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Adhek Penipen Stickbaits – a short review

by Mark Harris

I have been using the Adhek Penipen sticks in various sizes for about four years now, and it has become one of the limited number of lures that I never leave home without.  They have a great record of catching quality fish all around the world, and now that they are reliably available in Australia at attractive prices via The Lure Locker, it seems like a good time to publish a review.

Grumpy black GT on a Medium Penipen

These lures are manufactured in Bali by Adhek Amertha, a legendary name in GT fishing circles, and a man who has been hand-making lures for more years that he would care to admit.  As with all Adhek stickbaits and poppers, Penipens are made from tough mahogany, through wired with 1.5 mm stainless wire, and the belly swivels are one of the best available anywhere – made by Owner in Japan. The lure comes in four sizes:

  • Long Penipen – 150 grams – 26 cm long, rigging advice: 2 x Gamakatsu Recorder 6/0 or 7/0 trebles.
  • Medium Penipen – 125 grams, 24 cm long, rigging advice: 2 x 5/0 or 4/0 trebles.
  • Short Penipen – 100 grams, 20 cm long, rigging advice: 2 x 4/0 or 3/0 trebles.
  • Baby Penipen – 30 grams,14 cm long, rigging advice: 2 x 1/0 trebles.

Note: all hook sizes based on Owner hooks unless otherwise stated.

     While the Long and Medium Penipen models have made their name as GT lures, the smaller versions obviously have other uses. The Short Penipen is definitely an interesting size to try for large tuna and kingfish, and is also the right size and profile for host of larger reef predators.

    Very solid GT on a Medium Penipen

    Baby Penipen is a relatively new addition to the stable and is definitely an under-exposed lure. I have had success with this pure on a 20 to 30 lb set up, inducing strikes from Oman’s legendary monster bream, plus queenfish and other desirable top water species. In Australia, I can see a multitude of uses for this lure including tropical reef predators, queenfish, tailor, smaller tuna etc.

    Omani Bream caught on a Baby Penipen

    One huge advantage of the Penipen range is that they are all easy-to-work. Whilst some rudimentary stick-bait skills are required, there is certainly none of the rod voodoo which is associated with some lures out there on the market.

    There are a number of different retrieves which can be used, but the lure was designed for medium paced sweep. Just work it laterally and towards you, always leaving a little slack in the line before you pull, and the lure will swim with a very enticing tail kick. You can also work it with a twitch and pause. I think because of the head design, you can use this lure successfully in water which might be considered too choppy for many floating sticks – a big advantage. Those not familiar with techniques for working surface stick baits will soon catch-on with this lure, while it is also a favourite of many more experienced top-water anglers.

    GT on Long Penipen

    So what are the downsides?  Surprisingly few really with this lure. I would say the key one is that it is not the best casting lure you will ever use. It is by no means bad in this respect, but it is not the best either. This is undoubtedly due to the relatively heavy front end. The upside of that of course is that it holds the water well.

    Could this be the best mid-priced lure of its nature out there? It probably is in my view.

    My friends at The Lure Locker now have this relatively under-exposed lure readily available in Australia at very keen prices. Why not visit that site and see for yourself?

    Finally, just to show that I really do like them, here are a few of my own Penipens 🙂

    If you have questions at all about what I have written, please feel free to post them here. Cheers, Mark.

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