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Lure Review

Year of the Crank Bait Review : Megabass Z Crank (continued)

Field Tests: So, armed with only one bait of each color in question, I threw caution to the wind and tied the baits to the end of my line and took to our local waterways to fish them. Of course, I had to take along my trusted Purple Dragon cranking stick, the F4-610 GT3, so that I could leverage maximum karma with the bait matching the rod. Come to think of it, I should have used an Ito reel too, but instead relied upon my trusted Shimano Conquest 101DC to sling these baits.

... and though it catches fish, this bait is not as effective as one might hope for a wood crank.

Casting: Both the Red and Blue Label Z-Cranks weigh in at half an ounce so castability is of little concern. Fire away with these cranks as they’ll travel through the air quite easily with little of the customary end over end, flight in the air you often get with wood cranks. If there’s one thing these baits do well it’s cast.

Megabass's Z-series now includes many different baits including a flat sided series.

Retrieve: Click over your reel and begin your retrieve and the bait dives relatively quickly letting out a good amount of vibration in the water as it swims back to your position. This is a pretty active bait. Diving depth is maybe four or five feet, not very much, so bouncing it over rocks and stuff is difficult unless you’re in really skinny water. Weedbeds are easy to work with this bait given its relatively shallow running nature.

The Z-Crank Flatside has a typical, flat sided crank profile.

Effectiveness: Did I mention this bait casts and swims well? Oh yeah, and it looks great too. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the good part of the story ends. I’ve fished this bait on and off for the better part of two years taking it out on several trips and can only scare up a fish here and there with it. Nope, I’m afraid the Z-Crank is not going to threaten the Vision 110 anytime soon for legendary bait status. For whatever reason, I cannot say it’s a very effective crank.

And again features the circuit board lip.

Availability: Due to the bait’s high price tag, availability is somewhat limited as well as not too many online shops carry this crank and even fewer local tackle shops carry it still. The colors in which the bait was first available are very difficult if not impossible to find but the newer “natural” series is more readily available. I’ve not had much success with those colors either.

This bait was slightly more effective than the original Z-Crank, but only slightly.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Megabass Z Crank Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Megabass knows how to package and finish a product 9
Performance Unfortunately, his bait did not produce any results for us. 5
Price The current exchange rate only makes matters worse 4
Features Wood body, circuit board lip, in the end, nothing THAT extraordinary 7
Design (Ergonomics) Unbelievable finishes 8
Application Might be best on your mantle 5

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:



J Wonderful finishes L Too hard to find in the colors you'd want to throw
J Wood Body L Very expensive
  L We're not convinced this bait actually catches fish
  L Could not discern between the red and blue label baits in the water


A rare Z Crank Bass


Conclusion: If this review demonstrates anything it’s that even Megabass is not invulnerable to the critical eye of TackleTour. Try as we might to like this exquisite little bait, it just did not produce anything worthwhile for us and so it gets filed away into the “baits to forget about” section of the tackle vault. Megabass continues to pump out different variations of this bait in flat sided, jr. sized, magnum sized, and so on, but judging from our experiences thus far (and yes, we tried the flat sided version as well), it’s just not a line of baits we’re going to be investigating further. The cost benefit curve is just too skewed over to the cost side, but of course, that’s to be expected, it is after all, a Megabass product.









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