Tackle Reviews

Bill Lewis SB-57 Squarebill Crankbait Review

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Squarebills are some of the most versatile and effective tools in a power fisherman’s belt. It’s a bait you can lock into your hand and fish a wide range of cover for a wide range of size fish. The digging and rooting action of a squarebill gets it down into cover where a big bass is living, but it’s presented in a small enough package so that any size fish can eat it.

I’m a big fan of squarebills and always on the lookout for a new one that I like. The SB-57 has been out a while now and I’ve been fishing with it for 7 or 8 months myself. I’ve been really impressed with this squarebill so far and here’s why.

(1 of 5)

Hooks

As soon as I get a new squarebill, lipless crankbait or medium-diving crankbait I’ll almost always change the hooks out to Mustad Triple Grips. For any small bait like these that a fish can easily suck all the way into its mouth, Triple Grips are hard to beat. They just have a great locking quality where once they dig in, there’s little chance of them coming out until you want them to.

With the Bill Lewis SB-57, there’s no change required. These squarebills come stock with two large Triple Grips that are the perfect size to not hook one another while also giving you the maximum firepower possible. 

(2 of 5)

Bill design

The bill is made of a circuitboard material, which I’m a big fan of. I remember years back when this style lip first came out, I was an instant fan. They’re thinner and stronger than plastic lips and that allows them to cut through the water better and beat and bang off cover without any issues.

Not perfectly square, the bill starts off narrow at the base and then widens to two rounded corners. This design creates a nice wobble and has enough pull to keep the bait’s tail pretty high and effectively make it much more weedless.

With some squarebills with smaller bills, you end up getting hung a lot because the bait doesn’t come through cover with its hooks kind of up and away like they do with the SB-57. So bill design is key not only in the action of the bait, but also in how weedless it is. 

(3 of 5)

Sound

Naturally coming from the same company as the world famous Rat-L-Trap, you know the bait is going to have a wicked sound. I don’t know for sure, and I didn’t want to tear one up to find out, but the bait sounds like it has one big bead in it or maybe two. But the sound it gives off reminds me of some of the big single knocker-type topwaters. It has a really solid but sharp knock to it more than something like a baby’s rattle.

I really like a harder knock like this myself, especially in stained water. It definitely helps the fish locate the bait and something about it just seems to trigger big fish. Most of the time, that’s what I’m throwing a squarebill to try to catch. Small fish will still bite it, but I’m looking for a kicker. So I instantly have confidence in a bait with a hard rattle like this over one with a sharper, shriller one. 

(4 of 5)

Color selection

I really like the paint jobs on these baits. One in particular is the closest thing to another company’s discontinued color that dad and I have been able to find in years. And the bait is just as effective. Unfortunately I can’t tell you which color that is exactly because I’m under a verbal but binding NDA with my dad which, if violated, will result in my first butt whooping in 20 years.

But I will say that’s not the only color that suits my fancy. They did a really good job with the color schemes on these baits and there are a few that I already have a lot of confidence in. 

(5 of 5)

In conclusion

The SB-57 is an instant classic. A well-built bait with a durable and effectively designed lip, stock Triple Grip hooks, great color choices and a sound that will get the juices flowing of any bass it happens to swim by. At $8.99 the bait is priced a little higher than some squarebills but still considerably lower than some as well.

Taking into account the bait has an extra dollar or two worth of hooks on it straight from the factory and is built to outlast lots of other squarebills, the mid-range price point is more than justifiable and may even be a bit low. That makes the Bill Lewis SB-57 Squarebill a good buy in my book. 

The Bill Lewis SB-57 is available at these online retailers and many more: