Homemade flat sides were a well guarded secret among touring professional bass anglers for decades. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’ve had a lot of fun this year with one in particular from PH Custom Lures called the “Lowen’s” Dollar Bill that was designed by bass fishing professional and shallow crankbait guru Bill Lowen.
Lowen is a master at catching bass shallow on a crankbait and he’s done it with an intimate knowledge of actions and retrieves with various crankbaits from wide wobbling balsa square bills to tight running plastic crankbaits and finally got to put his stamp on a limit getting small flat sided balsa bait.
The Dollar Bill is 2 1/2 inches long and weighs 5/16 ounce, but it fishes like a bigger bait. It has a thump you can feel, it throws really well on medium-sized baitcasting gear and gets to a good depth.
The bait will slowly rise on the pause. It has more of a float which can be key especially when fishing in dirtier and colder water. But it’s equally effective in warmer waters, on rip rap, around laydowns and stumps and I’ve caught a few bass around brush piles as well on it.
It has a very natural profile and swim in the water. It’s definitely a limit getter, but I think it really excels when the bass are feeding on forage on shallow rocky banks. I caught bass in the cold waters of February and much warmer waters in April. So it’s been a good bait for a wide window of bass fishing.
The weight balance in the bait makes it unique. It has a good dive angle, floats over cover slowly after contact, and it fished well on baitcasting tackle. A lot of small flat sides of this nature can be difficult to fish on baitcasting gear. I fished the PH Custom Lures Dollar Bill on a Megabass Levante Flatside Special rod and also on a Daiwa Tatula ML Cranking rod. I fished it mostly on 10-pound or 12-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon.
My favorite colors are Brown Mudbug, Chartreuse Mud Bug and Splatter Back. It comes in 8 colors on tacklewarehouse.com. These are handmade and hand painted individually. So a lot of time goes into making them, weighting them, painting them and clear coating them to make the ultimate tournament ready fish getter of a flat side crankbait.