Yo-Zuri/Duel Hardcore 50-SH

As you can see JDM tackle has really taken it’s toll on us. Today we’re going to review/reveal another Japan hardbait. Most of us have tried, or at least heard about Yo-Zuri brand. Their variety of lures can actually blow you mind, and the price is not as premium as you’d expect from a JDM. Duel is the mothership brand, and sustains both brands, Duel and Yo-Zuri. Duel has been making lures in Japan for more than 40 years now, and still have some of the most demanded and accessible (pricewise) lures on the JDM market.

Yo-Zuri is a worldwide brand that sells, it probably sounded better than Duel, when introduced to the US market. Duel is the actual developer, that’s always improving, and coming up with new technologies, like they came up with the Magnetic Long Cast System, making some of the top rated lures in the world.

Hardcore is one of the brands most sought after lures, with a large variety of lure types, starting with minnows, both regular and deep diving, up to crankbaits and vibe baits such as the Hardcore Drum.

The F736 SH-50 is a suspending deep diving finesse minnow most suited for reservoirs and deeper river areas.

Hardcore 50-SH – Lure Specifications
Manufacturer Duel/Yo-Zuri
Lure type Jerkbait, Diving minnow
Length 2″ (5cm)
Weight 1/8 oz (suspending)
Colors/Patterns 7 colors listed in the Yo-Zuri catalog
Buoyancy Suspending
Diving depth 5 ft
MSRP 10-13$

The lure’s packing is Yo-Zuri standard, simple and effective to keep your lure safe until you manage to fish it.

Finish: Hardcore series are made out of durable plastic, with detailed gills and scales with both MAT and clear gloss finish. They’re really attractive to both fish and fisherman. They all are provided with the most realistic 3D eyes, but tend to “escape” the sockets after a few toothy predators. I tend to fix this problem with a drop of super glue upfront so I don’t loose the eyes.

This lure was clearly ment for something other than bass fishing, considering it’s size and “low profile”.

Terminals: I still don’t now what trebles are used on Duels and Yo-Zuris, but they are as sharp as they can get, even though they aren’t the toughest ones out there. They’ll hold  as long as you don’t get really excited about using them on a heavier than 6-8lb line.  If you intend on using them on larger fish I strongly recommend replacing them with tougher ones. I don’t replace them only if they get used, but other than that I am pretty confident about them for what I use them for. And I like they chose a dark, black, color for them.

Harder fighting fish need tougher trebles

Harder fighting fish need tougher trebles

Split rings are standard quality, and I believe they will never let anyone down.

As most of plastic lures it doesn’t have thru-wire construction, and, unfortunately I’ve had trouble in the past with the lip pulling of a lure while fighting a fish. I don’t have the pics to prove that, but have had friends with the same problem with some of the heavier lures in the Hardcore series, like the SH-60 and the 75-SP, which should be able to hold up to some strong fighting fish. Hope Duel will acknowledge this problem, and take some attitude about it in the future.

Casting: Little lure, lots of features. Tungsten weight and the proprietary Advanced Magnet Weight Transfer System, patented by Duel have a lot to do with the good casting abilities of this lure, considering it’s light 1/8 oz. weight. The Advanced Magnetic Weight Transfer System will work on most of the casts, but it takes a little power into the cast, to make the magnet “click”. You get the hang of it in a blink of an eye.

It casts like a charm for a 1/8 oz. lure. The further you cast it, the deeper it will get. The tungsten bb’s act as a rattle as well, so be prepared to call fish from a distance.

Action:The looks of the bait will win you in a millisecond. The patterns are as deadly as they get, being able to get both MAT, translucent and flashy patterns.

What about the action? How will the Yo-Zuri Hardcore SH-50 run? Is it worth the trouble? It definitely is. It has a deadly tight bobble that will start vibrating at the slowest retrieve speeds. I actually prefer tighter wobble over wider, but as you must all know: every lure will catch you fish eventually you just need the right conditions for that lure. I’m not talking about this lure though… you can catch fish almost every day of the week with it. You can use it as a suspending jerkbait in colder weather as well. It really suspends, as you can see in the video. We kept it motionless for a few moments so you can get the general idea of how suspending this lure really is. I’m putting accent on this detail, because most of the lures that are sold as “suspending” really aren’t. Most of them are a very slow floating lure. I won’t give names for now, but I’ll keep you posted on the suspending ability of lures in the future as well.


Application: This is definitely a finesse bait, most likely to be used for species like trout, perch, chub, asp and barbel. Bass is on the menu, but it’s not really considered to be a bass finesse bait. I especially like to use it on clear water reservoirs and in deeper river areas. I even went the extra length of painting a few of them in trout patterns for really clear waters. The action on these is amazing, and you have to consider they can be used with high efficiency in very powerful currents as well, as they are utterly stable.

Due to the Advanced Magnetic Weight Transfer System you will be able to use it on a baitcaster if ever needed. Don’t expect long casts though.

I caught almost everything from chub to perch with this lure, and like to use it on trout lakes and rivers. They seem to especially like it when hanging to depths of 4 to 10 ft.

I usually fish it with up to 6lb rated line ( 0.18mm diameter-tops)

Hardcore 50-SH – Ratings (?/10)
Design Really dynamic shape. It won’t keep you wondering weather to buy it or not. Hardcore lures are known worldwide for their incredible fish catching abilities. I like the sharp, black trebles, but if you want to hang on larger or harder fighting fish you need to change them for tougher ones. The trebles are well spaced, in such a manned they won’t ever tangle. The finish is tough. 8.5
Features This lure is packed with features: great patterns, tungsten weighting, Advanced Magnetic Weight Transfer System, all in a 2 inch bait that suspends whenever needed.  Could you ask for more? I could… Please keep on manufacturing them :) . I won’t give it the highest grade though, because the lip seems to come off (I had it happen once) in some cases, and it’s not an isolated case, unfortunately. 6.5
Application / Performance They run true right out of the box. Due to their tight wobble they are really versatile, and can cover a lot of fishing situations. It’s a finesse bait that will catch you fish, and catch your eye. It will start vibrating on the slowest retrieve speeds, and will keep on running true even in the fearsome currents. 9.5
Price It’s on the premium side, but for a JDM I consider them to be lightly priced. I can swallow a 10-12$ bill, but for a lure of this size, most of JDM have a price tag that hangs well over 12$. It a good deal if you ask me. 7.5
Overall Final Grade 8
Trouty lure:D

Trouty lure:D

Conclusion: If you like finesse fishing, this lure has to make it’s way in your tackle box. You won’t be able to buy them for a long time from now on, because Duel/Yo-Zuri has stopped producing this model.. to think I just came to like it:). It’s a really small bait packed with tons of features.

The lip it’s not it’s strongest point, and is prone to come of on some of the Hardcore baits. Don’t ask why, but it happened to other people besides myself. The price is excellent for a JDM, but would love to be able to take it out full of confidence. The broken lip gets my heart pumping, and not in a good way, every-time I have a fish dangling at the end of this lure. I’d expect more from a lure in this price range, but unfortunately I can’t just throw them in the garbage, due to their unique action. I have no other lure with a similar action as the Hardcore 50-SH, not even close.

Other than that it has impeccable action, and will catch you tons of fish. I wish they had more match the hatch patterns though, and with all finesse deep diving baits… a sinking version would blow me off.

About Andrei

Professional angler, rodbuilder, lurebuilder, if it's about fishing you name it, he does it. He hates "relaxing", and takes each day as a challange. Whenever he's got a spare moment he's either fishing, cycling, hiking or training his ass at the gym. He's fishing for more than 20 years now. Strictly on artifficial baits from the age of 7, he's always on the look out for the newest stuff and techniques out there.
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    Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Hello! Can you please help me with an information? I bought 3 SH-50 Hardcore Yo-Zuri’s from ebay, without trebles and split rings. Can you please tel me what treble size should I use, in such a manner that I don’t ruin their action? And what kind of split rings should I use.
    Thank you very much!

  2. Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    If you don’t have split rings on them, please use the smallest you have available. As for the trebles, they are equipped with size 10 trebles.

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