The Megabait Charlie Sr. came out in the summer of 2003. You can tell, looking at the head of the bait that it's origin is the Original Megabait Charlie, but about half way back things get a lot different. There is no bill, and there are 8 slits in the tail to give the bait a really wide tail kick at slow speeds. The internals of the bait are very interesting. There is a hard plastic head with two hook harnesses coming off of it, and the entire rigging is then covered in soft plastic. You get a continuity of color on the outside, with the rigidity of hard plastic in the head.
The first thing you're going to notice when you fire out the Charlie Sr. is that this bait likes to stay on top. The tail is really big compared to the size of the bait and that pulls the bait up to the surface in an instant. The 10" wants to sink more, but the 8" really stays on top. If you have fish that are surface oriented and want a wake bait, the Charlie Sr. can be a good bet. This bait also has good night fishing possibilities because it throws a huge wake at a slow speed on top, and best of all it comes stock with two hooks.
I give Megabait a lot of credit for finally coming up with a stock two hook system on a rubber bait. It's not perfect, but it beats a lot of what's out there. The first version of the lure used a metal piece imbedded in the lure to hold the second hook. You can see that in the 8" bait photo above. I liked this setup because it kept the hooks apart and hid most of the rigging. Apparently though there were some problems with this metal piece weakening and breaking off. So the current baits use a piece of heavy wire with crimps (see 10" bait photo). This setup shows a little more of the rigging but I'd much rather land what bites I get than risk losing one big fish to a broken harness, so I'd say this is a good improvement.
The colors on these baits are layered to produce a changing appearance as the bait moves against the angle of the sunlight which is pretty interesting. The pearl white one is very nice. Some of the other colors are not exactly dead on trout colors, but they certainly look alive in the water.
The other thing to talk about is tuning. From the baits I have and the baits my friends have thrown, the consensus has been that they all run very well out of the package and don't require any tuning. That's one of the benefits of mass production when you have something that works perfectly, you can clone it over and over.
The last thing to check out on these baits is the internal rattle chamber. A tip from Mike Long (who provided a lot of input on the bait) is that you can cut a small hole to access the rattle chamber and then add or remove some large split shot to control the fall.
Not a lot to say here in the bad department. You just have to take this bait for what it is, which is a surface bait. Don't expect it to be fishable any deeper than about 2' unless you weight it.
With the 8" bait in heavy wind and chop, the tail is so far out of the water that it can skip and loose traction, so you kind of have to slow it down in heavy chop. The 10" bait is considerably heavier so it stays down better. You'll need a big hefty rod for the 10" bait as well. It will wear you out on light tackle.
Adding a few neutral colors to the lineup would be nice, but from a marketability standpoint, neutral boring colors don't catch as many fisherman as they do fish.
Notes You should also take a minute to read Nico's review on the forum.