October 14, 2019
By Ned Kehde
Since 2011, one of the focuses of our Midwest Finesse columns has been to publish gear guides about all of the soft-plastic finesse baits that Midwest finesse anglers can affix to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook.
Angler’s Choice of Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada, manufactures several soft-plastic finesse baits that Midwest finesse anglers can employ. One of them is the 4.0 Cross Hair.
To facilitate our endeavors, Dave McCready, who is the proprietor of Angler’s Choice, sent us several samples of the Cross Hair for us to work with, examine, and meticulously describe.
Our measurements revealed that it is 4 1/16 inches long.
The peristomium or mouth of the Cross Hair’s head is flat. The head is a quarter of an inch wide with a height of three-sixteenths of an inch, and its dorsal area and sides are dome shaped. Its ventral area is flat.
The end of the Cross Hair’s anterior section and the beginning of its posterior section are not demarcated with a clitellum. But the dimension of the posterior section, which begins about an inch from its peristomium or mouth, decreases gradually as it approaches the junction with its kite-shaped tail.
Near the anterior section’s junction with the head, Cross Hair’s torso is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about seven-eighths of an inch. Its sides and dorsal areas are dome shaped, and its ventral area is flat.
At the junction of the anterior and posterior sections, the torso is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about seven-eighths of an inch.
Two inches from the peristomium or mouth, the posterior section is three-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about three-quarters of an inch.
Near the junction of the posterior section and the kite-shaped tail, the torso possesses a width of one-eighth of an inch and a circumference of about five-eighths of an inch.
The sides and dorsal areas of the posterior section are dome shaped. Its ventral area is flat.
The tail is flat and three-quarters of an inch long with a thickness of less than one-sixteenth of an inch. Much of the tail’s dorsal area is flat, but it has a ridge or a fin, which runs from the tail’s tip to the junction with the torso, and this ridge or fin divides the length of the dorsal area in half. This ridge or fin is about three-quarters of an inch long, and it is slightly more than one-sixteenths of an inch high at its peak. The ventral area of this kite-shaped tail is flatter than its dorsal area. According to McCready, the tail’s ridge or fin act as a rudder, and it was designed “to give [the Cross Hair] a little more rigidity and help it track correctly in a drift or current.”
It is manufactured in these hues: Casper, Chartreuse Glimmer, Green Pumpkin, MG Purple Neon, MG Special, Morning Bomb, Morning Dawn, River Rat, Smoke Purple Silver Holo, Smoke Purple Silver Holo Irid Blue, and Watermelon Purple Neon.
Except for the words Angler’s Choice which are delicately embossed on the ventral area of the anterior section, the Cross Hair’s epidermis is smooth.
It is impregnated with salt and scent, and it is neutrally buoyant.
McCready notes that the Cross Hair is Angler’s Choice’s “answer to the skinny drop shot worm.” A drop-shot rig, however, is a method that Midwest finesse anglers rarely employ. But when the Cross Hair is affixed to either a 1/32- or a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, it should be an effective tool for inveigling largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass that abide in shallow-water locales. Its neutral buoyancy and flat ventral areas are features that Midwest finesse anglers have traditionally lauded. And when Midwest finesse anglers are wielding a Cross Hair, they will employ it with all six of the standard Midwest finesse presentations or slight variations of those retrieves.
A package of 12 costs $5.99.