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Lure Review

Berkley's Rattl'r aims to drive fish into a Frenzy

Date: 11/03/02
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Berkley
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.66

Introduction: Berkley is one of the few tackle manufacturers that makes a complete range of tackle. Berkley produces rods, lines, terminal tackle, and now lures under their "Frenzy" brand name. Just how well do these Frenzy lures stack up to the competition?

Berkley Frenzy Rattl'r Specifications

Material ABS Plastic, metal bearings
Weight 1/4 oz
Length 3"
Type Lipless
Colors/Patterns 20 Available
Diving Depth Sinking
MSRP $4.49ea

Impressions: While most anglers would recognize Berkley branded lines, it is more difficult to find fisherman that know as much about Frenzy Rattl'r crankbaits. Sure, pro's like Gary Klein and Jay Yelas swear by them, but how many weekend warriors make Frenzy baits part of their regular arsenal? TackleTour put the Rattl'r to the test to see just how well these lures performed in comparison to the very recognized Rat-L-Trap lipless crankbaits.


The Berkley Chrome Rattl'r has a holographic look in sunlight


The Technology behind the Rattl'r: Berkley claims that their hardbaits are "quite simply the finest crankbaits ever made." A lot of research has gone into the design of the Rattl'r including sophisticated computer analysis, testing in a water tunnel, and in depth analysis in Berkley's 1 million dollar hardbait lab...which sports a 60 foot long casting tank where researchers can directly observe motion and fish response to the lure. 

Tests: We wanted to put the Berkley Rattl'r in a real test environment, and chose a number of their 1/4 sized lures including their new Chrome Bluegill pattern. These lures are semi reflective and have an extra hard clear finish that graces the entire lure. To test the Rattl'r we fished the lure side by side with traditional Rat-L-Traps on four different lakes in the South Bay. (Calero, Anderson, Chesbro, and Uvas)

For the tests I used:

Complete Test Rig for fishing the Berkley Rattl'r

Rod GLoomis SJR783 (6'6)
Reel Daiwa Capricorn 2000
Line 8lb Trilene XL

Casting: Casting the Rattl'r is to put it simply...incredible. The lure is designed to cast easy and resist tangling, and in this aspect Berkley has succeeded with flying colors. The bearings inside the body fall evenly to the front of the lure during the cast essentially making the tip of the lure a able-bodied projectile. The Rattl'r will outcast any traditional crankbait but is evenly matched with the conventional Rat-L-Trap. Pinpointing position is effortless with this lure as it casts predictably every time. One great aspect of the Rattl'r is that it even casts well against the wind. While most our tests were run with spinning gear we were even more impressed with cast control of this lure when coupled with a solid baitcasting rig.

The VMC treble hooks feature trademarked "needle cone point" design which is able to stay sharp even with extended use

Retrieving: Berkley researchers have designed the Rattl'r to be fished in two ways, the traditional retrieve, as well as vertical jigging. When retrieved the weights in the lure spring up in the lure body emitting a high pitched rattle. When jigged the bearings bounce up and down keeping the lure parallel to the lake floor and emit a pulsing rattle. When compared with the noise emitted from the Rat-L-Trap the Rattl'r is a bit more high pitched but overall not as loud. The Rat-L-Trap produces a more consistent rattle while the Rattl'r at times needed to be jerked to create more clamor.


The Rattl'r swims in a predictable pattern and is very good when it come to controlling depth. The lure sinks rapidly and can be used to target multiple depths with relative ease. Pulling your line to one side will turn the lure slightly so that you can guide the Rattl'r back and forth throughout strike zones.

The top of the lure features a fin similar to that found on Rat-L-Traps which helps the lure swim realistically

Durability: When fishing traditional crank and jerkbaits you will often find that the lure body becomes badly scratched as the treble hooks come in contact with the lure's main body. This is not the case with the Rattl'r as the hooks are always swinging at a 40 degree angle downwards from the Rattl'r streamline body. Because the Rattl'r can be used to target deep areas it did come in contact with many branches and rocky outcroppings. Unlike some of the original Rat-L-Traps the paint did not scratch or flake. The reason is the entire painted pattern is underneath the substantial clear coat. After numerous fish the treble hooks held up well, and the VMC cone cut hooks remained quite sharp after multiple hookups.

Side by side with the traditional competition


The Details: The Berkley Rattl'r is a great lure for searching out fish because of the ability to cast this lure over great distances and work it at multiple depths. Berkley recommends the lure as a good starter bait for the Spring but we have had success with it throughout the year. We have observed many more strikes on warmer days when fish are more active and aggressive, and on very cold days the fish can be downright turned off from the high pitched lure. We were far more successful at enticing strikes when the lure was retrieved either at very high speed or in sporadic jerks.


Surprisingly the Frenzy did not produce as many fish as the traditional Rat-L-Trap on 3 out of the 4 lakes we tested the lures in. We believe the Rat-L-Trap's louder rattle combined with the larger body was more appealing to fish in various cloudy and murky areas where we conducted the tests.



Berkley Frenzy Rattl'r Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good construction and choice of high quality hooks. The clear coating does a good job of protecting the lure's printed design 8
Performance Works well in warmer waters when fish are aggressive. Did not perform as well as some competitor lipless baits in terms of noise level and action 6
Price A reasonable price to pay for a high quality lure with good hooks 8
Features The Berkley Frenzy lures are well designed but not perfect when it comes to appealing to fish. The ability to fish vertically and horizontally allows you to target more strike zones 8
Design (Ergonomics) Good design and many colors to choose from 8
Application Good for multiple applications due to diving depth and action. White and blue colors should work well on for reaction fish like stripers 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good body construction L Acoustic level is too low
J Good price, good value L Performance versus competition
J Sharp hooks  

Conclusion: Berkley does many things well, but unfortunately the Frenzy Rattl'r is not the market leader when it comes to lipless crankbait design. Manufacturers like Rat-L-Trap have a proven track record and their lures continue to do well on tackle store shelves, as well as our tests. While the Berkley Rattl'r does sport a technologically advanced body design it is still just up to par with the traditional traps, and only mediocre when compared to the new specialty traps available on the market, which sport flashier designs and fresh innovations. While you will undoubtedly catch fish with the Berkley Rattl'r it wouldn't hurt to shop around before making this lure your lipless crank of choice.

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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