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Latest Articles

Swimbait or Crankbait? The Deps Tiny Bulldoze 100
The Bullshooter and Bulldoze has always played second fiddle to the Slide Swimmer, but are still popular options for anglers looking for gill profiles. This season Deps has miniaturized these lures and introduced Tiny versions designed to target bass of all sizes across a wider range of applications.   

Feeding that Big Bait Obsession with Gan Craft's Jointed Claw 303 R-One
The Jointed Claw 303 is a huge, 300 millimeter (or 12") glide bait, and though it has taken a while, here now is our look at Gan Craft's Jointed Claw 303, also known as the Shaku One (one foot)
RatRumble : Fish the Sneaky!
In the world of rat swimbaits hand carved wooden baits are among the most coveted, both for their artistry and effectiveness. These baits often exhibit a hard to imitate swimming action combined with a loud knock. Custom swimbait garage builder Brady Scott is the creator of the Sneaky Baits “Sneaky Rat,” a bait that has gone from a sleeper to one of the most sought-after wooden rats on the scene.
RatRumble : The Surprisingly Refined LitRat
The LitLures mission began in Southern California, where in 2017, Jesse LeMar grew tired of fishing rat baits that would either foul during the cast or as he was working them close to structure wasting opportunity after opportunity. He started where most bait makers begin, by carving bodies out of wood. But once he was satisfied with a design, he immediately moved to resin...
RatRumble: Heerrree's Johnny!
The Johnny Rat, and subsequent Little Johnny, splashed down into the swimbait scene in 2013, with initial conception in California. Since then, Johnny has claimed dozens of tournament wins, hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes, and plenty of name recognition.
RatRumble : Bigg Nasty Baits's Nat Rat
Bigg Nasty Baits out of Northern California is relatively new to the bait making game, but obviously not to the world of big baits. A strong advocate for the local bass fishing scene promoting up and coming anglers on their social media and organizing several local tournaments through the calendar year, their motto when it comes to baits is to build them "bigg."
RatRumble : The Waking Dead – Illude’s Zombie Rat
Over the last year I have tried to bolster my Illude arsenal and started delving deeper into the brand’s other resin baits from their Lunker Fighters line, including the similar profiled resin Zombie Rats. While it easy to assume that the Zombie is simply a resin variation of the Rad this undead bait’s unique waking behavior, performance, and origin might just surprise you.
Gan Craft's Foray Into Crawler Madness : The Joi Crawler 178
If there's one bait company that has made the most out of a signature bait and bait profile, it's Gan Craft. Their Jointed Claw glide bait is available in six different sizes ranging from two and three quarter inches up to twelve, but there's also a waking version, a new hybrid glide swimmer...

RatRumble : Narrow Gate Baits's Affordable and Accessible WOOD Rat
The Narrow Gate Baits Rat is a foot long, three piece bait with a body that measures out about six inches. It's a wooden rat turned on a lathe but each section is hand cut with a dovetail saw. Craftsmanship is raw and a little gritty, very apropos for a rat bait, and the bait itself is offered in three different finishes...

Rat Rumble : JSJ Baits's Pack Rat (Recoil Edition)
The current Pack Rat (dubbed the Recoil Edition) is made out of a special silicone mix St. John developed during a two year hiatus from making baits. The result is a bait with extreme elasticity and durability.
The Sleeper Assassin of Cl8Bait's Rodent Squad : Water Vole
It feels like yesterday when we first met Clayton Bryant of CL8Bait at Bass-A-Thon 2008. Back then he was the new builder on the scene and now, over a decade later, he's a seasoned veteran builder. I hate to think what that means for me, but in any case, when Bryant caught wind of our Rat Rumble, he immediately signed up to participate.
Smelly Rat - It's not Spro's Fault Their Rat 50 Stanks
If there's one space a custom, hand built, garage bait cannot compete in, it's in the area of accessibility. A bait, no matter how effective, is really no use to an angler if said bait is not available for purchase, period. Many anglers, and especially those who enjoy tossing big baits, turn their collective backs on baits that are easily accessible and mass produced...
RatRumble : The RioRat by Hill Country Swimbaits
Based in San Antonia, Texas, Hill Country Swimbaits offers a wide selection of baits from multi-piece swimmers, to two-piece glides in gill, shad, and trout profiles. The subject of today's article is in a classification that has infested TackleTour HQ. We have a plan to root them out, but the invasion promises to endure through the Summer and likely into the Fall. Introducing the Hill Country Swimbaits Rio Rat.
Gan Craft's Jointed Claw Zepro : A Surface Glide with the Little Kicks
In 2015, Gan Craft introduced a variant to the Jointed Claw 178. It swims on a slightly upward trajectory versus the downward trajectory of the original making it ideal in shallow water situations where the 178 Type F might eventually get hung up. Here's our look at Gan Craft's Jointed Claw Zepro 178.

Plenty of Options to Explore... The Baitsanity Gen 2 Glidebait with Hatch Match Tails
It has been nearly three years since our review of the original Baitsanity Explorer and over the last two seasons we have been fishing the company's updated version, the Explorer Gen2, which features a clever interchangeable tail design as well as multiple new patterns to better match the hatch. 

G-Ratt's Signature Glidebait, only Smaller. Match the Hatch with the Pistol Pete
Building on the popularity of the Sneaky Pete glidebait the company introduced a scaled down version, called the Pistol Pete, which is offered in the same array of colors and is designed for situations when a smaller bait better matches the hatch.


Additional Articles


A Diminutive Paddletail with Big Bait Detailing : Molix's RT Shad
Since the Basstrix shortage a decade and a half ago, paddletail swimbaits as a product category have been riding a roller coaster of popularity and new introductions. We're in the midst of climbing yet another hill, and we recently got our hands on the latest introduction from a company not new to this ride. Here's our look at Molix's RT Shad swimbait.
Sometimes All You Need is a Pistol. The Illude Pistol Gill Glidebait
For many enthusiast swimbait anglers there is just something special, almost magic, about a handmade wooden swimbait. When it comes to precision and refinement few brands do this as well as Roman Made, but American custom baitmaker Illude certainly brings the heat. The Pistol is a compact two-piece swimbait that showcases just how good a mid-sized wooden bluegill glide can be.

Let's Get Real! - Sly Guy Lures Replica Gill Swimbaits
With a name like "Replica" the Sly Guy Gills better be realistic looking, but it doesn't stop with a genuine looking paint finish. This year we are going to dive deep into swimbaits, including a closer look at many custom handmade offerings, and the Sly Guy Lures Replica Gills are a perfect example of what makes custom baits so desirable to anglers, and especially swimbait fans.

A Brawler Ready to Battle, the Pike Team Six B52 Wake Swimbait
Pike Team Six is a custom swimbait manufacturer that has created a handmade wakebait called the B52 which is designed to take on the biggest and baddest freshwater fish out there. This swimbait features a unique profile, swimming action, and can be ordered in just about any configuration and pattern that anglers can dream up.
MagDraft Part II : We Know It Was You, Freestyle
The MagDraft Freestyle is a six inch (6") paddletail style bait based off the companies popular MagDraft swimbait. The difference here is while the original MagDraft is pre-rigged with a hook and internal harness, the Freestyle is, well, free of all of that.
PB Rat Lights It Up With a Little Slosh and a Lot of Boils
What the hollow body frog is to fishermen who prefer conventional sized bait and tackle, the waking rat bait is to those anglers who make throwing big, oversized baits their purview. It is an obsession not easily overcome and haunts your every waking dream like an infestation of your subconscious realm.
Cal Coast Fishing's New Twerk Minnow Swimbait
Cal Coast Fishing's Twerk Minnow is available in two sizes, five and a half and seven and a half inches (5.5" & 7.5"). It is a full body, split belly type of paddletail made from a soft plastic material.
Buongiorno! An Aggressively Priced Glide Bait from Molix
From their Supernato hollow body baits to imaginative soft plastics like their SC Bug and Vincex Craw, to their triple armed spinnerbait, the Lover, Molix brings a fun spirit to their bait products. Up until now, what had been missing from the company's catalog was a contender in the increasingly competitive big bait market.

The Wrap to Get. Swimbait Underground's Union
As your swimbait arsenal grows the need to be able to safely store, organize, and transport them also increases. I've been searching for a quality wrap solution for years, and most of the ones that I have tried have required a number of sacrifices. This year Swimbait Underground released their own branded wrap, the Union 9", designed for protecting swimbaits, and easy access to them in the field. 

Savage Value, the Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill Swimbaits
The Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill is the most realistic looking bluegill swimbait that Savage has introduced to date, and is designed to be easy for anglers to simply tie on and start fishing effectively right out of the package.
My Favorite Topwater Custom Swimbait - The Illude Rad Rat
Illude's Rad Rat is a hand carved wakebait that is designed to generate explosive strikes both day and night. How good is this bait? I must warn you in advance, the second you see, and hear, a Rad Rat being fished you are probably going to want one for your arsenal, and the biggest challenge with this swimbait might just be trying to land one.
Evergreen International's Chaotic EsFlat Glide Bait
The ES Flat is a two piece bait measuring five and three quarters inches (5.75") in length and weighing a hair under two ounces (2oz). It's rated as a slow sink bait and comes in a variety of colors though many are difficult to find in the US.

The Latest Swimbait from Mattlures : Code Name "Bo"
Matt Servant, owner and creator at Mattlures cut his big bait making molds on the soft product then made his way into the hard bait side where his background in taxidermy really set him apart. Many of his baits rival in realism, fish you could actually catch out of the water.

Just How Wild is Willy? G-Ratt's Topwater Walker
The G-Ratts Wild Willy is a top water plug measuring six inches and weighing about two ounces (2oz). It's a hard plastic bait, but does not have any moving parts inside so it runs silent.
The i-Slide 262T's Long Journey En Route to Earning Our Ultimate Award
The i-Slide 262T is far from an easy bait to get to know. It measures 262 millimeters which equals somewhere around ten and one third inches (10 1/3"). I mean, how do you even measure a third of an inch unless you have an engineering scale? It weighs six full ounces and comes with two, very large hooks. But those stats don't tell the story.
Like Fireworks, Imakatsu's Stealth Swimmer Showing Us What It's Worth
Few terms perk the collective eyebrows of tackle enthusiasts everywhere like "JDM." Short for the words, Japanese Domestic Market, the literal reference is to products made for sale in Japan. There are several companies in the fishing industry that go hand in hand with that term...

River 2 Sea and JSJ Team Up to Trigger Those Bass
River2Sea produces and distributes this bait as the JSJ Trigger Trout. On the packaging, there's a logo for "JSJ Series". Hopefully that means the Trigger Trout is one of many more baits to come from this collaboration.

Storm's Latest Dance Craze, the Arashi Glide
There was a time, maybe ten years ago, that the two-piece glide bait was a very hush-hush lure. Anglers had been fishing them a long time, but very few if any were sharing their success stories. However, once a bait like that hits the national stage with BASS Elite Series Pros like Brandon Palaniuk fishing them, you know it's only a matter of time before they force the hand of their big-time, sponsoring lure manufacturers.

A Surprisingly Good First Offering from FishLab - The Bio Gill Swimbait and Glidebaits
The FishLab brand, the creation of the Okuma team of designers, was recently launched this past ICAST. The company introduced a wide range of freshwater and saltwater baits at the show, including a particularly robust bass offering led by the company's Bio-Gill Series of bluegill swimbaits.

The Evergreen Bream Slide Comes to Life on the Snap
Evergreen International's Bream Slide is a six inch (6"), three ounce (3oz) bait resembling a sunfish. It comes with hand tied, feathered hooks (that you must install yourself) and is every bit as JDM as it gets implying it's almost too pretty of fish - almost.

The Defiant 247 and 210 Swimbaits – A One Two Knockout
Fishing big soft bodied swimbaits successfully requires a heightened state of focus and patience, and even if you do get a strike keeping that fish pinned typically comes with a whole new set of challenges. To help redefine what is possible with this class of baits a new company, Defiant, entered the swimbait scene a few seasons ago...
SLURPOWW!! Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake
Bull Shad Swimbaits's Bull Wake is a three-piece, six inch bait in a generic shad profile with the company's signature, brush like tail. The bait also has the company's signature, unrefined, thrown up and dragged on shore for a mile or two, beat up look to it...
The Cure for Big Bait - Big Price Fatigue: The Baitsanity Antidote Glide
While the Explorer continues to be the Baitsanity flagship product the company knew that in order to expand they needed to provide a more aggressively priced swimbait offering, a glide bait for mainstream anglers. That swimbait is the Baitsanity Antidote.
Here to Challenge Your Imagination : Megabass of America's Garuda
Megabass of America has been hard at work globalizing the brand's name creating and refining product that not only works in Japan, but in other parts of the world too, and really, primarily, North America. They've had some intriguing bait introductions over the last couple of years and others that feel more like an effort to fill out their catalog. Today, we're taking a closer look at a bait that falls into the former category...


Archived Articles


Product Reviewed Date Posted
Trophy Bass Baits's Intriguing SGT Glide 9/23/19
Give Me a Beat! ... and Make it Wild 9/2/19
Going With The Flow... Glider by 6th Sense Fishing 8/12/19
Opportunity is 2Knocking for Bull Shad Swimbaits 7/17/19
Another Masterpiece from Roman Made : South 6/2/19
New Bait From ima Is No Fluke But It Sure Glides! 3/31/19
Small but Mighty, the Deadly Megabass Dark Sleeper 2/28/19
Berkley's New MaxScent PowerBait D-Worm 1/28/19
A Mix of Swimming and Gliding Actions – The Jackall Dowzswimmer 1/25/19
Optimum's Shad That Goes Boom Boom Pow! 8/19/18
Crazy Glide? The Baitsanity Explorer Swimbaits 6/13/18
Bull Shad Swimbaits Enters the Rat Race 12/20/18
Reaction Innovation's New One Two Shiver Punch 3/18/18
OSPs Transformational Yamato Walking Bait 10/26/17
A Finesse Walker : ima's Skimmer 10/25/17
Return of the Vixen by Reaction Innovations 10/24/17
The Walking Baits: Selecting the Right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walker Arsenal 10/23/17
A Bait that Defies Categorization : Megabass of America's Vatalion 9/3/17
The Original TroutGlider - The Glide Bait for Millennials 5/29/17
Big Bite's Latest Addition to Their Squad : The Suicide Shad 5/3/17
Megabass's MagDraft Soft Bodied Swimbait 4/23/17
What Makes Molix's SS Shad a Special Swimmer? 3/25/17
Looking Lively! Live Target's Threadfin Shad Swimbait 1/22/17
Now that is Savage, Duck is on the Menu for Bass and Pike 5/10/16
The Most Realistic Rat Yet? A First Look at Savage Gear's 3D Rat 5/9/16
Imitate Big Forage with the Damiki Gizzard Shad 2/7/16
Project Prometheus Catches Fire with the DUO Onimasu Swimbait 12/6/15
Jackall’s Gantarel Effectively Mimics Bluegill and Panfish 11/11/15
Delta Wood Bombers Enters the Bait Frey with Sinister 4/16/15
Hunting for a Big Bite with the Lunkerhunt Swim Bento 4/8/15
ProducTTpreview: The Highly Configurable DRT Klash Swimbait 4/5/15
Imperfectly Perfect, the Little Creeper All American Sunfish 10/22/14
Small in Size, Big in Stature, Bull Shad Swimbats' New Balsa Bull! 4/23/14
Glide Week : Art in Action, the Roman Made Mother 4/13/14
Glide Week : The Perfect Sliding Storm 4/10/14
Glide Week : Shhh... Don't Tell Anyone But Have You... 4/9/14
Glide Week : ABT Lures Squeezes In With the Suicide 4/8/14
Glide Week : The Lumbering Limberlamber 4/7/14
Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave! 4/6/14
Thru and Thru, Savage Gear's New Trout Inspires Confidence 1/19/14
Roman Made's Trick to Get Our Enthusiast Meter Moving 5/12/13
Simple yet Deadly Effective, the Savage Gear Sandeel 3/31/13
ProducTTPreview : Got'Em Coach Real Gillz Swimbaits Bring the Detail to Design 3/13/13
Roman Made Prepares to Introduce New Patterns Designed Specifically for the US Market 11/28/12
Son of a Mother, the Roman Made Negotiator Swimbait 6/6/12
Cute and Deadly, the BBZ-1 Baby Shad Imitates Baitfish 1/14/12
The ABT Banshee Screams for Attention 12/14/11
Man It's a Hot One, Like Nine Inches : Rago Bait's Smoothie 10/9/11
The CL8 Bluegill & Crappie are More than Just a Swimbait for the Spawn 10/2/11
The Elusive 22nd Century Bluegill Bait 9/12/11
Kickin' It With Tylure's Sunfish 9/3/11
"It's a Beautiful ..." Bait : Mattlure's U2 8/27/11
Snack Time Anyone? JSJ's Snack Size Gill 8/18/11
The Fix is In : Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 - Round 2 6/24/11
One Fisherman's Trash is Another's Hot New Bait 5/18/11
ABT Introduces “Next Generation” Banshee Swimbait 5/17/11
WTF!! A Big Bait Side Dish : BaitSmith's 5" Shad 4/11/11
Huddleston Continues to Innovate : The Weedless Trout 3/17/11
Mattlures Does It Again, This Time For Tournament Anglers 3/14/11
Decoy Swimbait's HydraTail : Size Just Right - To Be Eaten! 2/22/11
Rago and Velvick's Winning Combination : The BV3D 1/10/11
So Unrefined It's Art : Triton Mike's Bull Shad 8/22/10
Sebile Creates Some New Magic With Its Soft Swimmer 5/9/10
Spro’s Little John MD is one mean little crankbait 4/25/10
Move, Slide, Stop ... Slammer Time! 3/09/10
The Leader of Rago's Rat Pack : The Original Generic Rat 12/22/09
PRODUCTTPREVIEW : Meet the shrunken down Spro BBZ-1 Jr. 11/5/09
In The Mood ... For Jigs, 2009 Jig Roundup 11/1/09
Bass Jam '09 Preview : What's Cookin' with Rago Baits 10/29/09
Mythical Creatures, Legendary Baits : The Return of Nezumma 10/08/09
Raising the Bar Once Again : Mattlures Hard Bait Bass Series 9/30/09
Still Not Sold on Big Baits? How About a Hybrid? : Deps Highsider 9/28/09
Sometimes, You Just Have To Go Small : TyLure's Kicker Shad 9/27/09
Junk Food for a Quality Limit: JSJ's Snack Sized Trout 5/06/09
Unfinished Business: Our Soft Bodied Swimbait Tackle Drop 4/22/09
What happens when a Swimbait and a prop bait get together, meet the Basstar Proprunner 4/19/09
A.C. Plugs Modernizes the AC Minnow 4/12/09
Falcon Lure’s Big Eyez Paddletail Swims True 4/5/09
The Evolution of a Big, Hard Bodied Bait: 3:16 Lure Company's Real Deal 3/16/09
The Castaic Catch 22 Swimbait offers guaranteed durability, and it catches fish too 3/11/09
PRODUCTTPREVIEW : Nate's Baits 2/25/09
Mattlures Cranks It Up With Their Latest Masterpiece: Their Hard Bluegill Series of Baits. 2/11/09
A Tale of Two Baits, Bettencourt Baits' RealFish Shad & Real Snake 2/04/09
The Return of Rago Baits 1/11/09
Shallow, Deep, or In-between? Versatility for All Occasions: Tru-Tungsten's Tru-Life Baits 10/22/08
PRODUCTTPREVIEW : Orso Swimbait Company 10/12/08
Shellcracker [shel krak-er] - noun : Redear Sunfish : see also BlackDog Bait Company 9/17/08
A "Dink" for big fish, Osprey's newest swimbait 8/31/08
Tru-Tungsten announces new Tru-Life 4-Inch swimbait 7/13/08
Castaic Soft Bait Company Re-Enters the Hard Bait Market With Their New, Platinum ROCK HARD! 7/09/08
New Bait Company, JSJ Baits Introduces Their Take on Big Baits, the Snack Sized Trout 7/01/08
The Small, Stealthy, Sexy, Spro 4" BBZ Shad! 5/30/08
TackleTour Goes Fun-Fishing with TV Host Alan Fong and Gets an Introduction to the Al-e-baby 5/12/08
Optimum Bait Company Introduces Diamonds for Anglers 5/12/08
AC Plugs Prepares to introduce Bluegill Swimbaits 5/03/08
A new Swimbait entry, the Flex Phantom from Strike Pro 4/03/08
Breaking News : Lucky Craft's Real California Supreme 200 1/29/08
Looks Can Be Deceiving: Black Dog Bait Company's Lunker Punker 9/23/07
Topwater Annihilation: the 3:16 Wake Jr. 7/07/07
The Triple Trout performs a lot better than it looks! 6/11/07
Nothing Yet, to Scare the Competition: The Fish Arrow Spooky Jack 6/4/07
MattLures Revisits Their Design and Brings To Market, The Ultimate Bluegill 4/15/07
An Affordable Alternative For Those Not Quite "Sold" On the Price of The Swimbait Craze 2/14/07
Mimic injured baitfish with the innovative Daiwa "Dead or Alive" 2/04/07
Instruments of a Legend, Introducing Jerry Rago's Baby Tool 12/11/06
Designed by the Master, Introducing the Ken Huddleston's Deluxe Rate of Fall Swimbait 10/19/06
Going Old School With a Tried and True Swimbait: Sunrize Tackle's Hammerhead 4/6/06
As lifelike as plugs get, the Bettencourt "Real Fish" Bluegill 11/30/05
A Bait to Lure Monster Bass : Introducing The MattLures Baby Bass Swimbait 10/5/05
A Hot West Coast swimbait with a patented easy to rig system... the Megabait L.A. Slider 6/13/05
The A.C. "Real Trout," the latest in a line of modified plugs from Allan Cole 3/10/05
The Bettencourt Assassin slays unsuspecting fish with distinctive tail swimming action 12/09/04
Targeting Trophy Bass with the Basstrix Swimbait 11/20/03









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