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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Lure Review

Move More Water with the PR-Labs Venom (continued)

Retrieve: All it takes is a twitch of the rod tip to bring the Venom to life and it does exactly what you expect it to do, it pops and it chugs, and it does so with extra splash and bubbling thanks to the InterFlow design. The Venom puts out a different noise than most poppers, it is a deeper sound, due to water being forced through the intake versus just slapped against a flat surface.

The lure includes a rattling weight system

Unlike some poppers the venom has an angled enough shape that when you twitch your rod with the right cadence it will skirt side to side and even walk. I had the most success with this bait in warm weather conditions when I varied retrieves, and in between twitches would pull aggressively on the line to create large splashes and plenty of bubbling. When it comes to creating a visible bubble trail behind the lure this popper is as good as they come, and yet another effect of the water, and air, being forced through the InterFlow chamber.

The Venom is surprisingly easy to pop and get to swing across the surface

We’re not exactly sure what fish perceive when they observe the lure popping and splashing on the surface. My guess is they probably think it is a baitfish versus a snake, but whatever they identify they certainly seem to like it.

Performance Ratings for PR-Labs Venom

Castability (1-5)
Ease of Actuation(1-5)
Quality of Movement (1-5)
Position at Rest (1-5)
Durability (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Strikes are vicious, and fishing the Venom reminded me just how exciting topwater fishing really can be. Hookup ratios are good with the dual treble hooks and I definitely preferred fishing this bait with either straight braid or hollow braid with a fluorocarbon leader, these lines enabled me to get a more instant response on the lure when working it across the surface or delivering instant sets the second that fish explode on the bait.

While these finishes may not be the most realistic looking they do have an artistic design and exhibit plenty of personality

Price and Applications: Both lures caught fish but the Venom was the more exciting bait, both from a design and action perspective. There are a lot of good jerkbaits on the market and while the Raven delivers a decent darting pattern we didn’t find the InterFlow technology to generate a measurable increase in strikes, perhaps because jerkbait fishing is so often such a visual technique.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for PR-Labs Venom

Bait to Bait Consistency (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Realism (1-5)
Available Sizes (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

The Venom on the other hand exhibits both enhanced visual and audible effects, as well as plenty of bubbling. The finishes on the Genetic Metamorphosis are creative but not the most realistic, yet they do stand out because they are not typically what you see. This sort of sums up these baits, they may not be the most realistic looking but they do catch fish and ooze plenty of personality.

Part of the reason this lure does more than just pop is the angled long body

The good news is that both the Venom and the Raven retail for the same reasonable price of $9.99 each. The bad news is the lures are not readily available here in the U.S. market, and the company is still working on expanding distribution in the region. Anglers that are interested in the lures can contact the company via their email to order them direct.

On the side it is easy to see the channels under the cheek of the lure which moves both water and air through the bait during retrieves

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):

PR-Labs Venom Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Overall a great overall construction. Decent hooks but I still prefer to swap them out. The finishes proved to be pretty durable 8.0
Performance Easy to fish and surprisingly easy to get to swing side to side versus just pop. Delivers exciting topwater strikes, especially when the weather and water is warm 8.8
Price A reasonable price but the lure is hard to get in the U.S. and only available direct from the manufacturer... at least for now 8.0
Features PR-Labs takes a simple popper design and adds the InterFlow feature which makes this lure stand out. The unique styling in also interesting and while it may not be the most realistic looking does channel the artistic design of classically designed custom topwater baits 8.0
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to cast and retrieve but not the most realistic finishes and only one size available 7.77
Application Good when the water is warm and can deliver strikes when fished in both open water and over and nearby structure 7.0

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

+ Unique styles and finishes - Not the most realistic looking finishes, more artistic than they are genuine patterns
+ Decent stock hooks - Hard to get in the U.S.
+ InterFlow design creates differentiated sound and splash  
+ Easy to work on the surface  
+ Fun to fish  


Conclusion: PR-Labs may not be a well-known brand here in the U.S. yet but they certainly have aspirations to introduce their baits to more anglers stateside and the Genetic Metamorphosis line is a good foray.


There is just something great about topwater strikes and the Venom is a topwater popper that fish in the U.S. are unlikely have to seen before

In warm water conditions the Venom is deadly and calls fish up from far away with plenty of surface commotion. This uniquely styled bait moves plenty of water not just in front of the lure in the form of traditional “pops” but also through and under the bait creating even more fish attention grabbing disturbance. If you are looking for a topwater bait that fish in the U.S. probably haven’t seen before it might just be worth importing a Venom or two.

Looking for more information about the lures from Predator Labs? Check out the Company’s Website









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