Gan Craft Jointed Claw 178 Glide Baits
Regarding the Gan Craft Jointed Claw 178 Glide Baits (floating version) those of you fishing these....what modifications do you make to these baits to improve the performance.....change hooks?......use snap swivels....split rings for line attachment? Any weights added such as the stick on or wire around treble hooks?
Also, what colors are generating more bites for you folks....West coast areas and East coast areas?
What are you storing these baits in...what containers? Please inlcude photos with your replies.
Okay, this could get deep… Take note I am no expert, just a hobbyist that happens to hold a share of Gan Craft. Just sharing thoughts, take it for what it’s worth.
Suspend dots, strips, something of the like, sure, why not. But don’t bother sinking the 178F. For real, just get an SS and be done with it. Much simpler. The 178SS likes fluoro, 15lb true test, or 12lb if you like, maybe even 10lb but I wouldn’t. The 178F demands braid, 20lb for me on the rare chance I actually throw it, or 15lb if you like, maybe even 10lb but I wouldn’t. I had discussions with a fellow about a week back on just this very topic. I do use a clip, usually, but sometimes just tie direct on 178ss (never 230’s though) but only if I intend retrieving jerkbait style. Which is quite fun. Otherwise, when used as intended, quick quarter turns of the handle, maybe a light rod twitch from time to time, super quick pause, basically make them just a touch erratic, while never giving up that quick constant side to side pump. In the purest sense, the profile responds best to simple sharp quarter turns of the handle. Or maybe third turns perhaps. But nothing about a 178 is chuck and wind. Nor 230 for that matter. That’s not what they do.
My advice is fish them stock. You’re not the first to think 1/0 on 178’s, either F/SS, I tried it myself, didn’t feel it, too much hook. For perspective, the 230 comes stock 1/0 up front, the 178 does not. Proceed if you must, but to me it’s a crutch. It adds weight, but also adds drag. I don’t like that.
Expanding things, from what I gather reading comments here or there, it seems most who don’t care for JC’s think their joints are too tight. As if Gan Craft doesn’t know what they’re doing. And I suppose if compared to common perception relating to many jointed options available, they probably are. Though HPH for example, sought after, hand built, gorgeous, expensive, are even tighter. A lot tighter. But, apparently, HPH are awesome and Gan Craft sucks. Never been able to figure that out. It is my contention that the ’too tight’ mantra following JC’s is hogwash. There, I wrote it. They twitch, they dart, they’re streamlined, they’re light, they’re responsive, relative to size at least, are obtainable, and offered in numerous colors. Plus, they come stock with what I consider to be the best after-market hardware available.
Comparison of JC’s vs other manufactured offerings are absurd since all designed baits have unique design attributes. These are not some hand built made to look pretty that if thrown long enough is bound to get bit so someone can brag about it. No. Years of testing have gone into these, and they have specific design attributes. Rather than fight it, embrace it. And consider this; they sell like wildfire all over the planet. Their design has remained constant for years, and expanded upon with variety from sizing, to suspension, to props, to wings, the list grows.
Anyway, 178’s, out the box, Owner hardware. Me like. Yes, I’ve toyed with all sorts of (insert 4 letters here), had failure, success, jubilation, cuss sessions, etc. But there is no handbook on how to squeeze with these. Gan Craft are specific in my experience. Line type and/or size can have a druhhh-matic effect. One might not think a single test size variance would matter all that much, but to Gan Craft it often does. Your stick, your line, to some extent your reel, all must be calculated. Forget about forcing the issue, that’s patchwork, anything you gain will be lost somewhere since every give has a take.
I have no photos to share, and if I did it proves nothing. Words can’t describe how little I care if I’m the only one on the planet using these. I want them all to myself. But maybe allow me to expand for a moment, with regard to 178’s since I’m on topic, about how little use I see for other sizes. There. I wrote it. The 148 is less of the same, the 128 less still, and no fish that would eat a 128 won’t eat a 148, and no fish that would eat a 148 won’t eat a 178. In my mind at least. We’re only talking 20-50mm here, I mean come on. If it’s running right, it’s running right. If you choose split ring, rather than clip, feel free to double it up. Or triple it, pick a size, any size, but start with stock hardware first. Even a small barrel swivel, short heavy fc/mono leader, but that’s an in the wind thing for me to help prevent thinner braid from grabbing forward treble mostly. There is no one correct answer here. Other than not using a 1/0 forward on 178’s. In my opinion. Unless I’m missing something. Oh, and that little 70 is ridiculous btw. Cute, but ridiculous. That written, in recognition of smaller aggressive species, Crappie for instance, would certainly destroy a well-articulated 70. Aggressive little bastards. But how you’d fish that little thing I have no idea. Maybe 1/8th handle turns or something I don’t know. But for my preference, I see no use for jointed baits of such size. I’d rather manipulate a non-joint version of some kind. That way I can actually feel it. Of which, I can feel a 178 at length, but can’t hardly feel a 148 so I don’t bother.
If forced to outline a ‘how to’ dialog then line matters most, stick matters a closer than you think second, and reel whatever you can make work. Given you appear to be having issues, I suggest downsizing your line as a first step. It’s intriguing how heavier line can choke a bait, how lighter line can release it. Sometimes slight variance can make an impactful difference. Of course, you’re limited to water and target. Depending on where you’re at, what you’re after, these might not be your bait. And if forced to suggest an absolute outlier, I’d venture true test 17/18lb fluoro, though not 20lb, and for no reason heavier than 30lb braid. To put this in perspective, even the 230’s are designed to be fished with 20-30lb braid. And we’re discussing 178’s.
Ah, just reread your post, colors same variance as cranks or jerkbaits or anything else. Not too bright as a general rule. You can probably find 178’s in fifty different variations I bet. Get a handful, that’ll be enough. Storing them in Plano with slots big enough, I don’t know which model exactly. Keep them out of constant prolonged direct sunlight, no different than anything else. I always take a drill bit to new containers to create vents for vapors to escape though. Depending on slot layout I might end with 10 or 20 ports surrounding the perimeter. Usually quarter inch, nothing too crazy.
Apologies on ramble. Good luck.
@one-love can always count on you for a good long read with great info. Outstanding man…🤘🏼