Lipless crankbaits catch fish year round… pure and simple. So anytime I get to review one, I basically already know it's going to catch them; I just have to take it out on the water and make sure of it. I also like to do a little torture testing on every bait to make sure it's not going to break in half the first time I smack it on the water to knock a little bit of trash off of it.
The Team Ark Elite Z-Series 63mm Lipless Crankbait didn't disappoint throughout my testing; it catches fish and it's durable which is a great start. Let's dive into a few more of the particulars on this really effective bass fishing lure.
I found the hook selection on the Team Ark Elite Z-Series 63mm Lipless Crankbait to be a little peculiar at first glance. I'm normally a big fan of short-shank, triple-grip style hooks for lipless crankbaits and squarebills. I have actually already reviewed a couple of Ark's hard baits in their CT35 Squarebill and MiniDiver, both of which come pre-rigged with Mustad Triple Grips. So I found it interesting they went with another option for a lipless.
But instead of being snooty and swapping the hooks out straight out of the pack and in order to review the bait as is, I left the stock hooks on. I have actually been pleasantly surprised. The Japanese-made Ichikawa Treble Hooks that come on the bait are strong, super sharp and have a different bend to them that has been really effective at keeping fish pinned. Not many folks know about it but a lot of the world's top-tier professional anglers have quietly been throwing Ichikawa hooks for years. These hooks are often sold out and sometimes nearly impossible to find, so to be able to get these hooks stock on an already-good lipless crankbait is an incredible find, if I'm being honest. Several of the well-known pros really try to keep things quiet when it comes to this particular brand of hooks.
Maybe I'm just a creature of habit like most of us. I tend to find a certain type of hook and just stick with it but my experience with the Team Ark Elite Z-Series 63mm Lipless Crankbait has opened my eyes a bit in regards to hard bait hook selection. Maye I need to start giving other hooks a try more often.
Outstanding nose-down action
Not that swimming nose-down is something unique to this lipless bait but it is an integral characteristic all lipless cranks should have. It's worth mentioning that this bait comes through the water column well, with its nose down, which helps tuck the hooks up and out of the way to make the bait as weedless as possible while it's making its way through vegetation and other cover.
This doesn't make the Z63 truly weedless but it does aide in the effort to keep weeds off the bait. When you do get a little something on the lure, you can just give your rod tip a quick twitch and free it up instead of the bait just staying bogged down in vegetation all the time. To reiterate, this trait is something super important in the design of an elite lipless crankbait. This nose-down characteristic won't make it totally snagless around cover; that's pretty much impossible with any lipless crankbait. But I do believe you'll get snagged less on this particular lure than many others in the same category.
A really solid bait that catches a bunch of bass
The Team Ark Elite Z-Series 63mm Lipless Crankbait has a little different rattle to it and seems to catch a bunch of fish. Its extra-large interior rattle chamber allows room for more rattles than you'd normally find in many similar lures, which creates a loud and attention-getting sound during all retrieve speeds.
I think it's definitely worth adding to the rotation; especially if you're a shallow-water angler. There are certainly times when rotating through several different lipless baits with different sounds makes a big difference in drawing strikes from finicky fish or reactivating schools. I have fished a lot of very popular and heavily pressured bass fishing lakes throughout my life and have seen first-hand how big of a difference a small change in sound or profile can make.
You can cast this bait a really long ways, it has a great hookup ratio, it's a durable bait and it has a nice wobble that varies at different speeds of retrieve. Honestly, it's all you could want or expect from of a lipless crankbait. I'll definitely have it rigged and ready for much of the year.