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


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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David Ulgenalp
3 years ago

Tony – great review thanks! I have come to the same conclusion and prefer the SST baits over the DOA. My two favorite colors are new Penny and Glow.

Kent W.
3 years ago

I watched a video from Trout Support Lures discussing the loss of fish due to “skinning” the hook. After doing studies on the issue, they now provide information on how to bend the hook slightly to get the weedless properties and increase the hook-up ratio. Tight lines.

Casey (Tampa,FL)
3 years ago

What hooks are in the video?

Robert Boozer
5 years ago

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
5 years ago

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
5 years ago

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
5 years ago

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

James Woodmansee
5 years ago

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
5 years ago

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.

Jon Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

highly recommend the pepper death color if you get around to fishing the stickbaits

Mike Drozdowski
5 years ago

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.


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