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Lure Review


Syncing Up with the Original : Bill Lewis's Rat-L-Trap (continued)

Yo Yo Action: The yo-yo retrieve, in case you're unfamiliar, is exactly as the name implies. With the bait resting on bottom, you jerk your rod tip up and let the bait fall back down. The key to a bait's effectiveness in this scenario is how it behaves on the fall. For the Rat-L-Trap, it actually varies. Sometimes it will spiralcopter (cross between a spiral and helicopter) down, at other times it will just dive straight for the bottom, and still others it will glide off to the side at the start of its descent, then all of a sudden shoot straight down. If erratic is what you want, the Rat-L-Trap has very good potential.


An inside look at what makes a Rat-L-Trap rattle.

Position at Rest: Some anglers take the Yo Yo technique to the finesse extreme by deadsticking their lipless crank on the bottom. What many may not realize is some baits in this category will actually sit up off the bottom. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the standard and silent versions of the Rat-L-Trap, however, the Knocking version will stand up on the bottom more than half the time.

Performance Ratings for Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap

Castability (1-3)
Slow Speed (1-3)
High Speed (1-3)
Yo Yo (1-3)
Position at Rest (1-3)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
3
3
3
2
14
15
9.33


Did you know about the special Knocker variant of the Rat-L-Trap?

Features: Bill Lewis Hardbaits's Rat-L-Trap is as feature filled as any bait you might imagine. The hooks are custom tailored for this bait by Eagle Claw and feature a short shank, relatively wide gap, thin wire design. Finishes, though not as intricate as some other companies, are quite wide in selection and available in solid, ghost, and foil or chrome patterns. There are actually three sound options for the bait in silent, original, and knocker, and there's even a floating version of this bait taking its versatility to an entirely different level.

Features Ratings for Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap

Hooks (1-3)
Finishes
Sound Options (1-3)
Misc (1-3)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
Solid (1-2)
"Ghost" (1-2)
Foil (1-2)
3
2
2
2
3
2
14
15
9.33


And yes, there's a silent version too!

Design/Ergonomics: The bait to bait consistency with Bill Lewis's Rat-L-Trap is very good. Although we only fished the most popular, half ounce size for the review, this bait is available in four different weights from one quarter ounce on up to one ounce. Realism, of course, is where this bait takes a hit as it's very basic by today's standards. Hook spacing is good for while the hooks can touch, we never ran into a situation where they actually tangled during a cast.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap

Bait to Bait Consistency (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Realism (1-5)
Hook Spacing (1-3)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
2
2
14
18
7.78


There's also a special, "Hi Def" version with more detailed finishes.

Application: This bait is about as versatile as a lipless crank can be. Throw in the floating version and you have yourself quite the lipless bait arsenal at your hands. If you haven't fished a Rat-L-Trap in a while or have never tried one, it's worth investigating further.

Ratings:

Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very simple, but solidly put together 7
Performance This bait has stood the test of time for a reason 9.33
Price How many baits can you buy for just $5 anymore? 9
Features Silent, Rattle, Knocker, even a floater! 9.33
Design (Ergonomics) Four different sizes to meet your needs 7.78
Application The floating option really puts it over the top - literally of weeds! 8

Total Score

8.41
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Among the more affordable baits on the market today - Not the greatest eye candy, but what's more important to you? Fish in the boat or a realistic looking bait?
+ The same bait as it was over forty years ago  
+ The knocker and floating variants add that extra bit of intrigue  


If you enjoy throwing lipless cranks and haven't fished a Rat-L-Trap lately, you owe it to yourself to take another look.

Conclusion: I've always enjoyed throwing lipless cranks. I view them as a bait kind of in between a spinnerbait and a crankbait and obviously a really good searching tool. Catching up with one of the original throwback lures is always a lot of fun and knowing not much has really changed about the lure is even better. As I mentioned above, if you enjoy throwing lipless cranks and haven't fished a Rat-L-Trap lately, you owe it to yourself to take another look. Given the different sound options, floating and sinking options, and especially the stand up feature the knocker offers, at roughly $5 a bait, you'd be silly not to.

 

Looking for Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Traps? Try one of these reputable sources!

 

TackleWarehouse : Hi's Tackle Box Shop

 

 

 

 

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