Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SteveF

Custom vs. Lucky Craft, IMA, Megabass, etc.

Recommended Posts

Firstly let me start by saying that I love my high end production baits like Lucky Craft and the like, but I got to thinking the other day which leads me to my question for all of you!

If spending $15-$20 on a lure is something a person is willing to do (I don't want this discussion to be about whether it is worth it or not), would it not make more sense to 1) Support smaller bait makers such as Marty, Flat-Shad and the like 2) Have custom baits that even less people are throwing?

What are some of your thoughts?  Why do those of you that buy Lucky Craft and others similar buy them versus from a custom lure provider?  Consistency?  Colors?  Wait Time?

Thanks.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consistency and wait time would be my big questions.  Other than that, I'd say its worth a try.  Consistency is the niggling point, only because I'm pretty aggressive as to where I throw cranks, and sometimes lose them in the wood, LOL.  I'd hope that I can get that lost bait back by simply ordering a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see your concern with the consistency, however I often think about the possibility of the "magic" crankbait that the "Pro's" refer to as tournament baits only.  What I mean is I believe that pretty much all of the crankbaits made have there place as good crankbaits, but do you really feel there are amazing production crankbaits versus the possibility of finding a few that are simply incredible?

I guess I'm thinking about trying to find that "magic" bait that will flat out catch them anytime, has a unique wiggle or "hunting" action that they can not turn down.  I love my RC 1.5's and others similar and don't get me wrong they are very good cranks, but are there amazing crankbaits out there?

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't fish particularly pressured water, so I'm not sure a "special" bait would be that much better.  I do have baits that do seem to catch more, though, so I don't doubt the concept at all.  I have a few repainted old Bagleys that fish well, just not sure if they're really "better" or "super."  Bottom line, you really can't figure this stuff out until you really fish the heck out the baits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes perfect sense to buy custom baits. You see a lot of talk on here about production cranks such as Lucky Craft, Megabass, and whatever else.

I think there are many people on this board who use custom cranks and just don't talk about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

Quality.  That is why we buy Lucky Craft or Bandit or War Eagles.

We know the baits will run correctly out of the box; the hooks do not have to be changed; the colors will not fade; and the plastic bill will hold up after many uses.

We also want the cranks to run as stated on the box. That is, if it is to go 15 feet deep, then we want it to go 15 feet deep during part of the retrieve.

Japanese crankbaits are very expensive but they produce rattles and can have profiles that our local bass have not seen before. Therefore they make for good presentations.

Many of us have our favorite crankbaits.  I have a blue back with chartreuse body that I love to throw.  The paint is chipped but it still produces strikes.

When one speaks of "magic" crankbaits, you may be referring to the ones the pros throw.  Remember, the pros get the new colors, rattles and shapes before the lures hit the market.

So KVD was using the Sexy Shad color last year and now everyone wants a Sexy Shad colored bait.  

What we are not told is how Kevin changes the bait. That is, did he change out the front hook to make it bigger?  Did he drill into the bait and remove or replace rattles?  Did he remove the rear hook as he does on lipless cranks to fish them in the heavy brush?

And what presentation or technique did Kevin use when fishing the baits?  Anything out of the ordinary?

A friend who is a pro bass fisherman takes an orange colored Sharpie and colors the bottoms of some of his crankbaits. He swears by the color orange.

So even though Lucky Craft is an expensive bait (also for RICOs), I think the pros modify the baits and since we have no idea of what some of them do, all we can do is take them out of the box, and either throw them or do our own modifications.

It is once again personal preference as to what brand you like. The bass really don't care.  ;D   ;D   ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something occurred to me here...Are we talking about custom or hand made here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there are many people on this board who use custom cranks and just don't talk about them.

Yep, and a lot more pros than people realize.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I referring to baits from Marty (Big M), or Flat-Shad for examples.

I also don't want to get into modifications (however that would make a great thread), but more as to production versus Marty's.  Standard versus probably a one of a kind.  I believe the biggest thing is confidence,  I know (shallow as it may seem) when I'm throwing an "expensive" lure I have more confidence for whatever reason.

It might just be a personal thing, and I feel as far as consistency is concerned that the good bait makers can hand carve them pretty consistantly but someone like Marty would have to comment on that.

Take care all,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big M does some beautiful work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On some of the lakes I fish here in Kentucky, a Lucky Craft might as well be a custom lure.  Quite a few people I talk to cannot hardly stand paying for a Rapala so Lucky Craft is surely out of the equation for them.  I feel like I can clean up around here with a RC 1.5.  

I full well plan on ordering a few customs as well.  Its got to be nice to fish a bait you 100% know the bass have never seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess for me personally (and this whole topic is obviously a personal thing) I have never had a bait that I would go swimming or get out of the boat to get back because it simply flat out caught the fish better than any other bait of its kind, and that is the lure I'm trying to find and I do not feel I will ever find that in the mass produced market (i.e. Lucky Craft).

Like I said, I believe the RC 1.5 amoung many others are very good baits but I do not believe they are "THE" bait I am after and maybe I will never find it, or may spend hundreds of dollars trying but part of me wants to try.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, collecting baits is part of the fun of it all too.  Its basically a whole different hobby within itself.  Good luck on your hunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have never had a bait that I would go swimming or get out of the boat to get back because it simply flat out caught the fish better than any other bait of its kind.

I only have one and it's the only one I have ever had:

XCalibur Xr50 Chrome Blue/ Orange

http://www.xcaliburtackle.com/photo_pop.asp?images/XCalibur_Baits_Rattle_Chrome_Blue_Full.jpg

I just bought it off the shelf, on sale, at BPS. There is nothing

I can describe about this particular lure that makes it special.

 :-?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RW,

Is it the model/manufacturer or is it just that particular bait?  What I mean is does one particular lure produce more fish than another lure that appears to be identical, or is it the model/manufacturer that makes it special?

Man, what I am trying to describe is almost impossible for me to communicate via typing.  

Take care,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think finding that one lure you describe as being "magic" just takes time and money. I think consistency will be an issue with every bait no matter the price, brand, construction or anything. For all we know, that "magic" bait may be the very lure that's a little off from the rest of them.

Another thing that is a factor I believe is that each person may have a different bait that will be magic or money for them. A lot of factors come in to play, what is the primary structure or technique that you are going to be using cranks? You say you like RC 1.5s so I'm guessing you primarily crank fairly shallow water and some sort of cover. Talk to a couple of custom builders about the conditions you primarily fish and they'll be able to help you out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe thinking of it in those terms (production vs. small volume/custom) might be a little problematic.

I find it best just to think in terms of effectiveness. Making the decision to buy a $15 crankbait from big company "A" as opposed to small custom builder "B" simply boils down to which one performs better, and best suits your conditions/expectations.

And FWIW, consistency isn't something you need to worry about from the GOOD custom crank companies (Nomad, JawJacker, Marty, Flat-Shad, Zoom WEC, RAM, Kelly Lures, etc.etc.)....and if you do get a bait that doesn't act right, there isn't a single one of them that I deal with that wouldn't take the bait back and make it right.

Obviously, wait time is going to vary - and you could end up waiting a good while from some of the makers on the list.......that doesn't bother me at all.....it may others. I've waited as long as 2 months for a crank. ;D

So, my short answer for that questions is.....buy both. :)

A Lucky Craft Flat CB SR has an action and appearance that no custom bait I've ever used matches......it is unique in the way it performs, and that's why I bought it. Another "production" company bait that I gladly pay for is the O.S.P. HPF spec 2.

Same goes for:

Big M Subs

Flat-Shad Sonny B's

Zoom WEC Deep Stumpy, Hicky, Z-Flats

RAM Luv Plug and Petey's

Kelly Shellcrackers

GULPs

JawJacker CK's, Model B's and straight-lip mid divers (the tightest action crankbaits you can buy).

Some of these makers also make models that don't appeal to me at all......just like the big companies. It takes some figuring out and experimenting to establish what works best for you and your personal style.

I've picked up some very expensive baits that haven't really produced for me and don't work well for my waters......and I've picked up some very expensive Japanese production baits that don't either.

People are in too big of a hurry.....we have the rest of our lives to fish. Chill out and get a nice crank every now and then. People ask me how I can afford to get so many expensive crankbaits.......simple --- I didn't buy them all at one time!!! ;D I just pick one up every now and then and eventually the collection just grew. You weed out the ones that don't work and you get really good at using a plug-pole for the ones that stay. :D

One thing I noticed mentioned at times - - comments about how the bait doesn't really matter to the fish. I disagree....the lure does matter -- sometimes it matters a l lot! I get the gist of the saying, though.....and there's some truth in it.

You could give Mario Andretti a beat up old open wheel car and he would still turn in incredible lap times and make normal people look weak.......but you give him exactly what he wants, and that performs exactly the way he wants it to, and he's gonna go ill-matic on everybody's a@@.

Crankbaits are no different. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if I could be ignorant for a minute  here...

I used Rapala for many years because I didn't think there was quality in crankbaits.  I thought LC was just an overpriced lure.

Now I am learning that you can order a custom bait???  I didn't know that was possible.  How much would one of these cost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if I could be ignorant for a minute here...

I used Rapala for many years because I didn't think there was quality in crankbaits. I thought LC was just an overpriced lure.

Now I am learning that you can order a custom bait??? I didn't know that was possible. How much would one of these cost?

"Custom crankbaits" are hand made lures that are produced in limited amounts and then sold to the public or dealers. For example, Zoom bait company owner Ed Chambers hand makes different crankbaits that he sells as "Zoom WEC Custom Lures". Another example is Brian's Bees out of North Carolina:

http://brianscrankbaits.com/

You don't actually order a crankbait that is custom made to your specifications. These lure makers have different models of lures to purchase just like the larger companies like Rapala and Lucky Craft, but the major difference is that each lure is hand made unlike the mass produced crankbaits.

Custom cranks can vary in price, but usually run in the $15-$25 range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RW,

Is it the model/manufacturer or is it just that particular bait? What I mean is does one particular lure produce more fish than another lure that appears to be identical, or is it the model/manufacturer that makes it special?

Man, what I am trying to describe is almost impossible for me to communicate via typing.

Take care,

Steve

It is just this particular lure. I have had the same color Xr50

and own several others. In the past I fished Rat-L-Traps like

we all have , then LC LV-300 and Max-500, Yo-Zuri Rattlin'

Vibe and others. They all seem to catch fish if it's the right

lure/ right time/ right location, but addressing the question:

This one particular lure seems to have more mojo than the

others.

8-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My theory on what makes a production bait "magic" is the way it was manufactured.  You have a bait that is already a good design that catches a lot of fish but for some reason when they were constructing that particular bait something was just a hair different.  It could be that the line tie was  1/ 100th of an inch off or the internal weight was a fraction of an inch farther forward or towards the tail of the bait.  Stuff that is not visable to the human eye can cause that one bait to have a different wobble or cause it to "hunt" at a certain speed where the next 20 that came off the line after that one do not.  

That being said, if I had the available resources, I would prefer to have more "custom" baits from small shops since the likely hood of getting one of those "special" baits is greater since it is being manufactured by a human instead of a machine.  Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WIllzx225,

I think you explained it better than I did.  I believe that mass produced lures (both high end and standard) have the possibility of being both good and great, but I believe that a hand made crankbait has the potential of being a "magic" bait.

Take care,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you all want a bait that hunts, just pick up a Lucky Craft Flat CB SR off of eBay and put a lighter hook set on it. The bait is really pokey and has a very sensitive balance. I have at least a half dozen of these and none of them can make it all the way back to the boat without poking out of line a few times.

I think "hunting" is WAAAY overrated anyway. I have some baits that naturally hunt, and it's nothing I can't do with similar baits using my rod tip. Some cranks respond better than others. The baits I have that hunt aren't any more productive (to ME) than the others.

I would rather have a bait that responds well to my rod and retrieve rates than the fabled "hunter."

Believe it nor not, I've gotten pm's from people asking me not to talk about certain baits. Crankbait fishermen tend to be very secretive about their baits.

I'm not....I couldn't care less. ;D Life's short and I'm not that worried about the masses running out and buying productive baits.....there's far bigger problems in the world. :D (one reason I never got along with some of the tournament fishermen I know.....they're just too friggen possessive and obsessed with their "secrets".......c'mon!  Lighten up and have some fun.)  

There are a few baits I don't mention, but only because the person who hooked me up with them requested that I not (and I don't, out of respect for their kindness) or in a few instances, the builders themselves ask me not to talk about them. Believe it or not - - some crankbait builders make baits just for the love of the craft, and would rather not be bombarded with business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is an unanswerable question just like a best reel or rod thread. No bait has the same action as a BDS 1 or 2...or any bait Lucky Craft makes for that matter. No bait has the same action as any of Marty's baits. Unfortunately, my crankbait collection and addiction was started because I found out a $3 crankbait can be as effective as a $20 crankbait at times. You've got to have one (or 9) of every type, and knowing when to throw which one is an endless puzzle that has gripped me ever since I started being successful with cranks. Some are more consistent...some are works of art, but sometimes you need to throw that bomber or Berkley Frenzy. It's maddening!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First time posting here, and I was wondering where you can find these custom lures like Kelly Shellcrackers, JawJackers, Big M, Flat-Shad, O.S.P., Zoom WEC, and Ram? I would like to check them out if I could.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing poles

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...