“Sink-o or swim”

Are all stick baits created equal?
(Yamamoto Senko vs Yum Dinger)

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There’s no question about it, the Senko created by Gary Yamamoto changed the bass fishing world forever when it came to mainstream, and has hooked millions and millions of bass over the years. The stick style bait has become a staple in most every anglers tackle box and a go to bait to get a bite when it seems like nothing else will work.

However, the Yamamoto version called the “Senko” has since turned into a broad term that is universally used to describe all stick bait style lures. The original Senko however is not the only option on the market, many other brands have been producing their own version of this legendary stick style bait for years. Many anglers out there only swear by the original Senko and say any other brand is simply a kock off. So is the original Senko the only way to go? In this article, I am going to mainly compare the Yamamoto Senko to one of it’s biggest competitors, the Yum Dinger.

I have fished with both the Senko and the Dinger over the years, and my opinion is they both have fairly different properties that make them useful in different situations. Lets break down the pro’s and con’s of each brand, and what situations I prefer to use each bait in.

The Yamamoto Senko is more heavily salt infused to make fish hold onto the bait longer/better, as well as being WAY more softer which is also useful in getting bites as it “feels” more realistic to a bass. This softness gives the Senko slightly more action as well and it tends to sink straight down. The downside to this is that softness makes the original Senko much less durable, which at around $8 a pack (depending on size) can get expensive fast. Gary Yamamoto also offers quite a few more color options than the competitor.

The Dinger has much salt infused it, and the material seems to be more stiff. The bait itself though is much more durable than the Senko. Which at around $3 a pack (again depending on size) makes it more bang for your buck in terms of bait life It tends to be very stiff as far as action but because it sinks slower it sways side to sides more than the Senko which seems to like to sink straight down. Its also worth noting that the Dinger’s durability makes it my preferred brand for Neko rigging. When inserting a nail weight to make the Neko rig, I’ve found the extra durability is ideal and makes the bait last longer for this technique.

For me, the biggest difference between the Yamamoto Senko and the Yum Dinger is their rate of fall. The Senko sinks MUCH fast than the Dinger, and depending on your situation, this can be good or bad. The faster fall allows you to fish the Senko faster and a bit deeper, but you lose some of the appeal that the Dinger’s slower sink rate offers you to “irritate” a fish into biting by hanging it slowly in it’s face with that slow fall.

My personal preferences, the Senko is a better option overall when wanting to fish faster or around slightly deeper structure (6-10ft), as well as when fish seem overly color sensitive or if I’m not getting solid hookups. It’s the best option if you are searching for bites and not on a pattern. I prefer the Dinger when fishing in extremely shallow cover or in a post spawn situation where I am pitching the bait at finicky recovering bass hanging near the surface, as well as when I am using a Neko rig.

***If you want to see a visual comparison of the rate of fall difference between the two brands, as well as a strength test, check out this videohttps://youtu.be/PAlq_MJusWc


Tight lines everyone!

Ben Hudson
“Blue Collar Bassin'”


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