I’m going to start the review by claiming that the Daiwa Risky Critter is the best soft plastic of 2022 so far. I know that is a massive claim, but I believe once you’ve read this review you’ll start believing in this lure as much as I do, and once you use it, you’ll be a believer too.
The Risky Critter is a 2.5in creature bait that entered the Australian market 6 months ago. The lure was designed as a versatile creature bait to target bream, estuary perch, redfin, yellowbelly and trout. Bait Junkie’s Amino-X technology is impregnated into the plastic to provide scent without it leaking in the packet or leaving a shocking smell on your hands. It’s subtle and helps convert those small, finnicky bites into hook ups.
One outstanding feature of the Risky Critter is the swimming action of its legs. I noticed that the forward-facing arms have a flapping or quivering action on the drop.
It’s a subtle action, but it does just enough to draw attention on the drop. While the legs and claws don’t have much action when freefalling, they kick and move when the lure is hopped off the bottom.
The team from Daiwa have explained that the Bait Junkie Elastomax material is a little bit firmer in the Risky Critter to increase the quivering action of these plastics on the drop. While this might be the case, it hasn’t had a negative effect on their durability, in fact their durability is outstanding and far superior to many of the other creature baits commonly used to target estuary species.
Although durability has never been the biggest factor for me when purchasing soft plastics, it doesn’t go unnoticed. You can spend a large amount of time getting a new lure out of the packet and tying it on, if you do this 20 times a day, that’s at least 40 minutes of fishing time wasted.
It’s time that you could’ve spent catching fish. The durability of the Risky Critter wins for me because it spends more time in the water without the need for it to be changed. Of course, there is also the economic benefits. I think I went through one packet of Risky Critters in three days of fishing, which is far superior to other creature baits I’ve used.
On a recent trip where I had intended to test the Risky Critter, the fishing was slow. That doesn’t mean I immediately thought to tie the Risky Critter on. Sometimes you just have moments in fishing where you think, ‘If only I’d be throwing this lure all day’ and I think I’ve had 10 or so moments with this lure.
With three hours of light left in the day I decided I’d switch over to the Critter. Five minutes into throwing the Critter I landed a 45cm bream and went on to catch another five fish over 40cm, that’s every definition of a game changing lure.
A week later I was fishing with a mate in East Gippsland catching a heap of small fish off boat hulls, but the size of the fish left much to be desired. My friend saw a packet of Risky Critters on the floor of my boat tied one on and cast it towards the school we’d been catching the small fish from.
On the first cast, he landed a 47cm bream! I quickly rigged one up, first cast, a 45cm bream- amazing.
This is just another of many occasions where the Risky Critter pulled through for me. Yes, I’m yet to fish these plastics in systems in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, but I’m sure if the system has crabs, prawns or worms, it will smash the fish there too.
I would encourage anyone who hasn’t used one, to go out and try a Risky Critter. They are without doubt a very effective lure that big fish love and they have now proven themselves on multiple occasions. They boast one of the best colour ranges I have ever seen and offer outstanding value for money thanks to their durability. I stand by my statement that it’s the best soft plastic of 2022 so far and I believe it will soon be regarded as a classic light tackle plastic. Well done Bait Junkie.