Son of a Mother, the Roman Made
you are a trophy bass
hunter chances are you
have heard about Lake
Biwa in Japan. It is
here that Manubu Kurita
utilized a Roman Made
“Mother” swimbait to
catch the previous Lake
Biwa record bass then
went on to catch the
world record tying
monster with the same
bait series. The
“Negotiator” is a
smaller version of the
Mother, and is designed
to impart the same type
of action with a lure
that can be used for a
wider range of bass, not
just the biggest baddest
Compared to the Mother (top) the Negotiator (center) and Trick (bottom) are tiny
To call the Mother intimidating would be an understatement. Let’s start with the
price, each Mother retails for just over 400 dollars each! Each Mother is hand
crafted, hand painted and even hand tuned right next to Lake Biwa in Japan.
Unlike most swimbaits including the company’s own “Trick” series which features
two treble hooks traditionally mounted on the underbelly of the lure the
Negotiator features a channel that is carved out of the top of the lure to
accommodate a double stinger rig with one hook positioned above each jointed
Negotiator features a single joint
The Mother is 12” in
length and weighs in at a whopping 10.5oz. (imagine what casting that bait all
day will do to your arms and shoulders) in weight, suffice to say you need a
serious swimbait rod to effectively toss one of these big baits. The Negotiator
is designed to be much easier to manage and is 7” in length and only weighs in
at 3oz. total. Compared side by side the Mother Custom absolutely dwarfs the
Negotiator in size but when it comes to quality of finish both lures showcase
the same detailed design and artistry.
the Roman Made swimbaits have a distinct flat profile
Real World Tests:
I have been fishing the Roman Made Trick swimbait for a few months now and first
purchased this and a Mother Custom from Tackle Warehouse. I was excited when I
found these baits for sale here in the U.S. and learned that David Swendseid,
who also works for Jackall, was responsible for helping make them more available
stateside. The fact that U.S. anglers have access to this bait is huge for big
bait enthusiasts. I packed my existing Roman Made swimbaits for our trip to El
Salto and when David heard that I was heading down south he overnighted me a
Trick features two joints and delivers a more traditional snake like swimming
Casting: With swimbaits like the Roman Made Trick or Negotiator I prefer to fish with hollow braid top shot with a fluorocarbon leader or straight fluorocarbon in extremely clear water or when fish are very spooky. With either of these setups the Negotiator is an easy swimbait to cast. It has a compact body that is evenly weighted due to the wooden construction and both long distance and short controlled lob casts are easily done with a light swimbait rod or even a heavy flipping stick.
Cal grabs the Negotiator and ties it on for a test drive
Retrieve: When we started fishing at El Salto on Day 1 Cal checked out the box of swimbaits that I had packed and immediately saw the Roman Made Negotiator. Being fanatical about swimbaits he asked “are you going to have the cahones to throw that here?” Before I could even reply he had reached in and proceeded to tie it onto his casting rig. Within the first 30 casts he had a 3lbr in the boat. He cut off the Negotiator and handed it back to me and joked “well we know it works, now can we catch bigger before we lose it?” At El Salto the bass eagerly bit on the bait during slow retrieves, when slowly moved across the bottom or when the retrieve was varied.
The face of the Negotiator
Anglers that have fished baits like the Gancraft Jointed Claw or River2Sea S-Waver will immediately recognize the side to side gliding pattern this double jointed swimbait delivers. This action is very different than the triple jointed Roman Made Trick Swimbait which showcases a more traditional slinking straight return action. The Negotiator delivers a tighter more controllable action than these other single jointed baits and a simple pause or pop of the rod is enough to get the bait to turn or even spin around aggressively. When it comes to consistency and control for sight fishing this wooden swimbait is probably the best that we have ever seen.
The Negotiator features a channel on top of the lure...
Price & Applications: Up until very recently Roman Made baits, while very popular in Japan, have been hard to come by here in the U.S., most baits were imported or even hand carried back by hardcore big bass hunters or equally passionate JDM lure collectors. With expanded distribution now reaching U.S. shores the baits are now starting to become available here, albeit in limited quantities and at only select retailers/e-tailers. Each bait is still custom made by hand in the same factory near Biwa. So rare are these lures that I feel a little torn fishing them, out of fear of hanging up and losing them to some dark underwater grave. But to not fish these lures would be a shame, and to truly appreciate just how good the craftsmanship really is you have to see just how tantalizing the lure swims.
...which holds the free swinging stinger hooks
Section: Can the bait "Negotiate" El Salto?