RatRumble : Bigg Nasty Baits's Nat Rat
Total Score: 8.0 -
Bigg Nasty Baits out of Northern California is relatively new to the bait making game, but obviously not to the world of big baits. A strong advocate for the local bass fishing scene promoting up and coming anglers on their social media and organizing several local tournaments through the calendar year, their motto when it comes to baits is to build them "bigg." They caught wind of our Rat Rumble theme for this year and were enthusiastic about throwing their Nat Rat into the mix. Let's take a look.
Bigg Nasty Nat Rat
||Waking or Crankdown
||2x #1 Owner ST-41
Introducing Bigg Nasty's Nat Rat
Impressions & Craftsmanship:
Bigg Nasty's Nat Rat is an eleven inch (11") bait measured tip of nose to tip of tail and about five and five eighth's inches (5-5/8") just at the body. Originally debuted in August of 2020, the Nat Rat was updated just this past spring with a set of new molds. I actually acquired one of the originals late last summer but did not realize it was recently debuted. That original bait has since found a new home during a rather active bait swapping and selling frenzy I got caught up in towards the end of 2020.
The Nat Rat's eyes remind me of a character from the Muppets
I'm not quite sure if there were any changes made between molds, but the most recent incarnation of the Nat Rat features a distinct, hourglass figure with a single pin and screw eye connection between the front and back pieces. The joint shape is kind of a rounded V and hooks are attached via heavy duty, fixed hook ties with heavy gauge split rings. The Nat Rat's diving bill is clear Lexan and the line tie is vertical with no split ring.
Geared up and ready to go!
Ready to Rumble: I fished the Nat Rat on board my Leviathan Omega Swimbait 8' Heavy matched with my 2018 Daiwa/Deps collaboration DR-Z2020XHL spooled with 50lb Seaguar Threadlock Hollow Braid and a top shot of 30lb Gold Label Leader. My connection strategy, as usual with big baits, was to use a snap. I'm at the point with my snap collection where it's about time to renew my stockpile and as things go with terminal tackle, I don't really remember which snaps were what brand, so I just ordered some that have the characteristics I like. The number one qualifier of which is a nice, round bend similar to that of a split ring.
The Nat Rat's somewhat narrow diving bill
Turns out most snaps have a more narrow shape to them, but VMC's Crankbait Snap does not. It has a nice, rounded triangle kind of egg shape that looks like it would allow good deal freedom of movement. I ordered the largest, size 3, snaps for my big bait use and when they arrived, I found them a tad larger than expected. I probably could have gotten away with size 2. As a side note, I did have a very hard time opening these snaps and had to resort to using my pliers to open them the first time. After that, I was able to operate these snaps with just my fingers.
This bait is super easy to cast on board the Leviathan Omega 8'
Heavy Swimbait Stick
Dexterity: With all that out of the way and the Nat Rat attached to the end of the line, it came time to actually fish the lure. Casting is pretty straight forward, especially with a stick as capable as the Leviathan Omega Swimbait 8' Heavy. The Nat Rat sails through the air predictably and lands with a good, attention grabbing splash. That's right, when fishing big baits, that huge explosion of a splash down is actually a good thing. I can't tell you how many times I've had a fish hit my bait shortly after that splashdown without even moving the bait. One thing you quickly learn after throwing these ridiculously sized baits is that the commotion doesn't scare an actively feeding bass away, it attracts them. If a bass does get startled, it likely wasn't going to hit your bait anyway.
At rest right at the surface of the water
Once in the water, the Nat Rat sits in a very neutral position with most of the bait actually under water. Begin your retrieve, and it snakes at the surface very competently waging that tail back and forth as you'd expect. The Nat Rat is also very easy to snap back and forth in place, and if you give your rod a good tug or speed your retrieve, the bait will crank down very easily. In fact, all you really need to do is pick up the pace of your retrieve to get the Nat Rat to crank down. If you want to keep it on top, a slow retrieve mixed with a reel with a slower rate of retrieve is the best strategy.
It's all about that bass
I did notice when casting off the back of the boat, opposite the direction of our drift, I had difficulty keeping the Nat Rat on top. When I made my casts more forward of the boat, in the direction of our drift, it was very simple to keep the Nat Rat on top both with the rod tip up or down. This bait does perform better with your rod tip up, but also with a slow to medium speed reel. The DR-Z2020XHL comes with an 8.4:1 gear ratio which is a bit fast for this bait, so I ended up swapping it out with my backup, a 2016 Shimano Antares DC featuring a 5.6:1 gear ratio.
The single screw eye connector affords this bait's rear end a lot
Next Section: Nasty Drawing Power