retrieve and pause, allowing the lure to sit, your best bet is not to use a knot that clamps down on the hanger directly because it will make this thin profile lure sit slightly tilted to one side.

 

This top water lure is awesome for largemouth, smallmouth, and much more.  This striper fell victim to the walk-the-dog zigzag action

 
Durability:
 Having previously tested two other Strike Pro lures, I am seeing a pattern here, and it's a good one. All the lures made by Strike Pro have 8 coats of paint and precise hand detailing. These intricate coats do a good job at protecting the lure and its layers of fine finishes.  But with any lure you jerk side to side, the hooks are bound to scratch the body of the bait.  I have seen some lures take a beating while others do relatively well. The Finesse Walking Stick is one that faired well

and only received minor scratches, not even enough to see the shell of the lure yet. To prevent this from happening on any lure, especially the more expensive ones, you can apply an additional layer of clear epoxy, but make sure to smooth it out to its original contour to prevent the added layer from affecting the lure's performance.

  
Ratings:

Strike Pro Finesse Walking Stick 85 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Professional grade job, this lure is well made, uses sharp hooks, and has an outstanding paint job 9
Performance You're the one who has to walk-the-dog, but the design makes it easier to do so.  The lure allows a good side to side action and calls to the fish 9
Price While other Strike Pro lures are priced to compete with the highest quality lures, the Finesse Walking Stick 85 carries a low price tag closer to the lower end products.  But the quality is super and is considered a premium lure at an exceptional value 9
Features Walk-the-dog lures are more of the body shape rather than anything else, but this lure features a rattling system and sharp VMC hooks 8
Design (Ergonomics) Designed with a shape that has curvature to allow you to achieve the action easier, and has good detailed painting 8.5
Application A great lure for largemouth, smallmouth, stripers, and other aggressive fish that will strike top water lures 9.5

Total Score

8.83


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great walk-the-dog action L Line tied directly onto the lure will cause it to sit slightly on one side
J Nice 8 coats of paint L Sharp hooks can damage the nice finish
J Easy to use  
J Irresistible to aggressive fish  
J Great Value!  


Conclusion: With top water stick baits you must work your rod, reel, and line all in unison to effectively bring your topwater lures to life. With the Finesse Walking Stick 85, Strike Pro designed this lure to achieve the popular walk-the-dog action easier than with traditional stick baits. The Finesse Walking Stick performs well, producing side to side action that's quite irresistible for fish like largemouth and smallmouth to pass when conditions are right. Aside from the incredibly attractive action, this lure uses a premium 8 coats of paint and is a competitive in quality to many lures costing twice as much. If you're into enticing fish to come up to wallop a top water lure, tie on Strike Pro's Finesse Walking Stick onto your leash and start walking-the-dog.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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