I remember a decade or so back fishing with Brittain Wynyard staffers John Elliott and Pat Langevad in the Hauraki Gulf at the start of the work-up season – a day dedicated to putting the latest Daiwa gear through its paces.
Soft-baiting was just hitting its straps and Pat had with him a ‘secret weapon’. Before revealing his top-secret item of tackle, Pat said this one particular lure had accounted for over 40 snapper.
As it turns out it was a Daiwa Bayrubber, a forerunner of the new breed of Kohga Bayrubber. It was certainly looking the worst for wear. There was not much paint left on the battle-scarred head and just a few strands of skirt remained, doing little to hide a couple of seemingly miniscule hooks. But man, did it catch fish.
Fast forward to early February when Brittain Wynyard’s Scott Malcon joined Hella Marine’s Duncan Stirling and I aboard the Laurie Powell skippered <ITAL> Hooked Up<>, once again to put some of the latest Daiwa gear to the test. (See Charter Connection page 66.)
Scott introduced me to the latest evolution of the Daiwa lure, the Kohga Bayrubber Free. Kohga translates in Japanese to Red Fang, a reference to their snapper, and it is quite apt given these lures are designed specifically for our snapper.
Heading to Channel island in the outer Gulf, while Duncan and I armed ourselves with livebaits to target kingfish, Scott was already into the snapper on the bow courtesy of a Kohga lure.
It was a scenario that was to be repeated many times over the course of the day. The fish were not big, consistently around the 40cm mark plus, but there were lots of them and when we all switched to snapper mode, we collectively put more than enough fish in the bin to keep everyone happy.
Until the end of February, the Kohga Bayrubbers have been exclusive to Top Catch where sales were strong as the word spread. They are now more universally available.
So what makes the Kohgas different from other similar kabura-style lures?
The most significant difference is the head shape. The tapered design enables the lures to be changed for low and high current situations. Thread the trace through the thin side of the head facing forward and you have a lure that will sink faster in a strong current. Reverse this, and the lure will slink more slowly, but with more action – suitable for low current scenarios.
The sink rate and the lure’s stability is further increased with the head’s hydrodynamic keel.
There is a polished ceramic tube that protects the leader as the lure moves. This enables the angler to fish lighter trace weights such as 15lb, creating better lure movement.
The skirt has also had a beef-up, something Scott had a part to play in. A plastic bumper protects the knot from the sliding head and the skirt itself has been secured with a whipping and double gluing process.
It is important the hooks remain in the skirt as much as possible as this is the area the fish attack. To do this, they are attached with a Kevlar assist cord that incorporates a fluorocarbon core. While allowing some movement, this ensures the hooks stay in the optimum position.
The hooks themselves are ultra-sharp Japanese SaqSas which proved to have excellent penetration. If fishing these lures, you will need a decent pair of pliers to remove the hooks – fingers just don’t cut it!
Holographic stickers on the side of the head produce plenty of flash while ‘front and back facing’ paua eyes add to the lure’s realism.
The Kohga Bayrubbers are available in four colours – chartruese, orange, pink and sakura (cherry blossom) glow; and in five weights – 60, 80, 100, 120 and 150g.
Given how the shelves are flooded with lures of all styles, shapes and colours, it takes something special to stand out in the crowd – and the Daiwa Kogha Bayrubbers do just that.
This article is reproduced with permission of