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Lure Review


When the Bait You Throw Must Do Something More Somehow, Let It Be Lowen-Craw


Date: 1/26/21
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: PH Custom Lures
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.42 - GOOD

During my bass fishing youth, among the many lure manufacturers that had my loyalty was Rebel. Their line of Naturalures (crankbaits with photo-real finishes) were my go to cranks along with another bait that not only resembled their inspiration in coloration, but in shape. How many of you remember or continue to fish the Rebel Wee-Craw Crankbait? Naturally, today, however many odd years since the introduction of that bait, there have been many lure manufacturers offering a crankbait with a semi-realistic crawdad profile. But how many have you seen are made of balsa wood? PH Customs recently teamed up with Bill Lowen to create just that, a shallow running, balsa wood crank carved in the shape of a crawdad. Here's our look at the Lowen's Cyber Craw.


PH Custom Lures Lowen's Cyber Craw Crankbait Specifications

Type Shallow
Length 2 1/3"
Weight 3/8oz
Depth 0-6 feet
Material Balsa Wood
Colors 4
MSRP $22.99


Impressions: It's been decades since I knew where my original Rebel Wee-Craws vanished to and while that bait touches upon my nostalgic soul, PH Custom Lures's Lowen's Cyber Craw brushes up against my enthusiast side. This bait not only has that crawdad profile defined by the Rebel Wee-Craw, but it is carved with a segmented tail section to resemble the texture of that same feature on the real thing. Of course, when in panic mode, crawdads swim backwards so the tail section is really the front of the crankbait.


Introducing PH Custom Lures's Lowen's Cyber Craw


One true back of the crank (what would be the head of a crawdad), there are two, small, round protrusions serving as the eyes of the bait. Instead of claws coming out of the bait's head, you get a single treble hook protruding from the nose. Another dangles from the transition of what would be the crawdad's head to its tail. The Lowen Cyber Craw is made with a small, circuit board material, round diving lip.

I refer to this bait as the Lowen Craw for short

Real World Tests: The PH Custom Lowen's Cyber Craw (I'm going to call it the Lowen Craw for short), was one of several shallow to medium running cranks I purchased to help test my 2019 Daiwa Millionaire CTSV70 while paired with my Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special. The reel was spooled with 10lb YGK G-Soul Tour Grade Fluorocarbon during these tests.

The Lowen Craw measures just over two inches in length

Castability: The challenge with most any balsa wood crankbait is finding a way to cast it for distance with any degree of consistency. The baits are so inherently light and inefficient in flight, it can be hard to predict where they'll really land. The Lowen Craw measures just over two inches in length and weighs only three eighths of an ounce (3/8oz), but what its body shape allows is to offset the majority of its mass towards the back of the bait.

The diving lip is made from circuit board material

This serves to gives you a little more of a pendulum (like when you let out an extra bit of line for a longer cast) to build your momentum in the cast. Granted, you're still not going to win any distance contests with this bait, but it is a little easier to cast than you might suspect. It also helps if you're using a rod, reel and line combo that works well with lighter baits.

Two protrusions serve as the bait's eyes

Dive Time: Once you manage to hit your spot with the Cyber Craw, it dives well and does an excellent job bouncing off obstacles - especially rocks, down on the bottom This is where balsa baits are unrivaled. That natural buoyancy that makes these baits so difficult to cast, is quite rewarding once the bait is in the water.

Detailing along the tail section is made via paint and texture in the body

The Lowen Craw is only rated to six feet, so it doesn't take long for it to reach maximum running depth. More importantly, it will run smoothly and comfortably bounce of structure in much skinnier water especially if you slow your retrieve and pause every now and then giving the bait a chance to deflect and float up before continuing onwards.

Hooks are non-branded but perform fine

Design/Ergonomics: The Lowen Craw is a very specialized crankbait available in only four colors, but each of those four colors representing a basic crawdad color pattern. The stock hooks, though not name brand, are sharp and hold up well as does the integrated circuit board diving lip.

The Lowen Craw retails for $22.99 per copy

Price & Application: Typical of custom quality wooden cranks, the Lowen Cyber Craw retails for $22.99 per copy and is designed as a shallow water search tool. It is effective anywhere bass are up shallow hunting for crawdads.


PH Custom Lures Lowen's Cyber Craw Crankbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good amount of detail in this crawdad imitator 8
Performance Casts and retrieves very well 8
Price Priced at a premium but a typical premium for hand made balsa baits 7
Features Circuit board lip, sharp, stock hooks, 3d Eyes 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Only 4 colors from which to choose 6
Application Good skinny water crank in and around rocks where fish are searching for crawdads to eat 8

Total Score

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:


+ Nice detail in this bait - Only four colors
+ Casts surprisingly well  
+ Effective at bouncing off obstacles  
+ Sharp, stock hooks that held up pretty well  

Unlike bass that seem to grow conditioned to seeing the same bait over and over again, the nostalgia of coming across a revived bait profile from my bass fishing youth has a very high chance of hooking me

Conclusion: Unlike bass that seem to grow conditioned to seeing the same bait over and over again, the nostalgia of coming across a revived bait profile from my bass fishing youth has a very high chance of hooking me. What I really like about Lowen's Cyber Craw over the bait it reminds me of is that it's made of balsa wood not plastic. I do wish there were more available colors not necessarily just for fishing but also just to have and admire. Of course, that doesn't drive sales, but it can start something more somehow, and in enthusiast terms that signals something kind of special.


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