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Lure Review

VPR-PRO LBM... just another spinnerbait?

Date: 1/15/02
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Competitive Edge
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.0

Introduction: Here at TT we use and test many different types of lures, and spinnerbaits are one of the many choices we pick to test because there are an enormous amount on the market.  Almost all spinnerbaits are similar in design, but what are the  differences that separate them from being a lure that works well and one that does not?  I will be carefully examining every part of the VPR Pro LBM Double Willow spinnerbait and putting it to test to see if this is just another spinnerbait, or something really special.

VPR Pro Little Big Man (LBM), Double Willow Specifications

Colors/Patterns 10 available with Double Willow
Blade Shape Willow
Blade Colors Gold, Black, White, Chartreuse, Nickel
Weight 1/4 - 3/4oz.
Features Anti-roll head, long shank wide gap hook, STAY-ON skirt keeper, chip resistant paint, stainless steel ball bearing swivel, balanced light wire
MSRP $5.99

Impressions: If you are out shopping for a spinnerbait at a local store or online and you take a quick glance at all of them, you will not see much differences unless you take a closer look.  That is how I viewed the Little Big Man (LBM) Double Willow spinnerbait at first, before I had a real opportunity to examine it.  


The LBM sports a high quality Sampo swivel


The LBM (1/2 ounce, Gold blades, Chartreuse/White/Blue pattern was the one I first tested) uses a durable chip resistant paint for longer life.  I also noted that the paint and clear coat is quite smooth and reflective, along with the attractive eyes, could be a plus to gain attention.  The wire used is very similar to other spinnerbaits, but Competitive Edge claims that it is a "balanced light wire construction for maximum vibration."  That I will conclude after my field and lab tests.  Size 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 Double Willow leaf blades are used along with a Sampo stainless steel ball bearing swivel on the larger blade.  The LBM also uses a long shank wide gap Mustad hook that is not razor sharp, but sharp enough.

Tests: While bass fishing, spinnerbaits are considered my confidence bait.  This past weekend I launched my float tube and headed out field testing the LBM at a local lake.  It was a really nice cold morning where the water temperature was only 52 degrees Fahrenheit.  All the fish seemed to be sitting deep on the bottom either in the middle of the channel or about 10 feet from shore.  I started working the VPR Pro spinnerbait like I would normally do with other types.  Cast and do my 3 or 5 count, or let it hit bottom before retrieving.  The 1/2 ounce weight and the blades worked good together as one, and I was able to get the LBM on the bottom quickly.  This is where this spinnerbait becomes  especially useful, when the bass are deep.  I would be able to cast the Little Big Man towards shore and then start rolling it slowly.  The design of the LBM allowed me to fish the bait along the bottom as it slopes downward and due to the unique head shape I was able to retrieve the spinnerbait while it rolls over rocks and other structure without giving me much resistance.  


The LBM dives down quickly to where the bass are holding during winter allowing more hookups


The double willow leaf blades on the LBM were always spinning and would never tangle up no matter what technique I used to cast or retrieve. The blades do vibrate nicely and is balanced with the head.


After many casts on shore and hitting rocks under water, the durable paint on the head was still in decent shape. The paint did have slight chips, but not as much as I have seen in other brands.  The paint remains intact while the clear  coat still shines. 


The other factor that makes the VPR Pro spinnerbait stand out is that the balance wire actually does something.  When you need to work the spinnerbait vertically the balance between the head and the blades allow it to helicopter down evenly without one side being heavier; this helps the lure look more attractive to the bass and even improve hook set.  Note that the light wire is light which did create some problems for the way I fish spinnerbaits.  Sometimes I like to cast the lure on the edge of shore or at structures such as trees and rocks, and then slowing work the spinnerbait similar to jigs on the bottom.   The wire did bend out of shape a few times after the impact with harder objects, but with wire baits you can just bend it back quickly.  But the wire is not as bad as some I have seen before where even a 1 pound bass would mangle the spinnerbait to the point where you cannot even bend it back.


The precision balance allows the spinnerbait to always swim correctly



LBM Double Willow Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Decent components used. Mustad hook, thick coat of paint (but chipped after fishing two days), elastic skirt, Sampo swivel.  Light wire is not great, but acceptable 8
Performance The 1/2 oz. is useful for winter time fishing because the lure gets to the bottom quickly.  Like all spinnerbaits the LBM can cover a lot of water in a short amount of time.  Blades always spin 9
Price Okay price for a spinnerbait with decent components 7
Features The ball bearing swivel adds a lot to a spinnerbait 7
Design (Ergonomics) The variety of sizes, patterns, and blade colors provide a good coverage 8
Application The LBM is a good spinnerbait to find and hook fish in any season, especially in the winter 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Fair price L Light wire bends
J Balanced wire  
J Sampo ball bearing swivel  
J Durable paint  
J Dives quickly  

Conclusion: Many of you were wondering if the Competitive Edge VPR Pro Little Big Man spinnerbait would catch more fish or fishermen.  After extensive tests and close examination I would have to conclude that the LBM is a spinnerbait that catches more fish which in turn catches more fishermen.  This spinnerbait is "just another spinnerbait" PLUS a little more.  If you are a spinnerbait type of person like me, the VPR Pro LBM is definitely for you especially the Chartreuse/White/Blue colored pattern. It will produce!


Have fun and keep on fishin!









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