Coralville, IA – An exciting new reality is sweeping across the walleye waterscape, and livebait has nothing to do with it. Ditto for bass and big, beautiful crappies. The hype’s for real, and it’s all due to a singular trending lure style. Originally designed as a European and Russian ice lure, this fashionable fish catcher was first known as a “balance.” These days, it works winter and summer alike, jigged vertically or horizontally. Anglers call it a jigging minnow, vertical crankbait or simply, ‘the one.’
Far as catching fish goes, what you need to know is that the newest, most innovative entry in the category is a hot little number called the RPM. An exceptional concept unveiled last season by the fishing folks at Custom Jigs & Spins, the Rotating Power Minnow (RPM) has just been updated with a new, larger size #5, and it’s triggering bites right now from walleyes, bass and portly panfish. Unquestionably, the #5 RPM is this season’s shining star.
For other lures in the category, however, two issues make fishing them a hassle: line twist and lost fish. Custom Jigs’ RPM has conquered both, thanks to a single brilliant upgrade. Implanted with a liquid-smooth rotating eyelet—which extends through the belly of the bait and connects to a surgically sharp #6 treble hook—the Rotating Power Minnow moves naturally and reacts instinctively.
“Giving the RPM a sharp pull or rip makes it swim and dart away in random directions,” says veteran walleye guide Jason Rylander, a master with the new minnow bait. “Pause and the lure swims back to center and it never twists your line.”
Rylander also extols the fact that hooked fish stay hooked, another benefit of the free spinning swivel eye and hook system. “Most swimming lures are so heavy for their size that their weight creates excessive torque on the hooks that cause fish to come unbuttoned, time after time. Never happens with the RPM; the rotating belly hook never allows walleyes or bass to gain leverage and get away. The tail hook pivots, too, so you’ve got ‘em either way.”
Weighing in at 3/8 ounce and 2-3/4 inches in length, the #5 Rotating Power Minnow fishes just slightly “lighter” than other lures in the category. Rylander and other anglers call this an advantage, noting that the RPM flutters more seductively on the fall, and shimmies with a slightly more erratic action—aided by the lure’s free-swimming design.
“The other thing I love about the RPM is that it lacks the nose hook present in similar lures,” Rylander adds. “You don’t need it to hook fish, believe me. Also means you don’t snag fish—yet another shortcoming of most lures in this category. Doesn’t get snagged in the net, either. What I’m basically saying is, the RPM is the smartest, most user-friendly swimming lure on the scene.”
Most days, Rylander fishes the RPM in one of two ways. “I like to drop the lure to the bottom in 10 to 20 feet of water and deploy the Minn Kota to slowly “stroll” along a drop-off, usually at .5- to .75-mph. You can also make short casts with the lure and retrieve it back to the boat. Either way, you want to give the RPM short, rhythmic snaps of the rodtip, followed by a totally slack line to allow it to dart in random directions. It’s a cadence thing, and one of the sweetest walleye tricks ever devised.”
Rigged with a mainline of 10- to 15-pound test braid, Rylander runs a two- to three-foot leader of 10- or 12-pound test fluorocarbon to the lure for abrasion resistance, lure action and to resist bite offs from pike. “Aren’t too many fish that don’t like to chomp the RPM— big smallmouths and largemouths, massive crappies, perch, you name the species.”
Constructed in natural forage profiles, the RPM minnow body transitions smoothly into a subtle swimming tail, creating a beautiful, hydrodynamic presentation and the most durable swimming lure available. The RPM is etched with 16 stunning patterns, from perch and emerald shiner to crayfish, fire tiger and red glow. Offered in two sizes—the original 2-inch, #3 and the new, walleye wonder, #5, the Rotating Power Minnow is equally effective, ice or openwater. Livebait need not apply.