RULE #1: The sun and heat are the enemy of ANY epoxy coated wood baits that you might own!!!
Currently all Supernatural Big Baits are made of wood and each one is different so keep that in mind. The lips on the 10" HeadLock, 12" HeadLock and MattLock come with 3 depth settings. The shallowest setting is closest to the lip's edge/furthest way from the body. This setting is not only the shallowest diving, but is also the most erratic of the three and produces the best 'searching' action that the Supernatural Big Baits are known for. As you move positions back towards the body the depth of the dive increases with the deepest setting being the one furthest from the edge of the lip/closest to the body. Keep in mind: the deeper the setting--the less erratic the action. The deepest setting produces more of a tight wiggle without the erratic wobble of the shallow setting. With 100# superbraid at 3mph you can expect about a 3:1 ratio. Example: on the shallowest setting (the one furthest away from the body and produces the most erratic action) with 10' of line out it will get 3', 20' of line out 6', 30' of line out 9', etc. For the mid-depth setting (middle hole) add 4' to this. For the deepest setting (closest to the body/least erratic/tight action) add 8' to this. We know that with 45' of line out and the bait set on the deepest setting the bait runs 23' down. These are general guidelines and you will have to experiment and 'learn' your baits to get the most accurate depths.
Hate tuning crankbaits? Not a problem as there is no tuning required! The pin and split ring in the lip are free-floating and self-centering. All you have to do is take the split ring off, determine the depth range you want and put the split ring back on.
The majority of Supernatural Big Baits have been made out of wood and there are things you can do to make them 'go the distance'. First is to keep them out of direct sunlight and extreme heat. When not in use keep them in a cool, dark place. Leaving them on the decks of your boat or (especially) on the dash of your truck will lead to a quick 'knockout' by Mother Nature. We bake the wood to get as much water out as we can but extreme heat and sunlight can expand the little water left inside the wood and cause it to expand--and crack the wood and epoxy topcoat. Heat/Sun is the enemy of all epoxy coated wood lures!
Hook rash and scratches are normal. We are brawling with big, bad-ass toothy critters after all! Any cracking or deep scratches should be filled in with epoxy or layers of clear fingernail polish to maintain the thick protective coat on your 'prized fighter'! 20 minute epoxy is the best as it is waterproof, but 5 minute epoxy is better than nothing but will yellow much faster.
As far as the aluminum lip 'mushrooming' after repeated contact with the bottom, this is normal. We suggest leaving it alone unless it affects the bait's action--and it normally doesn't. Usually filing it off will change the bait's action as the lip shape will change as well as the weight distribution.
Hopefully this is helpful and you will get years of use (and many, many big fish) out of your Supernatural Big Baits.
We get a lot of people asking us about the equipment we use to troll the Supernatural Big Baits. We will get into all the equipment and techniques eventually, but for now let's start out with the basic set up--rod/reel/line/leader.
We make big baits that are designed to go fast and the rod needs to be the shock absorber when you get a hit or hit something. The best blanks we've used are made of E-glass which is a fiberglass/graphite composite which allows for a soft tip (to see your bait action or lack of action (weeded up) and helps the bait bounce over rocks) and GRADUALLY builds into the backbone. Currently our rods of choice are the 8' Heavy model in the Custom X Trolling Rods. They have the best action and power to handle even the MattLock at 8mph and are built to handle lots of punishment with their solid metal guides and additional locking ring on the reel seat. They also have a spinning style reel seat so they will easily fit in rod holders like the Down East where a trigger gets in the way of how the rod holder closes.
Definitely want a line counter. The Shimano Tekota 500LC is by far the best but we also use Daiwa Sealines and some Okumas. Buy the best you can afford and generally they will perform better and last longer. Keep them lubed!
We like superbraids for solid hook ups at slow speeds and their ability to telegraph bait action to the rod tip so you can see if the bait has weeds or if something else wrong. Make sure you run 80# to 100# to handle these big baits and the abuse of banging bottom or stumps and the planer board releases. Cortland Masterbraid in 80# is our preferred line.
We make our own. Generally the 175# fluorocarbon works the best when it comes to the balance of bait action and durability when banging baits off the bottom. Plus it does not damage the fish like wire leaders can. We crimp our leaders for a cleaner end that the weeds will hopefully not gather on. We also use 2 crimps for added insurance when really grinding the rocks. On the business end we run a #5 Stay-Lock and the other end a solid welded ring. Crankbaits don't spin so there is no need for the added expense of a swivel. As far as length, 48" seems to be a very proven length for us as it takes the abuse of big Canadian Shield size boulders without them damaging your line. It also protects your line when the 'Queen' of the lake decides she is going to spin and wrap herself up. Shorter leaders can allow your line to get into the gill plates and the gill rakers will quickly cut your line. Not only are you out your favorite lure but if she can't get rid of the lure--the 'Queen' will be dead.
So there is the line and what we use on the other end from the Supernatural Big Bait. We've had these set ups since day one and they have never failed us so we feel confident in recommending them to you. And no, we haven't been compensated/paid for posting this. But if these companies would like to, our address is on our Facebook page ;)