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Lure Review

Designed by the Master, Introducing the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall Swimbait

Date: 10/19/06
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Huddleston
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.58

Introduction: There is, perhaps, no more famous a name in the lore of swimbait manufacturers than Ken Huddleston. His story has been well documented in the annals big bass bait history, but in brief, Huddleston, together with his friend Chomp Josephite, founded Castaic Lure Company in the early 1990's - the company many credit with popularizing the swimbait craze among bass fishermen. In 1996, Castaic Lure Company was split into two separate entities, a hard bait side and a soft bait side, with Huddleston taking the helm on the soft bait side. In 2001, Huddleston left Castaic Soft Baits, but to this day, he is still producing, arguably, the highest quality, most sought after, soft plastic swimbaits available today: Introducing the Huddleston Deluxe, Rate of Fall swimbait.


Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Swimbait
Depth Any
Size 8 inches, 4 to 4.75 ounces depending on model
Models ROF 0 (floating), ROF 5 (slow sink), ROF 12 (faster sink), ROF 16 (fastest sink)
Colors/Patterns 4 colors
MSRP $40

Background: Ken Huddleston's Rate of Fall soft plastic swimbaits were first made available in 2003, but their rise in popularity is nothing short of legendary. Thanks to success by trophy bass hunters Bill Siementel and Butch Brown, early demand for these baits far out paced their supply. Today, three years later, these baits are much easier to come by and have been in our arsenal for the past year as we delve, full-on, into the world of big bass baits.


Yes, it looks that realistic, introducing the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall

Impressions: Ken Huddleston's reputation preceded the receipt of our first batch of these baits but even that did not prepare us for their unbelievably life like appearance. Each editors' first reaction? Do we toss it on the barbeque or tie it to the end of our line?! Well, after spending roughly $40 per bait, we would be remiss if we didn't at least cast one of them a few times before retiring them to the grill.


The Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall is a big, heavy bait!


A closeup of the ROF's realistic detailing


The Field Tests: Make no mistake about it, the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall is a serious bait and weighing in between four to five ounces, depending on the model, some serious tackle is needed in order to present these baits properly. The rods I used to fish these baits are both over seven feet in length, and rated, on the top end, to at least 4 ounces. The longer sticks are a great aid in lob casting these baits good distances, and in controlling your catch during battle.


Complete test rigs for Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall Field Tests

Rig One Rig Two
Rod Megabass F7-74DG Destruction 74XH Custom G.Loomis BB964
Reel Daiwa Ringa 103HL Shimano Calcutta 201DC
Line 50lb Power Pro 20lb Sunline Shooter FC


Fishing a bait of this size and nature takes a great deal of patience and persistence. The review period for this bait was extraordinarily long as I struggled with the need to give myself enough time to grow accustomed to tossing this bait and gaining confidence in its effectiveness.


The key to this bait is in the lifelike action of its tail


Not only is the action lifelike, but the tail's texture looks very real as well


Casting: Those not accustomed to tossing swimbaits beware, large, heavy baits, like the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall (ROF) take a lot of practice to cast. The best technique I found was the old two handed, side arm, lob cast. But even using this technique, it takes a good amount of practice to gain any distance. Once distance can be achieved, accuracy continues to be a struggle. Some would argue that accuracy really holds no bearing since most fish these baits in open water situations, but I fished the Deluxe ROF quite often in the California Delta targeting weedlines and really struggled to hit my intended targets. It can be done, but casting a heavy bait like this is far cry from chucking and winding a crankbait. Casting a big, heavy bait like this all day can absolutely wear you out.


Rigged and ready to go with our ROF 5


The drilled holes on the Daiwa Ringa's drag star make a nice hook keeper for swimbaits!


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