January 10, 2019
Chad Cheney of Lake Stevens, Washington, is the proprietor of Big Sexy Baits. And since November of 2018, we have been exchanging emails and telephone conversations with him about several of the soft-plastic baits that his company manufacturers.
These baits have recently caught the eyes of several Midwest finesse anglers. It was at the behest of one of these anglers that we contacted Cheney.
He told us that Big Sexy Baits was conceived in 2013, which was when he lived in South Carolina. It was motivated by the fact that he could not find “the color and design combinations” that he wanted in soft-plastic baits.
Professionally, he is an aerospace engineer, and in the early days of his endeavors as a soft-plastic bait manufacturer, he sold his baits to friends. Initially, he used molds that he purchased.
Since 2017, he has designed a series of unique molds to manufacture the HydraStick, Mayhem HD, Nemesis, Rapture Bug, and Recluse. By the end of 2019, he hopes to add two more soft-plastic baits to his repertoire.
The Spade Grub was the first one that he made, and since then, he has created 14 other baits. During this time, he also moved from South Carolina completely across the continent to the state of Washington.
The Spade Grub is now part of Big Sexy Baits’ Classic series, and it has become such a popular bait that it will be a part of Big Sexy Baits’ catalog for years to come.
Many of the physical characteristics of his Spade Grub have played a role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers since the late 1960s and early 1970s. These characteristics were part of the legendary Sting Ray Grub.
Cheney sent us a package of Spade Grubs to examine, work with, and describe.
It is 3 5/8 inches long.
Its head is flat and a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of 1 1/16 inches. Its epidermis is smooth.
Its torso is cylindrical, or some anglers might call it bullet shaped. It is embellished with 22 pronounced segments. The first segment encompasses its flat head, and segment number 22 is situated at the junction with the Spade Grub’s tail. The torso is 2 1/16 inches long. The widest spot is situated in the vicinity of segment number 10, and it is a half of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/4 inches. The dimensions of the torso decreases as it approaches the junction with its tail. Segment number 22 is three sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about thirteen-sixteenths of an inch.
Its tail is flat, and it somewhat exhibits the shape of an ovate leaf. From the tail’s junction with the torso to its tip, it is 1 11/16 inches long. At its widest spot, it is nine-sixteenths of an inch wide, and at its junction with its torso, it is three-sixteenths of an inch wide. Except for its dainty and pointed tip, it is an eighth of an inch thick. From its junction with the torso to its tip, the outside edge of each side of the tail is 1 13/16 inches long. Most of the outside edges are adorned with minute ribs. Except for its ribbed sides, the tail’s epidermis is smooth.
The Spade Grub is manufactured with a phthalate-free soft plastic in the following hues: Junebug with Green, Mardi Gras, Pearl Silver with Gunmetal, Pumpkinseed with Black, Radioactive, Round Goby, and Watermelon with Red Flakes.
They are not impregnated with salt, and they are buoyant, which are attributes that many Midwest finesse anglers relish.
Rather than being impregnated with scent, the Spade Grubs are marinated in BSB Pro Scent. According to Cheney, marinating them after they are manufactured does not interfere with any of the soft-plastic’s properties, and in fact, it enhances the durability of the Spade Grub. He notes that it is marinated before it is packaged and in the package.
A package of 12 costs $3.95. At the end of each month, Big Sexy Baits donates a percentage of their profits to Homes for Our Troops.
(1) Here is a link to Big Sexy Baits’ website: https://www.bigsexybaits.fish/creationzone.
(2) Midwest finesse anglers will affix the Spade Grub on a small mushroom-style jig. Midwest finesse anglers are known to be inveterate customizers of soft plastic baits. And before they affix the Spade Grub to a mushroom-style jig, some of them will put their Fiskars Scissors to work on the Spade Grub. Some will shorten it by removing an inch or less from the torso’s anterior section. Others will split the tail in half.
Whether it is employed in a customized or an uncustomized version of the Spade Grub, Midwest finesse anglers will utilize it by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
(3) In the near future, we hope to publish gear guides about Big Sexy Baits’ Creation Zone, Grub Combo, HydraStick, Mayhem HD, Nemesis, Paddle Tail, HydraStick, and Recluse.
(4) In the near future, Big Sexy Baits will add another version of the Spade Grub to its repertoire. It is called the 3.5-inch BSB Spade grub 2.0. It resembles YUM’s two-inch and three-inch Wooly Beavertail, which used to play a significant role in the Midwest finesse anglers’ repertoire during the first decade of this century. Here is a link to the website, where it is described: https://www.bigsexybaits.fish/product-page/Grub-Bait.