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Lure Review


The Castaic Catch 22 Swimbait offers guaranteed durability, and it catches fish too (continued)
 

Durability: The weakness for most soft swimbaits is the durability of the actual body of the baits and the finishes. Castaic’s flexible InnerArmor fiber skeleton just plain works, and our biggest concern of whether the design would adversely affect action never came to fruition at all. In fact the InnerArmor had the opposite affect it actually makes it possible to make the joints of the bait even thinner to improve action without concern that they would rip apart.

 


The Daiwa Steez isn't your traditional swimbait reel but for "finessing" the 4" catch 22 it was perfect

 

Throughout our tests no fish was able to break off any segments of the bait, and the finish held up to abuse as good as or better than the average swimbait. We actually completely twisted the baits like wringing out a towel to test the lure’s durability, this is much more extreme than what would ever occur in nature. The Catch 22 baits held together but in the 8 inch lure the plastic in between the cavity did rip, this didn’t affect the lure’s action or performance in the water however.

 


A spot takes the tiny 4" Catch 22

 

The Catch 22 is a tough lure and the InnerArmor absolutely works. There is a much greater chance that you will lose this lure to a snag before it ever is actually destroyed to the point where it loses its ability to swim. Catching 22 bass on a swimbait is a challenge in itself, but fish this lure long enough and we are sure that it will be able to live up to the company’s permanence claims.

 


A closer look at the 4" Catch 22 rigged and ready to fish

 

Price and Applications: The four different Catch 22 sizes all come with different prices, but the best part is even the most expensive 12” version tops out at only $29.99. The 4” retails for $16.99, the 6” retails for $19.99, and the 8” is only $24.99. Overall the pricing is reasonable across the board and when you figure in the durability factor this bait is likely to last longer than other baits costing significantly more.

 


Even if fish shake the bait they stay hooked on the sliding "no throw" hook

 

In terms of applications this is a good swimbait for just about everyone, and is easy to fish for anglers just starting to dabble in swimbaits but can also appeal to experienced trophy hunters looking for a lure that imparts more action when the application calls for it.

 


A Catch 22 resting on the bottom of the lake

 

Since we tested the traditional rainbow trout pattern Castaic has released a complete range of new baits making use of the same InnerArmour design. These include Ghost Rainbow, Bluegill, Sunfish, Tilapia, Golden Shiner, Silver Shiner, and Threadfin Shad. These new baits all feature unique profiles and finishes and should vastly extend the number of applications and species that can be caught with the Catch 22 series. 

 


A Clear Lake bass taken on the Catch 22, it may not be a monster but there is no doubt that this bait can catch them if you put in the time. This is among the easiest swimbaits to fish and with a 22 catch warranty it will outlast most competing soft  swimbaits

 

Ratings:

Castaic Catch 22 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built tough this bait brings new meaning to "durable" when describing soft bodied swimbaits.  8
Performance The Catch 22 performed well through our tests and was able to draw strikes from fish and keep them pinned with the sliding "no throw" hook. Not the most realistic looking swimbait but the action makes up for it 9
Price A very reasonable price for a swimbait. The 4" is somewhat expensive for the size but every other size is very reasonably priced. We did find the bait for more aggressive prices at a number of e-tailers which helped give this lure a "great" rating in this category 8
Features The Catch 22 was rated great in this category, the InnerArmor design improves durability significantly without inhibiting action 9
Design (Ergonomics) This bait is very easy to fish, and while it takes just a bit longer to tie on it is among the easiest swimbaits to get to swim properly to draw strikes 8
Application With the new Catch 22 bait designs there are even more species to target. We would love to see a fast sink model in the future 9

Total Score

8.5
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Supreme durability in a soft swimbait L Not the most realistic profile and finish due to the slits
J Easy to fish and great for the complete range of big bait anglers L Would be great to have a fast sink model as well
J Awesome side to side action  
J "No Throw" hook design works  
J A 22 fish guarantee  
J A reasonable price  

 

Conclusion: One of the benefits of Nature Vision’s purchase of Castaic Softbaits was the increase of resources into lure design and manufacturing. The marriage of the two companies has resulted in an accelerated development of quality products and the Catch 22 is just the latest example. The actual finish of the bait is quite good and while it is not the most realistic looking lure due to the deep slits in the bait it does look absolutely lifelike when kicking back and forth in the water. The InnerArmor fiber skeleton bonds to the lure’s body material and reinforces these thin joint sections to actually improve action while maximizing durability to a level never before seen in a soft bodied swimbait. Extending from the wrapped head to the tips of the tail the InnerArmor design is what makes the Catch 22 swimbait so unique, and the guarantee behind the baits inspires further confidence in this reasonably priced offering. To top it all off this bait is easier to fish than most swimbaits, and the design allows anglers to fish it effectively fast, slow, or even completely stopped in the water. If you’re looking for an easy to fish swimbait that has the ability to draw strikes from big fish the innovative Castaic Catch 22 is a great choice for trophy bass hunters of all skill levels.

 

Looking for the Catch 22, try Tackle Warehouse

 

 

 

 

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