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From Crawler to Star, Cranking it Up with Spro's RkCrawler 55 (continued)

Dive Time: After splash down, click your reel over, begin your retrieve, and the RkCrawler goes right to work. Actual dive time is about average, but once the bait hits bottom, it's very good at bouncing off rocks and other obstructions on its way back to you. The only time I experienced a pause or hangup in the bait's action was when I encountered those inevitable weeds or worse yet, patches of hair algae. That algae will clog up any crankbait.

The RkCrawler is built to mimic a crayfish and is available in 8 different crawdad paint patterns.

Quality of Movement: Once you do hit bottom, this bait seems at its best at a slow to medium rate retrieve where you can feel it grinding, bouncing, and working its way through hard bottom structure.

You can really feel the RkCrawler wobbling and bouncing away when fished on good quality fluorocarbon line and that really helps because sometimes, when that feedback stops, it's not the weeds or a clump of algae, but it's a fish that's taken the bait in and is swimming with it back to you. Being able to feel a bait like this on the bottom is a bonus.

Good ole Red Crawfish.

I found it a little odd that this bait is specified with #5 treble hooks - not #6s or #4s, but right in between at #5. My first thought was does Gamakatsu sell replacements because #5 isn't exactly a common size, but with a little online shopping it looks like you can get #5 Gamakatsu trebles in their TGW Nano Finesse and TGW Nano Finesse MH treble hooks. Both models are part of Aaron Martens signature series hooks.

The two hooks are spaced a good distance apart.

Design/Ergonomics: Spro's RkCrawler 55 is available in ten (10) different color variations eight (8) of which are crawdad variants. There's little to no secret what this bait is made to represent. What you may not realize is this same bait is available in an additional six (6) colors tailored for Steelhead and Salmon anglers! Dubbed the RkSTAR as an alter ego, it is the same bait just with different finishes.

The RkCrawler 55 from Spro has an MSRP of $9.29.

Price & Application: The RkCrawler 55 is available for a very attractive price of only $9.29. Spro manages to creep this bait back under that $10 threshold at what's sure to be a very effective price point for this bait.


Spro RkCrawler 55 Crankbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good bait to bait consistency 8
Performance Really effective at crawling over rocks and other obstructions 8.5
Price Nice to see a crankbait under $10 for once 8
Features Internal rattle and quality hooks 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Only 10 colors available, but 8 are crawdad variants 7.5
Application So effective is the action of this bait that it now has an alter ego for salmon and steelhead fishermen! 8

Total Score

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:


+ Crawdad patterns are a favorite - If you like baitfish colors in your cranks, you might be out of luck here
+ Reviving the mid-range  
+ Works well over rocky bottoms  
+ Quality components  

The RkCrawler is a nice, classic, old school, mid-range crank.

Conclusion: Crankbait fishing has almost mirrored the NBA in recent years where most anglers either have a good inside game with shallow running square bills and flat sided cranks, or they step behind the arch and go for the long ball with deep divers. Almost forgotten is that mid-range crankbait game. Mike McClelland and the team at Spro look to revive that genre of crankbait with the RkCrawler 55 and its alter ego the RkStar 55. Looking for a faster way to trigger that bite in the mid-range? The RkCrawler is definitely worth tying on, tossing out, and cranking up!


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