Product Spotlight: Shimano Splash Walk - The Fisherman

Product Spotlight: Shimano Splash Walk

Coltsniper
The many moods of the Coltsniper Splash Walk make it a versatile plug for chasing trophy striped bass. Photo by Max Finch

The advancement of walk-the-dog-style lures has been surprisingly slow over the 20 years or so that they have been gaining in popularity. As we sit right now, there are two main categories; wide gliders and short ‘twitchy’ zig-zaggers. Both incarnations catch fish and catch them well, but innovation has been slow to move beyond that… until now.

Shimano seems to make very careful additions to their lineup of lures and the Coltsniper brand holds true to that tradition. As a fisherman and lure builder I appreciate and applaud their restraint and because I know a few of their pro staff ‘testers’ personally, I also know that their vetting process is rigorous, which earns even more of my respect and admiration. My only wish was that they would make something a little bigger, so when word began to spread about the Splash Walk, I was excited.

At a glance, the Coltsniper Splash Walk is reminiscent of the Orca, a sardine or mackerel shaped body, balanced with the weight toward the rear. But a closer look reveals a more stylized and inspired design overall. The body cross-section is more of a rounded rectangle and those flattish sides mean more turbulence which translates to more side-to-side action. Looking from below, you’ll see that the ‘chin’ has been honed into a shallow scoop and this is where the ‘splash’ portion of its name comes from. Give it a shake and you’ll hear that its internal rattle is more a large marble than a handful of BBs which translates to a low-frequency knock rather than a continuous rattling. Most anglers that hunt large fish on topwater—from tarpon to striped bass—agree that a knock gets the attention of the big ones. The whole deal is thru-wired for toughness, equipped with tough, sharp and corrosion resistant hooks and painted with Shimano’s Kyorin finish which really makes these plugs look alive in all six available colors.

In the water the Splash Walk is a lot of fun to fish, it works effortlessly and seamlessly combines a wide walk with a splashy zig-zag, depending on how you work the lure. Its rear-situated weights make it possible to hold the lure in one place while splashing it to and fro wildly, but you can also kick into high gear and streak it forward, while maintaining the same, frantic cadence. That scooped chin throws water like crazy and adds intensity to its footprint at any speed. The Splash Walk will catch fish under any conditions, but it really shines when fished across current or in heavy surf—its balance really helps it hold in wild and fast water. You’ll definitely want to have one on-hand if you fish heavy rips like those off of Montauk or Monomoy, it will be great for surfcasters throwing into fast water like Sandy Hook or the Canal and it will be a shoe-in for any competitive feeding scenario where gamefish are visibly chasing down bait. The lure is not just another spook, it’s a spook that has its own swagger and you’re going to want one in your bag.

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