Toxic Baits Suck! TXC's Impertinent Little Wake Bait, the Whippersnapper 2.0
Total Score: 8.16 - BEST VALUE AWARD
Introduction: Once considered a tool only for those in pursuit of trophy bass, swimbaits are now borderline mainstream. Leaving alone the number of established bait manufacturers producing large profile baits, there are easily over a hundred small shop, garage builders offering their unique takes as well. Like a cult shunning everything conventional, business is conducted through direct messages and random, mysterious drops. Social media is their refuge. Failing that, it can be a challenge keeping track of favorite brands both established and those yet to catch a ticket on the hype train.
Back in 2020 Zander and I dropped by the not so secret lair of Toxic Baits to
meet the man himself, Ceaser Chavez
Ceaser Chavez out of Northern California, almost literally on the shores of the California Delta has a seat on this train. He's been making baits for big bait enthusiasts going on close to ten years, yet remained unknown to me until about
three years ago. He's one of the rare builders who've taken it to the next level by opening up a shop with a retail wing you can actually visit and hand pick baits fresh off the drying rack. In an effort to make up for lost time, Zander and I dropped by this not so secret hide out located in Antioch, California, a hop, skip, jump, jog, and walk away from one of our go to launch ramps on the Delta. To say we did some damage is an understatement, but here's a look at a little gem that's probably my favorite profile of his. Introducing Toxic Baits's Whippersnapper 2.0.
Toxic Baits Whippersnapper 2.0
||Wake / Crankdown
||2.8oz (79 grams)
||Available in Wake or Crankdown configurations
I don't have a v1.0 version with which to compare, but the Whippersnapper 2.0 is a two piece bait measuring just five and a quarter inches (5.25") from tip of nose to tip of tail. What it lacks in length, however, this bait makes up for in width. At almost an inch and a quarter in width, proportionately, this bait feels like a tank of a sunfish slab. Of course, the intrigue doesn't end there. What further separates this bait from the masses is Chavez's clever use of silicone skirt material at what would be the bait's pectoral fins - a move I felt was kind of odd and gimmicky to be honest, until I saw the material in action in the water. More on that later.
Bait Detail :
A feature and dimension breakdown of Toxic Baits's
Whippersnapper 2.0 as detailed by our Swimbait SkunkWerx division
Rounding out this tank of a build is the bait's joints which are more U-shaped, than V. The connection is made with a pin and screw eye joint. Attached to the bottom of the bait are two very stout #1 sized hooks. The diving bill on my version, the wake, is installed at sixty degree (60d) angle and is clear lexan. The bait is packaged with an extra tail and pectoral fin material along with an installation tool for the fins.
Introducing Toxic Baits's Whippersnapper 2.0
Real World Tests: The Whippersnapper 2.0 saw early duty on board my Evergreen International Black Rose paired with either my 2018 Daiwa Ryoga 1520L CC and 2021 Shimano Conquest 101DC. For Line, my Ryoga Crazy Cranker was spooled with 50lb Yozuri SuperBraid tied with a leader of 20lb Sunline Super Natural nylon monofilament. The Conquest was spooled with 50lb Seaguar Threadlock and a topshot of the same 20lb Super Natural. One of the things I like about the Whippersnapper 2.0 is that, at under three ounces (3oz) in weight, you don't need a serious swimbait combo to fish it. It's at that size and weight that can fished effectively with a standard big bait combo or one that's a little more stealth and suited to close quarters.
A closeup look at the subtle detailing around the bait's head
Knowing Chavez's affinity for iRod's Coastal Series Casting rods, I also later fished the Whippersnapper 2.0 on board my SWC794C-H Poe's Mag Stick paired with my ZPI Custom Painted Shimano Core spooled with 50lb Daiwa JBraid Grand and a leader of 25lb Gold Label Fluorocarbon Leader. This combo was seeing dedicated duty as part of our 2021 Rat Rumble, but gave it a reprieve from time to time to brew up some Toxic magic.
Ready to go aboard
my not so conventional swimbait setup
Castability: Thanks to its burly design, casting the Whippersnapper 2.0 is like throwing sidearm
"slurve" with a wet rag. My fastball has lost a lot of velocity through the years and is too easy to hit, so I figured an off speed cast would be better at achieving a strike, hence the slurve. The compact, stocky nature of this bait leaves little to flail and flop around in the air as it sails into the strike zone, but obviously this bait is not as aerodynamic as a baseball. Placement and distance with each cast is controllable and predictable.
The Whippersnapper features a classic TXC soft plastic tail, spares of which are
included in the packaging
Position at Rest: When the Whippersnapper 2.0 lands in that strike zone, it sits on top nice and level, with most of its body submerged but about a half inch of its back exposed. The tip of its tail sits out of the water. Those skirted pectoral fins we mentioned earlier, flare out to the side in a very realistic manner. This Toxic Baits signature move makes all the sense in the world once you see it in action.
This silicone skirt material looks odd and gimmicky at first
Next Section: Zander and I compare
notes on retrieve