Product Review                  

Week of  September 10, 2012

Gene Larew Baits

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Gene Larew Salt Craw

Celebrates 30 years

The Gene Larew Salt Craw is arguably one of the most recognized baits in all of bass fishing. It is also the lure that is credited for really starting the salt craze in soft plastic baits when it hit the market in 1983.


Company founder Gene Larew experimented with many ingredients – from Coca-Cola to chocolate – before settling on salt as being the one additive that bass preferred the most. Larew was ultimately successful in patenting the salt impregnation process in baits.


Although Larew passed before seeing his company rise to the fame it enjoys today, and the patent has since expired, the Salt Craw remains a top-selling lure and a fish-catching favorite.


In celebration of the Salt Craw’s 30th anniversary in 2013, the company has rolled back prices on the 4” Salt Craw in its popular 10-count bags, plus has introduced five new colors for it.


The new colors are mossy pumpkin, Okeechobee craw, green pumpkin/chartreuse pepper, green pumpkin/watermelon pepper and motor oil gold. In somewhat of an ironic twist, motor oil gold was the second color the Salt Craw became available in, following electric blue. Larew introduced electric blue as a soft plastic color to the market.


“The fact that the Salt Craw is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the same year that our manufacturing home of Tulsa (Okla.) is hosting the 2013 Bassmaster Classic is a big deal to us,” said Larew owner Chris Lindenberg. “You can expect a lot of things from our company around Classic time, including an open house where visitors can see Salt Craws being made. We’ll also be giving away a commemorative package of Salt Craws during the Classic.”


The 2013 Bassmaster Classic is being held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake of the Cherokees, with the daily weigh-ins to be held at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. The Classic dates are February 22 - 25 of next year.


About $4.79




Gene Larew Biffle Bug

Sees new hues

No doubt about it, the Larew Biffle Bug and the technique called “bottom buggin’” are here to stay.


Tommy Biffle, the lure’s namesake, made the Biffle Bug and Biffle HardHead a popular combo with his multiple bass tournament wins in recent years. Other anglers across the country are also having success with the baits and heads. Biffle says it’s because the rig is so easy to fish.


“The way the bait can move and jump around on the back of the HardHead means it’s pretty much cast and crank,” the Oklahoma-based Biffle said. “The fact the head’s weight keeps the bug on bottom and in contact with structure during the retrieve puts it where bass live. The lure has lots of action and is a good all-around size. You can’t fish it wrong. I have so much confidence in the combo that it’s not unusual for me to have every rod on my boat rigged with a bug and HardHead during a tournament.”


Joining the 4.25” Biffle Bug and 3.5” Biffle Bug Jr. lineup for 2013 are six new colors: grape big red, mossy pumpkin, black gold purple, leech, Bama bug and Okeechobee craw.


The Biffle Bug has a cupped-tail design that is a patented characteristic borrowed from the Larew Biffle-O series, another innovative design by the veteran bass professional. The Biffle Bug’s hollow body allows for placement of a rattle, flotation materials or scents on the inside, plus it makes for optimized hook setting because the body collapses when a fish strikes it.


Both bug sizes come packaged eight per re-sealable bag.


For more information on the two sizes of Biffle Bugs, their new colors, and to see a video of how Biffle fishes the baits, visit


About $5.79




Bobby Garland Slab Dockt’R

Makes house calls where crappie live

The new Bobby Garland 2.5” Slab Dockt’R is designed especially for the technique called “dock shooting,” but there’s no doubt its shape and action apply to all crappie fishing styles.


Dock shooting is a process in which the lure is held in the hand and used to pull the rod back, much like pulling the string on a bow, before releasing the bait near the water’s surface so it skips under docks or other low-hanging obstacles to reach hard to cast to spots where fish take advantage of the cover.


The Slab Dockt’R has a bulked-up body to provide the mass that anglers prefer for skipping baits so they can be “shot” up under docks. The Slab Dockt’Rs back measures nearly one-half inch, a width that is almost twice that of the company’s highly popular Baby Shad crappie lure.


From its broad shoulders, the sides roll under to form an almost boat-like hull at the bottom. The hull shape keeps the bait running true during free fall and at all retrieve speeds. That means the Slab Dockt’R is also a good trolling bait and for jig fishing.


Extending from the bait’s body are twin tails with small pads on the tips. The long thin legs in combination with the pads deliver a tight swimming action that vibrates the entire bait on the fall and during the retrieve. It’s an action that occurs naturally by the lure’s design, giving dock shooters another advantage.


The Slab Dockt’R is available in 11 colors and comes packaged 12 baits per re-sealable bag.


About $3.99




Gene Larew Rattlin Crawler

Featuring a quality one-ball glass rattle already inserted into its hollow body chamber, the Gene Larew Rattlin' Crawler delivers crazy rattling and thumping action at even the slowest retrieve speeds. Its oversized kick pads and unique arm angles create a ton of commotion in the water, and its flat body makes it an ideal flipping/pitching bait.


Also a great "weedless crankbait" when rigged on any size Biffle HardHead, the Gene Larew Rattlin' Crawler even works as an awesome jig trailer.


The Rattlin Crawler is available in eight colors including Black Neon, Blackberry Sapphire, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Chart Pepper, Mossy Pumpkin, Sooner Run, Watermelon Pepper and Green Pumpkin Candy, measures 4.25" and comes in packs of six.


About $5.89



Gene Larew Sweet Swimmer

Perfect for umbrella rig fishing

The castable umbrella bass rig has etched a permanent spot in bass fishing, and the new 3.5” Gene Larew Sweet Swimmer has earned its spot in tackleboxes for use on the multi-armed contraptions.


Swimbaits like the Sweet Swimmer provide the most realistic display of a school of baitfish with the umbrella rig. The most common baitfish species consumed by bass are members of the Clupeid family, which includes shads and herrings. Clupeids are small silvery fishes that exhibit schooling behavior.  This behavior occurs when fish of the same species and size swim together in the same direction and speed in order to avoid predators or increase the chance of finding food.


At 3.5” in length, the Sweet Swimmer is one of the most versatile swimbaits on the market. Its size will attract bass of all sizes by imitating herring in the Southeast, shad in Midwest, and smelt up North.  Whether the target is largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, the Larew Sweet Swimmer is a great match to a wide variety of natural baitfish.


Larew Sweet Swimmers are bathed in Larew SweetOil. This scent-enhanced lubricant keeps the bait supple for amazing swimming action, while giving it a strong smell to get even more attention from bass.


The Larew Sweet Swimmer not only swims and smells like the real thing, but it also comes in 10 realistic baitfish colors. Whatever baitfish an angler is trying to imitate, there is a Sweet Swimmer color scheme perfect for the job.


The soft formulation of the Larew Sweet Swimmer adds to the bait’s versatility.  It is also a great choice on a jighead, drop shot, or as a trailer. With so many attributes, there is no wrong way to fish a Larew Sweet Swimmer.


The Sweet Swimmer is available in 12 colors, including solids and laminates. These soft plastic beauties are one of the best swimbait values on the market.


For more information on the Sweet Swimmer and all Larew soft plastic baits, visit


About $5.79




Gene Larew Long John Minnow

Gets a facelift

To all the faithful followers of the 3” Gene Larew® Long John Minnow, the message is: “Don’t worry.” Company officials say the changes made to the famous walleye and smallmouth catcher are superficial and have been done for all the right reasons.


“We built a new mold for the Long John, not to change it, but to keep it the same,” explained Larew’s George Toalson. “Our brand new CNC machined aluminum mold spits out identical Long John’s each and every time, plus allows us to make two-color laminates, and those things are important to us and to fishermen.


“This bait has a very distinctive rolling action that is a totally different motion from most swimbaits. We’ve achieved our objective of keeping the same action, while allowing us to some new colors along with the old standbys,” he said.


In all, 10 new Long John colors have been added for 2013. Some are extremely bright colorations, such as outlaw special and screamer, in response to walleye and smallmouth anglers who probe the dark depths for their species of choice.


Although most fishermen rig the Long John on light jigheads, some anglers like to fish them on light-wire hooks with a split shot affixed to the line a few inches up.


“The Long John Minnow has been one of the best kept secrets of northern smallmouth anglers for some time,” Toalson added. “But the news is pretty much out now. The Long John is a great size and has a killer swimming action. It seems to appeal to finicky feeders, as well as aggressive ones.”


The Long John Minnows are packaged 10 per re-sealable pack and come in 24 colors, including solids and laminates. For more information on the Long John Minnow and all Larew soft plastic baits, visit


About $3.99




Bobby Garland “Color My Baby Shad” new colors

Crappie bait colors run the gamut, and so do the suggestions coming into the companies that manufacture crappie baits. That’s why Gene Larew Lures, the manufacturer of the popular Bobby Garland Baby Shad, decided to rely on its loyal anglers to come up with some new colors, and the names for them, to add to the crappie bait lineup for its 2013 product catalog.


Larew originally planned to select three Baby Shad winning entries by random drawing through a Facebook sweepstakes, but because of the participation and the caliber of entries, the decision was made to jump the number to five.


The five new Baby Shad colors are: tuxedo shimmer, watermelon wine, dreamsicle delight, black night, and BBQ chicken. 


Tuxedo shimmer is a black over bone white laminate, with the black getting some silver –colored metal flakes in it.  Watermelon wine is a bright chartreuse with red flake over a darker chartreuse.  Dreamsicle delight is a bright orange over bone white. Black night is solid black. BBQ chicken has a bubblegum-colored back with black and red flake in it, over a chartreuse green belly with black and red flake.


Each of the individuals who submitted the entries will receive the first 1,000 Baby Shads of their respective colors once the baits go into production. Two of the winners have not yet claimed their winning entries.


About $3.29












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