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TackleTour Autopsy

TackleTour Autopsy: Making Hudd Fillets (continued)

Autopsy: I personally prefer to fish the Huddleston 8” ROF (Rate of Fall) 12 and 16 which get down into the strike zone quickly. The ROF 0 and 5 are designed for shallow water and surface work. The ROF 12 and 16 come armed with a single top hook while the 0 and 5 versions do not come with any hook and can be rigged a variety of different ways. All four versions come complete with a wire harness on the bottom to add an optional belly hook.

A few slices with the knife and the soft plastic flesh is exposed underneath what appears to be a very thin layer of paint...

In the tank the ROF 12 sat nicely on the bottom and looks like a Rainbow Trout foraging for food with the tail section floating up. Huddleston has done a phenomenal job making the lure look and behave realistically and we dunked four more baits each of which angled exactly the same, these lures are extremely consistent.

...but this finish really isn't that thin and can actually be peeled away

Using an X-Acto knife it was easy to make slices in the bait which exposed the white plastic underneath. It was a little more difficult to scrape off the paint but after getting started on an edge it is possible to peel back the finish which reveals the shiny silver base layer and the plastic underneath. The top of the lure had a darker green plastic and it is hard to determine if this is a result of the molding process or a slightly different material than the white plastic found in the main body of the lure.

The Hudd was a lot denser than I expected and I almost had to saw off the fillet rather than simply slice

When it came time to cut into the center bait I decided to fillet the lure right down the center like filleting a fish. Using a variety of razor blades I expected to cut through the Hudd like a hot knife through butter but instead found the lure’s plastic to be surprisingly dense. It makes sense as I’ve had Hudd’s get damaged by fish in the past only to keep fishing them for years.

One Hudd fillet coming up

In the head of the Hudd we found the main weighting and wire system which is encased in a hard resign. This resign increases the mass of the core rigging system and not only adds weight to the lure but prevents the hook from getting pulled out or rotating at all. This core is really the guts of the lure and what gives the lure the different rates of fall.

Inside we can now see the resign encased lead core

Equally as interesting is a cavity directly positioned behind the lead encased core, this cavity is an air pocket that helps the Hudd’s tail float at just the right angle. This air cavity is easily perceptible in transparent Phantom Trout Hudds.

Behind the core is the cavity which acts as an air pocket


Extracting the core


The core not only is the weight for the lure but holds the hook and all tie points


In the tank the core still sits upright


After pulling the weighted guts completely out I decided to reassemble the remaining plastic portions of the Hudd using Mend-It. After putting the lure back together it looked pretty much like a slightly used lure and when plopped back into the tank it floated up to the surface quickly. Even when the lure’s two empty cavities filled with water the lure still remained extremely buoyant.


Using Mend-It to reassemble the Hudd

It is hard to appreciate just how much work went into the design of this lure and equally impressive is the manufacturing quality this lures exhibits both inside and out. The finishes on this bait can fool both fish and fishermen, I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to my local lake where they used to stock Rainbows and I reeled up the lure only to have people walking nearby come over for a closer look thinking I just landed a trout.

Without the weighted core the Hudd floats right away, even when the cavities are filled with water it still remains buoyant

When I explain to them the Hudd is a lure they often roll their eyes and remark there is no fish in the lake capable of eating a bait that big. I just smile and catapult the Hudd right back out and begin my snail pace retrieve… “keep thinking that” I muse, that’s one less angler putting pressure on a lake that has delivered so many 4-9lb largemouth for me over the years on swimbaits. While this big bait takes patience to fish there is no doubting it is lethal for big bass and my confidence in this lure has only grown after seeing just how well the lure is built from the inside out.  

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