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Lure Review

Super Speed Cranking with the Luhr Jensen Mini-Speed Trap

Date: 1/28/04
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Luhr Jensen
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.25

Introduction: After many years of success with their Speed Trap, Luhr Jensen now introduces a contemporary smaller version of this popular crankbait. The Mini-Speed Trap is great in those tough conditions when downsizing makes a huge different in bagging a quicker limit. This new lure runs well at high speeds, offers beneficial shallow water cranking, and like its larger sibling, it will catch fish.


Luhr Jensen Mini-Speed Trap Specifications

Material Buterate Plastic
Diving Depth Shallow (~3ft)
Size 1-3/4" (1/16oz)
Colors/Patterns 36 available
Color tested Green Sunfish
MSRP $7.13
Price found online $4.29

Impressions: Having been a fan of the Speed Trap when targeting bass in shallow waters, I was pleased to see Luhr Jensen finally introduce a smaller version of this lure. Often times downsizing a lure can catch more and actually bigger fish. The new Mini-Speed Trap is designed exactly the same as the larger size, but sports a smaller profile, adding up to only 1-3/4 inches in length and 1/16 ounces in weight. The body design is still shaped the same way, which is quite important to retain the high-speed retrieve characteristics of this lure. The Green Sunfish pattern we tested didn't have the flashy holographic shine, but has an attractive and deadly pattern that are proven fish catchers. This lure design is so effective that on Oct 2003, Professional Bass Angler Mark Tyler armed with a 1/4oz Speed Trap won the Bassmasters' Western Open tournament in Clear Lake, CA.


The new Mini-Speed Trap is designed exactly like the Speed Trap but smaller in size


Complete Rig for Mini-Speed Trap Tests

Rod Quantum Tour Edition PT (PTS664F)
Reel Quantum Energy PTi 20
Line 8 lb Trilene XL

Real World Tests: We tested the mini Speed Trap in cold winter waters in local lakes and in the California Delta, hitting the shallow areas and rocky points by quickly running this speedy lure through the waters.


Casting: When using the original Speed Trap, a St. Croix cranking stick was a good match, but for the Mini, a spinning outfit was a better fit to whip this lure further. Even though it's only 1/16 ounce, rigged with 8lb test it was easy to cast the Luhr Jensen Mini-Speed Trap to target shallow water areas. And because this lure is a shallow diver, long casting distances aren't required to get the Mini-Speed Trap to run at optimum depths. This lure requires a lot of casting, since it runs quickly from the drop back to your location. This lure is excellent for searching out fish, or testing for activity in uncharted water.


The Mini-Speed Trap was designed to run true and effective at all speeds


Retrieve: This is where the Mini-Speed Trap shows off the performance of its classic design. Similar to any crankbait, you can make your cast, and then retrieve it at a steady slow to medium speed to be productive.  But the name Speed Trap exists for a purpose.  Because of its body design, shaped slightly different than other crankbaits you normally see, having distinct angular sides, the Mini-Speed Trap can be burned through the water and can still remain effective at slower retrieves. When searching for bass in the shallow areas during the field tests, this new Luhr Jensen lure was tossed out with a quick snap of the rod and then retrieved expeditiously, scoping out the area for activity. You can use any other crankbait to search for fish, but I found that to achieve the action necessary to attract fish to strike at high speeds was much easier with the Speed Trap series, including the Mini, than the normal shaped crankbaits. Using a fast running lure that produces is important especially in lakes that have extremely good visibility. I retrieve the lure quickly, preventing the fish from seeing the difference between my lure and a real bait fish, and this lure did just that. Tight wobbles and a loud rattles both help initiate reaction strikes.


A square bill makes the Mini a more effective shallow diving crankbait


Another notable design feature is the nearly flat bill. Instead of a rounded lip, the square bill makes the Mini-Speed Trap a much more effective crankbait in shallow waters. A square bill gives the Mini the ability to bump into and swim over structure without easily snagging.


The Mini-Speed Trap is molded out of Buterate Plastic and is a floating type of crankbait that makes it even deadlier in shallow waters or fished around structure. After bumping into submerged tree stumps, weed, or rocks, allow the crankbait to float upwards, often times this structure probing can get fish to commit to the lure as it creates a ruckus parallel to the structure they are holding within.


The Speed Trap series is a proven winner when it comes to bass fishing


Durability: The overall durability of the Mini-Speed Trap is good.  No problems were seen with the paint and the bill will not break off unless you're constantly casting it onto boulders, rock walls, or the shore. The eyes look like they are just stickers, but I'm amazed at how well they adhere to the crankbait, even after extensive use. There is one thing that's noticeable, but not a problem with the Speed Trap family, are the tiny "dents" you see on the bottom of the lure.  Because the lure is molded out of plastic, I was told the mold causes this slight cosmetic issue. We wish Luhr Jensen could patch up these "dents," which would give the lure a smoother more refined look and feel.

Luhr Jensen Mini-Speed Trap Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Made out of Buterate plastic, the lure is durable and molded symmetrically, but there are "dents" on the bottom.  The coatings of paint is good and showed no problems throughout the field tests 7.5
Performance An effective miniature shallow running crankbait that can be retrieves slow to fast. It runs true and has a nice wobble that produces fish 9
Price Suggested retail price is quite high, but this lure costs much less in stores and online retailers 8
Features Featuring rattles that produce an audible call and a square bill that makes it a great shallow runner 8
Design (Ergonomics) The Mini was brought to use because of the success of the larger sized.  Designed to run shallow, fast, and true. But no major innovations other then size change 8
Application A proven bass killer especially in the shallow waters, and the mini size appeals to the fish in all conditions 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great for shallow waters L Wish the "dents" were patched
J Can be retrieved fast  
J Effective around cover  
J Large selection of colors  

Conclusion: When times are tough on the water and the bass have a serious case of lock jaw, crankbaits can be an effective search tool to help incite some action. With most crankbaits you would normally apply a slow to medium retrieve to be productive, but that's not the case with the Luhr Jensen Speed Trap series lures. The Mini-Speed Trap was born to provide another tool for fishermen to catch fish when a smaller prey will entice more strikes on those not-so-active days, attracting everything from dinks to lunkers. The Mini-Speed Trap is a winner just like its larger sibling. It runs straight and true when retrieved slow or while burning it through the water. The square bill is a big plus for a shallow running crankbait, minimizing the risks for snagging as it bounces off structure. The Speed Trap was already a proven lure, and now its available in a greater variety of sizes, extending its utility in a greater range of applications.









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