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Lure Review


Fanatik Baits Serves up a Feeding Frenzy with their Larva Plastics

Date: 8/15/18
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Fanatik
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.66 - GREAT

Introduction: Fishing is a global sport and there continues to be a trend of European companies making their products more readily available in the Americas. One such company is Fanatik, a lure brand that has roots in Europe and is known primarily for their soft plastics and terminal tackle offerings designed for targeting freshwater species including bass, pike, and walleye.


Fanatik Larva Plastic Bait Specifications

Type Plastic
Class Creature Bait
Material Silicon
Colors/Patterns 10+
Size 1.6", 2.5", 3.5"
MSRP $3.99 per pack (qty varies by size)

The most popular bait in Fanatik's lineup is the Larva

Impressions: Fanatik was founded by Ukrainian fisherman Iurii Petrash, a tournament angler who has a passion for not only fishing but lure design. His approach was to create baits that perform as well as some of the top brands, but make them more accessible to all anglers with more aggressive price points. He started by putting his tournament experience to work observing fish behavior and triggers as well as combining fish scents and even taste to help convert strikes into successful hookups and landings. Fanatik baits makes all their silicon based baits with a formulation of natural flavors and salt to obtain the desired density and action.

While many of their baits are popular the bait which the company is known best for is the Larva. This lure was originally designed for finesse jigging for Perch but quickly found a following among multi-species anglers finding creative ways to employ the bait ranging from drop shot to utilizing de-mountable weighted jigs. As the applications for this bait grew so did the need for more sizes, patterns, and variations of this ribbed creature bait.

My favorite way to fish the Larva turned out to be on a drop shot rig

Real World Tests: I first learned of Fanatik online, and after speaking to them became interested in seeing how the Larva and smaller X-Larva baits would perform here in our Northern California lakes targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass. Fanatik sent me an assortment of patterns and sizes and over the last five months I have been fishing these baits side by side with proven lures, using a variety of finesse techniques. I fished the Larva and X-Larva baits primarily with spinning gear spooled with fluorocarbon lines in the 4-6lb class, and I also tried fishing with baitcasting setups with 10-12lb. line and heavier jigheads.  

A look at Fanatik's packaging and some chartreuse 3.5" versions

From Larva to Dagger: In the Fanatik plastics lineup there are three baits that have similar characteristics and were the three that I not only found the most interesting, but also spent the majority of time fishing. These included the original Larva, smaller X-Larva, and Dagger worm.

The Dagger is a robust ribbed worm with the same pin tail

The best way to describe the Larva is that it is a creature bait that has a dragonfly profile with features of both a dragonfly and a nymph combined together. There are multiple appendages including legs and a pin tail that are designed to quiver when the lure is worked in the water. The X-Larva takes a similar profile but is a bit more abstract, and looks like a more juvenile version that brings the creature bait closer to a worm profile. The Dagger eliminates the dragonfly profile completely and features more pronounced ribs paired with the same style pin tail.

The X-Larva is a smaller profiled bait that is more of a cross between a creature and a worm

All three of these baits feature a distinct smell, but not one that is overly pronounced. Unlike PowerBait when you open a bag of Fanatik lures you get a whiff of scent but is much more subtle. The smell reminded me of a cross between a crawfish and shrimp scent. One really nice thing about the baits is that they are easy to handle, no gooey or sticky mess when rigging these plastics.

When I first started fishing the Larva and Dagger baits I employed a variety of jigheads and even tried rigging it weedless which made these light baits a bit of a challenge to toss and impart action. I was experiencing limited success because I just couldn’t seem to create the right action, and it was when I finally rigged up a drop shot that I keyed in on just how lethal these baits could be.

It doesn't take a lot of rod tip motion to really get the Larva to move

Fished with light fluorocarbon line I was able to get the baits to suspend and quiver with the slightest tip action. All three of the baits looked absolutely great in the water, and even the slightest movements was enough to get the bait to wiggle the pin tail, and fish responded.

I found that these baits were effective for a wide range of sunfish

Next Section: Deadly for so much more than bass...









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