Mortal Kombat : Austackle Shinku vs Tiemco Stick Minnow

OK, I most definitely caught this affliction off the Seeto boys and they probably got it off Steve Morgan but hands down Tiemco Stick Minnows are one of the most amazing Bream lures out there, period. Used from the very surface to the bottom, on just legal bag filling fish up to really big fish, from fired up right through to dead stick finesse, they flat out catch fish.Hobie GF 035

It’s one of those things. It was the perfect weight, size, sink rate and action and while there are many things that looked similar, they just were not the same. One school of thought on the reason they come up solid on so many fish compared other sinking stick minnows was that they were small enough that Bream suck them in lengthways hooks and all rather than T-boning them and getting a chance to spit them out with no hooks. I wrote a fairly lengthy article about how to use them here that goes much deeper into the idea of why they work. So bigger models didn’t work as well and others around that 40mm size tended to be lighter and harder to cast and/or didn’t have the sink rate.Stick Minnows vs Shinkus 004

So why didn’t Tiemco Stick Minnows dominate the tournament scene and then become a stalwart in regular anglers tackle boxes like the Jackall TN60 did in Bass fishing?  Well for reasons still unknown to me supply was abysmal. Being a bit on the expensive side was also a bit of a thing but then I think of the price of a TN60 or a Chubby and people get past that once they truly believe it works and have confidence that their money is being well spent. The long and the short of it is they were in short supply and a few switched on people quickly bought them up and the stores were always left with all the crappy colours. Never a model to inspire consumer confidence. For a while there we were buying the not so great colours and repainting them because it was that or having none.

There were rumours for a while that other companies were trying to bring something to market that would fill the same role. Those companies never came up with it and we were left wishing. Really? It’s a solid piece of plastic with a weight in the belly… how hard can it be?

But about 12 months ago we finally got the wink and wry smile from Steve Morgan that a true contender was coming in the form of the Austackle Shinku minnow.

Well, we’ve had a while now to have a proper fish with them and I’m happy to give them the two thumbs up. They are 38mm instead of 40 but other than that work exactly the same as the Tiemcos. In fact when I reach into my tackle box I am just as happy to pull out a Shinku, sometimes more so because they are a hell of a lot cheaper and come in a million colours. I was more than happy to buy some of the weird colours like the “stripey devil” and the “black chevron” that I figured might pass for a crab down in Victoria where big blacks can get into shallow water looking for just that. There are also a bunch of prawn and baitfish colours which pretty much covers it all.Stick Minnows vs Shinkus 003

I was confident enough in the Shinkus that when it came to selecting a rod and reel to use in the kayak Grand Final for our Cancer Council auction last year I picked the Generation Black Drunknmonkey just for fishing them on straight through and caught all of my five biggest fish on it. So far I’ve used them from the surface through counting them down to midwater for schooled blacks and dead sticked them under boats when the fish are shy and they have worked the same. If I had one complaint it would be that the standard hooks could do with an upgrade out of the box as they seem a bit brittle but the truth is you change the trebles on any stick minnow a lot anyway. They would be fine for social fishing but I don’t know if i would trust them 100% if there were sheep stations riding on landing the fish.Stick Minnows vs Shinkus 002

I still love my Tiemcos but I really can’t see myself paying more for something that does the same job.

5 responses to “Mortal Kombat : Austackle Shinku vs Tiemco Stick Minnow

  1. i Guys Firstly let me say a sincere thanks for the Shinku story.. Secondly i would just like to tell you something which i think should be added to the article. The bit about tyhe hooks i totally agree with. We were quoted 6-8 months to get Owner hooks and Decoy didnt even bother getting back to us full stop. WE therefore chose VMC as we use VMC on a lot of our other lures. The problem was we needed a short shank hook becuae of the small size of the Shinku and when we first made the Shinku the only short shanked #14 hook they made was “STANDARD GUAGE” and they did the job to a degree but were far from ideal. We then approached VMC to see if they could make us an extra strong version of the same hook. Within 6 weeks they had done exactly this and all of the Shinkus that we have made for the past 3-4 months aree fitted with these hooks. I beleive they are equal to anything out there and my understanding is that Morgo now uses teh Shinku straight out of the box instread of re-rigging with Owners. Thanks again for the thumbs up – very much appreciatedf PS Watch this space – you aint seen nuttin yet!! The next 3 months you are going to see us releasde some amazing new lures.

  2. Great article! Great lures!

    Like your comment Re short supply of lures ruining consumer confidence, take heed tackle importers, if you cant do it properly don’t bother at all. It absolutely drives me insane when I walk into a shop after a lure I like (dont even care about colour 99% of the time) only to be told the importer has no stock, pretty average business plan….

  3. nothing wrong with vmc, i actually prefer them, i find even though owners are very sharp they seemed to snap when trying to remove them from a breams mouth, i would also like to know what color of shinku is the favorite, i have been a sinking minnow fan for a few years though have had not much recent success with them, but i am now pumped to tie them back on again.. check out fising gav 1 on youtube its a sinking minnow vid, dead sticking, or bream fishing with fishing gav . i am keen to hear yr color preferences..

  4. Gavin its hard to say what colour works the best. Bondi Brown seems to sell well and catch fish all around Australia. But all colours in the existing range have had great results in various parts of the country. For example, the Black Chevron works very well down south on Bream and very well on Bass in Qld. White Bread for example works great on the Gold Coast canals as the Bream are used to being fed bread by the locals. Any of the prawn type designs work well in areas wher prawns are a prevalent natural food source. Hope this helps.

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