DUO North America is a new company that has brought the Realis line of baits to the United States. Hand crafted and designed by legendary Japanese lure designer Mr. Adachi; Realis baits are engineered to excel in every aspect of bass fishing. Each bait is designed around casting ability, ease of presentation, and appeal to a bass.
I was given several different baits to field test and have been completely impressed with them all. Pencil 110, Jerkbait 120 SP, and the Vibration 68 all performed as one would expect from a JDM company. I recently took the Pencil 110 to a local lake and was very impressed with the results.
When you first hold the Pencil 110, you’ll quickly notice that it is completely different from the standard cigar shaped topwater baits. Immediately, no matter which way you hold it, the internal weight is going to shift creating a knock like I’ve never heard in a topwater bait before. The internal weights not only create a unique noise, but shift to help with the action when walking this bait, and with distance while casting.
The color options for the Pencil are seemingly endless. With so many fish catching colors, you are sure to find your favorite pattern. I asked Sheila Murphy, CEO of DUO, about this, wondering why so many color options and she said “The Japanese market requires a lot of options, anglers in Japan are very picky and expect options. We are bringing everything about these baits to the United States market, including the vast colors available.” Sheila went on to say that each bait is hand painted and goes through a very critical inspection before being packaged for sale. Color options on the Pencil 110 topwater bait range from the basic colors of white, shad, black bone, all the way to the extravagant detail that is desired by many of the clear water bass fishing enthusiasts.
Once on the water with the Pencil 110, I headed straight for an area that I knew there were schooling bass. My thought was to test out the cast-ability of these baits. Chasing schooling bass is difficult unless you have a bait that you can really put some distance on when casting. The Pencil 110 sailed through the air like a spiral football behind Joe Montana, straight and on target. Very impressed with the distance and accuracy I had achieved, my next concern is how difficult will it be to work this bait with so much line out. Walking the dog at the end of a long cast can be difficult. Many baits simply don’t react well because of the line stretch. You can combat this with braid, but I like monofilament for my top water applications. With nearly 50 yards of line out on the surface of the water, the Pencil 110 worked back and forth beautifully. With very minor twitches of the rod tip, I was able to walk the dog as if it were just 20 feet from the boat.
While inspecting the Pencil 110, you’ll notice that it has a small spherical dimple under the nose of the bait. At first I didn’t think much about this, mostly I hoped it didn’t hinder the action I was hoping to achieve. Quite the contrary; not only did it not hamper the action of the bait, but it created a small spit with each twitch of the rod. So, not only does the Pencil glide side to side but it spits a small enticing amount of water each time it shifts. Combine the walking action and the spitting ability with the way the Pencil 110 slightly rolls with each movement and you have a bait that charges hard at all the senses of a bass in a single movement. The spitting resembles a fleeing bait fish, the slight roll of the bait shows off the fantastic color, and side to side action allows you to keep the bait in one spot for a longer period of time teasing a wary bass. If all that wasn’t enough, the internal rattle is loud and tantalizing. Bass don’t have a chance.
The Pencil sits in the water at a perfect 45 degree angle when resting. Setting a trap for attacking bass. With the back hooks so low in the water, hook ups are almost guaranteed. To be honest, the bait angle is only part of it, the strikes I had on the Pencil 110 were incredible; bass absolutely crushed it. With this angle at rest, the Pencil 110 jumps out of the water and starts walking with ease. It’s a perfect stance, not only for hooking bass but also starting your retrieve cadence.
The hooks are extremely sharp right from the package and remained sharp all day. Normally when dealing with schooling bass hooks will dull quickly and need to be resharpened often. The ferocious attacks of multiple bass and a hooked bass dragging baits through the school will dull most hooks quickly. However, the Mustad hooks that Realis uses were as sharp at the end of the day as they were on that first cast.
DUO debuted at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, with a small booth in the corner of the giant convention hall. Being a new company that few had heard about, Sheila Murphy CEO, stopped everyone passing by to introduce them to their exciting line of baits. Since then, Duo has added new sizes and colors, and the lineup of baits has attracted the attention of many Elite Series and FLW pro anglers alike. Just after the classic DUO signed Elite Series angler Brandon Card. Brandon is very excited about the Realis series of baits, be sure to watch for him on tour; he’ll be catching them on Realis baits.
The side to side, spitting, and rolling action of this bait had me ready to jump off the deck and eat it myself. I was thoroughly impressed. Look for the Realis line of baits in your local stores soon. For more information about Realis baits visit them online at Realis Baits
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