3:16 Lure Company - Shad
Author: Rob Belloni
The 3:16 Shad was one of the earlier true shad imitating swimbaits. It was first released in 2003 along with the 3:16 Bluegill. The bait is 5" long and weighs 1.85oz. There are two colors available; a green shad and a blue shad. The 3:16 Shad features the "block and tube" harness which allows the lure to slide up the line once a bass is hooked. Baits retail for around $12 and come stock with a 1/0 Owner Stinger treble hook.
When I think about the 3:16 Shad, the first word that comes to mind is functionality. This is a functional, low maintenance lure. You thread your line through the nose, tie on your hook, fire it out and fish. It doesn't take any special tweaking or modification to make it work right, and everything is ready to go straight out of the package. With the block and tube harness, you're able to get many fish per lure despite the fact that the bait is made from soft plastic. You can catch 15 bass on the 3:16 Shad, which is more than can be said for most small, soft plastic swimbaits.
The two Shad colors are both transparent and infused with pearl plastics and holographic flake. These baits have a nice sheen to them, and they throw a good amount of flash in the sunlight. The oversized eyeball is a matter of angler preference, but I think it fits the bait well. The Triple Trout and the Big Hammer both feature oversized eyes, and those lure have a track record that speaks for itself.
I always jump for joy when I see hooks that don't need to be replaced. The 3:16 comes with a 1/0 Owner that matches the bait just right. There is no reason to switch this hook out for something else. The split rings appear to be the extra strength variety and you'll probably be fine with them. If you are feeling paranoid you could upgrade to a #5 or #6 Owner Hyperwire split ring.
The action on the 3:16 Shad is a rolling body wobble, with steady tail kicks. The body wobble is what I call "secondary action' and I'm a fan of any lure that has secondary action. When more than one part of a lure is moving I believe that an illusion of life is created. It's like a rubber skirted jig with a twin tail trailer. The skirt pulses and the legs flutter as the jig moves. The secondary action of the skirt moving can be the key to getting bit.
A final thing worth mentioning with the Shad is longevity in the tackle box. I don't always get to write about this in the reviews, but I've had these lures since they came and despite being piled high in my Plano 3730 box, they still swim straight after all these years. There's something to be said for that.
On the sink, the 3:16 Shad rolls left or right and falls with an awkward motion. So if you are counting the bait down before the retrieve, you lose some effectiveness at the beginning of the cast. You can fish this lure down deep, but it's just an awkward exercise. I find that when I use the bait, I just cast out, put it in gear, and start winding.
The block on the shad is black which always struck me as odd. I'd consider painting your blocks white or flat gray to match the belly if you are serious about these baits.
Over the years this has been a quiet bait, but I have heard of some solid catches on the CA Delta and in Texas. It's one of these baits that hasn't lit the world on fire, but at the same time there are some fishermen who have found the right situations for it. If you're looking for a functional, easy to fish large shad imitator, this is one to try.