The Evolution of a Big, Hard Bodied Bait: 3:16 Lure Company's Real Deal
Impressions: The Real Deal made its debut at the
inaugural Heavyweight Bass Classic (HBC) event held on January 25th, 2008 at Lake Casitas in Southern California where the first five (5) of these baits (all numbered and signed by Mickey Ellis) were given away as raffle prizes. Shortly after that debut, 3:16 began collecting names on a waitlist for those anglers in need of their latest creation. By May or June of 2008, orders from that waitlist were finally
fulfilled, but the list of anxious big bait fanatics wanting to add this bait to their collection continues. Why the
interest? Well, this bait represents the culmination of Mr. Ellis's bait making and designing skills to date and as outlined above, it is a storied history. The Real Deal is a three sectioned, hard bodied bait with an operable mouth available in floater or sinker AND in eight or
six inch sizes. The bait we have in for testing is a floater and weighs in just over four ounces and of course, as with all of 3:16 Lure Company's products, the detailing of the bait is, in a word, sick.
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3:16 Lure Company Real Deal Specifications
top to bottom depending on model
Floater (tested) & Sinker
8" (4.2 ounces - Floater) : Also available in 6"
Trout (custom colors available on request)
Introducing 3:16 Lure Company's Real Deal
The Field Tests: Sitting right on the border of what we'd term as a manageable bait to throw at four ounces, we fished the Real Deal on a number of different rigs finally settling on a Dobyns Rods 806ML for its combination of length, light tip, and control it affords its owner in tossing big baits. The reel paired with this rod is a Daiwa I'ZE Black Sheep 250.
and ready to go aboard a
Dobyns Rods 806ML.
Despite the bait's three sectioned body and operable mouth, the Real Deal casts easily with minimal fouling. The weight of this bait certainly helps it travel through the air with enough momentum to cut through cross breezes and head winds and thanks to our 806ML and Daiwa Black Sheep combo, there were zero
issues with the rod being overloaded or the reel feeling overwhelmed.
Real Deal features a first of its kind operable mouth.
Action:3:16 Lure company recommends tying direct to the Real Deal for best results. The bait comes with no split ring at the line tie to minimize movement at this connection which can result in rolling of the bait as it is retrieved in the water. Tying direct, as recommended, results in a stable swimming motion that looks absolutely deadly on a slow or fast retrieve.
Movement is provided
by a heavy duty
hinge at the base of
the bait's would be
Of course, as with most 3:16 hardbaits, this is not a one-trick plug. Twitch it and jerk it and you can get the Real Deal to walk the dog opening and closing its mouth as it swims as if to gasp for air. Careful not to get too carried away while making this bait dance, however, as with most topwater plugs, the more you jerk, twitch, pull, and pause, the more likely you are to have the bait foul during your retrieve. It is only normal and the Real Deal is no stranger to these accidental hangups.
On a steady retrieve, this bait looks like any other high quality trout plug.
But one hardly has to be so aggressive to make this bait do a fish calling dance. Simply deadstick the bait applying the slightest tension on the line and then, release that tension and it will float there with its mouth opening and closing mimicking a sick, defenseless fish floating on top gasping for air.One can only imagine the tricks and turns and other fish biting dances the sinking version can do, but this floating Real Deal is about as laden with fish catching potential as they come.
But pause that retrieve or deadstick the bait, and you can see the red of its mouth mimicking a fish floating at the surface and gasping for its breath.
The only downside we've encountered with this bait is during rough water conditions, because the bait rides so high in the water, it has the tendency to roll when caught in a cross wind and a steady retrieve. Kill your retrieve under these conditions and deadstick the bait and it's perfectly fine.
The Real Deal features the familiar concealed joints and lexan tail made popular by 316 Lure Company...