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Lure Review

Creating a Buzz with the Big Bite Baits Buzzing Warmouth (continued)

Real World Tests:  The Big Bite Baits Buzzing Warmouth was tested on several southwest Florida ponds, and was heavily fished during a day on the legendary Lake Okeechobee.  Since the bait is designed for both surface and subsurface action, I rigged it using a variety of methods from unweighted to weighted, and vertical to flat.  20-40lb braid was the sole line of choice, spooled on either a Daiwa Zillion Coastal or a Steez 103HA and fished exclusively on a prototype (and recently reviewed) Airrus Stargate casting rod.

Do you think this fish wanted it?

Casting:  This is not a lure you will be able to chuck 100 yards, but casting the Buzzing Warmouth unweighted is perfectly adequate.  Even on a relatively stout combo, I was never frustrated by the distance I could achieve.  Compared to the original Warmouth, this new version is 25% heavier to ease any previous casting frustrations.  Casting is also free of any acrobatics, as the baits sail through the air without tumbling or going out of control.  About the only gripe I have is casting in a head or cross wind, as the large, flat sides are at the mercy of mother nature, especially unweighted.

Grass like this is what the Buzzing Warmouth thrives in!

Retrieving:  Cranking in the Buzzing Warmouth creates a fair amount of resistance.  The dual tails with their “boot” ends creates some modest torque to crank against.  It's hardly tiring, but something you will notice, especially when using the bait subsurface.  While using my high speed Zillion Coastal with it's speedy 7.3:1 ratio, I often wished for lower gearing to aid in just a tad more cranking ease.

Below the surface, the tails kick with authority, even on a slow retrieve.  On a keel weighted swimbait hook, the bait tracks very true, but can roll a bit when reeling at a faster pace.  It makes a very nice bait for fishing about the top 5' of water, but I wouldn't want to use it much deeper since the sink rate is on the slow side unless using a gaudy amount of weight. 

It takes a large, wide gap hook to rig in the upright position.  Here the bait is shown on a 6/0 Owner Beast hook.

Unweighted on the surface, I found the action to be most attractive with a bit more of a moderate retrieve.  At real slow speeds, the legs kick a bit but lack a true, attention-grabbing buzzing action.  A moderate pace allows the bait to run truer to it's Buzzing Warmouth name.

Durability:  As mentioned earlier, the plastic is a bit softer than expected.  I was not really impressed by the durability, and at the same time was not completely disappointed.  After a few nice bites, the bait usually had to be switched out.  This was mainly due to the soft body of the bait getting too torn up to allow effective weedless rigging.  The internal hook pocket makes for thinner sides that the hook can more easily pop out of or tear through.  If fishing open water applications, you can probably get a bit more life out of each bait by just fishing it with the hook point exposed so the hook point is not ripping out of the plastic each time.  The head section on the other hand, seems to be a bit more durable.  It features a bit larger head than the original Warmouth, and a portion of it nearest the nose is solid so it's a bit sturdier than the body section.  This also allows you to utilize a screw-lock hook effectively.

The hook point can be buried, but since the skin is both thin and soft, it tears through easily...sometimes too easily!

Price & Applications:  Checking around online, prices currently range from $4.99 to $6.99.  Though you only get 4 baits per pack, I feel this is a very fair price for the quality and size of the product.  From a topwater standpoint, there are many “toad” type plastic baits on the market that are somewhat similar in terms of profile and how they're fished. This is where the similarities end, however, as the Buzzing Warmouth is far more detailed and versatile than those “toad style” baits and delivers a unique take on what a noisy topwater flat bodied plastic bait should be, combining swimbait style paddle tails with a soft body and more realistic looking patterns.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Big Bite Baits Buzzing Warmouth Ratings  (?/10)

Construction/Quality These are very carefully crafted baits and the color schemes are nicely executed. 9
Performance No performance issues to note except that a bit quicker retrieve is necessary when fishing on top to really get the best buzzing action. 8.5
Price On the higher end of the soft plastic topwater “buzzing” baits price range, but these look nicer and are more versatile than others. 7.5
Features Enough features to make this a versatile, effective bait.  The hook pocket is especially nice so that it may be rigged vertically if desired. 8
Design (Ergonomics) A very easy bait to rig flat, but takes a bit more manipulation to rig upright.  The durability of the soft body lacks a bit, though.  Only available in 1 size. 7.5
Application Not extremely versatile, but it can be rigged a few different ways and fished from right on the surface to down below a few feet. 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Great color schemes - Body isn't super durable
+ Nicely crafted - Only available in one size
+ Affordable  
+ Can be fished on top or subsurface  

Conclusion:  The Buzzing Warmouth has been an effective and fun bait to test.  The quality construction and ability to fish different depths give it an edge over other similar baits.  My favorite way to fish it has undoubtedly been rigged on it's side for shallow water topwater action.  Unlike a traditional frog that slowly walks and pauses on the surface, it's nonstop buzzing action generates explosive topwater strikes.  My confidence in it was immediately stoked after my third cast of the morning on Lake Okeechobee was pounded by a nice Bass that was roaming a shallow flat.

One of several solid Okeechobee keepers fishing sparse grass in the fog!

Yes, it's true that the Buzzing Warmouth can't do it all, but it's a good performer in the areas for which it was designed.  The fun factor is high with this bait both in terms of catching fish and simply buzzing it around gnarly cover.  It's something a bit different that heavily pressured fish may have not yet seen, and that in itself can be the key to unlocking a great bite.

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