A few months ago, a veteran Midwest finesse angler, who spends a lot of time perusing the Internet in search of unique finesse baits, discovered Molix's Caleo Craw, and he suggested that we should publish a gear guide about it. And when we saw it, we told him that it was a good suggestion.
Across the years, we noted in several of our gear guides that a soft-plastic crayfish has played a central role in the tactics of Midwest finesse anglers since Dion Hibdon of Versailles, Missouri, created the Guido Bug for his school's science project in 1977. And every time we get wind of a soft-plastic crayfish that looks as if it will work for Midwest finesse anglers, we like to publish a gear guide about it.
Molix is an Italian tackle company, which prides itself on collaborating with anglers all across the globe. And currently Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey, and Randy Howell of Springville, Alabama, who compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series and other tournament circuits, are sponsored by Molix, and both of them work on designing and field testing baits for Molix.
Molix manufactures it in two sizes; a three-inch one and four-inch one. The four-inch Caleo Craw's head and thorax, which anatomists call the cephalothorax, is about three quarters of an inch long. Its head is adorned with two tiny eyes. Its arthropod antennae extend forward from its head and below its eyes, creating two 1 1/4-inch long antennae. A claw radiates from each side of its cephalothorax; each claw is 1 1/2 inches long. Its abdomen is two inches long, and it has 11 ribs. Eight of the ribs encircle the round portions of the abdomen, which is 1 3/8 inches long. The other three ribs are shaped like a semicircle. The belly of the cephalothorax is flat, as is five-eighths of an inch of the abdomen, and there are 10 small ridges, which Molix calls flaps, that embellish its flat belly and the flat portion of the abdomen, and according to the folks at Molix, these ridges or flaps "produce strong vibrations," and they also "catch air during the cast" that is released during the retrieve.
The body consists of what Molix calls a "variable plastic mix." This formula creates what they describe as a high-density body and low-density claws, which allows the claws to be buoyant and rise up as an angler executes a retrieve along the bottom, and during a deadstick presentation, it will replicate what is described as the crayfish's defensive position, which in the eyes of many anglers is an alluring feature. It is impregnated with micro-salt crystals and a Bio-Amino scent.
Molix says it is an ideal bait for power anglers to pitch and flip. They also recommend employing it on a Carolina rig, on a weightless rig, on a slip-sinker rig, and as a skirted-jig trailer. But, of course, Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and they will use it with their six standard Midwest finesse retrieves.
The four-inch Caleo Craw is manufactured in the following colors:Black Red Flake, Blue Notte, Chartreuse, Dark Red Black Flake, Green Pumpkin, Marron Glace, Okee Craw, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Black Flake, Pumpkin Orange, Seducente, Special Craw, Watermelon Gold Chartreuse, Watermelon Pepper, and Watermelon Red Black Flake.
The three-incher is called the Baby Caleo Craw, and it is manufactured in the following colors: Blue Notte, Chartreuse, Dark Red Black Flake, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Senape, Marron Glace, Motor Oil Blue Flake, Pumpkin Orange, and Watermelon Gold Red Flake.
A package of 10 three-inchers costs from $4.49 to $4.99, and a package of eight four inchers costs from $4.99 to $5.99.
(1) For more information about the Caleo Craw and other Molix's baits, please contact Casey Tucker at Anglers International Resources, 1272 E. Dundee Rd., Palatine, Illinois, 60074. You can talk to him at 847-991-3200. This is the link to their Web site: https://www.fishingurus.com/.
(2) Here is the link to Molix's Web site: http://www.molix.com/en/.
(3) Here's a link to a column that describes the six Midwest finesse retrieves that can be used when the Caleo Craw is rigged on a small mushroom-style jig: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.
(4) Here is a link to our gear guide about Molix's Sator Worm: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/molixs-sator-worm/.