Kastmasters are an old school favorite in Hawaii. As the name implies, the lure’s streamlined profile casts really well, even into the wind. Its shiny, machined surface is beveled to cause it to flash as it swims enticingly. If you pause and let it fall, it flutters to the bottom like a dying fish.
The stock treble hook it comes with is notoriously weak and prone to snagging the reef so a suggested modification would be to replace that hook with a single “siwash” hook. I use Gamakatsu “open eye” siwash hooks that have an eye that can be slipped over a split ring and then crimped tight. I’ve heard that the kastmaster sinks with the printed side up so I position the siwash hook such that the point is facing up not down. In theory this minimizes snags.
If you want to add further modifications, you can purchase the kastmaster with the trailer attachment, and add a stick on eye to the front of the lure. I can’t tell you if those mods increase my catch rate but they don’t seem to hurt.
I get way more bites dragging cut bait than on the kastmaster but if something hits the kastmaster usually it’s a good one. I try to start with the kastmaster and if I do get a hit on the kastmaster often that’ll be the only hit in that area until I switch to bait.
Use the kastmaster when you’re fishing near the water’s surface, to impart the right action. If you’re fishing too shallow, say shallower than 4 feet of water, you may end up getting snagged a lot. The blue/silver version attracts papio, kaku and awa awa, and the gold and rainbow trout version attracts moana and other reef fish. Use the smallest size you can cast since the prey you’re imitating is often pretty small. The 3/8 oz size will get more hits than the 1/2 oz size, and anything larger will lessen the number of hits but may attract a monster fish.
Click here to see how effective the gold kastmaster was on the He’eia Fishpond kaku.
For a summary of other bait and lures you could use, click here.