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Lure Review

Trophy Sticks, custom design, clever hydrodynamics, and a little art all rolled in one 

Date: 10/08/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Trophy Sticks
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.66

Introduction: Trophy Sticks are a new custom made bait designed for West Coast trophy hunters pursuing a wide range of species from Salmon to Striped Bass. These lures exhibit handmade craftsmanship of days gone by coupled with a deceivingly subtle action.


Trophy Sticks Specifications

Type Minnow stick bait, trolling, ripbait
Size 3 available 4.5", 5.5", 6.5"
Colors/Patterns 3+ available
Material Balsa wood
MSRP $15.99-$16.99

Impressions: These days when you think ripbait a number of manufacturers come to mind, namely Rapala, Lucky Craft, Yozuri, and Megabass for JDM junkies like our own Enthusiast Editor Cal. We often forget that there are other options, other solutions out there that not only can catch fish, but are less likely to be seen by fish on high pressured water.


The Trophy Sticks, a new stickbait you probably haven't heard of....yet


Trophy Sticks are one such lure, and were introduced to anglers by Jake Bunio a trophy hunter who was not satisfied with other mass produced solutions. He explained the team at Trophy Sticks spent a lot of time modifying lures from the very brands we mentioned earlier and started by upgrading the hooks and repainting the bodies. Though the lures worked  they never could get the lures to look as realistic as they desired. The result was the birth of the Trophy Stick, still regarded by many as a secret out in the West Coast though it has now been featured in a number of publications including the Fish Sniffer.   


The Trophy Sticks feature a 3D design that actually features flared gills


Well the word is officially out. Trophy Sticks remind us of handcrafted balsa wood lures of the past, with some artistic creativity added in, and some intelligent hydrodynamic design all wrapped into one lure. Jacob went on to explain that the lures themselves took over a year to create, and countless hours of testing went into getting the design and action just right.


Look closely and you can see a realistic lure pattern, fins, and gill plate


Jake decided to start the company with 3 different patterns, which are the food for all big fish in rivers, lakes and the delta systems. These include the “Tasty Tui” which is a Tui-Chub imitation or also known as a “hitch” and is designed to target Largemouth and Stripers on lakes like Clear Lake, The California Delta, Lake Folsom.


The Trophy Sticks have a subtle action and is best retrieved at a medium pace or trolled


The next pattern is the “Baby Bow”, which is the same paint scheme he originally used on the Rapalas he modified. This lure is designed for any fish that preys on rainbows, including bass and stripers. Jacob explained that the little rainbow trout is a great meal for all Bass in the Delta and went on to say that the rainbow/steelhead runs back and forth through the CA Delta system further make this a good choice for all types of bass because they love to eat little rainbow trout including big, big Striper.


The "Baby Bow" pattern is the same paint scheme that was originally created to soup up the Rapalas


The third pattern is called the “Silver Platter which is a small Salmon imitation which mimics a young salmon and a favorite food for giant predatory fish like Brown Trout, Giant Mackinaw and Trophy Rainbow Trout, but can also be used to target bass and stripers as well. When Jake contacted us to introduce these baits to us, well... we were skeptical, after all does the world need another stick bait? We have tested so many jerk/ripbaits over the years we have joked that we need a new section of the site simply dedicated to these elongated lures. It was time to see if the Trophy Sticks are worthy of the very name they are bestowed with.


Underneath you can see the protruding gills


Real World Tests: To put the Trophy Sticks to the performance tests we head to the very water that Jacob explained the lures would perform well on... our backyard, the California Delta. While we did fish for largemouth bass our main goal was to hook into some double digit early Fall run stripers. We fished the lure both as a standard stickbait, a ripbait, and trolling....and here's what we found...


Next Section: Do the Trophy Sticks measure up?









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