The Lucky Craft Real California 130 came out in late 2007. This 5.5” hard bait weighs 1.25oz and comes in at least 13 colors. In Japan the lure is called the Amago and a different set of color patterns are available.
If you decide to pick one up its going cost you right around $30. Like all Lucky Craft lures the bait comes stock with premium hooks. My Rainbow Trout pattern came with a red front hook and a silver rear hook. The hooks are styled like Gamakatsu 4x’s but are of a different manufacture. Unlike most of the Lucky Craft lineup the bait uses a small silver snap instead of an oval shaped split ring.
Lucky Craft colors are top notch and the Real California 130 is available in many of the tried and true favorites like Chartreuse Shad and Ghost Minnow. Is there a better all-around color than Chartreuse Shad? It’s a tough question.
The brook trout and brown trout patterns are interesting as well. A little on the fanciful side, but there are not many hard baits that come in brook and brown trout patterns - so you are provided with some seldom-seen options here. American Shad is a popular color but Lucky Craft opted for some very ah… blue fins here which gives a strange look.
Like all Lucky Craft baits, The Real California 130 offers super-fine detail. I can only imagine how hard it is to manufacture an open-mouth hardbait this small with the line tie protruding out of the tip of the nose. You’ll notice that the line tie is turned flat, not sure of the rationale there. In any case there’s trademark Japanese precision built in to this lure.
If you’re wondering why the Pros section is so short, it’s because I can’t stop thinking about how weird this lure swims. The oversized pectoral fins make the bait porpoise like … a porpoise. It’s positively bizarre and looks nothing like any freshwater fish a bass might eat. Adding to this up and down action conundrum is the fact that the lure stays rigid as it moves up and down.
The stiffness stems from the tightness of the joints. Great three-piece hardbaits have one thing in common – flexibility. Grab your favorite Triple Trout or Castaic Catch 22’s by the nose and stick the tail straight up in the air. Then notice that the tail is touching or nearly touching your hand. The Real California 130 by comparison is so tight in the joints it flexes like a parenthesis ) not even in a C shape.
If the Real California 130 was looser in the joints you could argue that the twitching action is a positive. The lure does dart in every possible direction when you snap the rod tip (not just up and down). But even then it has this awful rigid look to it. It’s like a jerkbait without a bill. Just strange.
Lucky Craft is one of my favorite lure companies and I can barely imagine life without baits like the LV500 and the Pointer 100, but something went awry with the Real California 130. The lure just has very little fishability factor, and no appeal beyond the flashy look in the package. Hopefully in the future Lucky Craft will come back with a more interesting swimbait option. The potential is there.