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Lure Review


Fish a better bass trap - The Persuader American Angling, Pro Assassinator Clacker Spinner Bait
 

Date: 2/16/05
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Persuader
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.50

Introduction:
Have you ever stumbled on one of those baits that, after trying, you find yourself referring to in hushed tones? Have you ever wanted find one of those secret baits before your fishing partner? Or are you looking for something new to help you gain confidence while at the same time, having a little fun? The Pro Assassinator Clacker Blade Spinnerbait (or the Clacker for short) by Persuader American Angling might very well be one of those baits. Take a moment with us to see how this innovative spinnerbait performed during our 2004 bass fishing season.
 

Persuader Pro Assassinator Clacker Blade Spinner Bait Specifications

Spinner Type Double Willow
Hook Mustad
Sizes 3/8, 1/2, 3/4oz
Size Tested 3/8 & 1/2oz
Colors/Patterns 13 Available
Colors Tested White & Chartreuse, Chartreuse and Blue, & Shad
MSRP $7.99ea


Impressions:
My first introduction to the Pro Assassinator Clacker Blade Spinner Bait by Persuader American Angling was at the 2004 International Sportsman’s Exposition in Northern California, and to be honest, at first glance I did not find it very compelling. Looking at the bait through its packaging and seeing its strange geometry, I had the impression, given its awkward appearance, that the lure was more of a gimmick bait than anything else. But after talking to a representative and taking the bait out of its package for a closer look, my impressions soon changed.

 

As described by Cliff Liddy, President of Persuader American Angling, the blades are configured such that, during your retrieve, they not only spin, but come in contact with one another, clacking, to create more noise and disturbance than traditional spinnerbaits. This patented action will also foul the lure, from time to time, in the middle of your retrieve – just for a second – but enough to cause an even more erratic presentation. This combined activity is uncanny at triggering strikes from aggressive fish.

 

The Clacker's arm branches out to yield another blade

 

The bait itself speaks of quality in every aspect of design and craftsmanship from the detailed paint scheme and 3D eyes on the head to the ball bearing swivels that connect the willow leaf blades to the bait. As a test, I held the lure up letting the blades dangle, and discovered the blades twirl effortlessly with just a soft puff of air. The skirt is made of top-notch silicon fibers that have nice body and movement both in and out of the water. Once I inspected the quality of components and came to understand what they were trying to achieve with the non-traditional configuration, it all came together and the bait was quickly in my shopping basket.

Field Tests:
For our tests, we employed mostly medium heavy weight rods coupled with reels that had a 5:1 retrieve ratio or roughly, twenty to twenty one and a half (20 – 21.5) inches of retrieve per turn of the handle, and headed out to some local bass waters, including the California Delta, for several months of fishing fun.
 

a Painted head, 3D eyes, and high quality skirts are part of the package


Casting: Given the weight of these spinnerbaits casting for distance or accuracy is hardly a problem. However, every now and then, given the configuration of the blades, fouling during a cast can be an issue. We’ve found if care is taken to visually check the lure prior to each cast instead of just blindly casting and retrieving, this issue can be greatly minimized.

 

Retrieve: We tried a variety of retrieves with this spinnerbait: the traditional slow roll, the crank and pause, the crank, hop and pause, and the simple, steady retrieve to name a few. During our tests, the simple, steady retrieve seemed most effective with this bait. Other retrieves worked as well, but what sets this bait apart is its chuck and wind nature. The steady retrieve seems to best compliment the design of this bait allowing the blades to clack and foul automatically lending consistency in this inherently inconsistent action. You really can feel the vibration of blades coming together through your line and into the length of your rod as you crank the reel. This fantastic action makes it all that much more simple to detect a strike. The sensation can be likened to a big, single blade Colorado style spinnerbait but without all the water resistance. Add to this, the extra flash of two willow leaf blades and it’s not hard to understand why this bait is so effective.

 

Detail in design, and use of high quality components throughout

Weedlessness: As with all spinnerbaits, the Clacker is easily retrieved through grass, between branches, and over logs, rocks and rip rap. The ball bearing swivels can get inundated and eventually foul in heavy hair algae, but that is pretty much the norm for any spinnerbait. As far as actually snagging, overall, in three months of use, we lost maybe one lure to an underwater hang up. Not too bad at all. 

Trailers: The Clacker has a typical bait keeper barb on the hook shank to hold in place any variety of trailers one might choose to employ. Over the course of our testing, we had no problems with trailers slipping or wanting to come off before their time. The bait keeper on the Clacker is very effective.

A largemouth caught during our tests with the Clacker (left). Note the unique geometry of the Clacker that enable the blades to come in contact during the retrieve (bottom)


Durability: Of issue with most spinnerbaits, we’ve found, is the longevity of the skirt material. For a variety of reasons, many lesser skirt materials tend to melt and bunch together or simply fall off over time. Granted, while not tested over an extraordinarily long period of time, the skirts on our baits held up quite well for one season never once reacting with trailers that were left on during neglect by melting, or falling off from poor quality ties in the middle of the skirt. The paint on the head of these baits can be susceptible, however, to chips and scratches from both fish strikes and banging into rocks or other structure during casts.
 

Team TackleTour member, Joe Ezell with his personal best, 8lb 8oz largemouth bass caught on his very first cast with the clacker spinnerbait. This was his very first bass ever on a spinner of any kind!

Applications: As with most double willow leaf spinnerbaits, the primary zone for this lure is probably zero to ten (0-10) feet depending on the size lure you’re actually using. As such, this is mostly a shallow water spinner, but given the noise and action of the lure, I would not doubt its effectiveness in calling up aggressive fish from depths beyond ten feet.

During our evaluation of this lure, I was talking to a T3 reader and bass angler regarding his desire to broaden his skill set by learning how to fish the spinnerbait. He had used them before but with no success and eventually gravitated towards the crankbait further fueling his zero confidence in a spinner. I shared with him, some of my field experience with this “new” spinnerbait and even sent him one to aid in his personal quest. It was several weeks before he had the opportunity and thought to actually tie the bait I’d sent him to the end of his line, but when he did, the result on his very first cast was his first spinnerbait fish, ever - an 8 pound, 8 ounce hawg. What a testimony to the effectiveness of this bait.

Ratings:

Persuader Pro Assassinator Clacker Blade Spinner Bait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very well constructed lure made of top-notch materials. The only improvement we would like to see is the employment of Gamakatsu or Owner hooks 9
Performance As with all spinners, this bait is very versatile. The only detractor being its slightly more than average tendency to foul on casts. 8.5
Price At roughly $8 a pop, the Clacker is priced at about average what a spinnerbait of quality construction and componentry runs these days. 8
Features The unique clacking blades of this spinnerbait its highlight. We would like to see the ability to custom specify blade combinations from their website for a truly tailored offering. 8
Design (Ergonomics) A uniquely configured spinnerbait offering surprising effectiveness 9
Application A very versatile bait able to trigger bass on almost any type of retrieve and available in three different weight classifications for varied depths and hatch sizing. 8.5

Total Score

8.50


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Unique blade action L Can foul during casts
J Detailed head with 3d eyes L A little costly
J Ball bearing swivels  
J Plenty of color choices  


Conclusion:
If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.- Emerson

Conversely, build a better bass lure and, except amongst those most fervent, risk obscurity. Well, at the risk of upsetting the zealots, bass fisherman looking for a new edge, confidence bait, or just something that’s fun to fish, might do well to consider the Pro Assassinator Clacker Spinnerbait by Persuader American Angling. Awkward and a bit clunky in appearance, this lure catches fish. Just ask Joe Ezell, our lucky T3 angler who landed the fish of his lifetime on this bait. If you feel compelled to try this lure, better hurry, because the secret is out.


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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