May 22, 2020
By Ned Kehde
A variety of small soft-plastic crayfish have played a role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers since the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Strike King Lure Company’s Bitsy Bug Crawfish Jig Trailer was one of those options, but we recently learned that Strike King is no longer manufacturing it. Thus, the Rage Baby Craw has become Strike King’s finesse crayfish for Midwest finesse anglers to affix to a mushroom-style jig.
Mark Copley of Collierville, Tennessee, who is Strike King’s Marketing Relationship Manager, sent us a few Rage Baby Craws to work with and examine, which helped us to create a detailed Midwest Finesse gear guide about them.
Here is what we discovered about the Rage Baby Craw.
It was introduced to the angling world in 2009.
Like the Bitsy Bug Crawfish Jig Trailer, it is 2 15/16 inches long. Unlike many of the anatomical features of the Bitsy Bug Crawfish Jig Trailer, the anatomical features of the Rage Baby Craw are an abstract rendering of a real crayfish. In fact, some anglers might describe it as being more of a creature bait than a crayfish one.
Its abdomen is 1 3/8 inches long.
At the end of the abdomen is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and collar or bait keeper of a mushroom-style jig.
The abdomen’s tergum section is three-quarters of an inch long. It possesses three tergums, and each one is about one-quarter of an inch long and slightly less than a half of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/8 inches. The dorsal and ventral areas of each tergum are convex with a smooth epidermis. Radiating from each side of each tergum is an abstract swimmeret that has somewhat of a triangular shape, and some might describe them as wing-like.
The abdomen’s telson and uropod section does not represent the features of a real crayfish. Instead, the Rage Baby Craw’s telson and uropod section is five-sixteenths of an inch long and domed shaped with a width of three-eighths of an inch at its widest spot, which is adjacent to its junction with the tergum section. And at this locale, the circumference is 1 1/8 inches. The dimensions of the dome diminish at the tip or top of the dome, and most anglers call this area the tip of the tail.
The Rage Baby Craw’s cephalothorax section, which includes its head and thorax, is seven-eighths of an inch long.
Except for the cephalic groove on its carapace and its two eyes, the epidermis of the cephalothorax’s dorsal and ventral areas is smooth, and these areas are slightly convex.
A real crayfish has four walking legs radiating from each side of the cephalothorax. But the Rage Baby Craw is devoid of walking legs. But a significant cheliped extends from each side of the cephalothorax. The cheliped is crowned with a feature that anglers call a claw.
Its cheliped is 1 1/4 inches long.
The segment that attaches the claw to the cephalothorax is thin and flat. It is about one-sixteenth of an inch thick. It is five-eighths of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide at its junction with the claw. It is a quarter of an inch wide at its junction with the cephalothorax.
The claw possesses a radical curve, and the outside edge of this curve is 1 5/16 of an inch long. This edge is adorned with a rim, that Strike King calls a “Rage Flange.” This flange is one inch long and one-quarter of an inch wide at its widest spot. The flange is designed to accentuate the flickering and undulations of the cheliped, and some of this movement will be generated into portions of the cephalothorax.
The inside edge of the entire cheliped is flat and thin, exhibiting a thickness of slightly less than one-sixteenth of an inch. About three-quarters of an inch from its junction with the cephalothorax, it is endowed with a segment that is called the dactylopofite, which is the inside segment of the claw. And the Rage Baby Craw’s dactylopofite is unnaturally small, exhibiting a length of one-quarter of an inch and a width of three-sixteenths of an inch.
The epidermis of the entire cheliped is smooth.
The Rage Baby Craw’s chelipeds are unrealistic. They are designed to generate what the folks at Strike King say is “a huge amount of vibration,” and thus “with the slightest movement of the rod tip, the claws start flapping back and forth.” When a Midwest finesse angler employs a deadstick presentation with the Rage Baby Craw, it is said that its cheliped will look “like a crawfish in a defensive position with its pincers up.”
Radiating from each side of the head is an antenna. It is about one-quarter of an inch long. Each antenna is one-sixteenth of an inch wide at the base and slightly less than one-sixteenth of an inch wide at its tip. The epidermis is smooth.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Amber Green/Black, Bama Craw, Black Blue Flake, Black Blue Swirl, Blue Craw, Blue Craw Red Flake, Candy Craw, Crawdaddy, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Purple Swirl, Hard Candy, Okeechobee Craw, Pearl, Plum Crazy, Summer Craw, TW Green Pumpkin, Watermelon Meat, and Watermelon Red Flake.
It is not buoyant. It is impregnated with a coffee scent.
A package of nine costs $5.49.
- Here is a link to Lunkerhunt’s website: https://www.lunkerhunt.com/finesseswimbait.html.
- Lunkerhunt also sells a package of three Finesse Swimbaits with a quarter-ounce weedless mushroom-head jig. The size of the hook is a number two, and the shank of the hook possesses a wire bait keeper. This package costs $3.99.
- Here are three links to gear guides that we have published about Lunkerhunt’s soft-plastic baits: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/lunkerhunts-finesse-worm/368424. https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/lunkerhunts-vacuum/1559244. https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/lunkerhunts-dragonfly/154643.
- Most of the time, Midwest finesse anglers will employ a straight and do-nothing retrieve with the Finesse Swimbait. Many of them will opt for a mushroom-style jig that is smaller than a quarter ounce one. But there will be times when other Midwest finesse presentations will be effective. Some of these retrieves will replicate the behavior of bluegill, chubs, darters, shiners, and sunfish. Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to employ the six Midwest finesse retrieves with Lunkerhunt’s Finesse Swimbait: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.