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Swimbait Review


Another SoCal Varietal, TrapBass's Fine Trap Rat (continued)

Dexterity: Something about the compact, stocky build of this rat, or maybe its weight, but for some reason I found it super easy to cast and place. It could be because the Trap Rat is a two piece and the bait I had on this rod previously was a three. Apparently not only are two piece baits less snaky in the water, but in the air as well. Whatever the case may be, once this easy casting bait touches down, it sits very level, right at the surface with its eyes right at the water line. It reminds me of a frog with its limbs splayed out at the surface, holding perfectly still thinking you're a T-Rex requiring movement to capture sight of it.

The Trap Rat sits on the surface like a frog trying to elude detection

Fortunately, once you engage your reel, the Trap Rat does not dart away beneath the water like that frog would, but instead begins a very tantalizing dance back towards your position. This bait's action is mostly built into its front section where it moves a lot of water wobbling and rolling as it swims. The back end follows suit pivoting on that single connection, double screw eye joint clacking back and forth as it swings its tail back and forth. All this commotion happens at the surface as the Trap Rat is a pure waking bait. It might go just under the surface if you retrieve it fast enough, but this bait stays on top.

TrapBass also makes a smaller rodent, the House Mouse

Of course, if you want the Trap Rat to dance in place, it will also perform the walk. Some quick twitches of your rod tip will get this bait to snap back and forth walking almost as cool as Morris Day but without the mirrors.

The House Mouse is a fun bait as well and good for situations where a smaller profile is the ticket. It also cranks down a bit easier

Drawing Power: Probably due to its stocky build, the TrapBass moves a good amount of water and what surprised me is the sound it makes as it swims. It has a really nice knock that filled me with confidence a "hangry" bass was going to annihilate it at any moment. This rat screams of "bite me," and even though I'm actually not convinced that knocking sound makes a difference to the fish, the sound sure makes it easier to slow down and concentrate on the bait's path as you're fishing it.

Some normal hook rash wear and tear

Vitality: As simple as the Trap Rat seems to be, it is built with quality components. The telltale sign of this is the afore mentioned solid ring at the bait's line tie, but at close inspection at the joint, you can see the two sections are held together with rather substantial screw eyes. I wouldn't call the split rings attaching the hooks to the bait's body heavy duty, but they are a good, gauge of wire and certainly not thin. The bait's tail attachment works well for the style of bait and tail and is pretty standard.

Whoops! - Results of a cast up onto some concrete steps at the water's edge

And also at the head

Bait Detail : A feature and dimension breakdown of the TrapBass Trap Rat as detailed by our Swimbait SkunkWerx division

Price & Availability: If you like the idea of a custom, hand built bait, but also struggle with finding one that is readily available to order, rest assured, you are not alone. Availability coupled with the price on some of these garage built baits has inspired the development of the big bait black market where no price is too high and baits get gobbled up like baitfish in a deep sea feeding frenzy. If any of this sounds familiar to you and is the source of a ulcer or two, Trap Bass's approach may be the remedy you seek. Their philosophy is to keep baits in stock year around via their website, trapbassbaits.com. Sounds so simple, right? Yet this practice is so uncommon. What's more, the Trap Rat, which, alongside the House Mouse, is their most popular bait retails for just $65.



TrapBass Trap Rat Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A simple looking bait, but put together quite well 8
Performance A wake bait that stays on top and wakes with very good water displacement 9
Price One of the more affordable, garage built alternatives out there 8
Features Quality hardware and components 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Tail placement keeps it out of the way from hooks and on top of the water where it should be... very good eye and ear detail 7.5
Application A very good choice if you're looking for a waking rat that stays on top at all speeds 8

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:


+ Easy size to cast and fish all day - Somewhat simple looking design
+ Stays on top at all speeds  
+ Good knocking sound  
+ Good action with the head roll and back end wobble  
+ Solid ring at line tie is a really nice touch  


Conclusion: TrapBass's Trap Rat surprised me. When it arrived, it didn't really look like much. That coupled with its low retail price and availability, left me with very low expectations. When it finally came around to the Trap Rat's turn on the deck of our Rat Rumble and I turned the handle on that very first swim, I was blown away. How could a garage built bait that swims like this, makes this amount of noise, and is this affordable, almost always be in stock? Knowing the number of rat baits that are in line, it took a lot of self control not to turn around and buy more of this very same bait.


The Trap Rat is a stocky little bait that's built to rumble, screams of "bite me!"


Instead, I kept an eye on the site for re-stock of the smaller, House Mouse in the rattle variant so I could check out something a little different. While these two baits are similar in appearance, the Rattle House Mouse will actually crank down if you want it to and it does not have the same knocking sound as the larger Trap Rat. It's still a fun little bait, but not as eye opening as the rat. That solid ring at the line tie was a hint the Trap Rat was not as simple as it might seem. It's a stocky little bait that's built to rumble, screams of "bite me," and as our Swimbait SkunkWerx division surmises, like so many of the SoCal varietals, the Trap Rat ranks high on our stank factor scale.


Ready to Rumble with the TrapBass Trap Rat?

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