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Lure Review

A new Swimbait entry, the Flex Phantom from Strike Pro


Date: 4/03/08
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Strike Pro
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.00 - GOOD


Introduction: Strike Pro America has reinvented itself with a flood of new lure styles, and the Flex Phantom is their new-fangled swimbait offering. Does the company have what takes to break into the red hot swimbait market? The Flex Phantom looks like a cross between a swimbait and a crankbait, and makes use of an exclusive multi-jointed tail section to generate a slinking side to side tail action quite unlike any other.

Strike Pro Flex Phantom Specifications

Type Swimbait
Depth 3-5 feet (all sizes)
Size 3 1/2" Phantom 90
4 3/4" Phantom 130
6 3/4" Phantom 170
weight 21g Phantom 90
31.6g Phantom 130
85.5g Phantom 170
Colors/Patterns 6+ patterns/colors
Hook Sizes #1
MSRP 12.99 Phantom 90
14.99 Phantom 130
16.99 Phantom 170

Impressions: Strike Pro was among the first baits we reviewed when we first started TackleTour seven years ago. At the time Strike Pro in the US was an extension of the company’s main Taiwan operation which was opened in 1973. While a lot of the R&D and manufacturing still takes place in the company’s Taiwan facility Strike Pro America has undergone a complete makeover in terms of management and product offering. Strike Pro America is a lure manufacturer and importer now located in Galveston, Texas. In recent years their focus has been saltwater products, with their expansion they plan to develop the freshwater market domestically. The Flex Phantom is one of the first products to come from the new company.


Strike Pro's new swimbait the Flex Phantom

There is no market quite like the Swimbaits. The anglers that employ these baits fall into two categories, the “experimenting” angler that throws a swimbait once in while as a complement to their tried and true tackle, hoping that next toss will result in a big fish. Then there are the truly dedicated, addicted, hard core big bass hunters that throw almost nothing but big baits in their pursuit of trophy sized fish. Luckily for both types of anglers there are a lot of swimbaits out there, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. We have seen many manufacturers try and put out a swimbait only to fall short. There is no doubt that manufacturers like Huddleston, 3:16, Mattlures, Black Dog, and Spro just to name a few have their own unique formula for a quality swimbait but there are many others that leave us scratching our heads and wondering how that lure ever made it past the drawing board, like the Lucky Craft Real California Supreme for example. We hoped that Strike Pro wouldn’t make the same mistakes, especially when it came to durability.

The Flex Phantom is available in three sizes, this is the Phantom 130 (middle size)

When we first started examining the Flex Phantom the first thing that caught our attention was the multi segmented tail. The lure is available in three sizes ranging from 3 ½ to 6 ¾ inches in length, and the number of segments in the tail increases with the lure size. (The lures are labeled the Phantom 90, 130, and 170 respectively) The Phantom also has a peerless profile and a rather distinctive head that is among the most aggressive and mean looking swimbaits we have seen to date. We are not quite sure what type of baitfish the lure mimics best, but it certainly isn’t your run of the mill trout.

The key feature of this lure is the multi-jointed tail

The Ghost patterns do look pretty exceptional, and though they make copious use of plastic they still are among the more unique looking swimbaits. The lure is only armed with one treble hook, positioned on the main body of the lure above the segmented tail. The Phantom also has a lip that causes the lure to dive much like a traditional crankbait. If I had to categorize the lure it would be a swimbait crankbait hybrid. The question is what would big fish think of the new lure? Time to put the Phantom to the test.

The lure comes in many patterns, and the Ghost patterns look great

Real World Test: We tested the Flex Phantom in all three sizes and at three different bodies of water which included the California Delta, Clear Lake, and Lake Pardee. We targeted both largemouth and smallmouth bass during the period. 

A look underneath the Phantom reveals a solid white underbelly

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