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Lure Review

The Evolution of a Big, Hard Bodied Bait: 3:16 Lure Company's Real Deal (continued)

Components: Nothing but the best and most durable components go into each 3:16 hardbait including Owner Hyperwire split rings, Owner hooks, and stainless steel hardware throughout. Mickey Ellis goes through extreme lengths to ensure each part of the bait, down to the line tie, receives special attention and is procured from the highest quality stock available for his baits.

... along with top end components.

Durability: Though I've had this bait for the better part of nine months now, I've thrown it rather sparingly. As such, it has not gone through the typical rigors of TackleTour torture tests. The only real question mark of this bait is the unknown component of the working jaw because the rest of the bait features designs that have been used, abused, and proven by 3:16 Lure Company and their loyal fan base for years - namely the joints, tail, and even the resin from which the baits are built.

Paint schemes are as detailed as they come.

However, knowing 3:16 Lure Company as we do, we've little doubt this new feature will hold up and even if a failure were to occur, they stand behind their product one hundred percent and will provide replacements or repair as needed with few questions asked.

With special attention paid to the head accentuated, of course, by that operable jaw.

However, knowing 3:16 Lure Company as we do, we've little doubt this new feature will hold up and even if a failure were to occur, they stand behind their product 100 percent and will provide replacements or repair as needed with few questions asked.

Another look at the detailing on this bait and the treatment of the external fins and translucent tail.

Availability: Now that you've seen the read the history, seen the bait up close, and know the care and quality given to each bait, your next question is, where to get one, right? Well, there's the rub. As unique and worthwhile as this bait is, it is equally difficult to acquire. These baits are available on direct order from 3:16 Lure Company only and only through an email request. They are not advertised on their website, so when you send an email into the company you will likely be placed on their waiting list. How long is this waiting list and how often are the baits are made to fulfill these requests all depends on the time Mickey Ellis has to build them.

One last look.


The baits that make it to 3:16's website for direct order are the more easily procured baits. Those that do not make it to the website as an official product are subject to discontinuation at any moment - witness the 1-up and former 2-up baits. So, bottom line is, if you have it in you to acquire one and the opportunity presents itself, do not hesitate or risk losing that opportunity of holding a Real Deal in your hand forever.



3:16 Lure Company's Real Deal Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality About as good as it gets with big baits 10
Performance Tie direct for best results though it can be tricky to work in windy conditions 9
Price Quality this high doesn't come at a bargain price 6
Features Top end components and excellent finishes 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) It's all about that operable mouth, otherwise it's very familiar for those already accustomed to 3:16's baits 8.5
Application Available in both floating and sinking models to cover the entire water column though admittedly, it takes more than one bait to do that and given the bait's availability and pricing, that can be an issue for many 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:


J Just about as realistic as they come L Not readily available
J Top end components means a strong bait that will hold up to abuse L Even if you do find a way to get one, it's pricey making it difficult to purchase more than one - which you're going to want to do!
J Backed 100% by a company with a solid reputation for customer service  


Conclusion: Where will the madness end? New products are debuting in the big bait segment of the tackle market faster than we can tie them on and toss them in the water to check out their relative actions, and 3:16 Lure Company has upped the ante in what consumers can expect in terms of realism with their Real Deal floating and sinking hardbaits. To think there was a time I thought a $25 jerkbait from a certain Japanese tackle company was a little out of line and now we're looking at handmade big baits in the neighborhood of one and a half to two hundred dollars.


Our recommendation? If the opportunity presents itself, jump at the chance to get yourself one of these baits.


Realistically, 3:16's Real Deal may or may not make the ultimate difference in getting bit, but the satisfaction of catching a fish on such a fine bait is certainly worth the journey. Couple that experience with the path it's taken this manufacturer to travel to this point in time with their product offering, and the opportunity of owning this bait is about more than just having the latest and greatest product out there, it's about celebrating the dedication and depths to which an artist like Mickey Ellis will go to deliver a bait that is a cut above the masses.


The Real Deal may be hard to find but if your looking for other 3:16 baits check out Bait Barn for the Wake Jr.










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