The New Bagley B Minus Lipless Crankbait

IMG_8136This spring we ran across a new lipless plug, the Bagley Rattlin’ B Minus. A shallow sinking, full-sized lipless crankbait that defies the old notion of the proverbial “idiot bait.”


They were called, “idiot baits” because most anglers simply threw them out and wound them back in. When fish were aggressively biting these lures you could fill the live well quick, fast and in a hurry. Not to mention that when this bite is on, you’ll get some of the most bone-jarring strikes you’re likely to experience.

However, simply chunkin’ and windin’ denies how versatile these baits really are as well as the number of retrieves that can be used to fish them. Fast or slow, yo-yo-ing them off the bottom, ripping them out of grass, vertically jigging them, dragging them through soft mud etc. are just a few of the ways to use this style of bait.

What has been pretty consistent is that this genre of baits were made to sink and quickly in most cases. This is where the B Minus really differentiates itself from the pack. Bagley designed it as a “shallow sinking” bait. A new term to be sure but what does it really mean?

Minus What?

First of all, the Rattlin’ B Minus is a full-sized lipless crankbait. At 2-3/4 inches with a weight of 1/2oz. this bait fits right in with others in this category. It uses multiple rattles for sound although the pitch from this bait is not as tinny as several others.

This plug comes with two trebles, one on the belly the other at the tail. We don’t know who makes the hooks but they are standard round bend and reasonably sharp out of the package.


There are currently eight color patterns that aren’t what you would consider ultra-realistic but they do give you enough of a palette to choose from to cover the basics. The eyes, while not 3-D, are far better than painted on and the body shape is fairly standard without a lot of molded in detail.

The B Minus has a flattened, extended, concave oval on the top of the head that accounts for the tight wobbling action of the bait as well as its measured, nose down orientation on the retrieve.

While the package says, “shallow sinking”, we believe that it’s more accurate to call it “slow sinking”. Bagley advertises this bait as being suited for moving over the tops of grass, submerged vegetation and shallow flats. So we set out to see just how shallow we could fish effectively with the B Minus by deliberately targeting areas with a depth no greater than four feet with the majority of the water less than that.

The Nitty Gritty

The Bagley casts well with no exceptional helicoptering or other irritating tendencies. Once it hits the water, it doesn’t take much to get it actively vibrating. A little more speed than some, a little less than others so about middle of the road in that regard.

The real surprise is that you can absolutely fish this bait in skinny water without it diving instantly for the bottom. The internal weighting system is such that depth control can be obtained easily simply by raising your rod tip. If you want to stay in the two foot range, put your tip at about ten thirty and you will stay in that shallow range with a slow to medium retrieve.

If you want to go shallower, raise your rod tip a little more, deeper, lower the tip. There isn’t a huge learning curve to use the B Minus effectively.

You can still employ all of the other retrieval methods you use with any other lipless crank but you can do it slower and in shallower water with this plug. This translates to being able to fish this bait over longer periods of the season with the ability to consistently target those shallow fish.


We’ve caught a great deal of fish with the B Minus just by keeping the bait running in a narrow part of the water column. For example, on one particular flat, we were targeting 18” to 36” the entire time we fished that area. It wasn’t at all difficult to stay within that range absolutely consistently.

One thing that we noticed with this plug that Bagley doesn’t seem to mention anywhere is that it has the ability to stay nose-down on the bottom without falling over immediately. At the very least, it will come to rest without falling on its side the majority of the time. This has proven to be a valuable feature for us this spring in that occasionally, we’ve been able to pick up some following fish by allowing the bait to die and sit motionless.

If we have a concern with this bait it would be that it will quit vibrating if you stop your retrieve. It doesn’t continue to vibrate without the resistance provided by you pulling it along in the water.

Bottom Line

We realize that a lot of folks out there are going to have a hard time letting go of the notion that Bagley is only capable of producing quality balsa baits. If that’s what your thinking, it’s time to give these new generation baits a spin around your favorite fishing hole for yourself. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised just as we have been.

The Bagley B Minus is a quality bait that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but performs precisely as advertised and is downright inexpensive for what you’re getting.

Bagley B Minus Lipless Crankbait
A full sized lipless bait that's comfortable in skinny water

See ya’ on the water …


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