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Lure Review

Instruments of a Legend, Introducing Jerry Rago's Baby Tool (continued)

Durability: Despite its multi-joint construction, the Baby Tool's finish held up incredibly well over our three-month long test. I threw it under normal conditions, retrieving it at various cadences, but I also trolled with the lure on several occasions just to see how it would hold up. I fully expected to find some wear at the joints but discovered none. The soft tail section held up very well, though admittedly, I did not catch a lot of fish, so it remains to be seen how the tail might hold up in the long run. Overall, this is one solidly constructed bait and I see no issues other than normal, long term wear and tear.


The Baby Tool's incredibly realistic swimming action can be attributed to it's double joint construction.

Interestingly enough, the tail section of the bait is soft plastic

Application: Jerry told us he designed the Baby Tool as a definite cast and retrieve bait. We took it a step further and tried our hand at trolling the bait as well. It tracks true in either condition so it can be fished pretty much however you want. The best mindset to have when fishing a bait such as this is to think of it as a giant crankbait. How do you fish cranks? Chuck and wind, varying your retrieve until you find what the fish wants. The Baby Tool is not much different, though it is, admittedly, an intimidating lure to throw given its size.


Many baits such as this have rather large joints. The Baby Tool's while not small, are still less obvious than most

The stock hooks of the Baby Tool are very stout and sharp

Hand signed by Jerry Rago himself.

Effectiveness: Insert fisherman's tale here. I could tell you I absolutely nailed them with this lure, or I could tell you I didn't catch many but the one I did catch...! But I won't. Anyone who fishes big baits consistently in waters that are not stocked with "feeder" trout will tell you, if you work at it, the bites will come. Trophy fishing is an entirely different mindset that we here at TackleTour are still coming up to speed on. The interesting thing is, what I did manage during my time reviewing this lure were some heart stopping "thumps", and a dink that weighed in between four and five pounds. I don't know about you, but if I could catch dinks that size on every trip, I'd be pretty happy. There's no doubt in my mind this bait catches fish, but with big baits, patience and most of all, persistence, is the key.


While the mouth of the Baby Tool may be prone to catching weeds, there's no denying its realistic effect.

This is no run of the mill paint job. Each Baby Tool is very carefully finished.


Jerry Rago Baby Tool Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This bait is built incredibly well 10
Performance Weeds are its only downfall 8.5
Price About the only thing to be really critical of on this bait, but remember, each one is hand made by Jerry Rago himself 6.5
Features Jointed construction, great sinking action, soft tail section, quality hooks 9
Design (Ergonomics) Just about as realistic a hardbait as I've seen 10
Application Wonderful diversity in a single bait 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Hand crafted excellence L The cost will be hard to swallow for most
J A quality product L Make sure to gear up for this one, it's a serious bait
J Exquisite finishing  
J Can be fished a variety of ways  

This bass may be a dink by swimbait standards, but I'll take a dink this size (~4.75lbs) any day of the week!

Conclusion: What I was actually targeting with the Baby Tool was a striper of a lifetime on the California Delta. The season is not yet over, so I'm still hopeful the fish will come. What I found is this $100 lure is an absolute blast to throw and fish because of the many different ways you can work it - fast, slow, mix in some pauses and jerks and have at it! Even better, you can mess with your fishing partner (like I did with Zander and JIP on a few occasions) by causing all kinds of commotion on the water with each cast. The obvious downside to this lure is the cost to acquire and the serious tackle you need to throw it. But honestly, once you hold one of these baits in hand and can admire the hand crafted expertise of Jerry Rago, all you want to do is tie it on and see what the bait can do. I really have nothing but praise for the quality and versatility of this bait which is why it is only the second bait to ever win our Ultimate Enthusiast Award!











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