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Strike King Coffee Tubes

Overall score - 85% = (Excellent)

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score


Reviewer: Don

These baits may have the classic tube shape and design but Strike King's Coffee Tubes are enhanced with real coffee bean granules and coffee bean oil to give the tubes a natural tinge and a naturally strong scent and taste. Not only does this bait's coffee scent and flavor encourage fish to hold on to this bait longer, it also helps to mask human scents. It makes sense to me that a strong odor like coffee would really help with attracting bass and getting the bass to hold on a little longer once they bite. I have to say, I am really excited to see how well these Coffee Tubes do out in the field. I'm willing to bet that I know a few bass who like their coffey in the morning just as much as I do!

Specs

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

Size(s):

- 3-1/2'' Coffee Tube with a hollow head - 8 to a pack
- 4-1/2'' Coffee Tube with a solid head and hollow body - 6 to a pack

Design features:

- Coffee bean/oil enhanced flavor and scent
- Great natural colors
- Hollow and solid head design
- Salt impregnated

Color(s):

- 002 Black/Blue Flake
- 012 Crazy Craw *
- 018 Watermelon/Red Flake
- 020 White/Purple/Gold Flake
- 026 Goby Lishish *
- 029 Natural Goby
- 030 Smoke/Red/Black Flake
- 044 Pearl Pepper
- 046 Green Pumpkin *
- 051 Magic Goby
- 056 Watermelon/Gold/Copper Flake
- 061 Golden Shiner
- 104 Dark Goby
- 105 Chaos


* Color(s) used during this review.

Made in:

- Dominican Republic

Price when Reviewed:

- $3.99


Background

Mr. Charles Spence purchased a small garage operation in 1966 thus establishing "Strike King Lure Company". Strike King is one of the most recognized brand names in fishing tackle. This Company is best known for their spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jigs and is now the largest producer in the world. For the last 40 plus years Strike King has been producing some of the most effective lures on the market. Some might even say that Strike King may have been one of the contributing factors to the growth of this industry through their effective use of television advertising.

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

When I first heard about these tubes I was surprised to hear that a bait company actually put coffey into a tube. I thought this was a crazy and interesting concept. So like many anglers who willingly and for the most part luckily fall victim to Strike king's extremely effective advertising, I went out and picked myself up some of these Coffee Tubes. Upon first inspection after opening up the pack, I can certainly testify that these baits really do have a powerful coffey smell!


(Our Coffee tube colors)

I would have to say that Strike King's Coffee Tubes are certainly an interesting concept. Upon opening the pack, The pungent aroma alone would be enough to sway you. Overall, I would be willing to say that Strike King offers a potentially great tube bait here that seems quite promising. I would have to say that my first impressions of this bait are quite good.

The Strike King Coffee Tube retains its traditional tube shape and design. The only difference in this particular tube is that its packed with coffee beans and oils. However, right away one can notice that the act of putting the coffey in these tubes seems to have done something to the way these tube look. These tubes really do seem to have an "earthy tinge" to them just like Strike King claims they do. I find this coloring to be extremely attractive because I tend to have my best luck banging bass with baits that look as earthy and as natural as I can find.


(Look at those natural colors and tones!)

My favorite colors of all the coffee tubes are definitely the crazy craw (above) and the green pumpkin color (below). I have used a lot of soft baits in a lot of colors in my life but I have rarely seen colors on a bait that look as natural as these colors do.


(You made some awesome colors Strike King!)

The 4 1/2 inch Coffee tube has a solid head and is an inch larger than it's smaller counterpart. This larger tube design would be great for Texas rigging or flipping and pitching.


(Both Coffee Tube sizes)

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

Rod - St. Croix Avid - AVS66MF / G. Loomis SJR782 IMX
Reel - Shimano Sustain 2500FE / Daiwa Luvias 2000
Line - Spiderwire UltraCast 20 lb.
/ Spiderwire stealth 15 lb.
Hook(s) - Gamakatsu Offset Shank EWG / Owner EWG+ 1539

Before we begin the performance part of this review, I would like to inform you that you're going to be seeing a lot of pictures with bass we caught on these tubes. The bass just would not leave these tubes alone! It seemed like we had a bass on the line for every other picture we took for this review, and we weren't even trying. Our first stop is a few private ponds in PA where I was testing out the Diawa Luvias 2000.


(An awesome place for the Coffee Tube's first test run)

While testing the Diawa Luvias 2000, we started out throwing some 4'' and 5'' senkos. I couldn't believe it but the bass wanted nothing to do with our senkos; we were being skunked! I can't even remember the last time I threw out a senko and didn't at least catch one bass. I had no intention on reviewing the Strike King Coffee Tube that day but I thought, "what the hell, let's give it a go and see what happens." After all, I had nothing to lose. Literally 10 seconds after my 4" green pumpkin-colored Coffee Tube hits the water, I finally get my first strike of the day. He really slammed this tube! I quickly set the hook in this largemouth's upper lip and pulled him in.


(This bass got his caffeine fix for the day!)

I love to use Strike King's Coffee Tubes in our local private ponds but I'm wondering how well they'll fare on the lake or river. The Strike King Coffee Tube's next destination is Lake Erie in Ohio. The folks I was fishing with had the pleasure of meeting the bane of all live bait fisherman on the great lakes: the round goby.


(Gobies gobies everywhere)

The round goby just happens to be the model for one of the Coffee Tube's most popular colors: Goby Lishish. Since the people I was fishing with were catching so many gobies, I decided to take this opportunity to compare a real goby with a Goby Lishish-colored Coffee Tube.


(A top view of Strike King's Goby Lishish-colored Coffee Tube)


(A bottom view of Strike King's Goby Lishish-colored Coffee Tube)

I didn't have a lot of luck with Strike King's Goby Lishish color but I did manage to catch a few dinks on a Crazy Craw-colored Coffee Tube. Crazy Craw is quickly becoming one of my favorite Coffee Tube colors.


(FYI, smallies love Crazy Craw Coffee Tubes!)

After banging some smallies on Lake Erie, my confidence with Strike King's Coffee Tubes went through the roof. Any fisherman who knows me knows that any bait that can help me catch more and better smallies will quickly become very dear to me. If the Strike King Coffee Tube is going to win my affection, it's going to do so on the river. The Coffee Tube's final destination for this review is the Ohio River in PA.


(The real test begins!)

Since I started using Strike King's Coffee Tubes, I've noticed quite a few things. I noticed that the coffee beans and oil that are impregnated into the tubes themselves do seem to get bass to hold onto these tubes longer than normal tubes. The downside is that the coffee scent seems to wear off after a half hour or so of fishing and isn't as strong. One of my favorite things about Coffee Tubes is its slightly slower rate of fall even with a glass rattle inserted! When I compared the Strike King Coffee Tube's rate of fall to the Venom and Berkley tube's rate, the Coffee Tube was usually the slowest. I would like to make it clear that having a tube with a slower fall rate isn't always an advantage. In the private ponds and slack water of rivers that I fish around this time of year, I tend to prefer a slower-falling bait in most cases. The way I see it, the slower the fall, the longer it's in the strike zone.

I would like to share with you one of my favorite Coffee Tube set-ups. I really like to Texas-rig a 4 1/2" Coffee Tube on a 4/0 EWG hook. I would like you to know that there are 2 reasons why I am using such a large hook for this 4 1/2" tube. The first reason is because I have noticed more hook-ups with larger hooks. The second (and perhaps the most important) reason is that when Texas-rigging a bait, using an EWG hook that's a size larger than you normally would use can act as a rutter, stabilizing larger soft plastic baits during your retrieve.


(4 1/2" Crazy Craw Coffee Tube, Texas-rigged with a 4/0 Owner EWG+ hook)

The next thing I usually do is insert a McCoy glass, single ball rattle. I prefer glass rattles for the unique knocking sound that they make. I have found that with the addition of a McCoy glass rattle, I tend to get more strikes.


(Inserting a McCoy glass rattle into the hollow body of a 4.5" Coffee Tube)

I found that both of the Strike King's Coffee Tube's sizes have enough weight to them to cast quite well, with or without a tube rattle. My favorite retrieve with the Coffee Tube is either dragging or hopping it along the bottom. I have a lot of luck dragging our Coffee Tubes right up to a drop-off and letting it fall off. This little trick induced some vicious strikes!


(This is one of the most aesthetically beautiful smallies I caught all year! I should have taken a closer picture)

Wow, did I hit the jackpot with these Coffee Tubes! I found a rock pile a little further upstream that was holding some really nice river smallies, and these tubes were just what they wanted. I had the most luck casting these Coffee Tubes upstream, taking advantage of their tendency of being a slightly slower-sinking tube. I let the current take my Coffee Tubes right into the waiting jaws of smallies holding next to the rock pile. Most of the tubes that I'd normally use would hit the bottom sooner and wouldn't drift as well.


(Letting the current do the work is an effective, natural-looking presentation)

The other tubes we compared our Coffee Tubes with (Venom and Berkley) didn't do anything for these smallies. Maybe it was the Coffee Tube's wider diameter. I don't know, and to be honest I don't really care. All I care about is if this bait can bang smallies like I was told it could from one of Strike King's shows on the Outdoor Channel, and does it ever!


(I'm going to turn every last one of these smallies into a caffine addict)

In the picture above, this smallie decided to take the biggest dump of his life in my right hand as the picture was being taken. You can see from the expression on my face that it wasn't exactly a joyful experience.

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

Surprisingly enough, I found Strike King's Coffee Tubes to be somewhat durable. I consistently caught several fish per tube and we didn't have many occurrences of bass just completely shredding our Coffee Tubes apart. I found that the 4 1/2" "Flippin' tubes" were the most durable thanks to their solid-headed design.


(This tube still has a smallie or two to catch)

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

$4 isn't really a bad price to pay for a pack of tubes these days. Coffee Tubes seem durable enough that they could potentially last through a few fish. My only gripe with Strike King is that they really should throw in 1 or 2 more tubes with the 4 1/2" tube packs. 6 tubes in one pack is a bit skimpy, don't you think?

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

The good -The choice of colors seemed as though they would be very effective. I liked the solid head of the 4 1/2" Coffee Tube. The coffee grinds that were impregnated into these tubes make them look more natural than almost any soft plastic I have ever seen!

The Bad - I suppose they could have designed the scent to last longer but it's really not that big of a deal.

The Score - 93 out of 100


The good - Casts very well. The coffee scent does seem to make bass want to chomp on these tubes a little longer than I am used to seeing. Coffee Tubes seem to sink a little slower than the tubes I normally use.

The Bad - The coffee scent tends to wear off rather quickly.

The Score - 91 out of 100


The good - I found the 4 1/2" Coffee Tubes to be the most durable thanks to the solid-headed design.

The Bad - The 3 1/2'' Coffee Tubes held up okay. It wasn't uncommon for the 3 1/2" Coffee Tube to look like it got the crap beat out of it like it owed a smallie money.

The Score - 79 out of 100

The good - The 4 1/2" "flippin' tubes" last longer than I expected them to so that's some bang for your buck, I guess.

The Bad - For the price, I really think Strike King should have at least added 2 more tubes to the packs.

The Score - 76 out of 100

Overall score - 85% = (Excellent)

For more on how we score our reviews and the score's meanings


(I bang smallies with Coffee Tubes like it's my job!)

I'm very happy to say that Strike King Coffee Tubes have become my tube of choice. I love the choice of colors, I love their durability, and I like the fact that they don't fall as fast and some other tubes do. I have found these tubes to be equally effective on largermouth and smallmouth bass. Only time will tell what other uses I'll find for Strike King's Coffee Tubes but until then, I'll just enjoy Texas-rigging them as I always have. I have supreme confidence in these tube's mainly because of how natural-looking the colors are. Thanks in part to the coffee grinds impregnated into these tubes, Strike King has managed to create a tube that looks so much different than most tubes on the market today. I highly recommend Strike King Coffee Tubes!

We highly recommend this product!