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JD_mudbug

Luhr Jensen Speed Trap

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This is an update to an older post. It is long so I made a new post.

Luhr Jensen Speed Trap – old vs. new, and the new Norman Speed N.

Pre-2006 Speed Traps were made in the USA. The new ones are made in China.  I compared 4 old ones to 4 new ones. In my unscientific opinion, I think the new baits are made with the same butyrate plastic and in the same or similar molds. The plastic feels and looks the same. The clear coat on the new baits does appear to be different from the old baits. The clear coat on the new baits is thicker. This resulted in slightly different dimension between the old and new baits.

The diving depth for all 8 models appeared to be around 7’ on 12 lb. Yozuri Hydrid Line. The actions of the new and old baits seem identical. I fished all baits on the same rod with the same reel. The vibration from bait to bait was the same. I was fishing in 7 feet and just ticking the bottom.

The rattle sound seems similar across all 4 pre-2006 baits. Three of the new bait sounded like the pre-2006 baits. One of the new baits seemed a bit fainter than the old ones. The tone of the rattles in all baits is similar.

Molding ‘dents’

All of the old baits and 2 of the new baits have what appear to be small ‘dents’ where the plastic sagged into the body during the manufacturing process. The dents on the older baits were far more numerous and far more pronounced. Two of the new baits had no dents. One new bait had one very slight dent. The other new bait had two very slight dents.

(Older baits)

Pre-2006 - Black - has two dents on the belly in front of the hook hanger, a dent on the starboard side of the nose, and the starboard side of the tail.

Pre-2006 – Metallic Perch - has two dents on the belly in front of the hanger, dents on the starboard side and port side of the nose, a dent on the starboard side of the tail, and a slight dent on the back near the top on the starboard side. This is the oldest bait in the group which I believe was made in the late 90s.

Pre-2006 – Crystal Mudcraw - has two dents on the belly in front of the hanger, a dent on the starboard side of the nose, and a slight dent on the starboard side of the tail.

Pre-2006 – Bluegill Perch (with orange sharpie on belly) - has one large dent on the starboard side of belly in front of the hanger. This dent is the largest and deepest by far. It looks like and inverted water drop. It also has dents on the starboard side and port side of the nose, a dent on the starboard side of the tail, and a slight dent on the back near the top on the starboard side.  

(Newer baits)

Post-2006 – Blue chrome - has no body dents.

Post-2006- Gun Metal Shad – has a very slight dent on the starboard side of the belly in front of the hanger and another very slight dent on the starboard side of the nose.

Post-2006 – Breeding Bluegill - has no body dents.

Post-2006- Mossback Craw  – has a very slight dent on the starboard side of the belly.

Because the few dents on the new baits appear in similar spots to where they occurred in the old baits seems to me that they are still made the same. Luhr Jensen must have figured out a way to mold the bodies with far fewer dents/sags.

Clear coat

On the 4 older baits, the clear coat is thin and uniform with no fish eyes. The clear coat on the newer baits is thicker. There are ‘fish eyes’ in the clear coat on two of the new baits so you can see that it is thicker than the old clear coat. Measuring the length and width of the body and thickness of the lip also indicate the clear coat is thicker on the new baits. The thicker clear coat may increase the durability of the new baits compared to the old ones that would not likely survive an errant cast into an object.

This is not a complaint about these baits. I really like the bait. There are usually at least 5 in my tackle bag in different colors. They are very thin walled and were difficult to manufacture. The quality on the new baits has definitely improved.   I have fished these baits for 20 years and have caught multiple species on them. The new ones and the old ones both are great fish catchers. The have a very tight wiggle that draws some vicious strikes. They are very stable and don’t blow out even on fast retrieves. The only disappointment I have in the new baits is they discontinued the Metallic Perch color - gold chrome perch pattern with the green chrome on the shoulders and orange on the belly. It doesn’t show well in the pics. It is a deadly bait in the Northeast as it looks like several of the local baitfish.

        INCHES     Lip ****  
Pre / Post   OUNCE   Body Body   Port Starboard 
2006 Color Weight*   Length** Width***   Thickness Thickness
pre Black 0.334   2.6135 0.7210   0.0845 0.0845
pre Metallic Perch 0.322   2.6040 0.7185   0.0845 0.0845
pre Crystal Mud Craw 0.328   2.6210 0.7220   0.0840 0.0840
pre Bluegill Perch 0.340   2.6000 0.7205   0.0850 0.0850
  AVG 0.331   2.60963 0.72050   0.08450 0.08450
                 
post Blue Chrome 0.330   2.6460 0.7440   0.0970 0.0970
post Gun Metal Shad 0.363   2.6395 0.7450   0.0950 0.0955
post Breeding Bream 0.341   2.6395 0.7465   0.0955 0.0950
post Mossback Craw 0.358   2.6390 0.7445   0.0960 0.0955
  AVG 0.348   2.64100 0.74500   0.09588 0.09575
                 
Norman Speed N              
New Evoo 0.463   2.69800 0.82400   0.07300 0.73000
                 
* Weight with no hardware.
** Length of body of plastic measured from above tail loop to noise point
*** Body width just behind belly hanger
**** Lip thickness on both sides as close as possible to center hump on the bottom side of the lip

 

Norman Speed N  vs. Lurh Jensen Speed Trap

The Speed N is a new lure very similar to the Speed Trap. The Speed N is close in size to the Speed Trap with a similar action. The Speed N is also made of butyrate.  The Speed Trap is available in more colors. The Speed Trap also has some bluegill colors and chrome colors which the Speed N does not.  Hopefully, Norman will add more colors in the future. The Speed N is made in Guatemala. The Speed Trap is made in China.

The Speed N dove to around 5’ on the same setup that the Speed Trap reached 7’. The Speed N is heavier and casts further than the Speed Trap. The Speed N I purchased had no defects.  The Speed N had a tight wiggle very similar to the Speed Trap. They both have a similar lip design. Like the Trap, the N also did not blow out on a fast retrieve. I could feel the action of the Speed Trap a bit more on my rod tip. I guess I would describe the vibration of the Trap as just a bit crisper compared to the N.

The Speed N did have a different rattle from the Trap. The Speed N makes more of a thud knock rattle. The Speed N has 2 chambers that run horizontally across the bottom of the bait that each house 1 fairly large ball. The balls have a limited range of motion, they can move and knock side-to-side. The Speed Trap has one medium ball in a horizontal chamber on the belly with very limited moment that provides a very subtle knock and a smaller ball free roaming in the open body that gives off a fairly high pitch rattle.

I have only fished with the Speed N one time and caught no fish in 40 degree water so I can’t attest to its ability to catch fish. I have had years of success with the Speed Trap. It would be great to have a successful Speed Trap like lure that can hit shallower water.  It will be interesting to see how the Speed N does next year. Neither lure performs well being dragged across 6 inches of ice.

Jim

speed trap1.jpg

speed trap 2.jpg

speed trap 3.jpg

speed trap 4.jpg

speed trap 5.jpg

speed trap 6.jpg

speed trap 7.jpg

speed trap 8.jpg

Speed Trap v Speed N.jpg

Speed Trap v Speed N 2.jpg

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Thanks for a thorough rundown on those baits.  It sounds like quality control is getting it done.  I am a speed trap fan as well.  Speed traps fish very well here on the California Delta for both Largemouth Bass and Stripers.  I had not heard of the Speed N. Thanks for sharing.

Barry

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I am so glad that I am not the only person that Obsesses over each detail of weight and body...I am no where analytical as you but I have been Obsessing over snap-rings and hook sizes/styles for years now.. I am here to tell you with PVC baits it makes all the difference if you want to really crush them. 

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Wow great write up brutha! I an a speed trap junky and also fish them a lot in the ca delta. They are great baits I would have to say I think most of mine are probably pre 2006. I will be a little more attentive next time I pick one up now. I will also check out that new norman. Thanks for taking the time to do and post this.

Cheers

Matt

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Matt,

If you buy them in person, hold the bait up to a light and look for fisheyes on the lip. I have only found 2 new ones with fisheyes. I never noticed the fisheyes until I compared the old vs new baits. The new baits with fisheyes on the lips also have a small fish eye or 2 on the body towards the tail which can be hard to spot on the busier paint jobs. I often forget to look over baits in a store before I buy them. I never bothered to touch up the clear coat on those lips, but I did on the body fisheyes to protect the paint. Most of the new ones are well made. The body dents, even the large dents on the old baits, don’t affect the action. 

 

Mark,

I remember your Speed Traps. They are impressive. Your pumpkinseed paint job on one of those would be deadly. Did you use polycarbonate for the lip?

For more authenticity, you could have carved in a molding dent.  :)

When I find a lure I really like, I tend to buy a lot of backups. So, I have not had the need to make one yet. Over the past 5 years, I have started doing more pike/musky fishing. So, I have been making mostly larger hardbaits, inlines, and spinnerbaits.  At some point, I plan on attempting a bigger Speed Trap that keeps the same tight wiggle. 

Happy New Year,

Jim

 

Edited by JD_mudbug
typo
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