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Swimbait Review


A Brawler Ready to Battle, the Pike Team Six B52 Wake Swimbait (continued)


I started out fishing the B52 with a classic Megabass Orochi Destruction rod but the action was a little too moderate and I had trouble pinning fish quickly and as they breached some of them would shake the bait off in mid-air. After switching to the stiffer and heavier powered G.Loomis IMX-Pro and Kistler KLX swimbait rods I never lost another fish, and was able to better lock fish down and work them towards the boat.


In a lot of the pictures the B52 looks like it has a boomerang shaped body but in the water the tail comes up a bit and flattens out the bait, and as it is retrieved you can actually see the top of the metal tail break the surface of the water as it whips back and forth.


I quickly learned I could fish the B52 at just about any speed. This bait will not wash out even when burned


The B52 is truly a wakebait, and best worked right on the surface. While the bait can be worked slowly what I liked best about this bait is how fast it can be retrieved, and even when burned the B52 will not wash out.


Some of the best fish I caught with this bait was cranking as fast as I could, and being able to witness fish chase and blow up on this bait right on the surface is worth the price of the bait alone. One of the things that I like most about the B52 is that it is so different from every other swimbait in my arsenal. It looks different, it swims different, and fish that are feeding close to the surface react aggressively to this bait.


A closer look at the FireTiger pattern that Cal threw all season


The custom Dirty Shad brown and Firetiger patterns that I was able to test were excellent for largemouth throughout the Spring and Summer and as the fish started to go deeper in Fall they stopped feeding on the surface and a sinking or crankdown model would be more effective. These are custom configurations that can be ordered from PT6, but I didn't have the opportunity to test. I also threw the Dirty Shad in the California Delta and caught bass on it but wasn't able to get any Stripers to hit it. I think the action of the bait is perfect but the pattern that I had was too dark. I'd like to try a lighter, brighter, pattern for stripers in the future. 


Bass really react to this bait and strikes can be downright explosive


Price and Applications: The design of the B52 is really what makes the bait but the team does a nice work on the paint work as well. The painting isn't as refined as what we see on some other custom baits but I find that is part of the allure of this bait. The B52's finish and paint is not as refined as an SlyGuy or Illude offering for example, but it is an absolute brawler, a bait that isn't afraid to mix it up with the meanest fish out there. The team also isn't afraid to use bright colors to differentiate their baits, patterns like Orange Goby, Psychedelic Perch, and Wonderbread are all examples of this. Some of their newer patterns like Brown Trout exhibit more detail and display excellent use of multiple layers of paint and spot work.


There are a lot of swimbaits that look absolutely beautiful, and many are exact replicas of what shad or trout should look like. The PT6 B52 is not an exact reproduction of prey, but rather a truly original swimbait designed to trigger fish into striking. It seems to primarily fool fish with a combination of both profile and action, and is built like a tank so that it can stand up to viscous strikes from the meanest fish.


Warm overcast days? Easy money with the B52


Even after a whole season of use there are just a few chips and hook scratches in the bait. The joints have held up well and while the tail did bend under the stress of some particularly violent strikes it was easy to bend it right back into form with my fingers alone.


Even after a season of use the B52 has held up well with just a few chips at the joints and minor scratches


There was a time when I thought paying over a hundred dollars for a swimbait was a lot of money, but the custom swimbait market is a whole different ball game. Anglers always ask me if it really is worth paying over a hundred dollars for a resin swimbait and after learning just how much goes into the creation of each of these baits the answer is a definite yes if that bait swims and catches fish... which the B52 absolutely does. No two B52 baits are exactly alike, and for those that really want something unique paying just $135 dollars for a custom build, specifically tuned rate of fall, and paint finish is a killer deal.


Fish are still hot after landing with the B52 because they are caught on top, and often not too far from the boat


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Pike Team Six B52 Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Pretty much the opposite of a mass produced swimbait. Each and every B52 has a unique finish. This resin bait looks raw and yet each build is consistent in quality 8
Performance This is truly a wakebait and best reserved for days when fish are feeding high up on the water column. The B52 is absolutely excellent when fish are aggressively targeting baitfish near the surface and the ability to work it quickly can incite some awesome blowups 8.5
Price Retailing for $125 dollars the B52 is an excellent deal for a truly handmade, hand painted custom bait. Want something truly unique? $10 dollars more gets you a custom build! 9
Features Unique profile and durable construction and quality hardware. The paint finishes are artistic and each bait is really unique. No two B52's are exactly the same 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Light enough to be cast with lighter swimbait rods or even conventional heavy casting rods but found the bait is best fished with a true heavy swimbait rod to really get on fish the second they blow up on the lure. The ability to work the B52 at any speed makes this an easy bait for swimbait anglers of all skill levels to enjoy 9
Application The wake version that I tested is ideal for shallow water situations or hot seasons where fish are eager to fish on the surface. This bait was designed for a wide range of freshwater fish and can hold up to strikes from big Largemouth and Pike 8.5

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:


+ A truly unique custom swimbait. It doesn't look or fish quite like anything else in the arsenal - Not as refined as some handmade swimbaits (especially wood based ones) but that can be a positive too as it gives this bait a truly custom look and feel
+ Quality hardware and construction that holds up really well over time. This bait is not afraid to mix it up with the biggest freshwater fish out there - Available wake models best for seasons when fish are feeding on top. Wish custom sinking and crankdown models were standard offerings
+ A deadly weapon for topwater fishing. Strikes are viscous and awesome  
+ Wide array of distinct hand painted patterns, and you can order a custom for only 10 dollars more  
+ A very reasonable price for a custom hand made swimbait   

Conclusion: There is only so much room in the primary swimbait rotation and yet I am confident that during the Spring and Summer months there will always be a PT6 B52 in my wrap. This wakebait has earned a spot in the rotation because it is a unique topwater weapon, and on days when fish are feeding up on top the ability to work this bait quickly on the surface, without ever washing out, produces some jaw dropping explosions. Bass absolutely hammer this lure when the conditions are right, and I am sure that stripers will do the same with the right patterns tied on. The B52 is an easy bait to throw, fish, and it isn't afraid to do battle with whatever monsters lurk beneath.

The B52 is a great weapon in the swimbait rotation on days when the fish are hammering baitfish near the surface. I love how fast you can fish the B52 and witness fish charging and crushing the bait firsthand

The B52 Wake represents so much of what I love about handmade domestic swim baits, and the sheer rawness of the bait never lets you forget that you are fishing something truly handmade, a quality that I appreciate. Pike Team Six channeled their own addiction for swimbait fishing and sought to fill a niche by creating a unique bait for lunker hunters with the B52. Mission Accomplished.  









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