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Lure Review


Bull Shad Swimbaits Enters the Rat Race (continued)

Dive Time: On splash down, the Bull Shad floats and while we recommend waiting for all the concentric ripples to disappear before beginning your retrieve, sometimes, you just can't wait to see a new bait swim. Such was the case on one of the first casts I made with the Bull Shad. Zander and I were in a big, shallow bay over the Summer. I tied the Bull Shad on, tossed it out as far as I could, and began my retrieve just to see what the bait was about.

The bill will pull the bait down just under the surface if you pull hard, but it's mostly a surface bait.

As the Bull Shad came to life, I marveled at its natural looking, snake-like swimming motion on the surface of the water and called out to Zander to "check it out." Zander took a look over his shoulder and in typical tackle enthusiast spirit, made a remark just for fun, "oooh... EAT IT!" As if on cue, right at that moment, a bass boiled up on the bait from below and took it down! I swung all seven feet, eleven inches of the Onager to take up as much line as possible and began cranking on the Shrapnel as fast as I could and it was fish on!

The hooks Mustad KVD Triple Grip hooks are attached to the body of the bait through swiveled hook loops.

Design/Ergonomics: The Bull Shad is available in three pretty basic colors and comes equipped with the relatively new, short shank, seemingly wide reach, Mustad KVD Triple Grip trebles that work really well in allowing you to work this bait over grass beds that only have a few inches of water above them and not get hung up yet still deliver on a very high percentage of hook ups.

The baits tail is a key part of the action.

While the bait itself seems pretty basic in design, I think a lot of the key to this bait is in that long, soft plastic tail. Pulled next to the boat to study how this bait swims, you can see that tail really delivers on the follow through of the bait's overall swimming motion. It finishes off the snaky swimming pattern with a very enticing wiggle.

As with most small shop, hand made baits of this ilk, the Bull Shad comes with a pretty good price tag of just over $50.

Price & Application: As with most small shop, hand made baits of this ilk, the Bull Shad comes with a pretty good price tag of just over $50. But when that grass gets thick, and there's a few inches of water above those clumps it's wake bait time. There are few applications more thrilling than throwing and retrieving a big bodied wake bait like the Bull Rat and having the fish "get it."


Bull Shad Swimbaits Bull Rat Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Typical Bull Shad construction - solid even if the bait looks unrefined 8.5
Performance Cast well and swims so enticingly 9
Price Baits like this come with a bit of a price 7
Features Top quality hooks that deliver an excellent hook up ratio 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) A really good size to throw with a tail that is perfectly matched to the bait 8.5
Application Post spawn to summertime topwater wake bait fun 8

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:


+ Easy bait to throw and work - Very limited color selection
+ Excellent swimming motion  
+ Sticky and good quality stock hooks  

Zander called it and this hungry bass answered.

Conclusion: Even with all the time we put on the water testing new product, it's more than exceedingly rare when we can call the shot on a hit. In fact, I can remember only one other occasion. I really didn't expect much from the Bull Rat until I saw how well that tail finished off the bait's swimming motion next to the boat. After that initial fish, I managed two or three others, but none got that adrenaline flowing more than the first and that was all thanks to Zander's call - even on subsequent trips. All it really takes is one memorable hit on a bait to ingratiate it in the mind of an angler, and the Bull Rat certainly enabled just such a memory. If you're into the rat race craze, you owe it to yourself to check out the Bull Rat by Bull Shad Swimbaits.


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