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Shadcranker

High end custom balsa crankbaits.. are they worth it?

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Bait monkey keeps putting theses in my head. My tackle is about as ready as it could be, and I don't need anything else, but, I've been looking at some of the WEC's, Brian's Bees, and other NC and VA Crankbait makers' stuff, and they look pretty sweet. But for $18-20 a bait, I'm wondering if they are worth it?

Also noticed that Gambler has a line of high end balsa baits with circuit board bills, great looking paint jobs, etc.

Anyway, if I do give in to the little primate, can anyone suggest a brand / model to try? I would probably just use them in the 3-10 ft range, as my really deep cranks are pretty well set. I'm thinking a few of the flat sided baits, and a few fat ones for shallow cranking in the Summer aroundlaydowns and stuff.

Any advice is appreciated. Don't want to throw my money away.

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Here's some I've tried and think are worth it:

Zoom WEC Sand Flea

Zoom WEC Sweet P

Zoom WEC Z-Flat

I also have a Zoom Mutt that I have not fished yet but I'm sure it will be a good bait as well.

Brian's Bees are next on my list.

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In my opinion, custom cranks are a must have, even if you only have a few of them. They will draw a strike on the toughest of days. Most times you can 'get away' with store bought cranks but when you can't get a sniff, the customs are good to have around.

The Zoom Z Flat is an awesome bait without a doubt, as well as the E2 which has the square bill and I also like the Zoom Tapp real well. Brian's Bee's are excellent cranks with unique actions you just can't find anywhere else in any other bait. Another co. that makes a good custom crank is D Baits. I only have a couple of the D Baits cranks but I am impressed with them so far.

BigM here on the site makes some great baits too and his paint jobs are truly works of art.  

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Are Zooms the same as the WEC cranks?

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Big M's are great. I love the M Flats for all the clear water there is around me. Just ordered some of the 12' and 14' flat sides, can't wait to get them. Big M is one of the nicest guys you could deal with too.

Here's a 4' M Flat that he made and I painted:

100_0766-1.jpg

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x2 on Big M's cranks. I don't have any yet (no money), but would hope to buy some in the future. Everything he makes is gorgeous and is meticulous in craftsmanship.

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Are Zooms the same as the WEC cranks?

Yep, WEC stands for for the founder of Zoom's initials (William Edward Chambers I think is his name). He makes the lures and sells them under the Zoom WEC name.

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Mine have been worth every penny.

Here's some standards in my box that you can't go wrong with.

Flat-Shad Sonny B - - one of the finest flatsided baits out there. Toss it in cover where other guys are throwing spinnerbaits and fat cranks.......you'll begin to understand what it's all about.

flats4.jpg

Flat-Shad Classic PT: Excels in cold water. Tight, subtle action.

flats1.jpg

You pretty much can't go wrong with anything Flat-Shad makes.  They're a fantastic company with great prices.  

Next up.....forum member Marty Burns:

Big M "M-Flat": Works in just about any situation - - very versatile bait and great around cover.

mflat.jpg

Big M Custom Tapp-style: Marty makes these in various depth ranges and lip designs. I wore the lake out last fall with these things and I was caught and convicted of bass assault in the 1st degree.

martytapp.jpg

Zoom WEC Hicky:

hickey.jpg

JawJacker Model B: if you like little round Bagleys or the LC RC 1.5...try this!~

newjaw1.jpg

Rob makes a lot of different baits - - let him know what kind of conditions you want to throw it in and he'll hook you up.

John Mills (used to be a forum member here) makes this bait - - I don't know what he calls it, but it murders. It's 1/2" stock balsa with a very tight action. Great cover bait - - reminiscent of the Sonny B.

whittler1.jpg

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