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Lure Review

 


4x4 Cranking with Salmo's New Squarebill Crankbait

 

Date: 5/14/19
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Salmo
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

Introduction:
Anyone with over twenty years experience throwing square bill cranks knows how coveted the hand carved, wooden baits of yester year were and still are. But wooden baits are expensive and inconsistent - remember having to buy three or four to find one that would actually catch fish? But oh, that one did catch fish was money!

 


Introducing Salmo's Squarebill Crankbait

 

Most manufacturers have found ways to create more consistent, cost effective, productive baits with modern day plastic molds, but one manufacturer is taking a different spin on alternate materials. Salmo has a new square bill crank made from a proprietary high density foam. Here's our look at the Salmo Squarebill.

 

Salmo Squarebill Crankbait Specifications

Type Shallow Crank
Length 2" (#5), & 2-3/8" (#6)
Weight 1/2oz (#5), & 3/4oz (#6)
Depth 2' (#5), 6.5ft (#6)
Material High Density Foam
Colors 8
Hooks Mustad KVD Triple Grip
MSRP $9.99 - $10.99

 

Salmo is a new to us lure company out of Poland
 

Impressions: Salmo is a lure company out of Poland and are proud for the fact they are able to control all the manufacturing of their lures in house. Their new Squarebill debuted in 2018 and is odd looking to say the least. It features a roundish body that quickly tapers to a tiny little back end. The bait is driven by a very wide, square, clear polycarbonate diving lip.


Their new Squarebill features a round-ish body that quickly tapers to a tiny little back end

It is detailed with 3D eyes, a reveal at the gills and a very subtle dorsal fin otherwise most of the bait's other features are accomplished through the paint schemes that are somewhat simplistic overall.


The company makes this bait out of a proprietary high density foam giving the bait a very high buoyancy similar to a wood crank

Real World Tests: I had both the Squarebill 5 and 6 sizes on hand to test but ended up mostly throwing the 5. My rod of choice for these tests was ARK's Randall Tharp TS74MH-G B-Hittay paired with an Abu Garcia Revo4 Rocket spooled with Finatic's 6-Strand Pro Braid in 50lb test.


I had both the Squarebill 5 and 6 sizes on hand to test but ended up mostly throwing the 5

Castability: Salmo's Squarebill is a silent running bait so there are no moving weights or beads internally to aid with casting. Nevertheless, this compact little lure is very easy to cast for both accuracy an distance. Given its size, it's difficult to believe the Squarebill 5 actually weighs half an ounce but it does (we verified its weight) and that's why it's so easy to cast.


I found the bait rather odd looking

Dive Time: Click your reel over to engage the spool and the Salmo Squarebill gets right to work with a very confidence inspiring wobble. The bait's ability to deflect off underwater obstacles is very good and the majority of my strikes came after the lure had bounced off of something (usually a rock).


The wide open eyes appear to plead with you not to throw it

Hooks for Salmo's Squarebill crankbait are Mustad KVD Tripe Grips which perform extremely well. Hookups with this bait were solid and the hooks held up. Gamakatsu and Owner get most of the treble hook love these days, but Mustad makes a solid product and their KVD series hooks have been proven time and time again.


The craw pattern looks like it has molded sides giving the plate pattern depth, but it's all just in the paint - the bait's sides are smooth just like all the other patterns

Another positive trait of this bait is it swims true right out of the package and at any speed you wish to fish it. I tried burning it with the Revo4 Rocket (10.1:1 retrieve ratio) and it came straight back to the boat no problem. It's actually a quite impressive little bait.


There are two models, the Squarebill 5 and Squarebill 6

I'm happy to report that high density foam Salmo uses for the body of the bait holds up well to occasional mis-directed casts as well. I "accidentally" crashed it into a dock piling or two practicing my non-existant skipping skills and the bait survived unscathed - quite impressive actually.


The Salmo Squarebill behaves in a similar manner to the old school wood cranks

One of the reasons those old wood crankbaits have such a loyal following is the way they float up to the surface when you pause your retrieve. This is helpful when driving your cranks through rocks and other obstructions on the bottom because they will get hung up.

Wood cranks are easy to get out of this stuff by snapping your line and giving the bait some slack. You can do the same with today's plastic cranks, but the buoyancy of wood is still better. The Salmo Squarebill behaves in a similar manner to the old school wood cranks.


Bounce, bounce, bang... The Salmo Squarebill just feels like it's going to attract a hit - and it does!

Design/Ergonomics: Salmo's Squarebill crank is available in only eight (8) colors for now but in two different sizes rated at two different diving depths. The color schemes are somewhat simple save for the crawdad pattern which has a little detailing on its side to accentuate the crawdad's shell. This detailing is so intricate, it appears as if the bait has indentations on its side, but it's all done with the paint.


Equipped with Mustad KVD Triple Grip Trebles

Price & Application: The two sizes for Salmo's Squarebill crank are priced differently. The Squarebill 5 is $9.99 retail while the Squarebill 6 is $10.99 retail. While not outrageous in price, it is a bit more than I'd have expected based on the competition. Otherwise, the Salmo Squarebill is a very viable option when looking for a bait of this type.


The two sizes for Salmo's Squarebill crank are priced differently. The Squarebill 5 is $9.99 retail while the Squarebill 6 is $10.99 retail

Ratings:

Salmo Squarebill Crankbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A little odd looking but solid in its own way 8
Performance Casts and swims well even through underwater obstacles 9
Price A little on the high side 7.5
Features High density foam body, Mustad KVD hooks 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Colors/patterns are not the most intricate 7
Application Good option for shallow water cranking 7.5

Total Score

7.75

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Casts well - Detailing leaves something to be desired
+ Confidence inspiring action in the water  
+ Name brand hooks  
+ Buoyancy resembles wood cranks  


If you're looking for new square bill alternatives and like the idea of throwing something the fish likely haven't seen, Salmo's new Squarebill crank belongs on your list of baits to check out

Conclusion: In the case of Salmo's Squarebill Crank, looks can definitely be deceiving. This is a difficult bait to take seriously when you first look at it but after tying it on, tossing it out, and cranking it back to the boat just once, all those doubt were removed. This bait has a confidence inspiring wobble that encourages you to keep firing away with your casts because you just know you're going to get bit. When that bite eventuality comes, the Salmo Squarebill has the hardware to hook your fish and keep it buttoned until you get it in the net. The bait's makeup with that proprietary high density foam is intriguing and durable. If you're looking for new square bill alternatives and like the idea of throwing something the fish likely haven't seen, Salmo's new Squarebill crank belongs on your list of baits to check out.

 

Looking for Salmo Squarebill Crankbaits?

Try TackleWarehouse


 

 

   

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