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Lure Review

Syncing Up with the Original : Bill Lewis's Rat-L-Trap


Date: 10/8/15
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Bill Lewis Hardbaits
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.41 - BEST VALUE AWARD!

Bill Lewis's Rat-L-Trap has been around since the late 1960's. One of the original, if not the original lipless bait, it remains a staple amongst bass fisherman when reaching for cranks with no lips. We recently took to the water with a bunch of Original Rat-L-Traps and several of the variants. Here's how the bait looks to us!


Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap Specifications

Type Lipless Crank
Length 3"
Weight 1/2 oz
Colors +41
Hooks Set-Lok by Eagle Claw #4 & #6
MSRP $4.99 (for the original)


Quality/Construction: With seven to eight variations from the Original, the Rat-L-Trap has come a long way from it's very plain and simple looking origins. Still with the original body shame the bait's finishes are more varied than ever. Aside from a dorsal fin and defined bulge for the eye, there is zero detailing on this bait. Hardware includes serviceable split rings and hooks custom made for Bill Lewis Hardbaits by Eagle Claw.


Quality Ratings for Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap

Finish (1-5)
Detailing (1-5)
Hardware (1-5)
Craftsmanship (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

This bait requires no introduction... Bill Lewis's Original Rat-L-Trap!

Performance: I fished this bait on a variety of combos including a Shimano Exsence matched with a Shimano Expride EX171H. Most fish lipless cranks on braid but I use all three line types depending on the situation.

Oh but wait, Rat-L-Traps are available in custom colors!

Castability: I've yet to meet a lipless crank I didn't enjoy casting and the Rat-L-Trap is no exception. This bait flies trough the air straight onto its target 95% of the time. The other 5% or less, it will sometimes get caught in an air current and sail off to the side or sweep in like a major league slider.

This is a Hi's Tackle Box exclusive - Clear Lake Special.


This is another Hi's exclusive Hi's Ghost Baitfish.

Slow and High Speed: The Rat-L-Trap has stuck around and remained effective for all these years for a reason and that's because it swims true no matter how fast or slow you retrieve it even with today's ultra high speed reels. The fastest reel I had on hand to test this bait with was the Excense with an 8:1 retrieve ratio or 10 - 33.5 inches per turn (IPT) depending on how much line you have out on your cast.

Most Rat-L-Trap variants fall over when they hit the bottom, but the Knocker version actually stands up!

Next Section: A classic delivers









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