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Designed by the Master, Introducing the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall Swimbait (continued)

Presentation: Each of the different models of this bait are designed to sink at a rate matching their designated numbers against ten seconds. In other words, the ROF 5 sinks at a rate of 5 feet per ten seconds, while the ROF 12 sinks at a rate of 12 feet per ten seconds and so on. Whichever model and whichever depth you choose to fish this lure, a slow, steady retrieve just fast enough to get the tail moving back and forth worked best for me. To get a sense for this, I recommend dragging the bait alongside you in the water. When this is done, you can see the body of the Huddleston Deluxe remains very steady and upright while the tail wags back and forth very realistically. Together with the bait's finish, it is really quite extraordinary to watch this bait alongside the boat.


Realistic in profile and action


And when the sun hits it just right, look out!

If I had one frustration with this bait, it was the fact that the ROF 0 and ROF 5 models do not come with hooks. The ROF 12 and ROF 16 models feature a single hook protruding from the top of the bait, but the ROF 0 and ROF 5 models feature only a simple loop at the bottom of the bait to allow the angler to attach their hook of choice. This may not be a problem for those proficient with customizing their swimbaits with the stinger hook of choice, but for those new to this technique, there are no instructions or suggestions for the rigging of this hook. My advice? Be sure to purchase the ROF 0 and ROF 5 from your local tackle shop where you can gain the necessary rigging advice and purchase the extra tackle needed to make these baits fishable.


The ROF 0 and ROF 5 do not come with hooks so you must purchase and install these yourself. One popular method is to use a heavy duty split ring, aftermarket stinger hook, and a cut paper clip to hold the hook in place


Failing that, there are two popular methods for attaching the hook to the bottom of the Huddleston Deluxe. One simply requires the purchase of a two-pronged stinger hook and heavy duty split ring (you can also use a SmartLink Ultimate Saver Split Ring), and is shown in the pictures here. The other involves using a short, stainless steel leader attached to a treble hook stinger, and attaching the hook further back on the bait. You can even do both or a variation of each if you so choose.


Pushed into the bait's soft body, the halved paper clip acts as a retainer for the hook until a fish hits. Be sure to carry spares of these clips for re-rigging after a catch! Note: another popular method is to use a steel leader and treble hook stinger so that the hook stays further back on the bait


Weedlessness: Fish these baits long enough and in the right places and you're bound to lose one or two. While the ROF 12 and 16 are easier to fish through weeds thanks to their upright hooks, the bottom rigged hooks on the ROF 0 and ROF 5 make them a little more susceptible to hang-ups. Just the same, it is very easy to hang one of these baits simply by getting the head caught in the branches of a submerged fall down or bush.


Another look at the ROF's realistic paint job


Ken Huddleston doesn't miss a step, right down to the mouth lines and realistic eyes and nostrils


Durability: Constructed of soft plastic, the Huddleston Deluxe ROF will break down. The finish is the first to go and has the tendency to begin rubbing off after a few fish. That having been said, they hold up much better than the jointed soft plastic swimbaits simply because there is more substance to them. Funny thing is, the more beat up these baits get, the more effective they seem to be sometimes because they look like an abused trout!


The ROF 12 and ROF 16 feature a single jig hook protruding from the top of the bait as well as provisions on the bottom of the bait for attachment of a stinger hook



Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very solid and well made bait 10
Performance The reputation of these baits is undeniable 9
Price Given the premium on swimbaits today, these are priced rather attractively 8
Features Inclusion of stock hooks on the ROF 0 and ROF 5 would be nice - even if they'd require self installation 6
Design So realistic, you don't know whether to cook them of fish them! 10
Application Fish them slow slow slow 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Ultra-Realistic Appearance L No hooks with the ROF 0 and ROF 5
J Considering their effectiveness for big fish, attractively priced L Because they're plastic, they will wear quickly
J Now widely available  L Unless you're very lucky, there's no going halfway with these baits.. they require dedication to fish effectively


This seven pounder provided us with quite the thrill caught on our Huddleston Deluxe ROF 5

Conclusion: The Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall is a serious swimbait for the serious pursuit of big bass. Everything from the tackle you need to employ throwing this bait, to the knowledge and ability of attaching the stinger hook, to the time and effort it takes in learning it speaks to the dedication required to be effective with these baits. On the bright side, if you put in the time and effort, you will eventually be rewarded with an increase in the quality of fish you catch. They may not all be trophy fish as we found a few hungry five and six pound bass daring enough to attack this bait, but how many of you will sneer at a six pounder? Bottom line is, big fish eat smaller fish, and the Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall is as realistic a bait as I've seen in a soft plastic presentation. Ken Huddleston is a master and artist in producing big bass baits.


Want to try a Huddleston? Check out Monster Tackle.













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