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Lure Review

The Triple Trout performs a lot better than it looks!

Date: 6/11/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: 22nd Century
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.83 + EDITORS CHOICE!


Introduction: Scott Whitmer, owner of 22nd Century Baits, has been in the tackle industry for over twenty years. Based out of Southern California, he’s lived and participated in the much of the history of western bassing beginning with the entire hand poured worm craze all the way up to the current obsession, swimbaits. The origins, growth, and success of the great majority of swimbait manufacturers here in the Western United States is nothing short of legendary and Mr. Whitmer’s story ranks right up there with the best of them. Please join us, as we share with you, the story of 22nd Century Baits double jointed trout plug, the Triple Trout.

22nd Century is based out of Southern California


22nd Century Triple Trout Specifications

Type Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Floating / Slow Sink / Fast Sink
Size (Approx. Weight) 6", 7", 8", 10" (1.5, 2.25, 2.75, 4.5 ounces respectively) : There is also a new, 12" 4 sectioned, three jointed version.
Colors/Patterns Three basic colors, but many custom and special runs.
MSRP $50 (6") - $100 (12")

Background: A little over four short years ago, Scott Whitmer decided he was going to build a big bait to target big fish. He had heard the many problems associated with the early baits of that time namely that people were cracking the diving bills on large baits after casts, during the retrieve, etc.. He had heard and suffered through the low landing ratios associated with fishing large plugs as these larger baits gave the fish leverage to throw them. Lastly, many of the big baits of that time had hard plastic tails whose tips would break even more easily than their diving bills. Scott knew any new creation would have to address all these points in order to be a success.


Introducing the 22nd Century Triple Trout

He had an idea of how to address all these issues but the task at hand was to first build a prototype to test his theories and so he could have a starting point and a basis with which to work. In this age of computer designed plugs, Whitmer is averse to technology and a true craftsman at heart. In all his years in the bait making business, nothing ever worked the first time around. It’s always been an iterative process. So he took a real live trout, traced its outline and started from there. This bait would be lipless, the first of its kind, so as to avoid the entire issue of broken diving bills all together. The hooks would attach to the body of the bait through concealed bearing swivels so fish could not get the leverage to throw them during a battle – a trick he learned fishing huge zara-spook type baits years earlier. Finally, the tail would be soft plastic and attached via a simple screw-in method to facilitate easy replacement.

From bottom to top, the 6", 7" and 8" versions of the Triple Trout

He decided to split the body of the bait up into three sections figuring this would give the bait the most flexibility in movement. Easy, right? He then leveraged some tricks he had learned during his many years within the bait making industry and built ten prototypes of varying rates of descent out of plastic injection. He gave them very simple, elementary quality paint jobs including a parody of the fish’s gills – a simple, open ended red triangle just to finish them off. The important thing here was to build something that would allow him to get the swimming motion down and then tune the baits as needed. He passed out the prototypes to some trusted friends and colleagues and asked them to throw the baits and give him their feedback on the baits' swimming motion.

The 6" version compared to a Vision 110

When word finally got back to Scott regarding the baits, the initial problem was obvious. He didn’t make enough of them! Each of his testers wanted more of his double jointed baits and they wanted them as quickly as he could make them! Scott wanted more time to refine the details of the bait and come up with a nicer paint scheme but not a one of his friends would have anything to do with that – they wanted replicas and they wanted them right away! They wouldn’t even let him take the time to finish a gill plate detail he’d been working on. They asked him to keep everything intact including the silly, open ended, red triangle gills! So off to work he went replicating his very first design and he hasn’t looked back since. To this day, his Triple Trout baits are built, detailed, and finished the same as they were in those first 10 prototypes.

These wide joints are what enable the Triple Trout's action


The Field Tests: I threw three different sizes of this bait, the six, seven, and eight inchers on several different rigs. Finally I settled on two, my Custom G.Loomis BB964 GL2 by George Roth paired with a Shimano Antares DC7 and an Evergreen Temujin TMJC-74XXX Balista paired with a Shimano Antares 5. One great thing about the Triple Trouts in the sizes we tested is they don't weigh a lot, so finding a rod suitable to handle these baits is not very difficult.


Complete test rigs for 22nd Century Triple Trout Field Tests

Rig One Rig Two
Rod Custom G.Loomis BB964 GL2 by G.Roth Evergreen Temujin TMJC-74XXX Balista
Reel Shimano Antares DC7 Shimano Antares 5
Line 20lb Sunline Shooter FC 22lb Sunline Defier


The 8" version shown here with a Zoom Superfluke attached as the tail

A good look at the simplistic paintjob


Casting: Case in point, casting these baits is a breeze. Where other seven and eight inch swimbaits can easily weigh three and half to well over four ounces respectively, the Triple Trout is almost half this weight. Thanks to the Triple Trout's relatively light weight, casting it all day long is an easier adjustment to make than when trying to heave a bait from the competition.


Triton Mike Bucca absolutely loves the Triple Trout

In fact, on one trip out with this bait, tossing it on my Evergreen Balista, Antares 5 combo, I did something wrong during the cast and got a nasty backlash. We were in a good area, so rather than try to work out the tangle, I reeled the bait back in, cut it off, took the reel off the rod and reached into my bag of spare reels. Yes, I carry spare reels with me on the boat. Unfortunately, I didn't have another reel really suitable for swimbaits so I used a Daiwa Alphas 103L I had spooled with 12lb Gamma FC. I expected to have a tough time with such a small reel casting the seven-inch Triple Trout, but after about two casts, I was slinking this thing like I would a spinnerbait - pinpoint accuracy right up next to the tules. I was in a zone!

Not great at rest, the Triple Trout is designed to swim!

Retrieving: The Triple Trout is as versatile as they come. You can bring it back super slow or burn it back with a high speed reel. Whatever the speed, it swims back true. Its actual swimming motion is in a snake-like "s" pattern. If you burn your retrieve, stop, and feed the lure some slack, the sucker will not only stop and turn around to see who's following, but it can pull a full 360 degree turn! This bait has CRAZY action!


Each Triple Trout comes with a rather modest snap.

Fished in clear water, you can easily grow distracted experimenting with your retrieve and trying to make the bait do different dances. While an erratic retrieve is what most, including Scott Whitmer himself, recommend to trigger strikes, fish will also hit this bait on a steady retrieve. One really nice thing with this bait during a medium to fast retrieve is you can actually feel it in the water as it swims in that s-motion and the tail kicks behind the bait. This type of positive feedback is always helpful so you're able to sense when something is different - like when a huge fish inhales the bait without your knowledge.

The gill plate parody (red arrow) that the devotees will not let Scott Whitmer change!


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