Putting the Screws to Pressured Fish : GanCraft's Screw Bait
Total Score: 7.83 -
Following the lead of our friend, Hideki Maeda who pointed out to us the growing popularity of sub surface prop baits for targeting largemouth bass in Japan, we decided to take some of these exact same baits for a, pardon the pun, spin. GanCraft is a company very familiar to our audience and popular for their uniquely designed fishing rods as well as aggressively styled baits. They are also one of the first companies in Japan to make a subsurface prop bait with a product Hideki showed us in his article, the Screw Bait.
GanCraft ScrewBait 110 & 130
||Subsurface Prop Bait
||20 - 21 grams
||110 & 130
||3,500 - 4,500 JPY
Impressions: GanCraft's Screw Bait is essentially a jerkbait, with props located on the front and back of the bait. It is available in two sizes, 110 and 130
millimeters and three sink rates, slow sink (SS), normal sink (NS), and fast sink (FS). But of course, it's not meant to be fished like a jerkbait. Instead, the Screw Bait is intended to be cast out, counted down, and then retrieved a very slow, and very steady cadence. Sound excruciating? Let's find out.
Introducing GanCraft's 110 ScrewBait.
Field Tests: I brought a selection of GanCraft's Screw Bait with us on a tackle testing trip to Lake Sonoma, California. One of the lesser known lakes in Northern California, Lake Sonoma is right on the western edge of the wine country and is a deep, canyon type lake featuring coves filled with standing timber. When the fish aren't up shallow and actively feeding, they're deep and can be tough to find.
Rigged and ready to go aboard a new, G.Loomis NRX.
Casting: I tied a normal sink 110 ScrewBait at the end of 12lb Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon spooled onto my Chronarch 101D mounted on a G.Loomis NRX 852C JWR. The 110 NS Screwbait weighs in at 21 grams or roughly three quarters of an ounce, so it's easily over the weight recommendation on the NRX852C (1/8-3/8 oz), so don't try this on your home lake if you value your rod's longevity and warranty.
The ScrewBait by GanCraft is available in two sizes, a 110 mm (bottom) and a 130 mm (top).
At roughly three quarters of an ounce, the 110 ScrewBait is easy to cast. The props on either end of the bait do create a bit of drag, but not enough to affect casting to the point you have to make extreme adjustments.
And of course, what defines this bait are the props on the front ...
One thing this bait does not have is an internal balancing system to aid in casting. Rather, the weights in the ScrewBait are fixed to ensure the bait sinks in the water column in a neutral position so that once you begin your retrieve, there is no position adjustment by the bait.
... and back of the bait.
Retrieve: Not being very familiar with this type of bait, it's really difficult to not think of the ScrewBait as a jerkbait with props. I had to really fight the urge to snap my rod tip up and down or side to side like I normally would a jerkbait. Instead, to fish the ScrewBait in the manner in which it was intended, you need to simply point your rod tip down and slowly crank the handle of your reel.
There are three versions of each bait, a Normal Sink (NS), Fast Sink (FS) ...
Retrieved in this manner, the props really do all the work spinning and they'll spin no matter what speed you retrieve the ScrewBait. If you can't fight the urge to give the bait a good hard pull or two, the ScrewBait will respond by moving forward in the direction you pull straight and true. There is no lip at the bottom of this bait to make it behave otherwise. It really is built to just be cast and retrieved.
... and a Slow Sink (SS).
Rate of Fall: The normal sink ScrewBait 110 descends at a rate of roughly one foot per second while the slow sink version descends at a rate of roughly one foot per every second and a half. We didn't have any fast sink versions on hand to test but imagine the sink rate on those would be in the neighborhood of a foot and a half to two feet per second. The weight difference between the normal sink and slow sink ScrewBaits is only one gram.
The NS falls at a rate equivalent to roughly one foot per second.
Next Section: It screwed with our heads all day