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Lure Review

Creature Fever : Shhhh.. Can You Keep a Secret? (continued)

Effectiveness: With baits especially, it's our practice to follow manufacturer recommendations where possible and then change things up from there if it makes sense to do so. Let's just say the manufacturer recommendation on this rigging method is spot on.

But they've sat quietly in our pile of baits to review for lack of reliable sources to replenish our supply.

The most effective way of fishing the standard, hardbait Gancraft Jointed Claw is to reel in steadily then stop your retrieve. You can stop it with a jerk of your rod tip, or just kill your retrieve. Either way, the end result is your bait will dart to the side and stop dead in its tracks. The degree of travel off to one side or the other varies with your retrieve and is part of what makes this bait so effective - it's unpredictable.

The best method to rig this bait is to stick the hook backwards through the base of the bait to avoid running the weighted hook through the soft plastic body.

The Jointed Claw Shape S, fished with the clip on the weighted hook, is just as erratic as the hard bait lacking only the ability to suspend in the water. The end result is you fish this bait a little faster or with shorter pauses. This bait not only dashes off to the side, but as you start and stop your retrieve, it also moves up and down in the water column.

The Shape S features a single joint just like the hard bait version.

Durability: JDM products are hard to come by. This holds especially true of their baits. So this is where the subject of durability is important. Unfortunately, because this is a soft plastic bait, and as with most soft plastic baits that are very effective, the plastic is super soft. End result? This bait gets torn up pretty quickly. We averaged anywhere from one to three fish per bait, but seldom more than that. If you get on a hot bite, you'll run through a pack of these in less than an hour so you need to pick and choose your applications or just really stock up whenever you see them available.

The special air cavity in back helps balance the bait in the water.

Availability: We've known about these baits for quite some time dating back to ICAST 2009 where we met with Kotaro Kake of Gan Craft, but they were lost under a pile of gear to review because they were so hard to get. What prompted our re-investigation into these baits? We saw them hanging in the store over at Hi's Tackle Box in South San Francisco and while the product has not yet made it to their online presence, we know for a fact (at the time of this writing), there were several colors and sizes available in the store along with the hooks and eye accessories. So if after reading this review, you're interested in acquiring some of these baits, Hi's Tackle Box is a good place to start.


Gancraft Jointed Claw Shape S Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The closer you look the more intricate this bait really is 8
Performance As erratic as the hard bait - if rigged correctly 8
Price Thanks to the exchange rate, these baits are pretty pricey 4
Features Seems simple but the hook slot, eye sockets, joint, all serve a very important purpose 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to take for granted because it doesn't catch your eye right off the bat, but in the water... 8
Application We fished it straight up, but there are recommendations to use it as a drop shot bait too so like any soft plastic, it's only limited to your imagination 7

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:


+ The erratic nature of the hardbait in a weedless and finesse design - If you can find it, the price is going to be steep
+ Get all the accessories it makes a difference - The cost does not end at the baits alone
+ People will read this and still discard the utility of this bait  


Conclusion: There are those who will open this article, look at the overall score and think, "good, I don't need that bait". There are others that will balk at the price and say forget it, they'll fish such and such bait instead! And then there are those in the know about the hard version of this bait, will have wished we never breathed a word of it, look at this bait and realize it's almost the same thing but with one distinct difference - you can fish it weedless!


Once we saw these baits on the store shelves, we knew the secret was bound to get out but shhhh.. don't tell anyone!


For now what we will say is, typical of other soft plastic baits, you never really know what you have in hand until you rig it up and flip it out. Gan Craft's Jointed Claw Shape-S is a potentially deadly bait in open water conditions over weedbeds, but don't take our word for it, you're not supposed to know.


Looking for Gan Craft baits? Try Hi's Tackle Box









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