Bagley Baits has always been known for its variety. But with countless models and color options created over the years, it was almost too much of a good thing. Focus has been one of the key elements Don Hultstrand and his team brought to the company upon their arrival in 2014.
“Back in the day down in Florida, Jim Bagley could go in the back with a couple of buddies and make up a few colors of anything they wanted,” said Don Hultstrand. “And that’s nice, but it’s not practical today. To produce products, you have to focus on what you’re doing and do it well.”
One of the old models that were extremely well received was the Bagley B Flat. A flat-sided crankbait with a tight action that worked extremely well in tough, cold water conditions. This was a bait that Bagley wanted to build on.
The Background of the Flat Balsa B2
“But the way it was made back in the day, we did want to change a bit. So we don’t call it the B Flat but the Flat Balsa B2 instead. It’s a really effective bait for spring and fall when fish can be a little lethargic. It’s a stimulator bait, I use it personally up in Minnesota. The smallmouth will not leave it alone.”
Over the last decade, Bagley completely overhauled its production process. Moving from lathing baits to pressing balsa wood blanks with heated molds to form and essentially cook the baits.
“It’s really unique, nobody else does it. The only negative is that the molds are expensive. So we can’t make as many different models.”
This compression not only makes the baits stronger, but it also creates little channels for a hook harness and cavities for small strips of lead to be added.
“Because of the way we can weight it on the inside, the Flat Balsa B2 is really well balanced and throws beautifully.”
The lip of the Flat Balsa B2, as well as Bagley’s other lipped baits, is still cut and glued in the same as it has been done for years. But when asked to go into detail on the placement of the lead strips inside the Flat Balsa B2, Hultstrand understandably declined to go into great detail.
“Now that gets a little private. It’s a fair question but we don’t want to give too much away.”
The Internal Difference of the Flat Balsa B2
Hultstrand did reveal that the hook harness wire runs the length of the Flat Balsa B2, and says that feature is standard throughout their mold pressed baits now. However, in some baits, the wire will S around because of the location of the lead chambers. This is a must at times to open up space in the necessary locations for lead chambers in order to create the desired action.
“In the old process, you had that belly weight and that was it. You couldn’t even weight a tail. If you tried to drill the tail to put some lead in it, the wood would split. Now we can put little tiny slivers of lead almost anywhere in the bait. So if you want something that is a little tail heavy or nose heavy or sometimes even top-heavy to get a more distinct wobble, you can do that. It just depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the bait.”
Though all the details of the Flat Balsa B2 can’t be divulged, it is certainly a bait well crafted that will generate bites when other baits can’t, just like its predecessor the Bagley Flat B. With a thin and tall shad profile, tight action and weight in the exact location(s) necessary, the Flat Balsa B2 is the bait you’ll need when you need it most.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.