The wait is over - Nikko is finally here! We were all very excited for this brand and the extremely unique soft plastic offerings they create. I was personally intrigued by the tadpole and hellgramite imitations. Baits like these simply didn’t exist prior to Nikko and fish flat out eat both regularly. I can remember searching tackle shop after tackle shop as a young angler looking for live hellgrammites for bait and even turning over rocks in the local creeks to find them because everything that swims eats them! While I have never used a tadpole as live bait before I know that they are on the menu all year round for most species.
These soft plastics are extremely durable. Yet extremely soft. Almost sticky to be honest. They are extremely “stretchy” and have a very nice scent infused within the bait. Rigging them was much like using an Elaztec product, but not quite as rubbery - Better in my opinion. Once rigged properly they don’t budge at all. Even after multiple fish catches.
I had a few hours to play on the weekend and decided to give these two baits a try on some local waters. I made the decision before heading out that I would live or die by the Nikko plastics for these few precious hours on the water. Below are a couple pictures of the colors and rigging I went with. Both Ned style presentations.
Putting Nikko to the Test
Before I get to the results, I wanted to give some insight and background on the brand. Nikko Kasei Co., Ltd. (“Nikko”), was founded on 1 Feb 1964, they are headquartered in Ota-ku, Tokyo, Japan. In 2010, Nikko began production of bio-disintegratable soft baits,after several years of research and development.Nikko has begun expanding their soft bait sales business overseas, focusing on the US and other strategic markets around the world. With over 50 years of manufacturing plastics, Nikko has built a reputation of innovation, trust and uncompromising quality. All Nikko baits are manufactured in Nikko’s own factories in Japan with a level of detail and quality that Japan is famous for. Whether you fish freshwater or saltwater, Nikko makes the right baits for you.
Smallmouth Bass, caught on Nikko Hellgrammite 3"
As mentioned previously. I had 2-3 hours to fish this day. Not a lot of time. Fortunately it only took three casts to get my first bite on the hellgrammite. What makes this even more special is that I saw this tank of a Smallmouth about 30 feet off my bow. Made a pitch 15 feet in front of her and watched her head straight over to the bait and immediately eat it. This is not an unpressured Great Lakes fishery I’m talking about. These fish are not uneducated. They do not eat on command. What I’m getting at is that this is not a typical happening for me with any other baits that I have used. Especially when we are talking about big fish like this one.
To say that my first impressions were good would be an understatement. This fish weighed in at 5.65lbs and had two others with it during the fight. They disappeared after netting her, however, knowing that they wouldn’t be far away I continued to fish the area and immediately hooked up with this healthy 4 pounder. Impressed yet? I certainly was!!
After catching a few more in the 2lb range on the hellgramite I was ready to give the tadpole a try. I had fished the area for quite some time so why not show the remains stragglers something different. One cast with the Ned rigged tadpole and I was hooked up again with another 4+ pounder. The bait had just hit bottom when I felt her inhale it.
I caught several more on both baits over the course of the next few hours and to my surprise I did not have to re rig the bait once! Not one time! It did not budge from my original rigging and to be honest you can’t even tell they’ve been used. That’s how durable these things are. I can’t wait to try some of the other Nikko products that we have in stock at the shop as I am certain they will be catchers as well.
This is a JDM brand with something very special. We are excited to be one of their first Canadian dealers. And I fully recommend their products!! Big fish eat them! Tight lines everyone.