Tomoya and the DRT Crew visited the US from Japan and I got the privilege to not only hang out with them for a few days but fish as well. It was the tail end of their trip but they made the time to have their last stop be the California Delta. Fishing conditions were pretty tough with the post frontal blues throwing some curveballs at us but all in all we were still able to show them our little piece of paradise that we call home. The boys from Swimbait Underground also made the trip so we put together a calvary of boats so everybody could hit the water. I wish the bite was a little bit better but we definitely had some chances and everybody had a good time. Between fishing and good eats, it’s hard to find something to complain about. The night before everybody went home I had the opportunity to sit down with Tomoya for an interview. Shout out to Kazuki for interpreting for us.
How was your trip?
“This is our sixth trip to the the US. This time was very busy and full. We did a lot of things in a short amount of time.”
What is your first impression of the Delta?
“I see a lot of similarities between the Delta and Southern Lake Biwa. Very Similar.”
Is there a specific DRT Bait that you feel would work best for the Delta?
“I think the Frenzy might have the possibility. I got the chance to fish with Joey and I was following him with what to do. At the end of the trip, I began to do what I usually do at Lake Biwa which is more of a finesse technique and that’s use the VTS7. American anglers like to use it like a Fluke but I was using the VTS like a Spybait on the retrieve. Super slow. As soon as I began to do that, I got a lot of bites. I really thought that it worked because Springtime at Lake Biwa we don’t really like to do lots of reaction. This is when the Spybait is very effective. Same with the big plastic worms. We leave them to dead stick. We don’t even do anything with it. Those methods work really well on Lake Biwa so I was thinking that pattern might work because of the similarities between the two places. I really think that will work here.”
What made you start DRT? What was the motivation to start the brand?
“I started DRT as a rod company. I could not make my own blank and there’s not a lot of companies that would build me a blank that didn’t require a large minimum that I would have to buy. Then I found a company that would make me my own blank for a minimum of fifty but I didn’t need fifty of the same rod. Then I thought I could just sell the rest of them. The reason I started the custom rod company was because none of the rods that I wanted were available. So I decided to build rods for myself. The baits came second.”
What was the first bait you made?
“So originally the very first bait I started making was a wooden flat side crank bait. Then I began making the Shuttle
Swim jig. Then after that I moved onto the original wooden Klash bait that was called the Stealth Flash.”
How long did it take for the Klash to be what it is now?
“Three or four years. Many many prototypes. I began to make the prototype Klash 9 after the Stealth Flash and it to was originally made of wood. I maxed out on material. I couldn’t make the bait the way I wanted it with the wood material so I ended up switching to plastic. Obviously I couldn’t find a bait shop to make my bait because I didn’t have the money so I pretended I had money and gave this factory my idea to have them make it for me. It was a major gamble and I’m really glad it went well otherwise I would have been in a huge debt.”
What are your favorite size Varial Handles the majority of your baits? (Tiny Klash and Klash 9)
“For K9 lipless Mode B I recommend the 100mm Varial on an extra high gear ratio reel. For the Tiny Klash, the 95mm handle but if you really want sensitivity on the slow roll use the 87mm. The shorter the handle the better the sensitivity. The longer the handle the more power you get but with less sensitivity.”
What size line do you recommend for the Tiny Klash and Klash 9?
“If you’re using American line, 14 LBS for the TK and 16 LBS for the K9. Japanese line is obviously a different diameter. If you’re using JDM Line, 20 LBS for the Klash 9 and and 16 LBS for the Tiny Klash. Japanese line diameter is thinner than American.”
What hooks do you recommend for the Tiny Klash and Klash 9?
“For the TK, I have a specific hook for it for a reason. The Owner ST-35’s. If you use any other treble hooks they have the tendency to tangle around the body of the bait. The ST-35’s havre a flat side and a shorter hook shank so they don’t get fouled up on the bait. For the K9, I recommend Sharx either size 1 or 1/0. Downsizing the hooks will give you benefits and allows for the bait to swim better. The size 1 hooks will allow it to have better action compared to the 1/0. The bait will be more responsive and quicker.”
What are your favorite modes to use for the Tiny Klash and Klash 9?
“My favorite way to fish the Tiny Klash is in YTMK mode. With both the short lip and the new lip. The Klash 9 is definitely lipless Mode B. Lipless Mode B I had a lot of fun fishing here at the Delta because it has so many where lipless Mode B shines. It is super controllable to glide it under docks or around trees and weed pockets. I really want to bring my crew from Japan cause I know they will enjoy this place. I really like that I can fish around docks. At Lake Biwa, we get yelled at right away for fishing the docks. It is very different here. When I was using my K9, I felt like I was using my RC Car at the dirt track because I can manipulate my bait however I want to. Like under the docks or through the trees. I literally fished my bait under somebody’s house boat. That mode is designed perfectly for the structure on the Delta. I wanted to make the one sided glide on the K9 for this technique. When you do it with the Frenzy, it is a much longer glide.”
Is the Glidesaber the next bait in line or are you gonna continue to work on the Frenzy?
“The Glidesaber won’t be released before the Frenzy. The Frenzy will be first. I am currently making the packaging for the Frenzy. The Frenzy will be available in both Japan and The US.”
I learned a lot from these guys especially when it comes to fishing DRT baits. Sitting down with Tomoya helped give me a better understanding on how and why particular techniques shine. I hope that this article and interview will help others out there put their baits in the best possible position to catch that fish of a lifetime. Huge thank you to Tomoya and KZ for taking the time to sit down with me for this interview. I look forward to the next time we can all get together.