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Lure Review


Concealed weapons courtesy of the CL8 Bait 9Ē Swimbait (continued)

Durability: The area that we thought might potentially be a problem on the CL8 bait in regards to durability was the tail and rubber fins. We have seen fins come off on many competing baits and tails are a notorious weak point on many swimbaits. The CL8 bait surprised us in this category, and even after multiple violent strikes all the rubber portions of the bait remained intact.


The CL8 Bait has an oversized reflective eye

Though not as durable as some other tails on itís own the CL8 Baitís tail manages to stay out of trouble thanks to the cleverly designed joint on the last section of the bait. When a fish inhales the bait the tail can completely curl over to protect it from getting torn or used as leverage to shake the bait.


The frog hook on the underbelly in the open position

As expected the Gamakatsu hooks held up to plenty of abuse, and the hard wire rings that CL8 uses to secure the hooks are strong enough to keep the hooks from ripping out of the body of the lure. Because the hooks on the CL8 bait are all held in fixed positions the lure also doesnít take any damage from itís own hooks when fished, this is quite unlike most swimbaits which will often scratch their own paint finishes through normal use.


When fished the hook resides in a recessed channel and is held in place with a magnet (notice the hook is painted to match the lure's body)

Price & Applications: The CL8 Bait is a very fun bait to fish, and with the many concealed hook points you just canít help feel more confident that when you do gets a strike that you have a better chance of actually landing the fish. The lure is built with high quality components and for a first offering from a new company the CL8 Bait is extremely impressive. Innovation and quality do come at a price however, and that price is 80 dollars per copy, making it one of the more expensive new swimbaits on the market.


The CL8 Bait features a flared out gill design

Swimbait fanatics will likely have no problem shelling out the dough to buy a CL8 bait but anglers just getting into swimbait fishing will probably think twice. Still when it comes to hard swimbaits the CL8 Bait is among the most interesting new swimbaits to come out for a while, and is certainly worth the investment if you are looking for a fun to fish and very effective swimbait to both entice strikes and hold onto fish.

Ratings:

CL8 Bait Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Clayton has built a quality swimbait and the use of slightly softer plastic in the baits construction actually improves durability. Top notch hooks are also used for long term resilience 9
Performance The CL8 swimbait proved effective for both Stripers and Largemouth and the hidden hook design does improve the strike to hookup ratio, the rear hooks help prevent fish from shaking the heavy bait 9
Price The CL8 Bait is a quality custom made bait but comes with a premium price tag making it one of the more expensive swimbaits on the market. We rated the lure "mediocre" in this category 5
Features When it comes to features the CL8 swimbait is better than the average swimbait and exhibits added realism with protruding rubber fins, but the real feature that wowed us was the hidden hook designs 9
Design (Ergonomics) The CL8 bait can be fished both with pauses and jerks or a steady retrieve, it is easy to fish with a true swimbait rod 8
Application Best for bass this lure is designed to target big fish and accomplishes it with three different versions and five different patterns 8

Total Score

8.0
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 Clever hidden hook design L Only one profile for all patterns
J Excellent swimming action L A premium swimbait with a cost to match
J Exceptional durability on joints and fins  
J Four section swimbait protects tail and can collapse in fish's mouth  
J Great for both experienced and novice big bait anglers, easy to fish  

 

 

Conclusion: The CL8 Bait is cleverly designed and can be effectively fished right out of the box, no tuning or changing out of hooks is necessary on this lure. Armed to the tooth with concealed free swinging hooks the CL8 Bait make sure that strikes are converted into more hookups. Overall this new bait feels refined and for a first offering from a new company the CL8 is really quite impressive, the attention to detail is phenomenal ranging from the variety of finishes to the painted hooks. Clayton Bryantís innovative creation is a winner, and it is refreshing to see that even a smaller new company like CL8 can design and manufacture big baits that are still able to offer anglers something distinctive. Though costly these new swimbaits are great for both big bait experts and those just learning how to land lunkers on swimbaits, and with baits as good as this CL8 Bait wonít be a small company for long.  

 

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