The best attribute of ABT’s Hybrid Shad is the aggressive action of a swimbait, rolled into the smaller profile of a crankbait. This combination makes the bait a welcomed smallmouth lure made to do one thing – catch fish.
The Hybrid Shad is a jointed crankbait that measures in at 3 ½ inches and weighs ½ ounce. While the bait barely reaches this weight, the only negative I have come across is the absence of any weight-transfer system. While it can be difficult to cast in the wind, there are a couple advantages:
Lures that come with rattles and weight-transfer systems make an exceptional amount of noise. But what about ‘silent’ models? Are they truly silent? Well, no. The hooks make contact with the lure’s body, and the split rings (attached to the internal hardware) give off noise and vibration. Add in hinges and you technically are not fishing in ‘silent’ mode.
So what is the positive side of a lure without a weight-transfer system? Your crankbait doesn’t sound like a freight-train blasting through the neighborhood of nearby fish. So when is a good time to fish this bait? On highly pressured bodies of water, and especially after the first cold-snap of the season. Fish start feeding heavily at the end of Summer, and having a crankbait that doesn’t sound like everything else is a great way to distance yourself from the next angler.
With that being said, the one thing ABT did very well in my opinion was the application of the ‘Real Life Image’ finish. This technology takes lifelike patterns to an all-time high. As soon as ABT showed me the perch finish, I knew this bait would be effective on my home lakes. The available colors also include rainbow trout, midnight shad, blueback, threadfin, chartreuse shad, purple perch and sexy shad.
A crankbait with a square bill that swims like a swimbait is hard to find, but fishing them along weed lines would be my most valuable tip. While largemouth and smallmouth most often get a look at jigs, worms, Carolina rigs and lizards, a crankbait is an excellent choice to cover extended weed lines or patches of underwater foliage. This is exactly how and where I caught this smallmouth on August 28, 2012. With a set of polarized glasses and my Hybrid Shad, I was able to land several smallmouth in six casts just by targeting underwater weed lines. While this was the largest out of the school, it just goes to show that the Hybrid Shad is meant to fool the biggest of available fish.
Name Hybrid Shad
Company ABT Lures
Material Hard Plastic
Depth 5-7 feet
Length 3.5 inches
Weight 1/2 ounce
Price $10.69 each from Tackle Warehouse