Slayer SST vs. DOA CAL Shad Review [Rigging Tips & Underwater Demo]

By: Tony Acevedo on September 20, 2018
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Slayer SST vs. D.O.A. CAL Shad

Two inshore lures that I have used regularly to target redfish, trout and other inshore gamefish are the Slayer Inc. SST (Sinister Swim Tail) and the D.O.A. CAL Shad.

Both of these are soft plastic paddle tail lures.

I like to use these lures in shallow water grass flats rigged weedless on a twist lock hook or on a jig head.

After fishing with both of these lures for a while, I wanted to give you my honest review of them and show you how they look in the water.

In this article, I go over how to rig these lures and which one has the best underwater action. You can see the full underwater demo in the video review at the bottom of the article.

Note: We are not affiliated with any fishing lure companies. If you’ve used this lure, let us know what you thought of it in the comments section. Your honest feedback is always welcome on any products we review!

Slayer SST & D.O.A. CAL Shad Specs

Slayer SST and D.O.A. CAL Shad

Although the Slayer SST and D.O.A. CAL Shad are similar, there are some differences between the two lures.

Slayer SST Specs

Slayer SST Pack

These lures are scented and each pack is lined with Slayer Inc.’s “special sauce” for added attractant.

The Slayer SST comes in 3 different sizes:

  • 3.5″ SST – Weighs 6 grams and comes with 10 per pack. Can be fished on a 3/0 or 4/0 weedless hook.
  • 4″ SST XL – Weighs 9.4 grams and comes with 7 per pack. Can be fished on a 4/0 or 5/0 weedless hook.
  • 5″ SST Grande – Coming Soon

The Slayer SST comes in 56 different color combinations.

The Slayer SST packs are $5.25 on the Slayer Inc. website.

D.O.A. CAL Shad Specs


The D.O.A. CAL Shad is available in two sizes — a 3″ and 4″ model.

The 3″ D.O.A. CAL Shad comes in 62 different color variations. The 4″ D.O.A. CAL Shad comes in 14 color variations.

There are different pack options as well.

For the 3″ D.O.A. CAL Shad, you can get packs of 12 for $4.49 and packs of 50 for $11.99 on the D.O.A. website.

For the 4″ D.O.A. CAL Shad, you can get packs of six for $4.99.

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Slayer SST vs. D.O.A. CAL Shad Video Review [Underwater Demo]

In this video, I go over the key differences between the Slayer SST and the D.O.A. CAL Shad and show you what kind of action each lure has with an underwater demo.

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Slayer SST underwater

Out of these two lures, the Slayer SST is going to give you the most action in the water.

The extra weight with the Slayer SST also allows you to cast it farther than the D.O.A. CAL Shad.

These are both good lures, but my top choice is the Slayer SST.

Remember, we are not affiliated with any lure companies. All our reviews are objective and unbiased.

Let us know which one of these lures is your favorite in the comments section.

Tight Lines!

Related Posts:

1. Rapala X-Rap SubWalk Review & “How To” [UNDERWATER FOOTAGE]

2. Z-Man Pop ShadZ Review [Top Pros, Cons & Rigging Tips]

3. Rapala X-Rap Twitchin’ Mullet vs. X-Rap Twitchin’ Minnow Review [VIDEO]

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Robert BoozerJon MartinTony AcevedoBrian KeeslerNick Strickland Recent comment authors
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Robert Boozer

Thanks for the review. Here’s an off topic question. How do I get one of the Salt Strong fishing shirts you are wearing in the video?

Brian Keesler

Hey Tony! Another great review 👍👍 how well do the tails hold up on the slayer?? One of my biggest issues with the D.O.A. is the paddle part comes off really easy.
Thanks B👍

Edward Wygonik

Hey Tony, Great Video and great discussion here so far. One question, do you use procure on these? I know they say they’re scented, but they seem nothing like the gulp or fishbites. I haven’t had much success with fishbites, even though they’re scent is good, their shape just isn’t natural, and the gulps have great shapes, but don’t ‘swim’ well. So what I started doing, is cutting the underneath of DOA CAL paddle tails with my knife, almost like a jerk shad, so I can put procure up in the belly. Reduces the life of the lure a bit, but I think the scent lasts longer than just smearing it on the outside.

Richard Fiorentino

Great Video Tony- What color do you like in the Slayer?

James Woodmansee

Thanks Tony. That was a very helpful review, perhaps one of the most helpful reviews you have done to date! I had no idea about the better tail action on the Slayer. This is my favorite kind of review; where you compare two products against each other. Now if you can make it a 3-way review and add the Zman MinnowZ that would be really helpful. Also, if you can add “fishability” to it, i.e., how many fish did it catch, that would be great.

Keith Donald

Some thoughts from my own testing:

I prefer Slayer over D.O.A. Cal overall as well and it’s great to see a pool test video showing the two. I also like the action and durability of 3” the Matrix Shad which has a bit thicker body and longer tail.

For even smaller profile (2” glass minnow imitation) I’ve been having success with Capt. Joe Hebert’s SS Minnow. Not much to look at and kind of a pain to rig but love the mini profile.

For tail action on the fall of a twitch-twitch pause retrieve, it’s hard to beat Down South Lures. They make a 5” Super Model that I’ve found compliments the above pretty nicely.

It’d be great to see a comparison of darter-style stick baits! Mirrolure Lil John is a favorite of mine but Slayer makes one as well.

MICHAEL Drozdowski

Great video, Tony! Up until today, I’ve strictly been a DOA CAL shad user (caught a 23″ snook on a pearl white one this morning!). But after seeing this video, I’m going to try the Slayer version, as I really like the tail action I saw on it.

John Simkunas

awesome! like that underwater stuff

Nicholas George

Hey Tony, Kayak VS SUP for fishing? I don’t have either but am considering purchasing one or the other.

Landon Wells

Tony, what knot type do you use for the owners hook? I have tried using a uni knot for more action but it seems to interfere with the center pin spring.

Anthony Peek

Nice, very informative.

Justin Prince

Slayer XLs spin due to large tail of you dont have enough keel weight and I always have problems with the chartreuse tails falling off the Slayers from poor bond. Dont have that issue with Saltwater Assassin or Doa!

Gary Rankel

Interesting stuff, Tony, but give me a ZMan Minnowz every time.


Diezel Minnowz

Dave Otte

Great review Tony! You show that 1 is not better than the other, you have to know when the fish want the right one! I’ve used both and caught nice fish with both. Thanks for showing the differences so we can apply that knowledge to the conditions.

Luke Simonds

Great review Tony!

Allen Tufts


Great article as always! I have performed my own non scientific paddle tail showdown and both of these lures landed somewhere in the upper middle of the tests for me. Perhaps this post could expand and grow to include other major paddle tail products based on insider recommendations and we can have a full blown test serving as a paddle tail bait reference for all of us.

I’m thinking a post similar to what Luke did (for reels and rods) where you can add to this post as you do comparisons of other models as a link attached to this post and once finalized the results could all be seen in one place. Perhaps an overall score could be assigned to each product using factors like cost per bait, action under straight retrieve, action under jerk retrieve, scent, ease of use overall etc. which would provide footage for others to see and compare the action of the baits as well- just a thought. I think it could make for a good reference post to review before we go to the tackle shop and spend money on a new or unused bait.

Perhaps I am post rationalizing a bit, I know poor performaning baits is what inspiried me to perform my testing after a couple of baits purchased based on other’s recommendations came up short for me.

Thank you

Steven Free

Yea Tony I have a tendency to agree I like the slayer better then the DOA by far in fact everyone swears by the DOA shrimp and to me the vudu is much better looking and action as well but hey whatever works for ya thanks for all you do😁

Allen Tufts

I agree Steven. I’d take the pepsi challenge for the Vudu Shrimp anyday over the DOA, I have always felt the hype for DOA fell short for me perosnally. I also dont understand why the Savage Gear TPE shrimp and the Zman shrimp are so overlooked by my fishing buddies and others here locally at least. I realize they are a bit more expensive but those two shrimp baits along with the vudu shrimp have produced for me consistently many many many times over!

Steven Free

Yes Allen and believe it or not I just started using plastic shrimp on a regular basis I have used gulp shrimp under a popping cork with luck sometimes but the vudu is my go to in the shrimp category of lures the gulp to me like other shrimp baits doesn’t really look like a shrimp at all but to me it’s the scent that they give off that attracts them now the savage gear does have a great shrimp as well the only problem being is I can’t seem to find a size smaller then the big ones they make I use the bus is in the small natural color when the trout are feeding on small shrimp by the dock lights at night I do alot of night fishing but when the summer is close to conning to an end I switch to the bigger size that is more prevalent in late summer to fall I have so many different baits I probably have more then ole Bill dance does except he gets all his tackle for free anyways have a great one and thanks for the comment😁

Nick Strickland
Nick Strickland

I can’t diss a doa. Doa was killing fish long before these others came to be.

Once again…great stuff tony

MICHAEL Drozdowski

I used to use only the DOA shrimp until I tried the Z-man shrimp and I’ve done much better with them. Much more lifelike than the DOA shrimp IMO.