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Lure Review

A.C. Plugs Modernizes the AC Minnow

Date: 4/12/09
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: AC Plugs
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.0 - GREAT


Introduction: Few swimbait companies have such a storied history as that of AC Plugs, and the company that was among the most influential in the beginning of the big bait craze brings back their popular AC Minnow with new performance enhancements.

AC Plugs AC Minnow Specifications

Type BigBait
Depth Wakebait
Class Floater (F)
Size 5", 7", 9"
Colors/Patterns Rainbow, Shad, Ayu, Silver Shad, Chartreuse Shad, and Black and Purple
MSRP 7" ($26.99), 9" ($29.99)

The AC Minnow is back and features new diamond foil finishes

Impressions: Allan Cole was fishing swimbaits back in the 60’s and at that time big brown trout was his primary quarry. It was only in the mid 80’s did he start targeting giant stripers with big baits, and he has personally put 30 brown trout over 10 pounds in the boat, 29 stripers over 40 pounds and caught 65 largemouth over 10 pounds, which are impressive stats to say the least! Through this period he also created a number of swimbaits in the pursuit of trophy fish and he started selling some of them to other anglers looking to boat monsters, the AC Minnow was one such bait.

The AC Minnow features a rather subtle plastic tail

The AC Minnow heavily resembles the handmade AC Real Trout but is much more polished. Four years ago when I reviewed the Real trout I remarked “while the lure doesn't look stunningly real, it certainly did look like a collector’s piece.” Each Real Trout is hand carved and painted bait by Allan himself, and each and every lure is unique. Though rough in appearance the Real Trout lures we reviewed back in 2005 produced fish and still continue to today.

Time to see if the updated bait is better than the original

The AC Minnow was first introduced by AC Plugs then licensed to Optimum who introduced the baits in a number of new patterns. The license agreement ended two years ago and due to popular demand AC Plugs has brought back the AC Minnow but with a number of new enhancements intended to combine the original lure’s proven fish catching design with contemporary components and enhanced durability.

The lure is armed with Owner hooks and HyperWire split rings

The new AC Minnow features multiple layers of gloss for superior durability and under that gloss anglers will find much more realistic finishes which make use of diamond foil to create a scale pattern that is flashier than the original painted finishes. The lures are also armed with Owner hooks and HyperWire® split rings and each lure comes in a “QuickShot” lure storage box which allows you to hang the bait when not in use.

A close look at the new foil finish on the trout pattern

Real World Tests: To test the AC Minnow we targeted largemouth bass at the California Delta and Clear Lake, both of which can be excellent at times for topwater. We knew it was a bit early for really consistent topwater action as the water was just starting to heat up at the tail end of winter, but we hoped for a few warm days when the fish would come up to feed.

The plastic lip has been beefed up for more durability

Casting: The AC Minnow is very light for a big bait and weighs in at only 1.8oz. each. It is possible to fish the lure with a flipping stick but I still prefer to fish it with a swimbait rod so that I can effortlessly fling the lure and set energetically on topwater strikes. For the entire test I fished the AC Minnow with a Dobyns Medium-Heavy 7’9” Mike Long Swimbait Rod, this rod has a lure weighting of 1-5oz. and as you would expect I could barely even feel the lure on the end of the line each time I made a cast.

With a steady retrieve the AC Minnow creates a wake and a clicking sound

Next Section: A fish calling "click"









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