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Swimbait Review


PB Rat Lights It Up With a Little Slosh and a Lot of Boils (continued)

The Hook Up: A good third of the hits I received on this bait were big slurps where the bass somehow inhaled the bait from below. The remaining hits were your typical ruckus explosions. Hook up ratio in all of these variants was very good, but I did lose fish here and there. Such is the way with topwater baits - especially big bait topwaters. The good news is, with the right equipment, the PB Rat is very easy to move and those hooks swing very free giving you the best chance for a solid set. Sometimes, the fish just win.


If the three-piece PB Rat sounds like a band, the two-piece is kind of an a capella version of the same

Can Take a Beating: Most of the time, when discussing waking rat baits and their composition, wood trumps resin and plastic everytime. It's not even close. But wood baits eventually succumb to the stress and wear of performing night in, morning out, and all day long. Resin is actually more durable. Case in point? The PB Rat's resin is durable. So much so even after repeated catches and use, I found minimal evidence of hook rash. Perhaps this is due to the fact my collection has some how reproduced and multiplied and I've allowed each member of the band to have their own solo careers, but I would have expected more hook rash on one or two of the obvious favorites.

One really interesting feature about the PB Rat is how the makers integrate color into the resin to create those crazy swirl patterns in the bait's finish. That's one of the reasons the bait's hold up so well is that the color is integrated into the material. There is no paint to scratch or flake off, and wear and tear does little to alter the bait's look or character.


Tails are easily removed for replacement or customization

When to Throw: When it comes down to it, any topwater bait that doesn't walk or pop and is intended to be fished on the surface at a steady retrieve so you get that v-shaped wake behind it is a wake bait. The majority of topwater rat baits are wake baits. I find wake baits most effective from about post spawn well into the Fall. The ones that make noise, like the PB Rat, can be fished twenty four hours because when it's dark, fish can track the sound and of course, when there's daylight, they can track sound, silhouette, and surface disturbance. The PB Rat is a 24/7 type of bait.


One of the rarer patterns for the new PB Rat is this purple and black swirl that is designed for night fishing. Zander procured this bait from Coyote Bait and Tackle

Design/Ergonomics: Because they're resin, these baits are also relatively light for their size and super easy to cast and work. If you don't like the tail colors or want/need to swam them out for whatever reason, it's really just a soft plastic worm held in place by a screw lock similar to what you find on a centering pin. Just pick a similarly sized soft plastic worm of your choosing and replace.


A closer look at the joints reveals the robust hardware, this rat is built to last

Price & Availability: The one issue I do have with this bait is the price. I'm not normally very critical of this aspect in any product, but there are hand made, wood baits that retail for less than the PB Rat. Granted, you often have to wait for long periods of time to get some of the more coveted wood creations, but you're paying for that personal, hand carved, painted craftsmanship. Obviously, the PB Rat is hand made, but there's not nearly the same degree of artistry involved as say the Illude Rad Rat.


Since about September of 2020, PB Rat has really cranked up production and has offered bait drops through their Instagram and Facebook pages

Since about September of 2020, PB Rat has really cranked up production and has offered bait drops through their Instagram and Facebook pages. Select fine retailers like Coyote Bait and Tackle and the Hook Up Tackle occasionally have inventory as well, so if you really want one, they are accessible and available. With garage baits, that's often 90% of the battle right there - finding them for sale. That is good news for anglers that want to fish one of the hottest custom baits on the market.


The PB is hot. Even Mo thinks this new rat is tasty!

This is also a good bait for anglers that are not all that familiar with rat fishing. The PB Rat, especially the three piece, is among the easier rat baits to fish. While you can vary the cadence a slow and steady retrieve is all it takes to bring the bait to life and bass respond to the bait's aggressive action and unique sound.

Ratings:

PB Rat Topwater Rat Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Seemingly simple build yet very consistent bait to bait 9
Performance Casts and swims easily but it's all about that sound. The unique sound this bait makes as it sloshes back and forth is quite unique 9
Price How is a resin bait more pricey than wood? On the plus side each bait is still unique, much like the original 6.5
Features Replaceable tail, resin body with integrated color. Holds up very well over time and here isn't paint to scratch off 8
Design (Ergonomics) Big in size but not weight. Easy to throw with even lighter swimbait setups 8
Application You can fish this bait 24/7 during your wake bait season 8

Total Score

8.08
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
+ Super easy to throw. Unlike some other rat baits there is no learning curve to fish the PB effectively - More available than the majority of garage baits, but still a tad difficult to source if you want immediate gratification
+ Two and three piece versions offer differing action and sound  
+ Good hook up ratio  
+ Like your favorite musical group, the PB Rat has a unique, fish enticing sound  
+ Color is integrated into the resin for better durability  

 

Conclusion: In all this excitement, I almost forgot to mention one thing. The PB Rat wakes best at slow speeds. It will dive down just under the surface if you speed it up, or if you give it a good tug right before you begin your retrieve, but I like it best on top where I can hear that slosh and grind. The sound gives me confidence the bait is about to be annihilated. Speaking of instilling confidence, if you can stomach loaning a $140 to your buddy, the PB Rat is a great choice. It is easy to throw and fish effectively.

 


It is a well known fact that purple is a popular enthusiast color, and while Zander caught the majority of his fish on this pattern at night, the PB's unique action and sound made this bait effective during the day as well

 

While many anglers focus on rat fishing during the night, or early morning, we have found that the unique sound and action that the PB generates makes this bait more effective throughout the day than some other more subtle rats.

 

If you have one of the original wooden PB Rats you definitely should hold on to it as a collectors item, but for those that have never fished the original this new version brings some very unique attributes to the water, including new patterns, sound, durability, and even availability. Simply put... the PB Rat is back, and it does not disappoint.

 

Looking for some PB Rats? Stay up to date on latest availability by following them on Instagram @pb_rat


 

   

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