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Expert Tips on the Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish

Wisconsin smallmouth specialist Bill Schultz shares countless hours of learning about the lure that has produced more than 6,000 smallies for him.

In 1992 I bought my first Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish to fish bluegills and largemouth bass in a pond. I still remember my first cast with this little fish-catching magnet. I caught two bluegills, and I knew I had a winner. 

It wasn’t until August 4, 1994 that I gave it a try for stream smallmouth bass, and since that day it has been one of my “go to” lures for river smallies. It’s possible that I have fished this lure for smallies as much as anyone in the country. Since catching my first smallmouth bass in May of 1994, I’ve caught and released 24,700, with more than 13,000 coming from my river outings. Conservatively, I’ve caught more than 6,000 smallmouth bass on the Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish! 

This year, it continues to be an important tool in my arsenal as I plan on reaching the 25,000 milestone of caught and released smallmouth bass by the end of the 2021 season.

Stream Smallmouth Gear

Photos by Bill Schultz


On many wading trips I’ll have two or three rods rigged, and always one with the Teeny Wee-Crawfish. I use medium-light St. Croix rods with fast and extra-fast actions when fishing the Rebel Crawfish.  I prefer longer rods – 6-7 to 6-10 – to help get extra distance with this 1/10-ounce lure. 

My reels of choice are Daiwa spinning reels in the 2000 and 2500 size along with Pflueger reels in the 30 size. I prefer the faster retrieve ratio of at least 6.2:1, and all have the long cast spools, which is an important feature for casting this small, finesse crankbait. 

Also to help with distance, I use 8- and 10-pound test superline with a 35- to 45-inch 8- or 10-pound test fluorocarbon leader attached to the superline with a uni-to-uni knot.  With this setup, I can easily cast the Teeny Wee across the smaller rivers I fish, getting distances that won’t spook fish in those streams, which can be very clear.

I’ve used all the great colors, but prefer the natural shades of Cajun Crawdad, Ditch/Brown, Stream Crawfish and Moss Crawfish. If you happen to know the color of the crawfish in your river, matching color is an option that might increase the effectiveness. In muddy or stained water, I also spend a lot of time with Fire Tiger, Chartreuse/Green Back and Chartreuse/Brown.

All that said, based on my hundreds of hours with this lure, I really feel color is secondary to all the other qualities of the Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish. As noted, these include a tight wiggle, rattle, vibration, attention to detail, a great profile and small size.

Fishing Technique

Bill Schultz typically replaces the rear treble on a Teeny Wee-Crawfish with a slightly larger size to increase hook-up and landing rates and prevent large fish from bending out hooks.


One great thing about the Teeny Wee-Crawfish is that you don’t have to be an expert to fish it. After just a few minutes of instruction I’ve had beginners enjoying great success.

The Teeny Wee-Crawfish can be fished a variety of ways, but I mostly fish it very simply. I cast cross current or downstream and bring it back with a steady retrieve and not too fast. The deadly combination of the vibration from an extremely tight wiggle, the small rattles in the lure, and lure bouncing off the bottom and rocks is so enticing for smallies. The lure’s small size and smaller treble hooks, along with the fact that it swims slightly nose down, help it avoid many of the snags that larger crankbaits seem to find. 

In clear water, with skittish fish, the light weight and small profile is perfect because it won’t spook the fish. When cast, it lands so softly, smallies hardly know it’s there.

In recent years I’ve begun removing the back #14 treble hook and replacing it with a #8 or #10. This does not change the lure’s great action, but it does eliminate the bending and breaking that sometimes happens with the #14 hooks. It also facilitates more hook-ups, and a bonus is that the ever-so-slight weight difference makes this a suspending crankbait, which can be beneficial in some situations. 

In faster moving water of rivers, the steady retrieve has worked best for me, with the current turning an already tight wiggle into an even faster shout out for a smallie to strike. Casting upstream also works, but it’s more difficult to judge your speed to get that extra vibration, which I believe enhances and triggers strikes.

In slower water you can try a variety of retrieves. You can cast this floating/diving lure, let it sit, and twitch it like a topwater. It’s not a suspending lure out of the package. However, it floats to the surface very slowly so you can retrieve it quickly, pause it so it rises, and then repeat this action. Often during this stop-and-go retrieve, you’ll get the strike as it slowly floats up or suspends with the extra weight of the larger treble. A similar technique is to give the reel a few cranks, twitch the Teeny Wee-Crawfish a few times and let it sit. 

Final Thoughts

Based on my tremendous success with the Teeny Wee-Crawfish, I would strongly recommend that you give this fish catching magnet a try! I think you will be pleasantly surprised with your success catching and releasing more smallies, and using it for the other species mentioned will add to your fishing fun. 

Also, just because this lure is small doesn’t mean large fish won’t hit this little guy. I mostly fish smaller rivers where a 2- to 3-pound smallie is a big fish, but happily, my heaviest river smallie at 19.5 inches and 5 pounds came on the Teeny Wee-Crawfish, as well as my longest river smallie at 20 inches.  I feel the small size enhances strikes across the size spectrum of smallmouth bass and other fish species.     

The number of fish species I’ve caught on this lure is now at an amazing 16, including a small musky and sturgeon.  So, you could get a big surprise while casting for smallies.

More Information

For information on the Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish and countless other great lures go to If you would like to ask me any questions email me at