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Anyone try Brian's Crankbaits ?

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If so, which models have you tried and would you reccomend them? If you can please describe action of the baits that you've tried. Thanks

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I have the Little Bee and the Mighty Bee.

The Little Bee has a very wide action for a flatsided crank. Good bait for throwing in heavy cover in stained water. I don't care for using it in other typical flatsided situations because I much prefer a tighter action.

The Mighty Bee was supposed to be based on the Little Petey design and it isn't. On the website it says it's one of Brian's favorite baits. I haven't used it enough to say. Moderately tight action and high buoyancy.

The couple of baits I have seem to be built and finished very well - as they should be since they're in the upper end of the price range for custom cranks.

I haven't tried more of his baits because I don't dig paying the $7 shipping. Ordering one bait and paying that much to get it shipped is lame. ;) Especially when they don't come with hooks. If I ever get enough scratch to order more than one bait at a time then maybe I'll give some more a try. ;D

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I live on Lake Norman and know Brian Huskins. He tests most of his baits out here since our water is so clear and our fish so finicky due to pressure and lack of natural cover.  The guy is a mechanical engineer and a flat out perfection freak when it comes to building baits.  His quality control is second to none.

The baits are great. They are all expensive but they are great and will last if you take care of them. I have 2 flat Bees which are what I call finesse crank baits. They run in the 6-8 ft range. I have them in the cricket finish (blueback and gizzard). They are fantastic, have an ultra tight wiggle and run true.

The little B is a great bait also but I'd rather throw a Thundershad 306 or a Spro Little John depending on if I want a rattle or not because they cast better all things being equal. Usually not here; again due to pressure.

The B 18 is his most popular bait bar none and is a true 18' running cb. It's legendary around the Catawba and Yadkin chains and gets talked about a lot due to the fact that it works. Action, it's a typical deep diver, it goes every which way, deflects nicely, and being balsa, has it's own rise rate but all of his baits are leaded so they rise properly and not too fast.

I also have 2 prop Bees which are incredible baits. Have them in #2 and #3 in bull bream and purple shad. They are as good of top water bait as there is which is why they are so highly regarded.

I also have the "Vee Bee" which he designed for KVD prior to he and Strike King doing the whole Strike King custom shop thing. That bait in the VS#8 (very sexy shad) caught me a load of fish this Winter and won me some money here on Norman. It's a bigger bodies flat sided crank bait that runs about 6-8' and it just gets hammered. That is my favorite of all of the baits he makes for sure. It's a big bite bait due to its size but it just gets crushed when it does get bit and I use it for finding kicker fish.

His dumptruck jigs are very good also and if you are goiing to use his stuff pay attention to how he says to rig them and what line to use. Izorline XXX co poly is terrific with balsa baits due to the lightness of the baits and the line behaves well with that. I'll throw the little bee on a spinning rod with 6 or 8lb test co poly if I'm not throwing a shad rap #5 on that same rig and the Spro little john or the Thundershad #306 on a casting rod usually with 8lb floro or co poly.

They are expensive but I am now a true believer and formally a balsa bait fan. You pay more for them but in clear water they always, always, always outperform hard baits due to the more subtle/tighter wiggle and not having a rattle which I've yet to find in hard baits. Having no rattle is key here on Lake Norman where the pressure is intense year round and the fish get their heads caved in by thousands of anglers a year beating the docks for them.

My reccomendation is to try a couple and see what you think. You can get them direct from his web site or call them. If you do tell him Chuck Daymude from LKN sent you. You can buy them retail at the Great Outdoors in Cherryville, NC also.

Other favorite balsa baits are the Rick Clunn designed Thundershad #306, #312, and #406 (hard to find but if you do....oh man!)

Also, Mimic has a nice balsa bait out that's in the $12 range which is low for that quality of bait. Look for mimic crank baits.

Here's a web site that can help with some others. On the line crank baits and WEC both make some nice ones too. Jeff Coble of the Bassmaster Weekend Series (legendary angler) is a WEC guy.

http://www.bubbajackstackle.com/

Good luck & have fun

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26.00 per bait + 7.00 shipping !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know....I don't want to sound like I'm down on Brian or anything, because I really support these guys and realize that they need to make a decent profit to stay in business - but I pay almost half that much to get crankbaits shipped to me all the way from Japan. 

There's also a lot of good custom cranks out there right now and quite a bit of competition. 

Cranks from Zoom, BlackJack, BigM, JawJacker, FlatShad, CLU, Richard Manley (RAM), etc......all worth looking into. 

I haven't had the same experience as lkn with ThunderShad, however.  I got a "Rick Clunn" shallow, fat crank and that thing was a big disappointment.  I would take a $4 Speed Trap over it any day.  Maybe there's some other models in the lineup I would prefer, but I would be hard pressed to spend more of my money on them after that crank.   

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Hey guys I ordered 3 all in the Baby Bream finish because I was really looking for something to closely match Bluegill/ Sunfish that swim in my area. I wanted to stick to shallow running baits in the 3'-4' range on this order, that said next time I can scrape a few extra bucks together for custom cranks I'm going to try the B18 & the Vee Bee. On this order I selected 1 each of the Little Bee, Flat Bee & Skinny Bee #2 after talking to Brian and describing the types of lakes I typically fish and what I was looking for, the good news is that because they are using the regular mail the shipping is only $ 4.80 for all 3 which I can live with. I realize these baits are expensive and there are other good wood cranks out there that I plan on trying but none of the others that I looked at seemed to have a finish that matched the Bluegill as closely as Brian's baits do which was the overiding factor that made me select his cranks on this order. I already have more cranks that I'll ever need, I'm hoping these baits will show the fish something a little different and give me an edge when I'm fishing some of the more pressured lakes. I think of the 3 selections the Flat Bee has me particulaly excited because it sounds like the type of subtle non rattling bait that you sometimes need to sneak up on fish. I appreciate your input and I'll be sure to follow-up when I've had a chance to fish them enough to form an impression.

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Brian makes an excellent crank...although I only own one of them (little ;). Brian had a little hot streak with his cranks winning a couple of tournaments several years ago, and they peaked in popularity and the higher price followed. However, I don't find them to be higher quality than Ed's Chambers baits, and the Zoom's are cheaper (the readily available ones anyway). 

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I've been looking at some of Brians baits for a year now, but just can't bring myself to pay the X $$$ compared to other custom cranks. I think you can save a few bucks off shipping by calling his shop and asking for regular shipping w/o ins., but, still quite expensive.For now, I'll think just keep looking ;)

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The next order I'm going to get a few of the WEC cranks because they seem to be well regarded, the main reason I went with Brian's on this order despite the price was that I wanted a few cranks that closely matched a Bluegill and it didn't look like I could get the WEC in this color. Also, custom style wood cranks are relatively new for me and I want to try a sampling of a few next year to see what works for me, one that has done well this fall on a couple of outings has been the Strike King Flat Shad which has opened my eyes as to the effectiveness that wood cranks can have.

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4 hours ago, Dick Lathbury said:

does Brian have his own website?

This post was from 2009, so I’m guessing not!

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12 hours ago, Bassin' Brad said:

Grave Digger 

Dawn of the Dead Sticking...

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19 hours ago, Dick Lathbury said:

does Brian have his own website?

Fourscore and a decade ago....:P

 

I do not believe there is a website, but his baits are available through online retailers.  Search for "Brian's Bees" and you'll get some hits.

  • Haha 1

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3 hours ago, J Francho said:

Fourscore and a decade ago....:P

I didn't even look at the date until I got a couple posts down and saw Grey Wolf's post. I'm like: "There's a blast from the past."

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