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Lure Review

Time for a tournament quality alternative? Welcome the premium grade Classic Shad by Strike Pro

Date: 9/22/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Strike Pro
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.91

Introduction: Crankbaits of today come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, prices, and of course... quality. If you're a serious bass angler who is constantly looking for a premium bait to throw, look no further than Strike Pro's Classic Shad. This crankbait has all the characteristics of a first-class lure that is tournament proven.


Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 Specifications

Type Crankbait
Class Floating
Diving Depth 3 - 5'
Colors/Patterns 10 available
Size 2 3/16" (3/8oz)
Hook sizes #6
Color tested Mean White
Price $9.99

About Strike Pro: When it comes to tournament grade lures many of you might not know the name Strike Pro, but that's all about to change, because this brand that will become more and more popular over the coming year, especially in the bass circuit. Strike Pro was found in 1973 and has been in the OEM business for many years selling their high quality lures mainly in the Japanese market, many of which you might already be fishing with, but labeled under another brand. The company's goal is to produce lures that are of the highest quality. With a huge selection of 485 models with over 4000 different colors, Strike Pro is continuing to gain brand recognition, and at the same time producing new lures that will hook fish.


Introducing the Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 with 8 beautiful coats of paint


Impressions: When Kevin Twu, the President of Strike Pro USA told me they manufacture only premium high-profile lures, he wasn't kidding.  Upon first inspection of the Classic Shad crankbait the reflective patterns caught my attention immediately. What gives this lure its superior appearance is the refined process Strike Pro incorporates during each and every lure they hand craft. It begins by meticulously choosing quality materials, then a team of specialists morph the raw materials into the final product. The attractive coating comes from 8 layers of high-grade paint, then is finished off by hand painting specific patterns before a protective layer is applied. To top it off the Classic Shad 55 receives a red 3-D living eye, bleeding gills, concave indentation on the lip, rattling system, and very sharp #6 VMC hooks.


I wasn't the only one that was amazed by the craftsmanship of the Strike Pro Classic Shad. The entire TackleTour staff, and many other Pros out there agreed that this lure is definitely of a higher class.  John Kerr, recent winner of  the 2003 US Open at Lake Mead, uses this crankbait to land countless huge bass and is a true believer in lures made by Strike Pro.


Complete Rig for Classic Shad 55

Rod St. Croix Avid Crankbait
Reel Quantum Energy PT (E650PT)
Line 12 lb. Sufix Superior

Field Tests: Generally crankbaits are great fish locators as they cover a large portion of water. But there are times where the effectiveness of a good crankbait comes down to much more than that. The Classic Shad 55 in the Mean White color was tested in the California Delta and a few other reservoirs for largemouth bass.


Casting: The Strike Pro Classic Shad is a delight to cast.  It has a nice profile and weight distribution that allows accurate casts to the desired target zone. When not being tossed around cover, the crankbait's aerodynamic shape goes the distance in open water, allowing the lure to dive to its optimal depth when being retrieved.


Bright red eyes and bleeding gills offer an attractive easy meal for any fish


Retrieving: This is probably considered one of the most important categories for a crankbait. When retrieved, how does the Classic Shad run?  How deep does it dive?  How fast should the crankbait be retrieved?


First let's look at how the Classic Shad 55 runs and what kind of actions it produces. While conducting both lab tests and fishing on the water, the way the Strike Pro crankbait ran and its actions were noted.  Straight out of the package the Classic Shad runs true, straight and directly where you want it to go. The actions are very good on this lure and I found that retrieving the lure at a slow to medium speed is the best in producing the right action that attracted fish to strike. While retrieving the actual action came in the forms of tight wobbles, reflective appearance, and also a loud rattle similar to what you hear from a Rat-L-Trap but with a unique clicking sound produced by the Classic Shad's rattling chamber.


The reflective coatings have a different color and shade as light hits the Classic Shad at various angles and is definitely an eye-catcher underwater


When targeting fish with a crankbait, it's important to use the right lure that properly arrives at the strike zone. Knowing where the fish are holding will determine what type of lure to use. The Classic Shad 55 dives 3 to 5 feet, depending on your cast, line, and retrieve speed.  Once retrieved this lure begins to dive, and I noticed during the field tests that if you crank slower at the beginning the Classic Shad will dive deeper and faster. Once it reaches the desired depth you can vary your retrieve speed and work the lure to entice strikes from bass. While at the Delta hunting for fish at the edge of weeds and tules, the Classic Shad was perfect, especially during low tide where it forced the fish to the outer rim. The shallow diving Classic Shad crankbait runs at a good depth for this type of fishing, and with the actions it produces resulted in landing many fish being called out from the weeds. But when fishing in open waters with rock piles, I wish Strike Pro would make the same lure but in a deep diving package.

Strike Pro does everything to ensure anglers get the best design, finish, hooks with their lure. As described above, the Classic Shad has 8 coats of paint bonded together to prolong service life. After a few days fishing with the Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 the crankbait body nor outer paint took on any damage. The fine-looking appearance remains as good as new.


A healthy looking Delta bass couldn't resist the tempting actions of the Classic Shad when it called the fish out of the tules


The use of VMC hooks get two thumbs up. Run them over your thumbnail and you'll discover how sharp they are. Be very careful when handling the Strike Pro Classic Shad because those hooks are meant for the fish, not for snagging anglers.


Price and Quality: Indeed the Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 is well constructed. It uses the highest performing components, high-grade paint, and has a design that runs true and is a sure catcher of largemouth bass. Exceptional quality lures always spell out a premium price, but Strike Pro manufactures lures at an equal or superior craftsmanship and cost lower than many other branded Japanese lure manufacturers.


Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Exceptional quality and construction using high-grade materials 9
Performance A crankbait that calls the fish to strike and works best with a slow to medium retrieve in more shallow waters 8.5
Price A price of $9.99 for a tournament grade lure isn't bad at all 8
Features Attractive reflective pattern, a loud rattling system, and sharp VMC hooks are some features that makes this a great lure 9
Design (Ergonomics) An extraordinary detailed design using 8 coats of paint to achieve its brilliant colors 10
Application A tournament proven crankbait for targeting largemouth bass in shallow waters 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Excellent paint job L Needs a deep diver in the same design and patterns
J Sharp VMC hooks  
J Attractive actions  
J Loud rattling system  
J Good price  

Conclusion: Crankbaits are among the most popular lures used today for bass fishing and that's why there are so many out there to choose from. Strike Pro develops hundreds of models of premium lures and when it comes to manufacturing crankbaits for tournament anglers, they have what it takes to build high quality and top performing lures like the Classic Shad 55. This shallow running crankbait has an unbelievable attractiveness stemming from its 8 coatings of paint that's all hand detailed, and finished off with very sharp VMC hooks. The Strike Pro Classic Shad 55 yields precise actions, and effectively calls to bass with its loud rattling system. The Classic Shad 55 is a premium lure that comes with a price most anyone can afford. This bass magnet is a great lure to be used for both tournament and everyday fishermen and a great alternative to other branded precision Japanese lures.









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