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FishLab’s First Topwater BBZ Swimbait – The Bio-Rat


Date: 7/13/22
Tackle Type: Swimbaits
Manufacturer: FishLab
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: When it comes to swimbaits there is no doubt that Bill Siemental and his BBZ brand of baits has left an everlasting mark on the industry, and especially when it comes to making big-baits mainstream with products like the Spro BBZ-1 swimbait and rat. Last ICAST FishLab announced they were getting into the BBZ business as Bill joined the team, and this year at ICAST 2022 the company readies the launch of the first FishLab BBZ products, starting with the BBZ Bio-Rat.


Bill Siemental is back and has been working with FishLab's Product Manager Mike Bennett developing a line of new swimbaits. Meet their first topwater bait, the BBZ Bio-Rat

In the Lab: Since they entered the market FishLab Tackle has been busy cranking out baits that are designed to catch fish and be affordable to mainstream anglers. Mike Bennett the Product Manager at FishLab is a passionate big fish hunter in his own right (just check out some of his giant striper and trout catches), and has a passion for designing swimbaits that stand up to big fish. In the company’s existing portfolio are the Bio Gill glide and wakebaits and the Bio Shad, all of which are plastic injected baits with 3D molded profiles that come in a variety of finishes. Over the last year Mike and Bill worked together to create a few new baits, including the company’s first topwater bait, the BBZ Bio-Rat.

The BBZ Bio-Rat is basically a combination between a plug and a buzzbait

Back in the BBZ: The Bio-Rat blends several familiar BBZ features and profiles with a pair of prop style blades cleverly molded into feet at the rear of the bait. The bait’s torpedo shape and spinning cupped feet make this rat somewhat of a cross between a topwater plug and buzzbait versus the traditional clack style jointed rat. The BBZ Bio-Rat is designed to be fished a variety of ways including a fast or slow retrieve with either a direct or walk-the-dog style action.

Detailed feet are found within translucent cups that rotate when the bait is retrieved

The BBZ Bio-Rat comes with a detailed molded body with mean looking eyes and bared teeth that are a blend between an anatomically correct rat and a more whimsical design. The underbelly is all business and looks like a genuine rat profile, all the way down to the hair and appendages.

The bottom of the bait has hair and appendage features

Inspecting the baits in our lab the finishes are also solid and the paint on the noses and ears are a nice touch, adding to the overall character of the baits. The BBZ Bio-Rat will be available in two sizes including a 7 ˝” regular size a 10” magnum size, and five color options including the Grey and Brown rats we received, as well as White, Black, and the ever-popular Morning Dawn.

Two sizes will be available, a 7 1/2" and 10" magnum size

The tail is pinned in with a toothpick style wooden peg and is constructed out of plastic and can be swapped out quickly if damaged. I’ve always preferred these soft tails which float better and collapse more easily on strikes than segmented hard-plastic tails.

A soft replaceable tail is pinned into the rear of the bait

The BBZ Bio-Rat will come armed with two black nickel BKK hooks which are very sharp and one of the interesting things about the bait is that the rear hook is positioned so far back that it trails behind the body in between the spinning feet so that strikes at the rear should result in a decent hookup ratio. We look forward to putting this to the test in the coming months.

The rear hook extends all the way to the back of the bait and behind the body as the BBZ Bio-Rat is retrieved

Our Quick Take: The BBZ Bio-Rat is an interesting lure that has some familiar elements that are reminiscent of other baits, like the Savage Gear 3D Duck and R2S Whopper Plopper, but it also feels fresh with a unique rat profile, detailed spinning paws and soft-tail. The market is full of multi-segmented clack and slosh style rats and this new lure offers topwater fans of rat baits something different to sling.

Plenty of character in this rat and the details in the nose, eyes, mouth and ears are all nice touches. At only $21.99 to $24.99 this easy to fish rat looks ready to rumble

Our first few casts and retrieves with the BBZ Bio-Rat reveal a bait that is very easy to fish. In many ways it fishes much more like a buzzbait than a traditional topwater rat, and with a price point from only $21.99 to $24.99 this very aggressively priced new rat looks ready to join the rumble when it becomes available this November.









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