Lipless crankbaits: Snagless Flatt Shad

Lipless crankbaits: Snagless Flatt Shad

Feb 4, 2012

Kriet tangoes in the tangles with the Snagless Flatt Shad

Lipless crankbaits are some of the deadliest bass baits around. Unfortunately, their design limits their effectiveness in fallen or flooded trees and tangles where bass love to hide.

Patrick Sebile, founder of Sebile Innovative Lures, developed his own unique lipless crankbait, the Flatt Shad, in the early years of the company. It has been one of his hottest sellers worldwide. (See Flatt Shad story below)

Many regard Patrick Sebile the most innovative lure designer in the world today. Pure Fishing purchased Sebile Innovative Fishing Lures in February, but Sebile continues to design lures for the company.

Two years ago, he developed a “snagless” version of the Flatt Shad. It featured a feathered tail and a twin belly hook with points riding upward toward the belly to enable it to work well through the tangles.

Sebile handed prototypes to several bass anglers on his pro staff, including Bassmaster Elite Series star Jeff Kriet.

Sebile had thrilled to the prospect of his pros casting the Flatt Shad into places where few lipless crankbaits had gone before – and from which even fewer had escaped! That’s why he was surprised when he heard nothing back from Kriet.

When the two met last winter on a reservoir in Texas, Sebile learned why.

“To be honest, I’ve been taking off the belly hook and replacing it with a treble,” Kriet confessed. “I just didn’t think there was any chance you could get a fish with that hook.”

Sebile was dumbfounded and nearly in shock. Finally, he decided the best thing he could do was show Kriet what he had been missing.

Working the bait through tough cover, Sebile quickly boated five bass to Kriet’s none.

“That was enough,” recalls Kriet. He swallowed his pride, tied on aFlatt Shad Snagless, and went to work.

“After that it was all over for me,” laughs Sebile. “Once Jeff learned how to fish the Flatt Shad Snagless, he left no fish for the poor guy in the back of the boat.”

Kriet speculates today that the “Snagless” just might have earned him the winning poundage over Kevin VanDam fishing over grass at the Lay Lake Classic…if he had only had faith.

That’s Patrick Sebile’s hand showing off the Flatt Shad Snagless, but the bass is mine! --MP

Epilogue: Eleven days before the 2011 Classic in New Orleans, I fished with Patrick Sebile on a small lake in Polk County, Florida. He urged me to cast the Snagless into some bassy-looking  deadfall. Like Kriet, I had doubts. As I prepared for my first cast, I thought, “No way that bait will make it through the timber.”

And it didn’t. Mainly because a bass stopped it on my second crank!

Flatt Shad Family:Silent Killers

Who knows? Maybe the Sebile Flatt Shad Snagless would have given Jeff Kriet just enough of an edge to top Kevin VanDam at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic. But the truth is that Kriet already had a Flatt Shad to thank for his impressive second place finish on the ultimate bass fishing stage.

The Sebile Flatt Shad that garnered the lion’s share of his tournament weight was mightily effective in the February event even with its standard twin treble hooks catching in the tops of young vegetation.

Kriet was fishing highly pressured waters at that Classic with at least seven of the world’s top pros working the Beeswax Creek arm of Lay Lake for much of the competition. Most were fishing lipless crankbaits!

Pressured water usually requires something “a little bit different” – and that’s what the Flatt Shad provided.

The Flatt Shad has a curvilinear shape that makes it distinctive from other lipless baits. Its hydrodynamic design allows it to swim even at slow speeds.

“Silence” is golden

Also unique is that Flatt Shads have no rattles.

Yes, I said, “NO RATTLES!”

For many anglers, the sound and vibration appeal of a lipless crankbait (a.k.a. “rattle bait”) is why they fish lipless crankbaits in the first place. Yet, for many years, pros have been carrying modified lipless crankbaits with rattles removed or plugged for silence for those occasions when the bass have heard enough of the racket.

Sebile’s Flatt Shad family comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes.

Sebile’s Flatt Shad Snagless 66 SK

The Flatt Shad is already rattle-free. Its effective action even at the slow speeds often required in cold weather makes it a deadly demon when gamefish are holding deep and tight to bottom and aren’t in the mood for commotion of any type. I’ve had excellent success with the Flatt Shad in late fall on small waters, mostly by working the bait evenly across the bottom on a slow retrieve.

You can cover water with the Flatt Shad family. They are heavy baits, easy to cast long distances. They come in sinking, suspending and even an “X-heavy sinking” model and in sizes ranging from a recently added 1-3/8-inch version to a magnum five incher.

The colors and finishes are unique and widely varied, too. They include scale-like metallic finishes for wild fish-like flash as well as “Possessed” versions featuring scale-like sparkles in a liquid medium exposed in a transparent encasement. Check out the “Blood Red” models as well.

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