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Lure Review

A stirring design that really knows how to move, the MegaBait Charlie

Date: 7/3/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Pace Products/MegaBait
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.7

Introduction: In the last year we've all seen many different types of swimbaits emerge all claiming to be the most realistic and lifelike. The MegaBait Charlie by Pace Products is one such lure that truly delivers in more categories then one. Since the introduction of this innovative lure there has been a lot of buzz about the features that make this lure such a winner.


MegaBait Charlie Specifications

Type Suspending swimbait
Material Soft plastic shell
Colors/Patterns 5 available
Sizes(weight) 4(0.6oz), 5(1.25oz), 6(2oz) inches
MSRP $6.49 - $9.99

Impressions: The MegaBait Charlie comes with a few design features that make this suspending swimbait quite unique. So unique that it has already won it's share of awards including the ICAST New Product Showcase Best of Category winner in 2002.


The Charlie has a realistic appearance in and out of the water


The head section of the Charlie is designed with a soft plastic shell over a hard hollow core, which holds a tungsten ball within the hollow sound chamber. It also contains a lip such as one you would find on a crankbait. The overall texture along with the two eyes are designed to make the front portion of the body mimic a live bait fish. The hollow core is also wrapped with a shiny holographic material for some additional flash. By using a soft plastic material for the tail it is possible to cut slits that create additional side to side tail action to entice strikes. Aside from these features the entire body profile is made as lifelike as possible with protruding fins and a textured surface.


The hollow chamber and tungsten balls play a few rolls in the action of the Charlie such as in casting and also producing sounds to attract attention during retrieves


Complete Rig for Charlie Tests

Rod GLoomis MUR844C-MB
Reel TICA Caiman CA150
Line 20 lb. Big Game Supreme

Field Tests: Swimbaits are always fun to heave on the water, due to their extreme castability and distinguished motions. With either the smaller or larger size, the realistic appearance of the Charlie made the field test very entertaining while targeting different species of fish in both local lakes and the California Delta.


The lip on the MegaBait Charlie allows the swimbait to dive to as deep as 3 feet in long casts


Casting: When geared with the right tackle, casting the MegaBait Charlie comes easy. The GLoomis MUR844C-MB casting rod is great for casting the 6" size. When casting the two smaller ones it's better to use a lighter rod that will match the weight. The overall design of the Charlie is quite aerodynamic, and the lure flies well through the air. The addition of tungsten balls inside the hollow core assist you in casting further as they provide additional weight transferred in the direction of travel, and offer additional stability while in flight.


Thanks to the slits in the tail portion of the swimbait, the Charlie produces great tail action


Retrieving: Once the Charlie begins to move it truly comes to life. The Charlie's notched tail provides superior tail whipping action as the lure is being retrieved. The hollow core inside the body allows the lure to suspend while the lip forces it to dive down about 3 feet. The tungsten balls inside the sound chamber provide rattling, adding yet another attracting factor to this lure. It's up to you how fast you would like to retrieve. Slow, fast, or jerk and stop, the MegaBait Charlie does well to accommodate your technique. The lip on the Charlie is perhaps the single most important innovation in this swimbait, as it allows you to work the bait in many of the same ways you would normally fish a crank. 


Around the hollow chamber is a layer of holographic material to give it more shine

 When it comes to plastics we always make sure to test how durable they are. Putting the Charlie through abusive stretching and making sure we tested it on many species of fish we found that the Charlie was actually quite durable. Largemouth usually tried to engulf the entire swimbait, but did miss sometimes, and only succeeded in grabbing only the tail. Even though the tail portion is cut with slits, it stood up to the largemouth tugs. Stripers were quite different, instead of inhaling the lure, they tended to hit and run from either the rear or the side. But the result was the same, the Charlie's tail didn't take any damage from even the fiercest strikes from these fish.


After the bass engulfed the swimbait, the single treble hook still did a good job at holding onto the fish as it tried to spit the lure out during the fight


The soft plastic withstood the mouths of these game fish, but after weeks of testing they did cause some wear to the color coating, most noticeable on the rainbow trout pattern. The other patterns were not as affected because the colors are impregnated into the plastic during the molding process. Even though some coloration and glitter has flaked off, there didn't seem to be any decline in performance.


MegaBait Charlie Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A swimbait composed of soft plastic, a hard core chamber, and few more components are all well put together.  The exterior color/pattern can flake off after extended use, but minimal 8.5
Performance Put the Charlie into the water and start to retrieve, the action begins with tail kicks and more 9.5
Price A competitive price for a soft plastic swimbait, but if you consider all the innovative design features that make this swimbait what it is, then it's a pretty good price 8.2
Features Features in this swimbait comes from the sound chamber, tungsten balls, slits in the tail, crankbait like lip, and attractive patterns is more than what you usually except in any swimbait 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Designed to be as realistic as possible with added features for awesome actions to entice fish to strike 8.5
Application A fresh or saltwater suspending swimbait that can be used on multiple species of fish and good for catching big fish 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Realistic appearance L Color layer can flake off
J Innovative design  
J Attractive actions  
J Fresh and saltwater ready  

Conclusion: Swimbaits, especially ones that are more realistic, are becoming more popular because of the same very reasons we explored in the MegaBait Charlie. The rainbow trout pattern was our favorite as it not only looked very much like a real stocked trout in the water, but did an excellent job duplicating the lifelike movement of these fish. The crankbait-like lip, the sound chamber, and the slits in the tail all contribute to superior performance of this lure. The Charlie is without a doubt an upgraded swimbait, and should not be overlooked if tossing plastic swimmers is among your favorite techniques.


Special Offer!!!  ExtremeLures.com is giving registered TackleTour members a 10% discount on the MegaBait Charlies.  Click here for detailed information on how to take advantage of this offer.  If you're not registered, click here to register first.









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