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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

• Bandit 100 Series Crankbaits

http://www.banditlures.com/shop_product.asp?pid=7

In the world of crankbaits, Bandit Lures, based in Sardis, MS, has made a name for itself. The lineup is rather extensive and each model uses a specific numbering system with corresponding diving depths and colors. The Bandit 100 Series is one of their more productive models. The 100 Series is a popular shallow water crankbait made from premium grade plastic designed to swim at a depth of two to five feet. The 100 Series is two inches long, weighs 1/4oz, and is available in a myriad of colors. I counted a total of 44 different colors on the Bandit web site. This crankbait has a pair of size six treble hooks connected to the main body with split rings. A split ring is also attached at the nose. Each Bandit 100 Series contains rattles for additional bite tempting noise to draw out that strike. What makes this particular Bandit crankbait unique amongst its brethren is the square lip which helps give the lure a wide wobble.
In addition to having a beautiful paint job and body design, the Bandit also has a groove on either side extending out away from the edge of the lip. At first glance, it is nothing more than your basic crankbait body design in a small package. How does it perform?

The 100 Series covers a good range of depth for most water I encounter here in Louisiana. I can keep it tied on all day and toss it no matter where I go on most local lakes. This lure is very easy to cast and has very little air resistance. You can get a lot of distance out of this tiny 1/4oz crankbait. Right out of the box, every 100 Series Bandit I have swims true. The wobble created by the short square lip is wide and has a briskness to its rhythm. The square lip design also helps deflect these crankbaits away from potential snags. It is generally quite weedless, but occasionally drags the bottom in two feet of water. Retrieve at any speed you like. The buoyancy does not allow much room when fished too slow, so unless you want it to behave more like a topwater, keep cranking. Using quick jerks of the rod, I can make this crankbait swim erratically without losing control. The smaller frame body also makes this crankbait ideal for fishing pressured bass. Without a doubt, the Bandit 100 Series offers anglers a level of versatility they cannot pass up.

I use this lure with either a 6.3:1 baitcaster on a 7' ML cranking stick or a 7.1:1 reel on a 7' MH graphite rod with a fast tip. The lighter rod allows a bass to suck the crankbait in before the hookset comes. It prevents me from ripping the lure out of their mouth. I have tried two kinds of line with this crankbait and still cannot decide which is better. P-Line Halo fluorocarbon in 10# test did give me some added sensitivity, abrasion resistance, and less stretch for a good hookset, but I also have a lot of confidence and comfort using 12# Gamma Copolymer. I only use three different colors at this point. Any crankbait with a blue/chartreuse combo is great in my opinion, so #136 chartreuse/blue back was an easy pick. Then I picked out #109 pearl/red eyes and #158 mistake to mix it up. I only need one in red all the way around to complete my needs. Since this lure likes to bump along the bottom sometimes, I can use that to my advantage to imitate a red crawfish.

My first experience with this crankbait was really fun. I came across a small school of dinks chasing shad (Cross 9/15 & Cross 9/20). They hit quick and I missed a few at first, but they kept coming back over the course of a few days. Since then, I've caught some solid bass as well as chain pickerel and crappie. The best bass so far on one of my Bandits has been 2lb 11oz.

There are some problems with this lure. The first noticeable issue I had was with the paint job. It's not as durable as I'd like it to be. Those dinks left lots of tooth marks all over the lure. That being said, I wouldn't rate the paint durability as poor, but it probably deserves to be in the average range. The "premium grade" plastic body is also not as durable as I had hoped. With one swing of my rod, I brushed the lure against the surface of the pier and put a crack about an inch long in my #109. The crack was enough of a change in the body contour to alter how the lure swims in a negative way. Water quickly absorbed into the wood, so I used the heat from a blow dryer to push it out. After letting it dry a few hours, I sealed the crack with a thin layer of super glue. That fix did not last very long. Water still found its way inside. The hooks are also soft, but they can hold up for a while. I guess bumping them into cypress trees and hanging up on things took its toll. I tried to realign one and it broke without much effort. I replaced the hooks with Gamakatsu EWG treble hooks.

If you are a crankbait junkie, find the one tackle shop in town that sells these crankbaits for around $4.75 or less. Watch for sales and snatch up what you can afford. Buying in bulk online is another way to go. Just don't get too carried away.

2 comments:

Rattletrap Ramblings said...

I think Bandits are some of the best crankbaits for the money and they always run true out of the box. I have tons of 100 and 200 series Bandits along with the Flat Maxx.

Crankbaits said...

Just wondering if anyone else has had this issue with paintwork ?