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Lure Review

 


Cranking It Up with PH Custom Lures's Herren's 2.0 Squarebill

 

Date: 10/28/21
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: PH Custom Lures
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.67 - GOOD

Introduction:
Crankbaits serve as comfort food for the bass angler's insatiable appetite for gear, and balsa wood cranks can be found in the organic aisle of his favorite grocery store. The allure is ever so tempting and it's what most crankbait fisherman prefer, but not everyone is willing to pay the extra cache to fish organic which in turn makes them all the more attractive to own and fish. PH Custom Lures has a product that kind of blurs the line between wood and plastic cranks making it all the more difficult to stave off that temptation. Here's a look at the Herren's 2.0 Squarebill Crankbait.

 

PH Custom Lures Herren's 2.0 Squarebill Specifications

Type Squarebill Crank
Length 2.5"
Weight 1/2 oz
Depth 0-6 feet
Material Balsa Wood
Colors 8
MSRP $24.99

 

Impressions: PH Custom Lure's Herren's 2.0 Squarebill Crankbait is a balsa crank shaped more like a plastic crank and designed to cast a little farther and dive just a little deeper than traditional balsa cranks. It features a circuit board lip and premium, if unbranded, components and comes in 8 colors.


Introducing the Herren's 2.0 Squarebill crank by PH Custom Lures

Real World Tests: I acquired the Herren's Squarebill while on the hunt for baits to fish with my 2019 Daiwa Millionaire CTSV70. Spooled with 10lb YGK G-Soul Tour Grade Fluorocarbon and paired with my Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special, I needed some new baits to throw to keep things interesting while at the same time satiating that hunger for at least a trip or two.


This bait features a slightly more elongated body than is typically associated with balsa wood cranks

Castability: PH Custom Lures equips the Herren's 2.0 Squarebill with a split ring at the line tie but I fished this bait mostly on a snap - both to the line tie direct but also to the split ring. The bait weighs half an ounce and measures two and a half inches. It's a good weight for a bait of this size and just enough to give it enough mass to cast with relative consistency - something that can be a challenge with fishing balsa wood cranks. It certainly helps if you have a rod, reel, and line combo as adept at casting lighter, more inefficient baits as the one I just listed.


It measures 2.5 inches in length

Dive Time: Where the real fun with this bait begins, like with all balsa wood cranks, is when you crank that handle and get the bait digging down into whatever bottom you may be fishing through. Well, except for cases where there's a lot of weeds. Unless there are defined clumps you can pick your spots to work around, weeds are just annoying when you're fishing a squarebill.


Hooks are un-branded but sharp and effective

The Herren's 2.0 gets to work right away and does a very nice job bouncing off rocks, pieces of wood, and if you're brave enough, submerged tree branches and limbs. Zander happened to find one for me to test this bait through, but I only performed one cast as a due diligence check to verify the bait's ability. After that, it was back to pounding the banks and flats. I only had the one bait and didn't have the internal fortitude to risk losing it on a blow up in the tree.


The eyes remind me of a Bagley Bait

The bait is equipped with two, non-branded, medium gauge hooks that do their job and seem to hold up well and the bait's split rings are stainless steel. Herren's 2.0 Squarebill held up well over course of a few trips with both hot and cold bites mixed in between. The bait's bill gets a little messed up as does the finish, but nothing out of the ordinary.


Surprisingly, this bait was as effective clipped to the split ring as it was the line tie for me, but in general, clipping to the line tie is best

Design/Ergonomics: PH Custom's Herren's 2.0 Squarebill is available in eight colors covering the basics from what you'd expect from a balsa wood crank but with a twist. Instead of Tennessee Shad, for example, their Gray Ghost should suit while their version of Chartreuse Black has a little orange in the belly. Others, like Guntersville Craw (shown in this review) is a classic red craw pattern and their Spring Craw is a little more loosely interpreted as is their take on Bluegill.


Herren's 2.0 Squarebill retails for $24.99 per copy

Price & Application: Priced at $24.99 a copy, the Herren's 2.0 Squarebill is definitely safely nestled in the custom wood crankbait category since few of its plastic competitors can rival that price - well, few not named Megabass anyway. Fish this bait any time you think the fish may be hold up in skinny water situations.

Ratings:

PH Custom Lures Herren's 2.0 Squarebill Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very nicely crafted bait 8
Performance Casts well and bounces off obstacles as advertised 8
Price Typical of a wooden crank 7
Features Stock hooks are sharp, circuit board lip, elongated shape for a wooden crank 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Available in 8 very interesting colors 7.5
Application Classic shallow water crank 8

Total Score

7.67
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
+ Easy to cast - Wood cranks come at a premium these days
+ Good deflection characteristics - No label or other markings on the bait to remind me the make and model number
+ Interesting colors  
+ Sharp stock hooks  


PH Custom's Herren's 2.0 Squarebill will always have a place in my balsa bait lineup

Conclusion: Balsa Wood cranks will always have a place in my crankbait arsenal. The only trouble I find with this and many of the others baits from this manufacturer are none of them are labeled on the body of the lure. I used to find this practice un-necessary, but with wood cranks, so many of them share similar looks, once they get mixed in with the rest of my baits, I tend to lose track of which bait is what. The Herren's 2.0 Squarebill benefits from having a little different shape than most wooden cranks but at the same time, it kind of reminds me of a Bagley Bait from year's past - save for the circuit board diving lip. It is certainly NOT a big deal, just something to keep in mind if your baits get as mixed up as mine do after I finish their respective reviews. In the meantime, if you're as fond of balsa cranks as am I, PH Custom's Herren's 2.0 is worth checking out. I already have a few of the other colors on my TackleWarehouse wish list for future ordering reference.

 

Looking for PH Custom Lures Herren's 2.0 Squarebills?

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