Featured Lure: Shimano World Minnow 115

Shimano engineered this suspending jerkbait with unique finesse features designed to drive strikes from wary bass in pressured waters.

Often in fishing, it’s a subtle, barely perceptible movement in a lure that convinces a sluggish or wary fish to strike.  Usually, this quality is exclusive to baits made from pliable materials like hair or soft plastic—the “breathing” of a craft fur jig or the delicate wiggle of a falling Senko—but Shimano brought it to hard baits in 2018 with the introduction of “Flash Boost.” First rolled out in Shimano’s tuna-sized stickbait, the SP Orca-FB, the Flash Boost is a reflective foil suspended on small springs inside a transparent section of the lure’s body. As the lure darts and dives on the retrieve, the foil bounces and kicks on the springs, continuing to quiver even when the lure is paused, throwing light and adding a subtle, lifelike motion. 

In 2022, Shimano scaled down the Flash Boost from the Orca and added a suspending jerkbait, the World Minnow 115 SP. 

Suspending jerkbaits are coldwater classics for largemouth bass. Most serious bass fishermen welcome ice-out in March by tying on a jerkbait, pausing it for upwards of 30 seconds to give lethargic bass time to bite. During those long pauses, the fish scrutinize the bait, deciding whether or not to strike. Before the World Minnow’s release, it was up to the profile, color, and realistic flourishes like 3D eyes to “sell” a suspending jerkbait to a bass. With the addition of the fluttering Flash Boost, a paused, suspended World Minnow has another layer of realism that makes bass more likely to bite. 

The Shimano World Minnow 115 features Flash-Boost and Jet-Boost technology to create a long-casting and light-reflective jerkbait that shines bright even at rest.

The World Minnow is at the upper end of the price range for jerkbaits at $19.99, falling between the $25 Megabass Vision 110 and the $16 Lucky Craft Pointer SP. As with the other high-dollar jerkbaits, the lure suspends with near perfection in cold water right out of the package, and it’s made with other premium features brought over from Shimano’s saltwater lure lineup.

The World Minnow is fully “boosted” with Shimano’s “Scale Boost” and “Jet Boost” in addition to the “Flash Boost.” Scale Boost incorporates composite-pitch holograms that mimic realistic patterns of baitfish scales onto the side of the lure. According to Shimano, this increases “the amount and complexity of light reflected through the water,” resulting in a more realistic look. The Jet Boost feature first appeared in Shimano’s Colt Sniper Minnow (Shimano’s answer to the Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow) as an upgraded version of the sliding internal weight that increases a lure’s casting distance and accuracy. To maintain the action, most lures with a sliding internal weight use a magnet to keep the weight forward on the retrieve. Shimano puts the internal weight on a spring so that the lure is immediately rebalanced after landing, providing the most enticing action from the beginning of the retrieve. 

That’s a lot of technology packed into a 4½-inch bait, and while it helps the bait cast farther and pass scrutiny from bass at close range, ultimately, the bait’s action needs to draw initial interest from the fish.

On a straight or a sweep-and-pause retrieve, the World Minnow swims with a good wiggle and strong tail kick. On the more traditional twitch-twitch-pause jerkbait retrieve, the lure darts and rolls. You can get great action out of the bait with little effort, meaning you don’t have to throw out your shoulder to get it moving attractively. It falls a little short of the Vision 110’s action, which seems to almost dart in place with very little forward motion, allowing an angler to show the bait’s action to lethargic fish longer. However, the added features of the Flash Boost and Scale Boost that make the bait look more lifelike on the all-important pause level the playing field between these two top-of-the-line jerkbaits.

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