Product Review: Kamooki Smartcraw

Product Review: Kamooki Smartcraw
Date: 5/13/16
Product type: Lipless Crankbait
Manufacturer: Kamooki Lures ltd.
Reviewer: Jamie Wilson

 

smartcraw red

The Kamooki SmartCraw® features a deeply textured, naturally robust crawfish body and assumes a natural head-down, tail-up profile when its unique, precision engineered zinc keel rests on any structure.

 

 

 

We all have our top five favorite baits, or go-to presentations that we have come to count on throughout the season that will get minor tweaks and adjustments to suit our needs. Generally, we have abundance of sizes, weights, colors and techniques in our back pockets that we deem useful that can actually convolute the situation and overwhelm us. As an angler that has been around the block a few times I look for baits that can be presented in a variety of ways without the having to re-rig constantly to ultimately deduce a “pattern”. Imagine one rod/reel/line combo with a multitude of possibilities at the end of your line. Can a single bait type achieve this? Well, this one can. Kamooki Lures Ltd. has created both the “Smartfish” and “Smartcraw” to cover just about every possible baitfish imitation and presentation an angler might consider. Let’s take a closer look at where the “Smartcraw” fits into our repertoire shall we?

 

 

 

(Kamooki Smartcraw) Specifications
Type Lipless crankbait/rattlebait
Length 3”
Weight ½ oz
Material
Hooks Premium black nickel VMC treble
Colors 6 colors
Origin Alberta, Canada
MSRP $12.99 Canadian funds
Smartcraw pike

When retrieved, the SmartCraw® displays a wide lazy wobble with accentuated side to side motion. The SmartCraw® is specifically designed to emit a natural clicking sound. When the SmartCraw® is vertically jigged, it vibrates as the rod tip is raised and slowly flutters down when the rod tip is dropped – all the while tracing forward in a circular pattern.

 

The Kamooki Smartcraw is incredibly innovative and beyond unique, but as far as quality is concerned I can’t speak highly enough about it. So much thought was put into creating this fine crankbait as it has become, in my opinion, the gold standard in modern hardbait manufacturing. The finish and level of detail are what you would come to expect from lures retailing for twice the retail price. The Smartcraw comes equipped with an oval split ring and a high end black nickel VMC treble hook. Oh, and I forgot mention the ultra-premium rattles didn’t I? Once again, Kamooki Lures ltd. has pulled out all the stops in quality and of course sound. One thing to note is the patented forward weighted, precisely crafted zinc keel which I will expand upon shortly. Lead is harmful to the environment while zinc is not so do no fret as you will not be contaminating our lakes with either the Kamooki Smartcraw or Smartfish.

 

Quality Ratings for (Kamooki Smartcraw)
Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 5 5 5 20 20 10
Smartcraw lineup

The astonishing properties of the SmartCraw® are all utilized when fishing bottom structure. Bounce it along the bottom from one point to the next, accurately simulating the true motion and resting position of a crawfish, unlike any other hard bait. The single treble hook design attached to the tip of the claws, coupled with the constant vertical position, make the SmartCraw® remarkably snag-resistant.

 

 

When I first laid my eyes on both the Smartfish and the Smartcraw I was astounded, speechless and excited. These lures were on display in a tank and one thing was absolutely jaw dropping; these lures perfectly balanced themselves in an upright position on tiny points of contact such as a corner of a rock, wooden limbs and even a small balloon. The next thing that I noticed was the Smartfish were dancing back and forth in the current created by the circulating pump. With this seemed to mimic was a baitfish feeding along the bottom. Later in the year I was informed that Kamooki Lures was coming out with the Smartcraw and that’s when the light went off in my head, its position at rest would mimic a crawfish perfectly.

One thing I am always mindful of is the use of “triggers” when targeting any sportfish. The Smartcraw creates the ultimate “trigger” which is the defensive position of a Crawfish. You see, when a Bass, Walleye or Pike spots a Craw standing with its claws upright like a boxer ready to fight the response is simple, it’s time to eat or at the very least show them who’s boss. This upright position is achieved by the patented forward weighted, bottom heavy design verses its neutrally buoyant qualities. Castability with minimal energy is of no concern as the Smartcraw can be tossed a country mile while the feel and ease of use gets top honors. Either deadstick the Smartcraw or bounce them along bottom, it’s that simple.

Both the super durable body and hardware will stand up against the rigors of any situation you put it through. Bounce it or drag the Smartcraw over rocks, gravel, sand or submerged wood without a care in the world and this lure will stand the test of time and beyond. Monstrous Walleye, huge Bass and veracious toothy Pike are simply no match for this super tough lipless rattling crankbait.

Performance Ratings (Kamooki Smartcraw)
Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 5 5 5 5 25 25 10

 

Every Smartcraw has performed exactly as advertised out of the box for me. Day in, day out I always count on these lures to continue to create a level of realism only found in nature. The natural action, the anatomically correct claws, eyes and body amour truly achieve a presentation so believable, any fish will be fooled during even the harshest of fronts and conditions. Kamooki has rolled out a 1/2oz version of the Smartcraw and I see no need for any major changes. My theory is that a 3” craw is the perfect meal for say, a Smallmouth or a Walleye as this size of meal can be easily digested. One example of this is when I decided to keep a Walleye for table fare. I was shocked to see over a dozen Crawfish in its belly and not one of them exceeded 2-3 inches. That being said, the size and weight are the perfect all around presentation for everything that favors Crawfish. As this is a very young company, more sizes may be added but for now, I’m more than happy with the 3” 1/2oz version.

 

  Consistency(1-5) Weight(1-5) Realism (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 4 5 14 15 10

 

The selling point of the Smartcraw for me is the fact that it obviously lends itself to bottom contact/orientation. The most important aspect here is that I do not fish the Smartcraw more than 6” off bottom. Really, I will only swim it periodically as bouncing it on rocks, sand and gravel seems to be the most effective way to entice Bass, Walleye etc. The clacking sound of the zinc keel coupled with the rattles call fish in from great distances while the erratic wobble sends out vibrations along with a visual cue that drives fish into an absolute frenzy. I will drag/bounce the Smartcraw along and add an erratic pause cadence, allowing it to stand up periodically, mimicking the defensive position I mentioned earlier. This is the key to triggering a response, day in, day out. Color wise, all of the variations has its time and place. Early in the year Craws can be light and vibrant, mid-season they may be more of a muted tone and as the season progresses, Craws can become much darker, blue, purples and dark browns and even black. Kamooki Lures has created color patterns to suit your needs throughout the season in every freshwater lake, river or steam that hold Craws.

Water clarity is an important factor. I encounter muddy, murky water I will go with the gaudy “Inferno” or the high contrasted “Black Fury”, while in clear water I’ll lean towards a natural pattern such as “Purple Rain” or “Envy”. For dusk periods I lean on the dark red “Cayenne” Smartcraw and if I’m fishing in deep water or late in the season on the great lakes I’ll fish the vibrant blue “Cobalt Crunch”. Basically, if a Bass or Walleye coughs up a craw, take a close look and match the color accordingly as all the Smartfish variations have their time and place.

 

 

(Kamooki Smartcraw) Collective Final Rating
Construction/Quality 10  
Performance 10  
Price 10
Features 10
Design (Ergonomics) 10
Application 10  
Total Score 60
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = MUST HAVE  

 

 Well, I have only received a couple perfect grades or scores in my life and I have only given one and this is it. The Kamooki Smartcraw perfectly mimics a crawfish in both its defensive and bottom oriented positions. The castability, action and color patterns are effective and so unique. What else can I say? This is my go-to Crawfish imitator from now to eternity, that’s it, that’s all. I’m counting down the days until I’m sitting on a typical Crawfish haunt, Bass, Walleye beware.

See you out there.

Jamie Wilson

Jamie WIlson- Exist To Fish Lead Writer Editor

Jamie WIlson- Exist To Fish Lead Writer Editor

 

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