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Lure Review


Shallow Crankin' With the ABT X-2 Square Bill

 

Date: 4/11/13
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: ABT
Reviewer: Wolbugger






Total Score: 7.91 - GOOD

Introduction:
It's tough to argue against the effectiveness of crankbaits.  From deep and shallow runners to lipless baits, they are effective to some extent all year long and in pretty much any water clarity imaginable.  While in my past I tended to fish plastics more than anything else, the last 5 or 6 years I've really started throwing a lot more crankbaits, particularly the lipless and shallow diving variety.  Even when Bass are in a negative mode, these baits can often trigger a reaction strike that other baits just can't produce.  Though there is a huge variety of shallow running crankbaits available, a few of the ones I've used have exhibited some less desirable qualities.   

 


The ABT X-2 Square Bill in it's stock packaging.

Based in California, ABT lures' X-2 series of shallow square bills are new offerings in the crankbait world.  Based on visuals alone, these baits look clean and attractive.  Will they prove to be a standout, or just get lost in the jumble of other products out there?  Let's find out, shall we?

ABT X-2 Square Bill Crankbait Specifications

Type Square Bill Crankbait
Class Floating or Suspending
Depth 0-5 feet
Size 2.5 inches
Weight 7/16 ounces (floating)  1/2 ounce (suspending)
Hooks #4 VMC
Colors/Patterns 7 colors
MSRP $7.69


Quality colors were evident on our test baits.

Impressions:  I received 3 of the floating X-2's for testing in the Creek Craw, Sexy American Shad, and Sexy Shad colors.  Before even taking the baits out of the packaging, they have a very clean appearance overall.  The colors are sharp and precise.  There is also a bit of a scale pattern to them for added realism.

 
The Sexy Shad color is great for stained waters.

At 2.5 inches in length, these are a great all around size that appeal to both small and bigger fish.  The structure is a typical shallow crankbait composition, with a round, stubby body.  Combined with the plastic square bill, it helps the bait to ricochet off cover and reduce snags.  The internals house a ball bearing chamber in which the rattles are audible without being obnoxious.  I tend to think that some baits go a bit overboard with the loudness of the rattles at times, but these keep it more low key.


Yours truly holding up my favorite color for the local lakes: Sexy Shad.

One aspect I really appreciate about the X-2 square bill are the hooks.  Some crankbaits out there either have one, or both hooks that are too small.  The X-2 utilizes #4 VMC hooks that are sized right and are pretty strong.  They are a thicker gauge than those found on some baits, which is a necessity here since you often fish square bills around shoreline cover and structure. 

 
The body profile is a typical roundish shape.

Real World Tests:  Testing the ABT X-2's occurred on my local southwest Florida lakes.  They were thrown around rip rap shorelines as well as small areas of cover and structure.  12 and 14lb mono were the favored lines, although 20lb braid was used as well.  I loved fishing the baits on 2 rods, the G. Loomis CBR845 Crankbait series, and a 13 Fishing Envy 7'3” medium.

 
The profile of the X-2 square bill from the top.

Casting:  There is not a whole lot to talk about in regards to casting the X-3 square bill, because it is done so with ease.  The weight of the bait allows it to be cast easily, even into a headwind.  Whether your preference is a specified crankbait rod or a more general purpose stick, something with a medium power handles these baits nicely.


Cranking around some small patches of grass.

Next Section: It is all in the retrieve


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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