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Lure Review

Lucky Craft goes finesse with their Flat CB MR Crankbait (continued)


Presentation: This is where it all comes together for the Lucky Craft Flat CB MR. Retrieved through the water, these baits have a fantastic, frantic, wobbling action that resembles, very closely, that of a wooden crank. In fact, what this bait reminded us of is the Rapala Shad Rap. Though the two baits have completely different profiles, they share very similar actions in the water. We were quite impressed with this characteristic in our Flat CB MR baits.

My favorite angle of this lure is the realistic gill plate

One thing we discovered, that we were not entirely thrilled with was the time it took our Flat CB MR to reach, what seemed to be, its maximum running depth. It seemed to take a good 5 or 6 cranks of our reel before reaching its maximum depth, so casting distance was the key to any successful presentations with this bait. This posed no problem with our 7' and 7'6" length rods, but is something of which to be aware when using this bait. But on the plus side, the bait ran straight and true at both slow and high speed retrieves.

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Weedlessness: Lucky Craft lays out the disclaimer on their website explaining the Flat CB series is not intended for use in and around areas of heavy cover, but rather, is intended as an open water searching tool. Perhaps it's our indignant nature, but we could not resist tossing this crank along the rocky shores of some of our inland reservoirs and along the rip rap banks of the California Delta. While we did experience the expected hang-ups with our Flat CB MR's in these conditions, our experience did not result in any loss baits and we found, in fact, the Flat CB MR's freed rather easily from rocky snags by simply repositioning the boat on the other side of these ensnarements. Granted, not the best baits for these situations, but they can be fished in cover.


Though it never made much sense to us why a craw would swim forward, claws on the bill of our craw pattern could potentially be a strike trigger for some fish


The craw pattern features black paint to mimic crawdad armor

Durability: While our Lucky Craft Flat CB MR's held up well to our usual stress tests along unforgiving structure, we did find the finishes are somewhat susceptible to damage from the hooks. We recommend storing your Flat CB's in containers that mitigate against movement during transportation. This will help prolong the finish of your lures. All other aspects of our bait held up well. We experienced no cracked lures, cracked bills, bent hooks or other mishaps during our extended field test of these baits.


The cracked back pattern is awesome

A protective gloss coat helps shield the finish from injury

Application & Effectiveness: Lucky Craft's recommendation for this lure is as an open water search tool. We qualify this recommendation with our own of sticking in "open" water, but along the edges of visible or submerged structure. The frantic nature of this bait is good at calling fish from all directions, but you'll increase your chances, of course, if you can concentrate your retrieves along weedlines, adjacent to pilings, above or adjacent to boulders or other submerged structure and the like. We found the bait effective during high boat traffic weekend days as well as quiet, low boat traffic weekdays. It's labeled as a finesse bait, but can certainly be fished in more situations than that.

Though labeled as a finesse lure we found this bait effective in both finesse and power situations


Lucky Craft Flat CB MR Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality We've come to expect a lot from Lucky Craft in terms of quality and we found the Flat CB to be a solidly constructed bait 8.5
Performance The wide wobbling motion of this crank reminded us of a wood lure though we would have liked a bit faster diving action 7.5
Price Compared to many of today's domestic offerings, the price is high. Compared to many of the overseas baits, Lucky Craft is actually considered reasonably priced, but it still is a lot to pay for a lure. There are newer lures that are priced aggressively and coming into the space 7.5
Features Stock lure savers would put this bait over the top in features as such, the list of standard Lucky Craft features is reasonably good, but not a lot of raw innovation 8
Design Available in approximately 46 different colors with detailing in the body of the lure that is above average...but also be on the lookout for newer more innovative competition 8
Application Wonderful along weedlines or the outside edges of any submerged structure 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Wonderful, frantic wobbling action L Because it's a relatively shallow runner, it's not as effective in clear water situations. Try the DR, D-12, or D-20 for these situations.
J Laser sharp hooks J It is also a bit slow at achieving maximum running depth
J Stunning finishes  
J Easily obtainable  
J Tungsten weight system

Conclusion: The castability and durability of a plastic crank together with the wide wobbling, frantic motion of a wooden crank. While the Lucky Craft Flat CB MR is a worthwhile lure, it does have some areas in need of improvement. Most notably the shallow diving angle that contributes to the bait's delayed response in reaching its maximum running depth. We could find nothing wrong with the build quality of this lure and the fact it makes use of tungsten instead of lead in its internal weight system is a big plus in our books. Detailing of the bait itself is above average - we've seen worse, but we've also seen a lot better. Overall, the Lucky Craft Flat CB MR is a wonderful performer and a bait that has found a comfortable home in our "keeper" box of crankbaits.











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