cl8bait bluegill and crappie swimbait review, fishing lure

The
CL8 Bluegill & Crappie are More than Just Swimbaits for the Spawn
(continued)

Retrieving:
Though only four inches in length the CL8 Bluegill has three sections connected
by stainless steel hardware. Even with a slow retrieve the Bluegill will swim
enticingly putting out a lot of tail swinging action, the side by side slinking
is less subtle than I expected and rather than being super realistic the
aggressive slinking action immediately draws attention to the bait. Smaller fish
will follow this bait and I was surprised how many dinks no more than 8 inches
in length would even try and take on this bait, it just goes to show how much
bass like to munch on bluegill as well as how aggressive these predatory fish
are.


The bait’s
body slinks back and forth aggressively when retrieved, there is a lot of
movement for such a small swimbait


Another nice
detail is the integrated rotating treble hook design

In the lab we put
excessive pressure on the joints and found that rather than break the semi-hard
body of the bait would actually flex slightly to further absorb the torque. The
tail section of the bait will flip either direction so that fish more easily fit
the entire bait in their mouths. I found most of the larger fish would get
hooked by the top hook or both hooks while all the smaller fish were stuck just
with the smaller hook as they rarely would get their mouths all the way around
the bait.


This bait is
great for targeting mid sized fish

In the Delta I caught just
as many largemouth with the Crappie pattern as I did with the Bluegill finish.
My guess is that the baits also do a good job mimicking other types of sunfish
that bass routinely prey upon. The CL8 Bluegill will draw more strikes than many
other swimbaits mainly due to the lure’s smaller form factor which opens it up
to strikes from smaller, yet equally aggressive, juvenile fish. That isn’t to
say that this isn’t a good bait to target big fish, especially during the spawn,
but this does make this a very good lure to tie on if you are looking for
numbers and want more action.


Get over here!


Durability:

The CL8 Bluegill has a more mass produced feel than some of its bigger siblings
but the bait held up very well through a few months of use. There was some
damage to the tail but none of the fins separated from the body and the paint
finish proved to be extremely durable, while there were noticeable scratches on
the finish after a few weeks no paint flaked off the body of the test lures
whatsoever.


The fins are
soft yet durable


Price and Applications:

CL8 Swimbaits are not cheap but are reasonably priced when compared with other
boutique big baits. The CL8 Bluegill is the most affordable bait in the
company’s lineup and retails for a very reasonable $28.99 each. This small
swimbait is a good one to cut your teeth on if you are new to hard bodied
swimbaits and is not intimidating to cast or retrieve.


A head on look
at the Crappie

If you are going to only
get one lure I would recommend the slow sink models which sink pretty fast
already. The slow sink models with .8oz. while the fast sink models are only
.1oz. heavier. By going with the slow sink model anglers have a little more
flexibility to fish slow when targeting shy fish. The Bluegill swims enticingly
to incite strikes but is also an excellent bed bait. During the spawn bass lock
onto the Bluegill quickly when it is swam by their territory and can even be
successfully jigged aggressively near their nests. During these situations when
the lure is really tight within structure that the treble hook can hang up.
Luckily for anglers removing the treble hook is quick and easy and the bait can
easily rest right on the bottom without hanging up.

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)

CL8Bait
Bluegill Swimbait
Ratings
(?/10)

Construction/Quality The
CL8 Bluegill is well constructed and makes use of quality hardware. It feels
a little less solid than some of the company’s other baits but the slightly
soft body actually makes it harder to damage this bait
8
Performance We
caught more small fish with this bait but there is no doubt that it will
catch big fish, especially during the spawn. This is a good bait for those
just getting into swimbait fishing as it is undemanding on gear and your
casting arm and is easy to fish all day long
8.5
Price The
Bluegill and Crappie are reasonably priced for a boutique triple section
swimbait
8
Features The
CL8 Bluegill’s top features include a extra treble hook on a swivel and a
quality joint system that enables the lure to swim aggressively and collapse
when fish try and engulf the lure
8
Design
(Ergonomics)
This bait is easy to fish, simply cast, wait, and retrieve. Watch out when
retrieving in thick structure as the treble hook will hang up. For heavier
structure it is easy to remove the treble hook. You don’t need a heavy
swimbait rod to toss this bait
9
Application This bait is great during the spawn but can also be used year round in water
where bass prey on sunfish. The lure gets a lot of action and can be used
for targeting aggressive smaller fish
9

Total Score

8.41
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:

Plus
Minus

+
Very
easy to
fish, a
great
swimbait
to get
started
on


Treble
hook
makes
this
bait
easier
to snag
up
around
certain
types of
structure

+
Draws
strikes
from
both big
and
small
fish

+
If you
only
want big
fish
this is
one
swimbait
that
draws
strikes
from
both big
and
small
fish

+
Can be
fished
on
lighter
gear

+
Very
durable,
swiveling
treble
design
helps
keep
fish
pinned
and the
treble
hook in
good
condition

+
Reasonable
price


Conclusion:

A lot of times when anglers think swimbaits they immediately think “big,” and
that means big baits to target big fish. There are times when big fish will
readily hit smaller baits, and nothing pisses off a lunker like a bluegill
invading their nesting zone. It is times like this that the CL8 Bluegill is a
great choice, but to reserve this bait just for the spawn would be a mistake, as
this small bait can be used to draw strikes year round.


The CL8Bait
Bluegill is good for so much more than fishing the spawn, and proved to be an
excellent lure for targeting fish in and around shallow structure

Fished alongside structure
or swam in open water the CL8 Bluegill and Crappie’s slinking action
successfully garners attention from bass and is petite enough to draw strikes
from smaller fish making it a good swimbait to fill the livewell, or tie on for
anglers just starting to dabble in swimbait fishing and need a lure that they
can build their confidence on.

Looking for the CL8 Bluegill and Crappie Swimbaits?
Try

Tackle Warehouse

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