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Lure Review

A Small, Northern California Company's Answer to the Paddletail Craze: Rainbow Worms' Rainbow Bowfish.

Date: 10/28/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Rainbow Worms
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.91


Introduction: Looking for a paddletail minnow but can't find THE one for which everyone and their co-angler is searching? Our friends from Hi's Tackle Box in San Francisco sent us some samples of a similar bait with slightly different take. Available in a rainbow of different baitfish patterns, this bait may not be an exact replica of the current "trick" bait, but does it have enough qualities, characteristics, and action to stand on its own? Let's find out. Introducing Rainbow Worms Custom Hand Pours' Rainbow Bowfish paddletail minnow.


Rainbow Worms Bowfish Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Paddletail Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Soft Plastic
Size 5"
Colors/Patterns 7
MSRP $7.97 per 3 pack

Impressions: Latching onto the crest of the wave on the next hot bait is a difficult task even for us here at TackleTour. There are so many products, and just so much time to fish them sufficiently before writing them up and moving onto the next review item. Products will inevitably bleep past our sonar or be lobbed well over our collective heads. One such product is the now highly sought after but mysteriously absent Basstrix Paddletail Minnow. Once a staple on tackle store pegboards, this bait has been difficult to next to impossible to locate since early spring of 2007.


Introducing the Rainbow Worms Custom Hand Pour Rainbow Bowfish

In this industry of immediate gratification, the need to wait one week, let alone more than six months and counting for a hot product to make it back on the shelves of your favorite tackle store means several things: 1) skyrocketing prices for available product; 2) the lost of interest and market share; 3) the accelerated development of the inevitable copy cats.

The Rainbow Bowfish is a Five Inch Bait

To their credit, the Rainbow Worms Custom Handpour version of the paddletail minnow is not a direct copy of the popular Basstrix. Unfortunately, not having any on hand for direct comparison, it is our understanding, nevertheless that the Basstrix Paddletail Minnow is actually a soft, hollow tube bait with of course, the requisite swimbait-style paddle tail.


Rigged and ready to go on our Okuma GS-C 7111MH


The Rainbow Bowfish, on he other hand, features a solid body with a slit down the belly to facilitate weedless rigging. It does have the same type of swimbait tail but this tail is no stranger to a vast number of soft plastic swimbaits. The fit and finish of the Rainbow Bowfish is typical of what one might expect of a hand poured worm.


A close-up of the Bowfish's main body and head


The Field Tests: Our supply of the Rainbow Bowfish landed just as we were strategizing for the Swimbait Rod Wars. Because of this fortune, there was no shortage of rods with which to fish this bait and though this product is such that we could have chosen just about any standard medium heavy powered or stronger bass rod we thought this would be a good way to kick off training camp for some of the lighter powered representatives of our Swimbait Rod Wars.


Complete test rigs Rainbow Worms Bowfish Field Tests

Rig One Rig Two
Rod Okuma GS-C 7111MH Dobyns 795 ML SB
Reel Super Tuned Shimano Chronarch 101a Daiwa Luna 253LA
Line 22lb Sunline Defier (120yds) 20lb Triple Fish Camo (70yds)


Our target with the Rainbow Bowfish was actually not the fashionable black bass, but rather the voracious fall run striper population in the California Delta. For that reason, the line we chose with which to fish the Bowfish is probably heavier than that we'd normally use when pursuing bucket mouths.


The ubiquitous paddletail


Casting: Rigged with an appropriately sized weighted hook, the Rainbow Bowfish poses no surprises in casting or pitching into heavy cover. In fact, given the convenient weedless nature of this bait's rigging, it could very well prove deadly at the end of a flipping stick like our recently reviewed Kistler LTX He2HC76T.


The Bowfish comes with a slit in its belly to conceal the hook

Retrieving: In the water this bait reminded me a lot of the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper reviewed earlier this year. On a steady retrieve, it had the same top to bottom wobble as the Skinny Dipper with perhaps more tail action. On a steady descent, the tail has no action, but if popped up off the bottom, it does move back and forth quickly like a dying baitfish struggling for its last gasp.

Along with a concave top to conceal the point of the hook


One way to slow down the top to bottom wobble with this bait is to push the weighted hook all the way up into the body of the bait, inside the weedless cavity. This changes the bait's center of gravity and stabilizes the body. Trouble is, then you lose your weedless rigging. Our suggestion is if fished on a steady retrieve, expose the hook to reduce top to bottom wobble. If fished weedless, with the weight hanging below the baits body, fish the bait on the bottom with a hop and skip retrieve similar to how you would fish a jig.


Recommended rigging is with a weighted hook like these from Falcon Lures

Rigging: Speaking of rigging, the recommendation for these baits is to use a weighted hook like those produced by Falcon Lures out of Lafayette, LA. Something in the range of a 5/0 or 6/0 hook works best with this five inch bait and I liked the bait's action with the 3/32 ounce weight the most.

To avoid unnecessary tearing of the bait, stick the eye of the hook up through the bottom of the Bowfish's head...

Of course, the difficult thing when using the weighted hooks is how to thread a soft plastic bait onto the hook without ripping up its head. The rigging tip given to us by Jonah Li, owner of Hi's Tackle Box, was to push the eye of the hook through the bottom of the bait and out the nose rather than thread the bait through the entire hook. Once you poke the eye of the hook out the bait's nose, tie it the rig to the end of your line like normal, then go back and slide the hook point into the body of the bait.

And out through the nose.. tie here.

Next Section: Durability, can it take a strike?









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