With the recent ABT Grand Final won in the racks and an upcoming trip to Port Macquarie, I thought I should search through my lure collection for some inexpensive rack crank baits.
I came across the Gladiator Hip Baby just before a Hobie event in Forster earlier this year and decided to fish them in the racks as a substitute for my beloved Atomic Cranks. I only went down this path due to the limited number of Atomic Cranks I could carry in my Hobie Pro Angler compared to what I can carry on my power boat but also because they are ridiculously inexpensive considering the type of territory I was planning on fishing
Gladiator Hip Baby
Did it catch fish?
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, the Hip Baby had a pronounced action and appealing diving depth. I should really change the heading for this section to “did it hook fish”, because the Hip Baby accounted for many hook ups but I lost heaps under racks, around pylons or into snags but that is the appeal for this lure. They are inexpensive but still rock solid when casting into dangerous territory.
What has worked best?
Nothing dramatic is needed for this lure, a great slow roll lure, swam past, across, over, around or through any snag. With a positive buoyancy, the lure will float over any snaggy territory. Don’t be afraid to hurl this lure up next to a distant oyster rack or snag because they’ll attract the fish, whether you can extract the fish or not won’t impact your bank balance too much.
This lure started out as a means to save my favourite lures from annihilation but ended up being a bit of a “go to” lure, when the odds of extracting the fish were tipped severely in favour of the fish. I am impressed by the action, they did need a slight tune out of the packet but are a great lure all the same. When you do buy a couple of these, make sure you get yourself some new trebles like the Decoy Y-S25s in size 14 and Gamakatsu TWG in size 12 to suit your mood because the hooks were most certainly the weak point.
Gladiator Hip Baby
|Construction/Quality||Solid little lures that represent great value. I did have one break in two but that was fishing 14lb on a locked drag in the racks… something had to give! Let down a little by the trebles.||7|
|Performance||Great, wide wobble with a snag resistant bib.||7|
|Price||Ridiculously inexpensive, buy a few to throw at whatever you’re usually not brave enough to throw at!||10|
|Features||Natural colours… what more do you need!||8|
|Design (Ergonomics)||Traditional crank bait shape with a notched, snag resistant bib. Poor treble selection but I generally retrofit every crank bait I buy anyway.||7|
|Application||A crank bait that is perfect for my application, effective between 3-8ft for actively feeding fish||7|
|The Good (Pros)||The Bad (Cons)||The Ugly (Lure Junkie Suggestions)|
|Exceptional Value||Horrible trebles||Retrofit with Decoy Y-S25s or Gamakatsu TWGs|
|Deep Diver – Competes with the Atomic Crank for depth|