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Lure Review


Increase your numbers with the diminutive Live-X Smolt from Megabass (continued)

 

Presentation: As with most any other suspending bait, the Live-X Smolt floats on the surface of the water but for a second after it hits then begins its slow, tantalizing descent under the surface. Neutral buoyancy seems to kick in at a depth of one to two feet for this lure but this was difficult to gauge without sticking our heads in the water. Running depth is about this same approximate depth and can vary depending on the diameter of line you're using.


The subtle contours of the Live-X Smolt


The Live-X Smolt dives down and reaches its retrieval depth instantly upon the first twitch of the rod. The darting action of this lure is decent, but definitely not as dynamic as other lures we've used. It is deadly, however, on pauses as the lure just sits there in suspended animation, with each break in your retrieval cadence. It is at this time, most of our strikes took place with fish flying out from structure to swipe at our mini suspended bait.


Like all Megabass lures, the Live-X Smolt is labeled with its name, weight, and vintage


Weedlessness: Because of the Live-X Smolt's small size and small hooks, the bait seldom gets caught up in vegetation. When they do, a quick rip of the rod usually frees them. Because of this, they are ideal for fishing in amongst submerged weeds mimicking small baitfish trying to get away from large predators. Moreover, due to its relatively shallow running depth, rocks, rip rap, submerged shrubs or other underwater structure does not pose much of a threat. But when that inevitable snag does occur, at these shallow depths, the lure is relatively easy to free.

 

Both of our Live-X Smolts were from the 2004 vintage

 

Note the subtle coloration of our Live-X Smolt in Ito Shrimp


Durability: Interestingly enough, our Live-X Smolts held up extremely well during our 4 month test of the bait's capabilities. The combination of its small size and low weight make it less susceptible to damage both during fish strikes and casts. With its small size, fish simply inhale the bait, so any damage from bites or missed strikes is minimal. Because the bait is so light, it's difficult to build any real momentum behind a cast so the inadvertent cast into structure (or in our case, purposeful) results in little to no damage of the lure's finish or structural integrity. We were skeptical of the lure's very small and thin-diameter hooks, but they also held up fine during our fishing season. The Live-X Smolt is a surprisingly durable little bait.

 

The translucent finish of our Smolt in Ito Shrimp allows close examination of the lure's construction

 

Every Live-X Smolt features solid construction


Application & Effectiveness: Our favorite structure to attack with the Live-X Smolt were submerged weedbeds and raised docks. Largemouth of all sizes come out and attack this diminutive bait in these situations. Our intent was to fish this bait in and around rocky humps and shorelines in search of smallmouth and spotted bass, but these destinations did not fit into our testing schedule this time around. This bait, would undoubtedly excel in these situations as well.

 

This bass just barely swiped at our Live-X Smolt, but the sharp hooks on our bait held on until we could get the fish to the boat for this photo opportunity

 

Ratings:

Megabass Live-X Smolt Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality construction in a finesses-sized lure, the Live-X Smolt is well built. While the quality matches other Megabass offerings the lure doesn't seem to have any outstanding construction details that stand out like some of the other lures. 8
Performance Though perhaps not as lively as other baits in its class, the size of this bait, together with its suspending action is very effective at enticing finicky bass to strike. Somewhat challenging to cast if you do not have light lines and a spinning outfit 8
Price As with all Megabass Lures, the Live-X Smolt comes at a premium...only in this case you feel like you are paying even more for less 7
Features Sharp, stock hooks, Multiway Moving Balancer System, this little lure is chock full of advanced features for a lure of this size 8.5
Design A nicely detailed bait, the finishes are still quite good 8
Application A quality bait for when the bite is tough and especially effective over submerged brush and underneath elevated docks. Probably not the best bait to use when targeting lunker bass. Requires light gear for best operation 7.5

Total Score

7.75

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Wonderful, finesse-sized jerkbait that can be fished in a variety of conditions L At roughly $10 per inch, this bait comes at a premium
J Surprisingly durable L Can be a bit challenging to throw on baitcasting gear
J Very good, suspending action  L Because of its size, undersized fish can dominate your day while you're using this lure
J Great fun on spinning gear  
J Sharp, stock hooks

    
Conclusion: Looking for some fish catching fun on light tackle and light line? The Megabass Live-X Smolt can certainly enhance this experience but it's not just a finesse bait. Capable of being fished in and around docks and submerged weedbeds, this bait has the potential to bring fish to the boat when the bite is tough thanks to its great "match the hatch" size. Unfortunately, this can also be its downfall as we caught many undersized fish with this bait. Of course, on light line and light tackle, even a feisty 9 inch bass can be great fun. Though not as impressive as some of the other Megabass lures we have tested in the past, if quantity is what you're after, with the occasional, quality fish mixed in, the Megabass Live-X Smolt could still be just the bait you're missing at the end of your line.

 

                           


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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