The Norman Speed N ‘sped’ onto the scene this time a year ago when a few Elite Series anglers used it to success in the super bowl of bass fishing – The Bassmaster’s Classic! There was a ton of factors that went into the design of this crankbait by veteran angler Frank Scalish, but most importantly the timing of the classic played in huge to its success. Everything is timing, certainly with this lure because it might have brought the brand Norman Lures back from the depths.
So how did this crankbait come about, and why was it needed? Veteran angler Frank Scalish is the acting brand manager of Norman Lures and a few other crankbait brands at PRADCO, and this is because of his tenure as a professional angler who knew his way around a crankbait. Scalish is well known for being an offshore structure fisherman, and most importantly he knows the types of actions that make fish react to a small piece of plastic wriggling through the water. He first looked at the Norman line and identified some holes that needed to be filled, but unfortunately Norman was on the track downward and not a lot of engineering was allotted to projects. Finally, Frank came up with the Speed N concept to fit a niche for a small square bill with a tight action needed in the early pre-spawn. He took the already popular body of the Norman Little N and created a bill with the perfect angle to create an extremely fast wobble, combine this with the vibrant Norman gel coats and you can see why the lure has garnered so much attention. From initial testing of Franks prototype Speed N everyone knew this bait was going to be a special one and needed to be put into the line.
Fast forward about a year from the prototype and Norman’s Product Director has just finished with collecting the first samples of the lure, note that this about a month before the Bassmaster Classic. He then decides to send a ring of samples of the Speed N to each angler fishing the classic, Stetson Blaylock, Micah Frazier and Luke Palmer. All three anglers loved the lure initially and used it to their success in the tournament with each angler garnering great finishes in front a national stage. This catapulted the barely finished Speed N into the national limelight, and stores were calling for orders as soon as the tournament ended.
But why is the Speed N so good for early spring bass fishing?
There are several reasons why it is like the butyrate body, precise weighting, angle of the bill, and the gel coat paint schemes. Butyrate is an old timey plastic like the original Wiggle Warts were built with that provides a unique sound that bass have seemingly forgotten about. The bait is weighted to around a ½ oz, so it casts like a rocket and it’s weighted with lead, so the sound is even better. The angle of the bill is probably the most notable feature of the Speed N. Frank designed it in such a way to make the lure have a very tight action even at low speeds to appeal to cold water bass that don’t want an overly aggressive action. The bill also sits at a perfect angle to crawl over various types of cover and even reach depths of over 6 feet – that’s crazy for a square bill! Finally, the gel coat paint schemes really bring to life the look of a small baitfish or crawdad and shine in any water clarity. This is a simple wrap up of why the Speed N is so good, but you also must look into where bass are this time of year to understand the success factor.
In the pre-spawn bass can be found in various stages of water depths, but often times they hang tight to cover especially in shallow water. The Speed N is able to crawl over just about any type of structure such as wood, rock, or even grass to annoy bass with its super tight action.
All of these factors contribute to the sudden success of the Speed N crankbait, and hopefully give Norman Lures the jumpstart it needs to continue its tenure as a legendary fishing brand.
The Speed N can be found in all of its exciting gel coat patterns at Lurenet.com!