Stankx Bait Company

Stankx Bait Company

Stankx Bait Company of Portage, Michigan, has a wowee-zowee website, designed to catch the eye of anglers who scrutinize the Internet in search of state-of-the-art soft-plastic baits. And we readily confess that it caught our eyes straightaway.

The website was created by Andrew Ragas of Chicago and RagasMedia. According to Travis Crosman of Portage and proprietor of Stankx, he has been working with Ragas since the birth of Stankx in 2009. From the beginning, their aim has been to make it easier for anglers to acquire the soft-plastic baits that they need. What's more, the website allows Crosman, who is blessed with an engaging personality, to specialize on what he calls a "personal one-on-one service" with anglers. By relying on the website, Stankx doesn't spend money on advertising, and they pass that savings to the angling world. These savings, as well as their one-on-one service, allows Stankx to manufacture unique soft-plastic baits that Crosman says are more durable and effective than the baits that the "big-name companies" manufacture.


Crosman is 36 years old. Before the advent of Stankx, he made soft-plastic baits as a hobby. Ultimately several friends and a group of anglers on Fishing-Headquarters.com motivated him to create Stankx, which began during the spring of 2009. For nearly 20 years, he has worked in the construction and hardware trade. Besides his Stankx endeavors, he is also a manager of a hardware store, and on Wednesdays through Saturdays, he works at the hardware business. Then on Mondays and Tuesdays, he works in the Stankx shop, manufacturing soft-plastic baits that his customers have ordered during the past week. Some of those orders entail making customized colors and highlights, and in fact, he encourages anglers to request modifications or special effects to the baits they order. There are also some nights during the week when he finds himself working in the Stankx shop in order to satisfy the particular needs of his customers.



He is also a father of a 2 1/2-year-old son, who is the light of his and his wife's lives. Thus, he spends the rest of his time with his wife and their son. His passion as an angler has not waned, but because of his hardware and bait businesses, as well as his family life, he rarely fishes nowadays. Thus, he and his wife regularly utter this axiom: "Work hard now to play later."

He hopes there will be a time when he would be able to retire from the hardware business and spend his days creating baits and helping anglers.


At this moment Crosman manufactures 23 soft-plastic baits. They are the 4 1/2-inch Stix, 5 1/4-inch Stix, 5 1/2-inch .40 Caliber Stix, 2 3/4-inch Sidekick, four-inch Thug Grubz, 1 3/4-inch Polly Wogz, four-inch DS Slugz, six-inch DS Slugz, four-inch Mudbugz Creature, 3 3/4-inch The Hero, 3 1/2-inch D.D. Tubez, 4 3/4-inch FlukeZ, NXT LVL Flukez, six-inch Diamond Tailz, 4 1/2-inch Swankx Swimbait, 4 1/2-inch Swomz Swimbait, seven-inch BentWormz, 10-inch The Villian, five-inch Brush Hog, 3 1/2-inch Buzz Frogz, NXT LVC Buzz Frogz, and NXT LVL Lyv Craw.


Stankx's 2 3/4-inch Sidekick.

Crosman says that his color chart has 154 options. He has developed a two-part viewpoint about color. The first element focuses on creating a realistic color. The second component revolves around highlighting a subtle difference, such as a delicate flash that will catch the eye of an angler's quarry. At this moment, he works with 24 stock colors, as well as 10 customized colors. This year he introduced what he described as the "next generation of soft-plastic baits." He calls them NXT LVL, and it is similar to the customized paint jobs that the great Tim Hughes of Reeds Spring, Missouri, creates on crankbaits and jerkbaits. According to Crosman, it is an "airbrush style of soft plastics that has been developed to appropriately 'match the hatch'." Crosman possesses the eyes and hands of an artist, and when he manipulates the colors for creating his soft-plastic baits, he forms what some anglers describe as a piece of piscatorial art.

Crosman has spent a considerable amount of time researching and developing durable soft-plastic baits. He notes that many black bass anglers prefer soft-plastic baits that are jam-packed with salt. These anglers maintain that the salt is a critical element in controlling the speed that a soft-plastic bait falls from the surface to the bottom. Some anglers also contend that salt is an attractant. At the same time, most anglers want a durable bait. But Crosman says that durability is compromised when soft-plastic baits are heavily impregnated with salt. Ultimately, he developed a salt formula that meets the fall rate needs, attractant feature, and durability requests of the angling world. In fact, one angler reported that he caught 21 largemouth bass on one Stankx's Stix baits. But according to Crosman, his Stix bait can endure an average of three to five feisty donnybrooks with largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass.

In 2013, Crosman began concocting and brewing a scent for his soft-plastic baits. It is called TC's Stankx Syrup, which has a garlic base. And in the near future, they will have a coffee scent and an anise one. All of the baits are impregnated with TC's Stankx Syrup. And anglers can purchase a two-ounce Yorker bottle for $3.99.

For more information about Stankx baits and how much they cost, please examine their website at http://www.stankxbaitco.com/.

Stankx's  seven-inch Bent Worm. For some bizarre reason, most anglers are reluctant to use a soft-plastic worm that isn't straight as an arrow. But across the years, several Midwest finesse anglers have discovered that kinky or bent worms are usually more effective day-in and day-out than a perfectly straight ones.

Footnotes:

(1) For more information about bent worms, please read this essay:https://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/09/11/of-the-kinky-worm-and-other-cock-eyed-finesse-presentations/.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Bass

Rigging Soft Bass Baits Correctly

Matt Straw - May 15, 2018

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers.

Bass

Buzzbaits for Bass

Dan Johnson - February 02, 2015

To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the...

Bass

Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

In-Fisherman Calendar Periods

In-Fisherman staffers target all fish and key on the revolving season calendar periods to maximize the the likelihood of catching more and bigger fish.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Stories

More Bass

Bass

Locating August Smallmouth

Matt Straw - August 07, 2018

Like many experts we know, bass don't stop biting during the dog days.

Bass

Tactics for Summer Smallmouths in Big Water

Matt Straw - June 28, 2018

Great tips for catching smallies on big water.

Bass

New Topwater Lures With Exceptional Qualities

Steve Quinn - June 04, 2018

Surface lures get old but they never die.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×