Flex II Squarebill ReviewFlex II Squarebill Review A review of the Booyah Flex II squarebill crankbait.
By Glenn May
The more Booyah baits I use, the more I like them. This time I'm reporting on the Booyah Flex II squarebill crankbait. This is a unique squarebill that has a hard plastic body that’s foam-injected which gives it the action only previously achieved with balsa wood baits. It comes in 11 popular colors in ½ oz size. I have only used four colors so far, but from my initial outing with them, I plan on using the rest of the colors as well.
When I first removed the crankbait from the package, I did what I always do with new crankbaits – check the hooks. Crankbaits are notorious for having dull and/or weak hooks, so it’s become routine for me to check them now. To my surprise, the hooks were strong and razor sharp. Normally I have to sharpen at least a few points, or replace the hooks. I was shocked. I didn’t have to do either.
In addition to the hooks, I also replace the circle split-ring on my crankbaits, because when you tie directly to them, the line almost always finds its way to the little notch between the two ends, and it gets nicked. But the Flex II comes with oval split rings, where the wires meet on the sides. This design eliminates that problem entirely.
Simply put, the bait is ready to fish straight out of the package.
Most anglers, myself included, who used balsa squarebill baits in the early 90’s discovered these baits were not very durable. Balsa is a soft wood that doesn’t hold up well through the rigors of crankbait fishing. Eventually, you’d lose a fish to a hook hanger that pulled out, or you would cast out the lure only to reel in a bill!
Forget those days! Many manufactures have long resorted to making lures from plastic – even the same models that were once made of balsa.
Booyah has changed the game. With the foam-injected plastic body, you can now have the characteristics of balsa with the strength and durability of plastic. Believe me, I’ve banged the Flex II against a number of rocks without sustaining any damage. The wire-through design from pull-point to both hook hangers ensures strength and durability. No more ripped out bills.
I noticed an aggressive and hard wobbling action at slow speeds on the very first cast. This is the ideal action for squarebills. First, for maximum water displacement. Second, you can slowly work it through cover and still trigger vicious reaction strikes. Squarebills are designed to fish through cover because they’re less prone to hanging up. But the action of this bait makes it even better, giving you the ability to work it through cover AND get great action at the same time.
As I bounced it off wood, stumps, and rocks, it would careen off in a wild angle. You’d expect that from a squarebill, but this was extreme. And even when it wasn’t hitting anything, it had an erratic “hunting” action to it. I caught quite a few fish by just reeling the bait straight in because of this action.
Upon examination, it turns out the bill has two divots on it, which changes the way water moves over it. I also noticed the line-tie is actually not on the bill, but under the “nose” of the bait. I can only assume that contributes to the action of the bait.
Like I said, it acts like a balsa bait. So when you hit a log, branch, or rock, pause it. It will rise up and away from the cover, making it look like a stunned baitfish. Geeze I’ve caught a bunch of fish on the pause! There’s something about that rising action that you could only previously get with balsa that makes the bait look wounded, triggering strikes from bass, even when they’re not feeding. I call this “force feeding” the bass – keying on their predator instincts rather than their appetite. This is why those 90’s balsa baits worked so well.
But here’s the thing that’s different from the balsa squarebills from years ago – the Flex II has a rattle chamber. But it doesn’t sound like other rattling crankbaits. The foam, of course, dampens the sound, but the bill and rattle chamber are actually a fused one-piece design. This is the only crankbait on the market that I am aware of that has the bill and rattle chamber as a total separate piece from the body of the crankbait. It builds in strength to the bill also aids in transmitting sound out through the bill, giving it a unique sound bass haven’t heard before.
Once the bass move onto the rocks and docks and into their summer patterns, I expect the Flex II to become even more effective. In addition, the unique action and sound should work wonders on fish that are in a neutral feeding mood. You might want to get some before every angler on the lake is throwing a Flex II.
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