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Lure Review

Creature Fever : Shhhh.. Can You Keep a Secret?


Date: 9/26/12
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Gancraft
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.08 - GOOD

As the Fall approaches, any big bait thrower worth his salt out here in California is stocking up on a particular style of big bait - it's the two-piece or single jointed big bait. We've reviewed a couple these style baits in the past and until recently, didn't quite get "it" when it came to these baits, but apparently their erratic action is what it's all about come late Summer through the Fall.

Seemingly every tournament angler in California knows about this bait, even if none of them are really supposed to know.

There are some favorites out there and we intend to touch upon them, but taking the soft plastic, Creature Fever perspective on this bait, there's an intriguing product from JDM manufacturer Gancraft that bears discussion. Introducing our look at Gancraft's Jointed Claw Shape S - a soft plastic version of their "secret" hardbait.


Gancraft Jointed Claw Shape S Specifications

Product Gancraft Jointed Claw Shape S
Type Swimbait / Minnow
Material Soft Plastic
Colors/Patterns 12+
Sizes 4" & 5.3"
#per Package 4" = 5 per pk : 5.3" = 4 per pk
Resealable Bag? Yes
MSRP $22


Impressions: I referred to the Jointed Claw as a secret bait because here in Northern California every time you turn around to show a tournament angler one of these beauties, they get in close to cover the thing up and hush you as if no-one else is supposed to see or know about these baits. We've had this reaction from at least half a dozen anglers so you tell us if it's still a secret or not.


But perhaps even more intriguing and more of a secret is its softer, quieter, weedless version the Shape S.


What most of these guys probably don't know about though, is the soft plastic version of this very same bait. The Gancraft Jointed Claw Shape S is perhaps the ultimate in unimpressive when you see it on the store shelf. Honestly, you look at this thing with the single joint in the middle, slit belly hook cavity, and standard fish tail and think, "this isn't going to swim, where's the paddletail?". Well, if you've seen this bait in the store or online and had this very thought, you were sorely mistaken.

The hardbait gets a lot of discussion, but no one talks about the Shape S.

Field Tests: The secret to Gancraft's Jointed Claw Shape S is this bait is a system of products, not just the singular bait. Gancraft should really package it as a kit because they manufacture a special hook just for this bait, and sell other accessories including eyes, and eye mounting plastic supports. I packed all of these products up along with my Megabass F2-610XSRC Full House and Shimano Sustain spinning reel and went out for some fun on Clear Lake, California.

It comes in two sizes and is part of a complete bait system.

Rigging: As with the majority of soft plastics, their use and rigging is mostly up to your imagination, but the standard rigging for this bait includes the afore mentioned specialty hook that is available in one of two sizes to match up specifically with each sized Shape S.

Starting with the specially sized and weighted hooks.

The most reliable method of setting the hook within the bait is to pass the line tie eye of the hook through the chin of the bait and out through its nose, then set the hook point up through the bait as usual. This is necessary because the bait's hook is pre-weighted and if you try to thread the bait through the hook shank, you'll tear up the head.

Down to a custom eye rigging.

Optional on this bait is the eye assembly, sold separately. This consists of a hard plastic mount to be inserted through the bait at its eye sockets, and then the eye stickers can be attached to the holder. The eye assembly helps complete a more realistic look for this bait.

A closer look at the specialized hook.

Lastly, the actual attachment of this bait to your line is not typical either. Normally you'd think to simply the rigged bait to the end of your line, but no, Gancraft recommends using a clip to secure the bait to your line because this will enable the Shape S more freedom of movement in the water.

We've had these baits for over three years.

Next Section: Let's talk effectiveness









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