Fanatik Baits Serves up a Feeding Frenzy with their Larva
Total Score: 8.66 -
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.
Larva Plastic Bait
||$3.99 per pack (qty varies by size)
The most popular bait in Fanatik's
lineup is the Larva
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
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
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
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
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
Deadly for so much more than bass...