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Lure Review

The Triple Trout performs a lot better than it looks! (continued)

Durability: If there's a downside to this bait, it's the finish, stock hooks, and even the snap it comes with as the point of attachment to your line. All these items can use some upgrades. Considering the effectiveness of this bait, and the fact it's really still exactly the same as first designed and built as prototype, it's all understandable. Additionally, while it would be nice for the bait to come with more durable hardware, the hooks and snap are easy upgrades to do yourself. Oh, and by the way, the bait works just as well if tied direct to the line tie, no snap involved.


Swimbaits are not just a California phenomenon. Team TackleTour member Dave Jackson, from New Jersey, with his personal best 4.4lb Smallmouth bass caught on Triple Trout

The one area of foresight was with the baits tail, and true to form, as designed, it is very easy to swap with not only original parts, but also, parts from your favorite soft plastic baits like a Zoom Superfluke, Lunker City Fin-S, or similar. I even tried the back half of a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, just for kicks, and yes, that worked fine as well.

How about this one? An actual brown trout landed on this same bait! Dave Jackson, again, with fishing partner Bill Lin, showing off their catch.

I did experience some trouble with my seven-inch version, the bait I use the most. It lost an eye and the paint is bubbling up from underneath. Apparently gas can, on occasion, built up within the resin - especially on hot days, and escape out the pours. They'll show up as bubbles in the paint which is actually a better result than the entire bait swelling up and becoming useless. These bubbles, while unsightly on my one bait, have not prevented me from catching fish on it, and if and when I decide I can do without it, I just may take a stab at repainting it myself - yeah right!

Our 7" Triple Trout developed these bubbles underneath the paint...

We're told this is likely due to gases within the resin on hot days, building up and escaping through the pours. Better to have bubble finish than a useless swollen bait! The bait still swims fine.


Features: The most interesting feature I found, in studying the bait was the point of attachment for the hooks to the bait's body. Integrated into the body of the bait are two bearing swivels instead of the typical, fixed screw-eye type attachment. One of the biggest problems with big bait fishing is the propensity of lost fish because the big baits are easier for the fish to throw. These swivels are a way to mitigate against that occurrence on big baits because the fish can't get a fixed point of leverage. This, of course, translates into higher landing percentages.


The simple, and easily replaced, tail of the Triple Trout in profile...

...and from underneath.


Application: The Triple Trout comes in three different configurations in several different sizes. They can be fished from top (floating model), to bottom (fast sink), to anywhere in between (slow sink), and all can be retrieve fast or slow. As you can see from the many fish photographs we have, it is a true multi-species bait. Just think of it as an oversized crankbait and you can't lose.


Oh and by the way, it worked for me too!

Effectiveness: The Triple Trout has been catching fish for anglers from the West Coast, where it started, to the deep south with folks like Triton Mike Bucca, to back east, with TackleTour readers Dave Jackson and Bill Lim. To say the bait is effective is a huge understatement. It's been the bait behind several tournament wins, and the bait that got a lot of people started and hooked into the big bait craze across the nation. Trophy fisherman, tournament fisherman, recreational fisherman, and guides all use this bait. It's that good.

As hard as these baits are to come by, I had to install Luresaver Split rings.

The hooks attach to the body of the Triple Trout via integrated barrel swivels


Availability: Now the bad news. 22nd Century Baits is pretty much a one man show. Scott Whitmer is owner, proprietor, president, bait maker, painter, and accountant. Just about every bait he makes is purchased by one of two tackle shops in Southern California. If you want to get a hold of one, your best, and probably only bet is to call one of these stores: Performance Tackle at 714.826.1400 or Anglers Marine at 714.666.2628. Both stores have an online presence, but neither, at this point in time has an e-tail site. The only way to order is to call. I purchased my baits from Performance Tackle and received outstanding service.



22nd Century Triple Trout Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid if not inspiring 8.5
Performance Excellent where it really counts 10
Price Hand crafted has its price 7.5
Features The swivel hook attachments are great 9
Design (Ergonomics) Once again, not the best, but not intended to be either 8
Application If taken across the different models and sizes, just about as versatile as you can be 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A great starter swimbait L Stock hardware (hooks and snap) are not the greatest, but easily replaced.
J As versatile as they come L The bait's finish is not it's strong point
J Swivel attachment for the hooks is a nice touch  L Can be very difficult to find
J A great go-to swimbait  


A true multi-species bait, I thought I had the bass of a lifetime... it's a bass alright, but the wrong species. Still, I'll take it, along with half a dozen more of these baits!


Conclusion: I have to tell you, when I first received my Triple Trout baits, I really didn't think much of them. No realism per-se, a hefty price tag, and questionable hooks and snap. I had heard and read the scuttlebutt surround this bait, but I always wait to form my own opinion. Trouble is, it took me a while to actually tie one on and fish it. Several better looking baits caught my attention instead. When I finally did tie one on and fished it for an extended length of time, boy, I had a hard time picking up anything else! These baits are so easy to throw and so fun to fish because they're a breeze to cast, you can place them where you want with minimal practice, and they flat out catch fish! Nothing is more heartstopping than catching a fish on a big bait because the expectation is, it's going to be HUGE! Imagine my anxiety when I hooked into that six pound striper pictured above! The Triple Trout may never win an award for best looking or finely detailed bait, but it has easily won the award for this Editor's Choice. Keep up the great work 22nd Century!


August 2008 Amendment: We've confirmed with 22nd Century Baits that the snap included in the packaging of the Triple Trout is intended for packaging purposes only and not meant to be used while fishing.












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