Owner has been in the hook business for 20 years and makes some of the best hooks in the industry today, so I was anxious to see what innovations and new designs they would bring to the soft-plastics market. Three of their newest offerings are the Nervous Rex, the Wounded Minnow and the Yuki Bug.
The Nervous Rex is 6-inch bait that has an excellent baitfish profile. When rigged on a 5/0 Owner 5132 weighted Twistlock hook, it's extremely “nervous” in the water. The thinly designed tail moves at the slightest twitch and seems to come alive in the water. I would also suggest this bait on a Carolina rig because the gliding action is superb.
The Wounded Minnow is a small (3 1/2-inch) lure that has several different effective rigging options. My favorite is to rig the bait on an Owner 5154 Wacky Jighead (1/32- or 3/16-ounce) and fish it with a cadence – twitch the lure up and let it fall. The bait looks exactly like a wounded minnow and when resting on the bottom and used like a shakey-head, it’s difficult for a bass to resist. This should also be an excellent bait for smallmouth and spotted bass.
Of the three baits I tested, the Yuki bug was the most original design, with numerous ways to fish this little creature bait. Rigging it on a 1/8-ounce shakey-head in clear water is an extremely effective technique as the little bug has a great profile with a seductive gliding action. However, rigged on an Owner 5177 Mosquito hook as a dropshot setup, without question, is a deadly technique. I would also suggest that in clear water the Yuki Bug will be a great trailer on an ultra-light jig.
All of the Owner soft plastics look like hand-poured baits. There is good detail and the actions are excellent for numerous clear-water situations. I also like the way Owner provides diagrams on the back of each package about how to rig with the style and weight of hook that would be most useful to the angler.
The Nervous Rex comes in a six-pack that retails for $7.25. Six-packs of Wounded Minnows and Yuki Bugs are $7.
Check out the Owner website for a detailed explanation on the lures and their rigging. Helpful, well-produced videos are there to aid the angler with rigging options and lure application.