A crankbait you can flip like a jig?
Going on the market around the country as you read this is that artificial lure, Sebile Innovative Fishing’s extra innovative Flatt Shad Snagless.
It has the tantalizing side-to-side action of its predecessor, the Flatt Shad. But it offers something even more valuable in the fact that it is weedless, according to Sebile founder, CEO and renowned artificial lure designer Patrick Sebile. Sebile says anglers can cast the new lipless crankbait into brush, rocks and other structure confident that it won’t get hung up. Those areas are ambush points where fish reside, every fisherman worth his salt knows.
“My goal was to have better, snag-free fishing in a specific situation, which is to be able to go fishing where there are trees (and other structure) in the water,” Sebile said. “I had to find a solution to make a hard bait to go through the trees, and my research led me to believe I can make a Flatt Shad do that best of all, with very little risk of snagging, but still be able to catch fish very well, resulting in the Flatt Shad Snagless, which is to me a revolution in hard baits.”
Sebile definitely accomplished his goal, said Russ Comeau, publicist for the lure manufacturing company since April. It’s a boon to everyone’s fishing repertoire, especially advantageous to shoreline anglers in fresh or saltwater who usually run a greater risk of snagging and breaking off artificial lures than boaters.
Now people can chunk and wind a hard bait through stuff where other hard baits go to die.
“It really is going to take a leap of faith to do that. You can come through some heavy brush and heavy cover. You can come through tough weeds,” he said, “but very few things come through those soft, mushy weeds. It’s great for rocks, trees. It’s great for tough grass. It’ll come through all that stuff.”
The double hook and split ring are beefed up to make them stronger than the typical treble hook and split ring used on similar vibration baits, he said, which makes the new product a better choice when big fish are present or heavier tackle is required.
“I have used them a number of years and I have seen them (Sebile) evolve the hook. Look at most other treble hooks. The hook he eventually designed — two barbs far apart — is the shape he found the most snagless hook shape,” he said.
Comeau said only a double hook with a freedom of movement will prevent the lipless crankbait from snagging structure. A standard double hook is too stiff or too short and doesn’t have enough freedom to lag behind the body, he said, resulting in plenty of snags and missed strikes. Ample freedom of “play” is necessary to be efficient at hooking fish, which means the dimensions have to be perfect and designed with that in mind, he explained, noting with the proper hook the upward facing points lag behind the body (left when the crankbait wobbles to the right and vice versa when the body switches to the left). The body takes the lead and when it hits a branch, stalk of grass or rock, it deflects away before the hook swings to that side.
There’s a good reason the snagless, lipless crankbait has the hook on the belly of the lure, Comeaux said, noting having a hook on the tail increases the number of snags without really increasing the hook-catch ratio.
“What Patrick found out, the tail hook did make it snaggier and did not land that many more fish, really. That blows people’s minds. They’re used to having two or three treble hooks,” he said.
And there’s more to the new artificial lure’s concept for one double hook. Comeaux pointed out one artificial lure with two treble hooks has six hook points and at the moment of a strike, when the hook is slammed home, all the pressure put on the line to set those hooks has to be divided among those six points, which usually means a lower quality or poorer hookset. That’s why a jig is so efficient, since all the power goes on that single hook point, he said.
“Really, what I find with that, you can almost use it like a flipping jig. Usually both of those hook points go right through the hard part of a bass’s mouth,” Comeaux said.
Ditto for hooking up on redfish, he said he has been told by “Cajun Phil” Broussard, television show host in Lake Charles who has been using prototypes of the Flatt Shad Snagless for several years while fishing for redfish from Venice to his home waters of Calcasieu Lake.
Broussard is immensely impressed with the new artificial lure. That new product also has a white feather tail that adds to the action and gives fish another target to hone in on.
“I like it with two hooks (hook points) in open water because there is more chance for a hookup,” Broussard said.
Without a lot of hoopla and fanfare, it already has been responsible for redfish tournament paydays by Broussard and his son Kevin.
“It’s already won Kevin and me a lot of money,” he said, noting last year they used it to take a win out of Chalmette by slow-rolling it across rocks.
He also has caught bass on it at Toledo Bend, Lake Sam Rayburn and Calcasieu River, he said, adding he uses the 3/4-ounce model at the big freshwater impoundments and the river and the 1/2-ounce model around the jetties and behind the weirs when redfish are packed and hungry in schools.
“If there’s a bass, he’s going to hit it,” he said. “Color doesn’t seem to matter. We like white a whole lot for redfish, and we like red for bass.”
The Flatt Shad Snagless is manufactured in six colors, while there are more than 50 different color combinations for the original Flatt Shad. For this year’s newcomer, Sebile came up with two new crawfish colors and a new fire tiger while keeping three of the best-selling colors of the Flatt Shad.
For more information on the Flatt Shad Lipless and other Sebile products call (325) 437-8103 or log onto
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Capt. Bob fishes out of Leeville Louisiana for Trout and Redfish and also works the coast for those big sow Trout and Bull Redfish. He also does Snapper trips along the coast and will resume offshore bluwater trips in the near future. Rates are flexible.