Imakatsu recently unveiled its Hairy Chunk.
And when several observers hailed it as a revolutionary bait, saying that the natural-hair-implantation process that was used to manufacture the Hairy Chunk has created a state-of-the-art soft-plastic lure, it caught the attention of some Midwest finesse anglers.
Since Shin Fukae of Osaka, Japan, and Palestine, Texas, revealed some of his finesse tactics on April 1, 2005, at Beaver Lake, Arkansas, scores of Midwest finesse anglers have become intrigued by the finesse tactics and baits that Japanese anglers create and employ. Therefore, every year around the time of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, some of these Midwest finesse anglers keenly examine all of the finesse baits that Japanese bait companies display and that are reviewed by the piscatorial press.
It is interesting to note that one of these Midwest anglers observed that the addition of feathers and hair to a soft-plastic bait is not a revolutionary addition in his eyes. This angler said that Lindy Lures’ Fuzz-E-Grub, which possesses a soft-plastic body and a feather tail made of marabou, has been around for decades, and years ago, it was a stable in several Midwest finesse anglers’ repertoire. What’s more, Megabass, which is a Japanese bait company, makes the three-inch Y-Manba Worm, which has a marabou tail. This angler also wondered how much more effective the Hairy Chunk would be from the traditional bucktail jig that is affixed to either a soft-plastic or pork trailer, and, of course, he pointed out that the 1/8- and 3/32-ounce hair jig and trailer has been a standard-bearer in the Midwest finesse repertoire for decades.
Despite the somewhat cynical comments by this Midwest finesse angler, the Hairy Chunk has created a stir in the bass angling world.
It is the creation of Katsutaka Imae of Osaka, Japan, who is often heralded as the most famous bass angler in Japan. He is the proprietor of the Imakatsu bait company, and he has won a plethora of prestigious angling titles in Japan, such as the JB World Classic Championship and JB Bass Angler of the Year.
Imae won the JB World Classic Championship at Lake Kitaura, Japan, by wielding a bait that he made out of pork rind and pig bristles. From Imae’s perspective, hair — such as pig hair — adds an alluring dimension to a soft-plastic bait that cannot be achieved with any other kind of product or artifact. Soon after he won the JB World Classic Championship, he began trying to construct a soft-plastic replica of the pork-rind one, and he quickly discovered that it was a difficult task to make an injection mold for a soft-plastic lure that could accommodate natural hair. After many failed attempts, Imakatsu’s research and development team succeeded in making a mold that was capable of holding a combination of soft-plastic and hair, and they call the process a transplantation or implantation technique.
In essence, the Hairy Chunk is a 4.8-inch soft-plastic crayfish with a tuff of hair radiating out of the tip of its head, where a crayfish’s antennas are located. A claw or pincher is attached to each side of its head and below its eyes. Its slightly cylinder -shaped head merges into its slightly cylinder-shaped torso. The junction of its tail and its torso is pronounced. The tail is the same length as the torso and head, but its girth is smaller. Three short appendages are attached to each side of the tail. The tail is embellished with four fairly wide ribs, and its tip is button-shaped.
According to Imae, it exhibits subtle undulations and an unique feel that no other soft-plastic bait can replicate.
Imae suggests that it can be rigged as a trailer on a skirted jig, or affixed to an offset worm hook and weighed with a slip sinker, or affixed to a Carolina rig.
Of course, when Midwest finesse anglers use it, they will rig it on a light-weight mushroom- or button-style jig with an exposed hook. And they will shorten it by trimming its tail.
They are available in 15 colors: Ame Zari, Black/Blue Flake, Black Blue/Blue Flake, Cinnamon Blue Flake, Dappi Zari, Dark Watermelon Pepper, Green Pumpkin Pepper, June Bug, Kamo, Light Green Pumpkin/Green Purple Flake, Light Green Pumpkin Pepper, Liver, Nihon Zarigani, Watermelon Pepper, and Watermelon Pro Blue.
A package of five can be purchased from one online retailer for $7.90.
(1) In the near future, we will publish a Midwest finesse anglers’ gear guide about Imakatsu’s four-inch Dread Hog, which in many finesse anglers eyes looks to be more interesting than the Hairy Chunk.
(2) Imakatsu makes its rendition of the Fuzz-E-Grub. It is the Rainbow Shad, which is adorned with a synthetic hair tail. See the translation link at this website: http://www.imakatsu.co.jp/products/lure/index.html.