The Fix is In : Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 - Round 2
Total Score: 8.17 - BEST VALUE AWARD!
Over three years ago, we shared with you our experience throwing then brand new at the time, Lucky Craft Real California Supreme 200. It is safe to say that bait fared the worst of any we had thrown in our history thanks to the fact it simply fell apart in the water. The following year, at ICAST, Lucky Craft USA President, Minoru Segawa, personally reassured us that the problem we experienced with the initial batch of baits (namely the poorly designed clips holding the bait together) had been resolved and insisted we take one of his clear bodied, unfinished, sample baits so we could see for ourselves.
Re-introducing Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 big bait.
Because the bait was clear, I could easily inspect its joints and saw that the clips were indeed improved with longer tag ends preventing the spring clips from pulling out even when they compress. I told Mr. Segawa that the improvement looked good and agreed the bait should now hold up as originally intended placing the bait back down on the table as I spoke. Mr. Segawa picked the bait back up, placed it in my hand firmly and said, “no, fish it!” It’s been roughly two years since that time, but here now is our revised and completed review of the Real California Supreme 200 by Lucky Craft.
Lucky Craft Real California Supreme 200 Specifications
|| 7 7/8" (3.75oz)
||1 ft per second
||2 #1 trebles by VMC
Impressions: Anyone who is familiar with our original article on this bait published back in January 29, 2008 will know I'm a fan of this bait's appearance but not necessarily the application of standard Lucky Craft colors on the bait itself. The detailing in this bait is extraordinary, but somehow color patterns like American Shad, one of my favorite Lucky Craft finishes, just don't translate to this bait. Fortunately, there are some trout patterns available as well as some other more subdued flavors, but we'd like to see more.
more, can this bait deliver as promised the second time around?
The Fix: Our original review cycle of this bait was cut short back in 2008 due to poorly designed joint hardware. The tag ends on the spring clips connecting each section of the bait were too short, so when there was any type of stress at the joint where the response from the clip was to compress, they would do so making them susceptible to pulling out from the bait entirely which is what happened on our fateful cast. This issue has been resolve by extending those tag ends to the point where the clips will not pull out even when fully compressed - we know because we tried to pull the bait apart several times by compressing the clips with a pair of needlenose pliers and applying mild force to work the clips free. They would not come loose.
process for this refresh began back in 2009.
Field Tests: With that positive result, the process for this product review refresh began back in 2009, shortly after ICAST and in preparation for our original Amazon dates. Shortly after our return from ICAST, we managed to get out for some action with the Fall run striper on the CA Delta. On these trips, I tossed this bait on my Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB matched with a Racing Condition Bespoke by Megabass and Daiwa.
California Supreme 200 has a very good swimming motion although the joint
between the first and second sections of the bait is a tad restricted.
The Real California Supreme 200 also joined us when we finally made our trip to the Amazon, but the bite
wasn't quite right on that trip for big bait action. Too bad because I was really looking forward to seeing if the bait would hold up to those fish. Back home, to continue the refresh of this review, I pulled out my Lucky Craft 761XHF and Daiwa Pluton combo trying to give this bait as much good karma as possible, and tossed it in search of the prey for which it was designed, black bass.
The up and
down freedom of the tail section allows this bait gives this bait some funk
when asked to dance with an erratic retrieve.
Action: All slim profile, subsurface, two jointed, hard bodied big baits are compared to 22nd Century's
Triple Trout, plain and simple. As far as we are concerned, it is the original bait of this class, and because of its effectiveness, it sets the standard with its crazy s-pattern swimming motion. Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 has a similar swimming motion to the Triple Trout only not as fluid or dynamic. This bait swims in a tighter s-pattern with the tail section doing most of the dance. The joint between the first two sections is just a bit restrictive. The bait swims effectively at all speeds slow to fast, but seems to swim best at medium speed retrieves.
is subtle but superb.
Pause it, jerk it, reel in fast for a few cranks and stop, and you can get this bait to do some crazy dances. It will dart from side to side, jump up in the water column, and dive back down, turn almost all the way around and then swim right back to you as soon as you take up the slack in your line. It passes the erratic retrieve tests easily.
We took a
couple of these baits down to the Amazon, but the Peacocks were not in the
mood for experimental offerings this time around.
ROF: There's no official rating on the Real California Supreme 200 with regard to its rate of fall, but tests in our tank reveals the bait descends parallel to the bottom at a rate of about one foot per second. We'd rate that a medium rate of fall.
preparation for the Amazon, we swapped out the two stock hooks on this bait
with oversized Owner ST-56s. Surprisingly, these hooks had no affect on the
bait's action (that's a good thing).
Components: The two #1 sized stock hooks on this bait, as well as most baits by Lucky Craft are by VMC. We upgraded our baits to Owner ST-56 (3x strong) in size 1/0 not because we didn't care for the quality of the VMC hooks, but because we were preparing for fish in the Amazon. With most baits, you have to be careful switching to bigger, heavier hooks, but in this case there was no real effect on the bait's swimming ability or rate of fall.
first bait failed after a dozen casts. This bait has been used on and off
for the last year and a half and the tail section is still there!
Next Section: The real question, how about