Fishing stories, Freshwater, Reviews, Stuff we've learnt, Trout

Fanatik soft plastics: product review (plus a few photos from a recent high country mission)

One nice thing about having a fishing blog is that, from time to time, we are sent a bit of gear to review. We have always been completely honest about this, which I think is great in terms of maintaining a sense of independence and objectivity. It allows us to be really critical of certain things, while others may be wedded to certain brands, product lines, contracts and allegiances. The latest bit of gear we were lucky enough to receive was from Fanatik baits.

My first impression was how generous these guys were! I opened the package and found about 10 packs of assorted plastics. I had mentioned I was interested in natural colours, and sizes between about 2 and 4 inches, and these guys didn’t disappoint. I was confronted with a lovely array of greens, browns and purples, and four or five different patterns and sizes. My initial thought was how good these things looked in the pack – but looks can be deceiving. Luckily, in this case, the lures felt good ‘out of the bag’; nice and soft, but fairly tough and stretchy. I think this is what you want in a plastic: some of the local Australian and also the US brands can be a bit too soft, and while this is great for the action of the plastics, it can get frustrating discarding a plastic after every fish or so.

Super cool

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. It took a while for me to get around to giving these things a go, but I was confident they would catch fish just by looking at them. The yabby pattern (‘Raider’), and the goby pattern, in particular, looked perfect for Australian species ranging from bass to flathead, bream to barra, and everything inbetween. Somewhat frustratingly, the first session that I could use these plastics was actually while chasing trout up in the NSW alpine region. I managed a few small ones on the yabby pattern, but wanted more.

I had recently ‘discovered’ a little trout stream a long way from any public roads, and while out hunting one day saw a few good trout rising in a small pool. A few weeks later I was back to give the fanatik plastics a proper go, and once again, they didn’t disappoint. It took a while to get the first fish; a lovely rainbow trout around 3lb. The fish ate a green yabby pattern on a light jig head.

Fanatik for the win!

I’m yet to fully test the rest of the plastics, but if they work as well as the yabby I’m sure they’ll be deadly on a whole range of Australian species, as well as proving their worth on our controversial but revered introduced species. My only criticism was that the yabby lost on of its claws after a few hits from smaller fish, but that’s par for the course when you’re fishing with plastics with dangly bits. Generally, they are nice and tough and life-like. They’re also a bit cheaper than some other brands around, so I’d certainly recommend giving them a go. I think they will really come into their own on bream, bass, yellowbelly, EPs, trout and redfin, but would also be very effective on flathead, salmon and tailor and pretty much any other aggressive fish that will take a placcy.

I’ve spiked a few spinnerbaits with these models and had some success. I reckon they’d be great on the south coast flathead population.

Thanks to Jeremy for sending them to us for review – much appreciated! We’ll no doubt be mentioning them again as they prove their worth on a broader range of Australian species.

And thanks for reading. If you have gear you want us to review, get in touch at

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