Retrieve: Click your reel over to begin your retrieve and the Kicker Shad swims back in a tight wiggle. Jerk the rod tip and it darts off to one side then the next on successive jerks. Because it has such a tight wiggle, it provides little to no feedback as you’re swimming back to your position unless you’re using braided line and even then, it’s very subtle feedback. However, it’s easy to tell when something “isn’t right” just by the amount of resistance at the end of your line, and there are times where you’ll bring this bait back with the hooks carrying some hitch hiking weeds.
Another look at how snuggly the hook sits next to the bait.
The Kicker Shad is available in both floating and slow sink models. We tested the slow sink which descends at a rate of roughly one foot for every one and a half to two seconds. We couldn’t get very precise measurements because the water in both in the California Delta and Clear Lake had limited visibility much of this year. One thing I really liked about this bait is that unlike many shad imitators of this size that tend to rise as you reel them back to the boat, the Kicker Shad does a good job of staying down.
Otherwise, the Kicker Shad features a soft plastic tail.
The "Hook-Slot-Tube": So does the "hook-slot-tube" work? Yes it does and quite well really. As already discussed, this feature keeps the hook close to the body of the lure to keep the profile of the bait more compact and with the secondary benefit of virtually foul-less casting. When a fish strikes, hook-up ratio is not effected and we bet that's due to two factors, the compact size of this bait and the use of proven, quality hooks. It takes a little maneuvering to work the hook back into the tube after the first time, but once familiar with how it works, follow up re-riggings take place without a hitch.
And standard, stainless steel hardware.
Components: Tyler Ream understands the abuse big fish hunters and their prey inflict on baits and has responded by building the Kicker Shad with all stainless steel components, an Owner hook, and a multi-layer finish protected by a tough, clear coat final layer. In reality, because this bait is relatively small, it’s more able to withstand some of the abuse that begins to damage larger baits simply because it carries less momentum in a cast and is easier for a fish to take into their mouth upon a strike.
Each bait is hand painted by Tyler Ream himself.
Availability: The TyLure Kicker Shad and really their entire line of baits that include a six and eight inch trout, a five inch swimming and bedfish sunfish imitator, and a five inch floating rat, are available at