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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Lure Review


Is the Lucky Craft Real Skin “really” good? (continued)

Retrieve cont'd: On the third trip we mixed it up a bit and decided to only target largemouth bass in a local reservoir. There were no stripers in this lake so we ripped slower, at times just twitching the lure in an attempt to walk the dog underwater. Though the rip bite wasn’t excellent that day the Real Skin did outperform the standard version, though only by two strikes, which equated to a 15% improvement over the original. We repeated the same tests on our forth trip and this time the Real Skin only got one more hit than the original. The fact that the Real Skin did outperform the original, though only by only a slight margin, led us to believe that when the fish are not on as strong of a reaction bite the Real Skin can add an extra element to entice fish to strike, we also wondered if a few more fish hit the lure simply because it was something different than what they had seen before.


The underside of the lure doesn't have the real skin...

On our fifth and final test day we head for Lake Berryessa, a body of water that is home to largemouth, smallmouth, and spots. Halfway through the day we had no small smallies, a few largemouth, and a ton of spotted bass. The score was once again just about equal for the traditional and real skin pointer. We decided to switch out the American Shad pattern to Aurora Black on both versions and our strikes suddenly went up. At the end of the day the traditional version actually beat the Real Skin by three strikes.


...but the top does

Obviously during our tests the ripping style of our individual editors is a factor that has some influence on the results, but what suffice to say we didn’t see the explosion of strikes that we hoped to with the inclusion of the Real Skin finish.


A close up of the head. Like all Pointer's the Real Skin version features quality hardware

Durability: Throughout the tests the Real Skin took damage just like any pointer, and the same semicircle scratches appeared on the lure from the hooks as with the normal lure. Whether or not these scratches released any amount of scent seemed irrelevant, as the lure continued to perform similarly in our tests to the original. Overall durability of the lure’s body is good, and the only area where we really had an issue was with the bleeding hooks. Just after a few strikes the red finish started to flake off.

 
One area of concern was the bleeding red hooks losing color. This shot was taken just after three fish

Price & Applications: The Lucky Craft Real Skin does take quite a bit more time for the factory to produce, and handmade craftsmanship does have a price. In the case of the Real Skin that price is an additional five dollars over the already premium priced 14.99 that the original commands. While from a manufacturing standpoint we can understand the price delta, when it comes to real world applications the price is hard to justify unless you are a die hard Lucky Craft fan. The lure did prove to be effective, and while it is no worse than the original, the return on investment on this lure over the original won’t be worth it for most anglers. There are times when a new finish and design will increase the catch ratio, but the original is available in so many realistic patterns and colors already that anglers already have a serious arsenal to draw upon.


There is no doubt this lure can catch fish, only problem is it didn't outperform the original by any large margin, and it certainly costs more

 

Ratings:

Lucky Craft Pointer Real Skin Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Anglers can't argue with the quality of this bait, the construction is excellent and the implementation of actual organic skin on top of an already quality finish is an impressive feat. The lure's body deals with normal wear and tear as good as the original. However one area where we saw problems was on the bleeding hooks 8
Performance The lure performed as good as the original, but unfortunately in our tests it get knocked a few points because we expected it to perform better than the original, after all it is an upgrade in design and price 7
Price Want Real Skin, get ready to pay an additional five dollars for this feature. We respect the innovative approach and special production methods, but the price doesn't match up with the performance. Part of the problem is the original is already that good, perhaps the company can come up with a new lure that plays off the Real Skin better. We don't mind paying more for a differentiated lure, but it also has to equate to improved performance 5
Features The only real feature upgrade on this lure is the use of the real skin. Lucky Craft raised the bar with the original, unfortunately the Real Skin doesn't make the same leaps and one could even argue that the company could come close to duplicating the finish without the use of actual skin  7
Design (Ergonomics) The lure is no different in terms of basic design than the original. It would have been great to see more upgrades moving forward, especially to make up for the price delta 7.5
Application You have to pay more for it, yet the only area where we saw the Real Skin outperform the original (though just by a tiny margin) was in slow varied retrieves. When fishing a reaction bait like the original pointer the fish are drawn to the erratic nature of the bait already 7

Total Score

6.91

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Has all the effectiveness of the original L Did not offer more effectiveness than the original in our tests
J A proven design, the original profile is among the best on the market L 5 dollars more than the original is a lot when the original performs just as well
J Quality hooks and split rings L Hooks lost color quickly

 

Conclusion: When it comes to ripbaits Lucky Craft already has the recipe down, and finding ways to improve on an already winning formula can be a daunting task. The Lucky Craft Real Skin Pointer is if anything, an innovative and interesting idea, one that is implemented surprisingly well. If an angler did not know the story behind these lures and saw them at the store they would likely assume that the lure was simply a new pattern, not actually a real layer of skin actually affixed to the surface of the lure. While the design must be respected, in terms of performance the Real Skin Pointer didn’t meet our expectations. Part of the problem was that the original Pointer is already that good, and the Real Skin did little to affect performance on what is normally a reaction bait. Only on very slow retrieves did we see any measurable amount of difference, and even then it was dangerously close to the margin of error. Lucky Craft could make more of an impact with the Real Skin if it was put on an entirely new lure. The combination of the new finish with a fresh action would be met with greater interest. Add in the fact that the lure costs so much more than the original, and we have an even harder time justifying the purchase. While it is great to see innovation in finishes when it comes to performance and bang for the buck I’ll gladly stick to the “real” performance already obtainable with the original.

 


 

 

 

 

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