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Lure Review


The surprisingly buoyant V&M Mud Bug trailer comes to life
 

Date: 12/4/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Bayou Outdoors, V&M
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.83

 

Introduction: V&M is a small bait company that has been around since 1990. In 2002, V&M Bait Company was bought out by Bayou Outdoors. Though Bayou Outdoors relocated the manufacturing plant, everything was still located in V&M's original home state of Louisiana. To this day, Bayou Outdoors continues to offer both old and new products under the VYM name. Today we bring to you one such product, the V&M Mud Bug, a soft plastic trailer with a nice, built-in action.

 

V&M Mud Bug Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Trailer
Size 4 inches (standard) / 3 inches (baby)
Colors/Patterns 13 Colors
MSRP (std size) $2.65/5 pack : $49.95/100 pack


Impressions: The first thing that strikes you when you open a package of these baits is the scent. No need to add extra attractant to these baits as they are poured with a rather potent blend of their own. Make sure you open these packages in a well ventilated area! Getting over this initial bomb and taking one of these baits out of the package reveals a fairly typical plastic craw trailer bait. Of note with the V&M Mud Bug is the relatively small body of the bait contrasted by the very large claws. This bait really screams for that which it was designed - being hooked onto the back of a jig as a trailer.

 

Introducing the V&M Mud Bug
 

The Field Tests: I took out two of my favorite jig sticks and a couple of new jigs with which to try these new trailers. The first combo I had was my Evergreen TXFC-68M Stallion paired with a Shimano Antares AR reel spooled with 12 pound Yozuri Hybrid. On this combo, I was using, primarily the Vertical Lures JigX. On my second combo, my Megabass F5 1/2 68XFti SB Diablo paired with a Daiwa I'ZE Millionaire Light spooled with 14 pound Sunline Shooter FC, I had tied on a TnT Cooch Wadda Jig. Other jigs used on and off during this test period included the KingFisher Hair Jig and Tru-Tungsten Jig.

 

Complete test rigs for V&M Mud Bug Field Tests

Rig One Rig Two
Rod Evergreen Stallion Megabass Diablo
Reel Shimano Antares AR Daiwa I'ZE Millionaire Light
Line 12lb Yozuri Hybrid 14lb Shooter FC
Jig Vertical Lures JigX TnT Wadda Jig

 

The V&M Mud Bug features a relatively small body
 

Shown here rigged on a Tru-Tungsten Jig
 

Versatility & Rigging: Like any plastic bait, the limits to the Mud Bug's potential is only limited by the end user's imagination. I can see this bait used on a drop shot rig (especially the baby version), the end game on a Carolina rig, hooked on a bare jighead and so on, but the only way I had it rigged during my 2006 fishing season was at the end of a jig. It's just such a natural at this application, and so effective, I did not need to fish it any other way.

 

The Mud Bug's appendages are very pronounced
 

Casting/Pitching: As with any plastic trailer, the V&M casting and pitching performance is directly related to the weight of the jig being used. Since my primary application was with 3/8 and 1/2 ounce jigs, getting the bait where I wanted was met with little difficulty. The V&M Mud Bug, though blessed with huge claws, rarely fouls or gets in the way when pitching around tight spots or into small holes. Somehow, it is able to slide through such areas with little difficulty.
 

Placed on my hand you can get a sense for the size of the Mud Bug's claws
 

Presentation: To say this bait provides a nice, big, defensive posture underneath the water is an understatement. As seen in our underwater shots, the V&M Mud Bug's claws are very buoyant and able to lift the back and of just about any jig quite easily presenting to a hungry or angry bass, just the defensive posturing necessary to trigger aggressive strikes. It is intended, primarily as a bed fishing bait so you can pitch it out and just let it sit on a spot for as long as you want, but the rearward buoyancy of the Mud But really helps to enhance those hop retrieves back to the boat. Its claws just flare out, defiantly each time you snap your rod tip. The Mud Bug is so buoyant, it prevents your jig from falling over as it sits on the bottom, and ensures the hook of our jig is in a good position for hookset.. This is one impressive little bait under the water.

 

The body of the V&M Mud Bug is relatively small so we found simply running the hook through the body was the best way to rig it rather than threading the bait onto the hook
 

While the underside of the Mud Bug's body is flat, the top is rounded off and features these ridges to offer a little water resistance on descent

 

Weedlessness: Rigged at the trailing end of a jig, weedlessness, as with casting, is dependent really, on the jig being used. If rigged by itself, Texas style, you'd have to use a pretty small hook to effectively achieve this goal - this cold be a detriment depending on the cover you want to fish. This is due to the relatively small body of this trailer bait. It is definitely built to be rigged with an exposed hook point.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Look at the defensive posture created by the buoyancy of the Mud Bug's claws!
 

The Mud Bug is so buoyant, it helps ensure your jigs stay upright in good position for a hookset. We haven't seen claw action like this from a plastic bait since the River2Sea Standin' Yabbie!
 

Durability: With such large appendages, I fully expected these baits to get torn up time and time again from short strikes, bluegills, or even the occasional sticky tule reed, but this happened only on rare occasions. I was quite pleased and surprised by how well these baits held together fished at the end of a jig. I had more trouble with the hole created by the hook shaft on the bodies eventually getting too big for the bait to stay on than I did the claws being ripped off prematurely.

 

A very subtle detail, but Mud Bug does feature two protrusions that appear to be eyes
 

Each of the appendages on the Mud Bug are textured to provide some disturbance in the water as you hope the bait around


Availability: The V&M Mud Bug comes in the standard four-inch size, and a smaller three-inch size, the Baby Mud Bug. Both versions can be ordered through a few online retailers or even through the Bayou Outdoors' website. They are fairly easy to find and you can even purchase them in bulk packages of 100 baits! Quite a convenience for the dedicated jig fisherman.

 

One last look at the V&M Mud Bug

 

Ratings:

V&M Mud Bug Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very well constructed bait 9
Performance The underwater shots say it all 10
Price At over $0.50 a piece, they're roughly $0.20 more per bait than a GYCB Double Tail Grub. 7
Features Built in scent, extreme buoyancy 9
Design (Ergonomics) Not the most realistic bait out of the water, but the exaggerated effect underwater is effective 9
Application Only used during our tests as a jig trailer, but very applicable to other techniques that can benefit from a bait that floats 9

Total Score

8.83

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Incredible underwater action L Don't seem to be widely distributed so they're best bought online
J Oversized appendages attract attention L The scent feature can be a bit overwhelming if you're not ready for it
J Enhanced with their own scent  
J Available in bulk packages  

 

The V&M Mud Bug makes an excellent trailer for your jig of choice

 

Conclusion: Sometimes you just stumble onto a bait that surprises you with its effectiveness. Such was the case with the V&M Mud Bug. I bought a couple of packs simply to fill out an order and make the shipping worthwhile. When I put it through our typical TackleTour testing procedures, my eyes opened wide at those floating appendages. What a treat! If you're disappointed with the recent flap over a certain plastic craw-like bait that teased us with its availability but was suddenly not available again and are looking for a trailer to help make your jig fishing experience more effective, you'd do well to check out the V&M Mud Bug, but be careful, before you know it, you may be ordering a few of those very convenient pack of 100 baits!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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