Not Too Big, Not Too Small, with Versatility That Can Surprise and Confuse : CBC's Mini-Sonar
Total Score: 8.42 + EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD!
The parallel bass fishing universe of big baits sees new bait builders emerge with each passing year. Familiar bait profiles with a tweak here or a tweak there, sometimes no tweaks whatsoever, and of course, every so often something different emerges on the pages of Social Media and the feast is on in the race to discover and anoint the next hype bait. Once acquired, some of the baits are actually fished, many are set aside like a certificate of stock only to be sold off when cash is needed for the next investment.
Custom painters can deliver an extra bit of realism to your baits
However, you can't just build a bait, throw up photos on social media, and expect to have success. There are steps, paths, strategies you must follow to garner interest. One of those keys is in the bait's finish. Offer an interesting profile in a top notch pattern and you're sure generate some interest. That's where the ancillary talent of painters come in and how we came to know the builder behind the subject of today's article.
Click Bait Customs Mini Sonar
||Shallow V-Joint with Pin and Screw Eye attachment
||Larger, standard Sonar (6.5"/2.75oz)
||2x #2 Mustad KVD
Daniel Caricaburu-Lundin is a nomad moving from state to state every few months chasing whatever security his day job will allow. Not long ago, while anchored at one of those stops way up north where their vehicles are measured in dog instead of horse power, he pitched a tent where he could escape to refine and nurture his artistic side. When that endeavor met its inevitable demise, he picked up the pieces and merged that artistic yearning with another passion - fishing. He leaned on another skill he acquired over the years, taxidermy, and began painting baits. Click Bait Customs was born.
Click Bait Customs and U.F.O. collab bait
If you're immersed in that big bait world on Social Media, you're probably aware of some of his work. Click Bait Customs has painted for and collaborated with quite a few established builders including Bull Shad Swimbaits, U.F.O., LitLures, Lanciotti Lures, Sherpa Swimbaits, and more. But like many an artistic soul, sometimes painting just isn't enough - I mean really, how many times can you paint the same gill pattern? Sometimes, you need to turn to sculpting. Thus began Caricaburu-Lundin's journey from painter to builder.
Click Bait Customs and LitLures collab bait
His first bait profile was a lipped, multipiece deep diver titled the Fathom. It can best be described as the big bait universe's variant of a jointed Strike King 10XD. Three revisions later, by playing with a lipless variant of his original bait and adjusting the weight profile, Caricaburi-Lundin then shifted to a more conventional big bait actor, the swimmer. All of this is pretty standard fare and nothing the big bait or bass fishing universe hasn't seen.
Click Bait Customs and Red Top Worms collab bait
Enter the actual subject of today's article. Born from the need for a consistent big bait profile for colder water, the Sonar has a build resembling a swimmer, but it is weighted to behave like a flutter spoon or blade bait - not a spinnerbait, but a solid metal, fish profile, blade. It is offered in two sizes. The original is a six and a half inch (6.5") bait weighing about two and three quarter ounces (2.75oz), and the smaller Mini Sonar is a five inch (5") bait weighing one point two ounces (1.2oz).
Click Bait Custom's first bait was the Fathom, a large,
2-piece deep diving crankbait
Real World Tests: This bait fell into my hands at the early part of 2023, a time when Northern California was receiving some hopeful, drought busting weather. So it took quite some time for me to be able and tie it on to the end of my line. When that opportunity finally presented itself, it was more about the rod I needed to test rather than the lure. I wanted to see if my Megabass of America US Destroyer P5 F7-75X BMG could handle the weight of the Mini Sonar.
Success with the ClickBait Custom's painted U.F.O.
Rod Choice: Considering the Mini Sonar is a treble hooked bait, the smart choice here would be a stick with a softer, more moderate taper than something like the BMG, so this is definitely a case of follow what I suggest, not what I do. Rods with softer tapers respond better to the eventual surge and lunge dance of a fighting fish giving you a better chance to land them without pulling the hooks out of the fish's mouth - a common occurrence with treble hooked baits because these hooks don't penetrate as deeply as a single, jig style hook.
This fish crushed my LitLure's Gill Crankdown painted by
Reel Choice: With any big bait, choice in reel really comes down to what fishing line you intend to use, or more precisely, the diameter of that fishing line. You want a reel that will hold enough line to where you're comfortable making an all out cast. For some people, that's merely 50 to 60 yards, for others, that's 100 yards or more. I'm in the former group, so I use more conventional sized reels for the majority of my big bait fishing. Of course, the Mini Sonar is not especially big, so I don't feel as though a really thick diameter line is warranted. Mounted on my Megabass BMG was my Abu Garcia Zenon MG-LTX.
The RedTop Worm's wake is a lot of fun to fish
Line Choice: In another case of practice what I say not what I do, my Zenon MG-LTX was actually already spooled with some Varivas Dead or Alive finesse braid (#0.8 gau), and given the cost of line, I was not ready to take it off the reel just yet. Instead, I just tied on a new leader of 15lb Seaguar Tatsu, but the thin diameter braid is not something I'd recommend for this application unless you're as adventurous as I. Instead, I'd recommend at least 30lb, if not 40lb, or over braid with a similar leader for this bait, or just a straight shot of your favorite fluorocarbon or nylon monofilament. The Mini Sonar is not particularly heavy or large, so there's a lot of leeway in your choice of line here.
Introducing the Mini-Sonar by ClickBait Customs
Castability: With all that out of the way, the only thing left to do is to tie it on, toss it out, and see what the fish think! As I am one to do, I actually used a snap to attach my Mini Sonar - a Nishine Lure Works Original Snap in #2. I just find it easier to tie to a snap rather than a large bait, and I like the quick change versatility a snap gives you over having to retie each time I switch baits.
Checking out the flexibility in the joints
Once snapped onto the end of the line, the Mini Sonar is as easy as they come to casting. It's not heavy at all and the F7-75X BMG handles the bait just fine. It's very similar to casting a heavy jig or big crankbait.
Rotating hook hangers - always a welcome feature with a big bait
Section: Incredibly versatile