There are times and there are waterways that Midwest finesse anglers find that a small swimbait is an essential tool. And to the delight a longtime member of the Finesse News Network, Stankx Bait Company of Portage, Michigan, has begun to manufacture one that he thinks will fit his and other Midwest finesse anglers needs. It is the 3 1/2-inch Ribz.
At this angler's exhortations, we contacted Travis Crosman, who is the proprietor of Stankx and co-owner with Josh Clark of Dead On Plastix of Jackson, Michigan. Clark is also the owner of Angling A.I.
On Nov. 5, 6, and 7, we exchanged a number of emails with Crosman about the 3 1/2-inch RibZ and Stankx Bait Company.
Crosman told us that the 3 1/2-inch Ribz is a handed-poured creation. To manufacture it, they use what he calls a finesse blend of Dead On Plastix's plastisol, and it is a proprietary blend. As they pour this blend of Dead On Plastix into their open-mold system, they use a special divider cup, which helps to fashion some unique color and anatomical combinations.
Its torso is 3/4 of an inch long. The contour of the belly portion of its torso resembles the belly of a threadfin shad. The bottom two thirds of the torso is endowed with nine distinct segments, which are created by eight prominent ribs. The top or dorsal portion of its torso is flat, and it is 5/8 of an inch wide at its widest part.
Its head is a half of an inch long, and the top of its head is 7/16 of an inch wide at its widest point. Its nose is flat. Each side of the head is adorned with a three-dimensional eye. The circumference of each eye is slightly smaller than the eye socket, which helps to prevent it from being extracted from the socket during a donnybrook with a black bass. The eye possesses self-adhesive element, and Stankx also applies a drop of Loctite super glue to each eye, and these two features help to keep the eyes in place.
The tail is about 1 1/4 inches long, and it is tipped with a boot.
Crosman recommends that anglers affix the 3 1/2-inch Ribz to Stankx's Flat Eye PiggyBack jig, which possess a conical nose and wire bait keeper. And when an angler retrieves it on this jig, the Ribz's ribs will displace a significant amount of water, which creates vibration, and the tail will produce a significant thumping motif.
The surface of the head, torso and tail is smooth-skinned.
They are available in the following colors: Angel, Black Magic, Bloody Magic, BGSM, Molt, Shadtastic, and Toxic John.
Anglers can purchase a package of eight 3 1/2-inch Ribz for $7.29.
In a Dec. 6 email, Crosman reported that Stankx will be adding new colors and sizes of the Ribz in the weeks to come. Besides the 3 1/2-incher, there will be a 4 1/2-incher, a six-incher, and an eight-incher.
(1) Crosman thought that Midwest anglers might be interested in using Stankx's 2 1/2-inch Lil Hammer and 3 3/4-inch Hammer, which are swimbait. They are manufactured in an aluminum injection mold made by Angling A.I. He described them as a round swimbait that is endowed with a boot tail, and the tail radiates a lot of thumps as anglers employ a variety of swimming retrieves and speeds. They are manufactured with a special blend of a finesse plastic made by Dead On Plastix. They exhibit a two-tone-swirl motif, which gives the bait what Crosman describes as fresh and natural look, and it is achieved by using what he calls the C- Block system.Here is a link to Stankx's website about the Lil Hammer: http://www.stankxbaitco.com/product/2-5-lil-hammer.
(2) Here is a link to Stankx jig that Crosman recommends for using with the 3 1/2-inch Ribz: http://www.stankxbaitco.com/product/flat-eye-piggyback-swimbait-hook/.
(3) For more information about Dead On Plastix and Angling A.I., see the website at this link: http://anglingai.com/.
(4) On May 16, 2014, we published a Midwest Finesse about Stankx Bait Company. Here is the link to that column: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/stankx-bait-company/.