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Lure Review

 

Small but Mighty, the Deadly Megabass Dark Sleeper (continued)

 

Donít be afraid to mix up retrieves, and in general the warmer the water the more success I had swimming the bait, versus bumping the sleeper over structure. In Florida, our editor Wolbugger, fished the Dark Sleeper in warmer conditions, and in contrast to my experience in California, caught the vast majority of his fish on straight retrieves.

 


Even small bass usually inhale the Dark Sleeper


The Dark Sleeper is available in weights ranging from 1/4oz all the way up to 1oz. and I recommend fishing the same weight that you would normally select from your jig collection to target the same application. When the fish are on a reaction bite the larger 3.8Ē 1oz. version is good for fishing fast, and getting to the right depth quickly.

 


The Haze pattern showcases the details of the airbrush finish. As with so many Megabass products the refinement on this bait is exceptional


While the Dark Sleeper is able to draw strikes from both tight holding and suspended fish the one constant is that both bass straight up try and kill this bait during strikes.

 

Bites are not subtle pecks, and rarely did I hook fish on the lip with this bait. In most cases fish absolutely crushed the Dark Sleeper and hooked themselves deep in the back of their mouths.


Hookup ratios with the bait are quite good, and the soft material used in the body and fins is just solid enough to deflect from potential snags, but also forgiving enough that when struck the fins collapse easily allowing for solid hooksets. While this bait is more snag resistant than many other larger swimbaits it is by no means snag-proof, and I did get it hung up on submerged trees and bushes more than any other type of structure.

 


While the Dark Sleeper will catch numbers it also crush the Dark Sleeper

 
Price & Applications: The Dark Sleeper is an extremely versatile little bait, and whether you primarily fish it like a jig, or a tiny paddletail swimbait, all you need to do is tie it on and start fishing. The embedded jighead design takes rigging out of the equation, making this a great choice for anglers that are just starting to dial in their swimbait game. It may not feel as glorious as catapulting an I-Slide or large Magdraft, but the Dark Sleeper catches more fish.

 


Though the hidden hook design reduces snags significantly the Dark Sleeper is not snag-proof and I did hang up on submerged timber at times


Retailing for the price of a premium jig the Dark Sleeper is on the more affordable side when it comes to Megabass bait offerings, and with the recent introduction of larger 3.8Ē sizes and weights up to 1 ounce there are even more options to match the hatch and target fish at varying depths.

 


The Dark Sleeper takes all the rigging out of swimbait fishing, it is easy to fish and don't be afraid to mix up retrieves as the bait can be effective deep or shallow or fished slow or fast effectively, depending on conditions


In terms of durability the Dark Sleeper does damage from the micro teeth of largemouth, but I was surprised how well the tails and overall body integrity of the baits held up over time. In fact I didnít have a single bait lose a tail during testing, which is also probably because there are few short strikes. The Sleeperís finishes will take a beating, and the surface of the baits will rough up after just a few strikes, but as scruffy as they look over time these baits continued to remain deadly effective.

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Megabass Dark Sleeper Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid design and construction that molds the swimbait body around the jighead so each bait is weighted perfectly. The kind of high quality we have learned to expect from Megabass 9
Performance At first I just used the Dark Sleeper as a jig replacement but over time I learned that the Dark Sleeper can be effective with straight retrieves and at various depths 9.5
Price While not cheap the Dark Sleeper is actually reasonably priced when you consider the features and detailed finishes 7.5
Features Though tiny this bait is loaded with features such as the realistic 3D fins, embedded jighead, paddle tail, and hidden hook 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to fish, but does take time to master. Be creative with your retrieves and the Dark Sleeper will reward you 9
Application Is it a swimbait? Is it a Jig? The Dark Sleeper is one of the most versatile little baits we have ever fished 9

Total Score

8.75
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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Clever design that features a hidden hook that makes the bait more realistic and snag resistant - While snag resistant the bait is not snag-proof
+ The airbrushed finishes on these lures are very detailed - More expensive than competing swimbaits of this size but few can match the details and versatility
+ Easy to fish and effective when retrieved at varying speeds and depths. Anglers can adapt quickly with this bait  
+ Surprisingly durable, and even when roughed up over time the bait still remains effective  

 


Wolbugger with a nice bass caught in Florida with a straight retrieve. Don't sleep on this small swimbait, the mighty Dark Sleeper is an absolute fish catching machine

 

Conclusion: The Megabass Dark Sleeperís sculpin styling may not resemble the usual shad or bluegill forage that largemouth prey on, but this is no reason to sleep on this bait. The Dark Sleeper is an absolute fish catching machine, and one of Megabassís most versatile lures, as it enables anglers to effectively target bass when fishing fast or slow, and even in and around cover. Fish cannot hide from the Dark Sleeper, and once you dial in the retrieve for your unique body of water, this small, yet mighty bait, can deliver both numbers and quality!

 

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