Taking Some Time with a Jr. Clone by Skinny Bear Baits
Total Score: 8.00 -
Lures of legend, secret baits, discontinued collectibles, the bass fishing world is full of them. If you've paid any type of attention to the past time, you're likely aware of "that" lure or a few of them that used to catch fish like crazy, or are responsible for x amount of winnings, yet for some unknown reason is no longer available. Even more common, is the situation where the lure still available but not in that color or something has changed. Like when Megabass's Vision OneTen started looking down at the competition instead of straight, or when a certain speedy little crank changed country of origin from Mexico to USA or other parts. Perhaps one of the more famous lost lures of lore in recent memory is the Wiggle Wart. Why can't Storm just reproduce that magical little cranking bug so many anglers covet?
One photo on Instagram, and several DMs later...
One lure, that had a good five year or more run was a petite little crank from the now defunct Specialty Tackle. We wrote about it in 2005 but didn't necessarily tell the entire story about that bait. There are those who pleaded with us not to share the bait's true secret and since the bait performed very well just as a standard crank, I didn't feel it necessary to tempt fate. Well, Specialty Tackle is no more and neither is that bait they were importing from Zenith Tackle in Japan. New, in box specimens of this bait pop up every now and then on that auction site, and I am told can fetch upwards of $50 a bait. Obviously as many lures of legend are, this bait is still sought after. I am of course, referring to the Junior D.
... Led to the discovery of this bait from Skinny Bear.
I recently posted photos of several, new in box Junior Ds I have in my tackle vault on
my personal Instagram, and received several direct messages wanting to buy them. They are not for sale. I also received a note from an old friend pointing me out to a bait, currently available that looked every bit the same as the former Junior D. My friend hadn't fished them yet, but this bait was so strikingly similar, and being the tackle hoarder - I mean testing professional that I am, I had to purchase several for myself to do a side by side comparison. Did you know about it? Here's our take on Skinny Bear's Jr. Deep Crankbait.
Skinny Bear Jr. Deep Crankbait
||1/3 Oz (10 grams)
||10 - 12ft
Skinny Bear's Jr. Deep Crankbait is two inches (2") long in the body with another inch and a quarter (1 1/4") for its bill. It comes equipped with two #6 trebles and weighs right around one third of an ounce, or ten grams to be more precise. Side by side, top to bottom, detail to detail, it is an exact copy of the former Junior D save for the name "Specialty Tackle" written on the bottom of the original bait.
From what I can discern, Skinny Bear's Jr. Deep (top) is an
exact clone of the Junior D (bottom)
Real World Tests:
Mimicking a bait's appearance is one thing. Duplicating a bait's performance and effectiveness is another and while it takes a very long term series of tests to confirm effectiveness, it only takes a few trips to determine if a bait casts, swims, fishes the same as another. I just so happened to need a crank with which to test ARK Rod's reinvigorated Invoker Pro IVP74MHRC cranking stick, so discovery of the Jr. Deep came at the right time. Paired with an old classic, my Daiwa Japan I'ZE Light Millionaire spooled with a fresh supply of Seaguar Smackdown Braid topshotted with 12lb Sunline Crank FC leader, I was rarin' to go.
Paint schemes are not as exotic, but what matters more is
Castability: The Jr. Deep has the same, large, single internal bearing as the original bait that slides to the back of the bait in the direction of your cast making this a very easy bait to cast on just about any competent setup. I used a snap to connect this bait so I could easily swap back and forth between several I had purchased and an original Junior D I brought along as a baseline. I could not discern any differences in the baits while casting them.
The Jr. Deep has the same weighting strategy as the original
Next Section: The secret
behind the Jr. D...