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Lure Review

Decoy Swimbait's HydraTail : Size Just Right - To Be Eaten!


Date: 2/22/11
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Decoy Swimbaits
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.17 - GREAT!!

While our concentration this year is on tackle for finesse tactics, you didn’t really think we were going to abandon swimbaits all together, did you?  The popularity of the truly large, big baits seems to have leveled off over the last couple of years, but with that decline has come the steady rise in popularity for these type of baits in tournaments to land that kicker fish. But what anglers look for in a tournament situation versus what trophy hunters use on a day in and day out basis are two different baits. In fact, a tournament-ready swimbait can really be thought of as a finesse big bait option because they’re smaller, lighter, and likely to catch more fish.


Introducing the 5" HydraTail by Decoy Swimbaits

You only need to look back to last year’s back to back tournament wins attributed to Rago Baits on the Bassmaster’s Elite series tour, and the continued popularity of Basstrix style paddeltail baits to know this is true. Four to seven inch soft plastics that resemble baitfish are now a mainstay in just about every successful tournament fisherman’s arsenal and new manufacturers offering exactly these types of baits continue to come to the forefront each and every year including the subject of today’s review, Decoy Swimbaits and their new, 5” HydraTail.

Decoy Swimbaits 5" HydraTail Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Slow Sink
Size (Measured Weight) 5" (1.1 ounces)
Supplied Hook Unknown Brand
Colors / Patterns 16
No. per pack 1
MSRP $14


Impressions: Decoy Swimbaits is a brand new company founded by father and son team Bob and Jason Scott. Yes this is the same Jason Scott of Castaic Soft Bait Company fame. Castaic SBC was purchased by Trophy Technologies, LLC back in 2009 and while the name of the company remains the same, Jason is no longer with Castaic. Instead, he is back designing baits and working with his father on their new venture. Together they hope to bring to market some new and exciting products.


Green Shad


Jason is no stranger to successful bait design. He's had his hand in co-designing or designing outright some very successful baits. The most recent of which we appreciated was the Castaic Platinum Rock Hard. But that product came to market nearly four years ago. It's been pretty quiet in the Scott camp since then.


Blue Shad

That is, until now. First up for Decoy Swimbaits? the HydraTail. This is a five inch trout profiled bait featuring a tail with a unique, rectangular shape designed to kick from side to side and just about any speed while the front three quarters of the bait remains virtually motionless.

Baby Bass

Field Tests: We’ve been fishing the HydraTail since the Fall of 2010 and even had some down in the Amazon with us last November. Unfortunately, the bite down in the Amazon was not one for experimentation, so the HydraTail saw little action down there. We have, however, thrown this bait on the California Delta and up at Clear Lake with success.

The business end of the HydraTail

Casting: The HydraTail is rated as a slow sink bait and weighs a total of one point one ounces as measured in our lab. This is a weight just about any heavy powered and even some medium heavy powered bass stick can handle. I happened to choose a Megabass F7-72DG X4 Destruction (rated up to three ounces in lure weight) for tossing the HydraTail and had the rod paired with a Daiwa Zillion Type-R. Realistically, for long term use, a slower reel like the Zillion Crazy Cranker or Curado E5 would be a better choice.

This non-traditional, bow tie-like shape translates into great action at low speeds

Retrieve: The reason I say that about the reels is because this bait is made to run slow. On initial inspection of the bait, the HydraTail really appears to be nothing special or that we haven’t already seen. It has a very simple trout profile, with the typical exposed top hook, but once you tie it on and throw it in the water, it quickly becomes obvious, this is no run of the mill swimbait.

Rigged and ready to go aboard a Megabass F2-72DG X4 casting rod

The HydraTail performs as promised pushing effortlessly side to side at even the slowest retrieve. Unless part of your name is “Deluxe”, usually baits like this have some problem when you pick up the pace of your retrieve. Namely, they begin to list to one side. With the HydraTail, at a medium paced retrieve, the side to side action of the tail grows more pronounced, but the bait continues to run true. Increase your cadence to a full burn and the body of the bait still remains stable while its tail flies from side to side. This bait passes the most important test of any bait this style. We were impressed!

Another look at that tail

Next Section: An interesting rate of fall









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