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Lure Review

Made in Italy, Pelican handcrafts the Super Pinky from balsa-wood for its unique actions

Date: 1/11/07
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Pelican (Italy)
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.16

Italy, a country deep in history and tradition, especially when it comes to design, is not a country known for their lure building expertise - at least not within the United States. One company, Pelican Lures, is hoping to change all this with their wide array of quality, hand made lures for both salt and freshwater species. Itís time to share with you, our story of one of their more intriguing baits, introducing the Pelican Super Pinky sinking minnow.

Pelican Super Pinky Specifications

Class Sinking
Colors/Patterns 4 available
Size 4 3/8 in
Weight 1-1/16 oz
MSRP $15-20


About Pelican: Pelican, an Italian lure company, has been handcrafting artificial baits for over 20 years catering to mainly local fisherman using spinning tackle. Their lures are all hand made and theyíve created an assortment of products that closely resemble bait fish. These balsa wood lures are used in their local waters to target fish such as pike, trout, and black bass.


The Pelican Super Pinky minnow lure crafted out of balsa-wood

The Super Pinky is handcrafted out of Ecuadorian balsawood and is weighted with a metal core giving it a total weight of just over an ounce. It very much, has that look and feel of a handcrafted lure, yet the exterior of the bait highly resembles a baitfish with very realistic patterns. Additionally, the head of the bait has some nice detailing with lifelike, sparkling eyes, and the subtle contour of gill plates. But enough with the admiration, what do the fish think?!


Lure is handcrafted in Italy

Field Tests:
The striped bass in Northern California have made their annual fall run from the San Francisco Bay to the waterways of the California Delta. We jumped on the reports of good striper action to see how the Pelican Super Pinky minnow would hold up against these aggressive fish. Of course, whenever fishing the Delta, we couldnít help but test the lure out at some of our favorite spots for black bass as well.


The minnow contains a realistic finish


Casting: The major difficulty with wooden minnow lures is their castability. Plastic baits of similar size can all be built with moving weights that shift at the time of your cast, to change the baitís center of gravity, making them easier to cast. Of course, with the relative small size, but big weight of the Super Pinky, casting was hardly an issue. Its sleek outer profile together with its metal core make for an excellent casting lure as it flew through the air with little resistance on cast after cast thanks, in part, to our AiRRUS Ultra XL and Shimano Curado 200DHSV combo.


An attractive head section with shiny eyes


I threw this bait under both calm and windy conditions and have to say, it was a pleasure to throw as the distance of my casts were hardly affected even in some moderate headwinds of 15mph plus. Thanks to its overall weight, this lure was much easier to cast in windy conditions than say, a Lucky Craft 100 size Pointer (rated at 5/8ths of an ounce) or even the Megabass Vision 110 (rated at 1/2 an ounce) Ė two baits that are lighter, but also benefit from the afore mentioned shifting weight systems.


A look at Super Pinky's profile


Retrieving: The Super Pinky has a more subtle action than one of my favorites, the Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP. Still, it has plenty of action to produce. With its more subtle movement, though, I found this lure is more effective in clearer water situations rather than in dirty or stained water, where some additional action is really helpful in triggering strikes.


The Super Pinky a sinking minnow. This allowed us to cast the lure and count it down to different depths before starting our retrieve. The ability to have it sink to a certain depth gave us the benefit of reaching deeper where we could target the bigger stripers that usually tail the schoolie fish.


Durable components such as this bronzed color hook holds up well against aggressive fish


Durability: At first we really didnít know how the Super Pinky would hold up against those aggressive stripers as weíve seen other lures crack, paint chip off, etc. As we continued to use the Italian made Pelican lure we were amazed on its quality and durability. The bronze colored hooks held up fish after fish. The body did suffer a few scratches from the hooks but because it doesnít wobble side to side as hard as say a Lucky Craft Pointer, the paint job doesnít get nearly as banged up after a lot of use. The overall lure held up good and no additional damage was noticed after several outings and a well over two dozen fish.


JIP with a four pound Striped Bass from the California Delta


Price: One benefit of mass produced lures is that they are somewhat cheaper in cost because they require less human labor to manufacture. With handcrafted lures a skilled craftsman is need. The Super Pinky is no exception as each lure begins with a raw piece of balsa wood that is then hand carved into the desired shape Ė more labor equals a higher cost. So how does the $15 to $20 price for the Super Pinky compare to other hand-made balsa wood lures? The price is very competitive and is in the same ball park with other handcrafted lures. For its uniqueness and quality, the Pelican lures is definitely worth a cast or two.


Pelican Super Pinky Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Overall good craftsmanship and a quality lure 8.5
Performance The lure is effective but performs best in clearer waters because it doesnít make as big of a racket as other minnow lures that has a larger side to side wobble 8.0
Price A very competitive price for a handcrafted lure 8.0
Features The lure features a metal core, realistic eyes, durable hooks, and more 8.0
Design (Ergonomics) Made in Italy the lure is designed with the necessary basics to be effective 8.0
Application This minnow lure is capable of both freshwater and saltwater species. Cast and retrieve for them at any level you wish as it is a sinking design 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Handcrafted L Less side to side movement than a Lucky Craft Pointer
J Unique action  
J Easy to cast  
J Fresh or saltwater capable  

Though more expensive than the mass produced lures, wooden lures that are well crafted can give anglers an upper hand. The Pelican Super Pinky lure is handcrafted out of Ecuadorian balsa-wood and finished with skillful hands. The Super Pinky sinking minnow lure contains a metal core that allows anglers to work the lure at all levels, targeting the depth where the fish are located. Though the wobble isnít as wide as some other lures the Pelican minnow is still effective as proven by our local game fish: Delta stripers and black bass. Handcrafted, unique actions, and the ability to catch fish in various bodies of water, the Pelican Super Pinky definitely has its place outside of Italian waters. If it can fool our fish here in California, Iím sure itíll be effective for other types of game fish around the world too. For more information on this lure or other offers from Pelican, please visit their website: Pelican's Website









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