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Lure Review

The Fix is In : Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 - Round 2 (continued)

Durability: This is the section where the original bait we reviewed crashed and burned and this is where we had hoped to test this bait against some crazed fish from the Amazon. Unfortunately, our ultimate torture test didn't pan out as the bite was not conducive to tossing big baits this time around.

This is the bait Lucky Craft USA President, Minoru Segawa, insisted we leave with during ICAST 2009.

And you can see from this picture, how the ends of the spring clip now extend almost to the edge of the bait. We used a pair of needlenose pliers to compress this clip then applied reasonable force to try and pry it free all to no avail. With the original version, all we had to do was compress the clip and the bait came apart. Lucky Craft has fixed the original flaw.

We've had to resort to other measures in order to test this bait, and as if in defiance of our attempts to break the bait a second time around, the modified Real California Supreme 200 has held up extremely well. the bottom line...Lucky Craft's fix worked.

A bit more difficult to see, we inspected our fully finished models purchased after ICAST 2009 to check for the fix and were pleased to find "it was in".

Availability: Lucky Crafts Real California Supreme 200 was redesigned and re-priced to $25 (originally $50) at some point after our initial review and was available in its new design after ICAST 2009, yet the bait is a little hard to find. Its smaller sibling, the Real California Supreme 110 is readily available but not a bait we have thrown or actually held in our hands. Certainly the 110 is a size fans of Lucky Craft are more accustomed to, but when we're throwing a bait of this style, our preference is for something five to six inches and larger.

The Lucky Craft Real California Supreme 200 is NOW ready for prime time.

Similarly sized and detailed baits from smaller manufacturers run upwards of $100 or more - if you can find one. If your favorite tackle store carries Lucky Craft products, but not this bait, chances are you can ask them to order one or a few for you and they'll have them on hand within a week. Is it worth this small effort? Well, the 200 has proven to us that it's now ready for prime time.


Lucky Craft Real California Supreme 200 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This time around, structural integrity to go along with the wonderful detailing. 9
Performance A good swimming motion that could be great if the second section was not restricted in movement by the first 7.5
Price A quality 8" hardbodied big bait for $25? Are you kidding me? 9
Features Quality hooks and hardware 8
Design (Ergonomics) Detailing is superb, finishes could use some toning down 7.5
Application When it's time to go big, don't be afraid to throw this lure 8

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:


+ Finally fixed - Hard to find at the moment
+ Not too heavy - easy to throw  
+ Really superb detailing  


Conclusion: Lucky Craft is not a brand we traditionally turn to when thinking of California style big baits. Few major lure manufacturers really are. This is why we were so excited when this bait originally debuted. Finally a good swimming, realistic bait from a manufacturer accustomed to dealing in volume. Had our initial results been positive, who knows how well this bait might have taken off. Of course, the opposite occurred. Lucky Craft went back to the drawing board beefing up their original connection hardware, but we didn't find out until a year and a half later at ICAST 2009.

This is no peacock bass, but striper have been known to tear apart baits as well and the Real California Supreme 200 held up to a handful of these mean spirited fish back in the fall of 2009.

We took our time with this refresh because we wanted to be certain everything was taken care of. In the meantime, we've had a lot more big baits pass through our office, onto our boats, and tied to the end of our lines. The Real California Supreme 200 still excites us, and we're happy to report this time around, it's held up to our tests. What we want to see now is maybe a slightly smaller size (maybe a 150?) and color patterns more appropriate for a bait of this style, namely less flashy and exaggerated and more simple yet realistic. A custom painter could really have a field day with this bait given the intricate details molded into the body.

Most anyone serious about throwing big baits dismissed this product after our initial review. No one gave it a second chance after Lucky Craft fixed the original flaw. We have and it's slowly becoming one of Cal's secret weapons.

Regardless of this one bit of criticism, we're happy to see Lucky Craft finally got it right with this bait. We expected big things when we saw this bait originally. It's taken over three years, but the bait has finally delivered. Throw on top of it all, the new, lower price for this bait and there's little reason NOT to give this product another chance. I did and while it's not quite reached favorite status within my current arsenal of big baits, it's getting close. What it has earned is a spot in my go-to box as a "secret" reserve player, but a few more pinch hits and who knows. We do know, just about anyone serious about big baits has dismissed this product. That's a mistake. If you're one of the lucky few reading this refresh, and big baits are your thing, you might consider poking around to find one for your box. If the bait performed this well the first time around, it would have easily won an Editor's Choice Award, but because we had to do this twice, it's going to take more time to get there. For now, we're happy to reward Lucky Craft's efforts in fixing the bait and lowering its price with our Best Value Award.










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