With all of the crawfish-shaped soft plastics flooding the market these days, it’s tempting to think they’re all the same. I totally get it; how many times can you reinvent the wheel? It can be tough to find consistent innovation in the soft plastic market.
I’ve been testing the Biwaa Armored Craw for the last few months and have found it to be a unique option as both a jig trailer and a Texas-rigged pitching and flipping bait. After using it on both larger reservoirs and smaller ponds, I can comfortably say that I’ve found a new addition to my soft plastics collection.
What you’ll like about it
I always say there’s more to a soft plastic than meets the eye; there are only so many ways you can imitate a crawfish. As I dug down deeper into the different design aspects of the Biwaa Armored Craw, however, I found several key characteristics that will help anglers catch more fish.
It’s important to note that this isn’t a large bait by any means. The Armored Craw comes in 3 and 4-inch sizes and although I’ve been testing the larger one, its profile is still fairly diminutive; roughly half of its length comes from the oversized pinchers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though.
It’s the perfect size for a jig trailer. It’s not a chunk-style trailer that you’d simply hang on the bend of the hook. Instead, you’re able to thread the entire body onto the hook for a compact profile that holds up excellently to repeated skips, pitches and flips. I’ve been using it on the back of several different jigs throughout my testing and it’s quickly becoming a go-to option when the bass are in a negative mood.
You’ll also appreciate its productivity when you’re flipping and pitching it to heavy cover on a Texas rig. The 4-inch model matches perfectly with a 3/0 Gamakatsu Offset Shank EWG hook, with the hook taking up almost all of the body. This results in an excellent hookup ratio because whenever a fish bites, it’s almost impossible for them to miss the hook. It’s hugely productive on post-frontal days when the bites are super light and difficult to detect. There’s no need to hesitate on the hookset eitherâwhen you feel the bite, set the hook immediately and you’ll connect almost every time.
Anglers will also notice the strong scent of the Armored Craw. It’s covered with Biwaa’s non-toxic B2a scent formula that, in my experiences thus far, help the fish hold on to the bait a little longer. Will it make fish swim from several feet away to eat the bait? I don’t know about that, but I can certainly say that the fish have been holding onto the Armored Craw for several seconds before spitting it out.
The scent isn’t as strong as some other soft plastics, which I actually like. They’re not going to stink up your boat, your tackle back or your fingers. But it is quite effective at covering the overwhelming plastic smell you’ll find on some baits.
My experiences with it
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been testing this bait in several different bodies of water with consistent success. We’ve had some really crazy weather fronts come through my area lately and the Armored Craw has continued to produce for me.
I am hugely impressed by how well this bait skips. Dock fishing is a really big deal around my area, so I’ve always made an effort to use soft plastics that skip easily and efficiently. The diamond-shaped underbelly of the Armored Craw has a lot of surface area which allows it to skip like a pebble with minimal effort. The pinchers rarely get “caught” on the water’s surface, which facilitates seamless casts for anglers of all skill levels. Due to its small size, you’ll also be able to use it on spinning gear with no problems whatsoever.
In regards to durability, the body of the Armored Craw is quite dense and holds up very well to several fish catches. You’ll lose a pincher periodically, especially when you’re around bluegill, but it’s definitely no worse than any other crawfish-imitation bait I’ve tested.
When the bait is at rest underwater, the pinchers stand up and imitate the natural defensive posture of a threatened crawfish. I’ve used a lot of baits in the past that claim to do this, but few do it as consistently as this particular bait. It doesn’t seem to matter how the bait settles onto the bottom, either. I’ve tinkered with it a lot in shallow water and I’ve yet to find a way that the pinchers won’t float.
I’ve also had a lot of success using the Armored Craw as a jig trailer. It allows jigs to skip with ease and because it’s not a particularly heavy bait, it doesn’t really mess with the fall rate of your favorite jigs.
This is a very solid choice for both jigs and Texas rigs. While it’s not a large bait by any means, its realism and castability totally makes up for it. Priced at $5.99 per pack, it’s a little more expensive than some other options out there, but its productivity helps justify the higher price point.