A lot of the soft plastics I’ve tested aren’t as versatile as I’d like; I mainly attribute that to their size. The Gene Larew Hammer Craw is 3 1/2 inches long, which allows me to fish it in several different ways.
It pairs wonderfully with both a 3/0 and 4/0 Offset EWG hook, which gives me the option to finesse or power fish based on the current conditions. If I’m looking for a more subtle approach, I’m able to rig it on a light-wire 3/0 hook and a 1/8-ounce tungsten. I’ll opt for this approach when the conditions are a bit tougher on glass-smooth, bluebird days. I can pitch it to sparse cover and scattered shoreline vegetation and get some of those post-frontal bass to commit.
When I’m targeting the really thick stuff, such as heavy laydowns and thicker vegetation, I can bump up my hook size to a heavy-wire 4/0 hook and rig it with a 3/16 or 3/8-ounce tungsten. This allows me to make short pitches and aggressive hooksets without worrying about bending my hook.