The best-sell­ing lures of Gene Larew and Bobby Gar­land

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - ED GODFREY’S OUTDOORS -

Here is a glance at the most pop­u­lar baits pro­duced by Gene Larew Lures and Bobby Gar­land Baits, which is based in Tulsa on his­toric Route 66.

Larew Salt Craw

The Salt Craw was in­tro­duced in 1983. It got its name from the fact that it has salt cooked into its for­mu­la­tion. Larew was suc­cess­ful in patent­ing the salt im­preg­na­tion process in soft plas­tic baits in 1985.

Al­though the patent has since ex­pired, salt in­jec­tion re­mains an im­por­tant part of Larew’s man­u­fac­tur­ing process to­day with the in­gre­di­ent go­ing into all of its bass soft plas­tics. The 4-inch Salt Craw is the most pop­u­lar size. The lure is of­ten found near the top of lists nam­ing the best bass lures of all time.

Larew Bif­fle Bug

The 4 ¼-inch Bif­fle Bug, the idea of Ok­la­homa pro an­gler Tommy Bif­fle, is a crea­ture bait with a hol­low body, hy­per­ac­tive swim­ming legs and patented cupped tail that’s wide at the base and ta­pers to a nar­row tip.

With legs on, the Bif­fle Bug is the per­fect swim­ming bait for a va­ri­ety of pre­sen­ta­tions. Pinch the legs off and the lure be­comes the per­fect glide bait. When rigged on the Bif­fle HardHead, it be­comes vir­tu­ally a soft-plas­tic crankbait.

The lure’s cupped tail pro­vides a unique ac­tion re­gard­less of tech­nique. Bif­fle wanted the bait aero­dy­nam­i­cally per­fect for pitch­ing and with a hol­low body so he could add a rat­tle and/or scent in­side. The Bif­fle Bug is presently Larew’s top-sell­ing lure.

Larew Bif­fle Hardhead

The HardHead fea­tures a foot­ball-shaped weight with a free-swing­ing hook at­tached to it.

The hook is an Owner black nickel chrome wide gap J-hook. Its strength and sharp­ness were crit­i­cal fac­tors in Tommy Bif­fle’s se­lec­tion of this par­tic­u­lar hook.

The head is then pow­der­coated with a durable an­tique-style black and cop­per color-fin­ish that com­ple­ments the most pop­u­lar soft plas­tic hues.

Larew Wheeler Ham­mer Craw

The 3 ½-inch Ja­cob Wheeler Ham­mer Craw has a solid, seg­mented body that is deep enough to con­tain a heavy-duty flip­ping hook and to also firmly stay in place when used as a trailer on any swim jig.

It has a ribbed belly for vi­bra­tion and Larew’s proven swim­ming legs that kick at all re­trieve speeds from su­per slow to fast burn­ing. Wheeler, a pro an­gler from Ten­nessee, calls it the most ver­sa­tile bait in his arse­nal be­cause it can be added to a va­ri­ety of lures to pro­vide more ac­tion or sta­bi­liza­tion, or it can be fished alone.

Gar­land Baby Shad/ Baby Shad Swim’ R

The 2-inch Baby Shad and 2 ¼-inch Baby Shad Swim’ R share a min­now-like body and long flex­i­ble tail that seem to al­ways be wig­gling in an en­tic­ing man­ner. The Swim’ R ver­sion has a tiny swim foot at the tip of its tail and a slit de­signed into its belly to hold scent.

The swim­ming ac­tion of both baits make them suit­able for all crap­pie fish­ing tech­niques, in­clud­ing trolling, cast­ing and jig­ging, and for use with a va­ri­ety of jig­head styles and weights. The orig­i­nal 2-inch Baby Shad is among the top sell­ers of all soft plas­tics in the fresh­wa­ter lure cat­e­gory.

Gar­land Crap­pie Shoot’ R

De­signed like the per­fect skipping stone but with a fall­ing ac­tion re­sem­bling a stressed shad or bait­fish, the 1 ½-inch Crap­pie Shoot’ R is com­pact, smooth bod­ied and aero­dy­namic so it flies and skips straight when “shot” bow and ar­row style us­ing spin­ning gear.

It’s made to shoot un­der docks, swim plat­forms and other low-hang­ing cover where other tech­niques sim­ply can’t reach.

Gar­land Pile Diver

The Bobby Gar­land 2 ½inch Pile Diver is de­signed for fish­ing in and around a crap­pie’s fa­vorite hide­out — the brush pile. The soft-plas­tic lure has a round, solid body with ribs that cre­ate vi­bra­tion upon con­tact with limbs and other struc­ture to give the en­tire body life.

On the Pile Diver’s sides are short, stubby arms to pro­vide a subtle quiv­er­ing ac­tion whether the bait is on the move or at rest. They stay tight along­side the body, adding to the pro­file but not over­pow­er­ing it.


Tommy Bif­fle of Wagoner holds a small­mouth bass that he caught on his Bif­fle Bug.

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