Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Term. Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Lure Review


My Favorite Topwater Custom Swimbait - The Illude Rad Rat


Date: 9/29/20
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Illude
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.08 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction: Illude baits is a custom lure manufacturer that crafts lures that are coveted by big bait anglers and their Rad Rat is a hand carved wakebait that is designed to generate explosive strikes both day and night. How good is this bait? I must warn you in advance, the second you see, and hear, a Rad Rat being fished you are probably going to want one for your arsenal, and the biggest challenge with this swimbait might just be trying to land one.


Illude Rad Rat (Day Shift) Swimbait Specifications

Type Swimbait - Wakebait - Topwater or Crank
Length 5 3/4 inch body, 10" including tail
Weight 2.1 ounces - measured
Material Wood
Sections Two (one joint)
Patterns Custom - Multiple original patterns and many custom built to order
MSRP $125.00


Impressions: There is just something awesome about rat swimbaits, maybe it is the way they come to life on the surface, or perhaps it is the ability to clearly witness the explosive strikes that they often incite. I've been fishing rat swimbaits for years but for a long time it was never a "go-to" technique for me on an regular basis. I'd often have a mass produced two piece rat on board my boat but always seemed more comfortable turning to a walking bait, magnum sized pencil style bait, poppers, and frogs for days where I felt the topwater bite was an option.


The Illude Rad Rat is a 2oz. wake style swimbait


That all started to change as the swimbait scene matured and a number of really good custom-built rats started appearing on the market. I started fishing this class of lures more often and catching quality fish on baits like the original one-piece Rago rats, MS Slammers, the 22nd Century Nezzuma Rat, and more recently the original wooden PB Rat back in 2009. I started to really appreciate the uniqueness of these baits, especially the ones hand carved out of wood. The more swimbaits I fished the more I started to be obsessed with the action and unique sound that each bait made, and how and when to use single and dual jointed rats in different applications where a swimming versus knocking rats was what the fish seemed to want.


The Rad Rat is hand carved from Alaskan Cedar and makes use of a variety of lip materials, a clear Lexan for the Day Shift, and carbon fiber for the Night Shift


That was also when I started going on more frequent "night missions," which is fishing late into the night, or before sunrise, and targeting bass. The lakes that I had access to at the time were not able to fished from a boat after dark, so I would resort to hiking the shoreline while wearing a headlamp and slinging swimbaits in the dark, hoping for that one big bite. While I fished a lot of subsurface swimbaits it was the topwater baits, like jointed rats, that I started to gravitate more towards as they were perfect for fishing at night with their ability to stay on the surface, draw more attention by emitting vibration and sound, and just the fact that I was less likely to lose a prized bait to an underwater snag. 


I have a lot of fond memories, and even a few scars, from climbing over rocks and hiking through the brush to get to my favorite fishing spots on those night missions, and I owe a lot of the best fish I caught to those early rat wake-style swimbaits.


A look at the rear section of the Rad Rat, notice the embedded tail that connects via a spring wire that is recessed in the butt section


Over the years I started collecting more custom made rats and came across the Illude Rad Rat while on a routine stop at Coyote Bait and Tackle, a local tackle shop that I have enjoyed visiting since I started bass fishing decades ago. They had a single Illude Rad Rat Day Shift in their case and one look at that cute rodent bait and I knew I had to take it home.


Notice the thick hardware construction and wide articulation of the joint, this makes the wide waking action and loud audible knock possible


The Illude Rad Rat is one of the coolest, and most refined, rats available on the market. It is so clean looking that I fell into the very trap that I warn other anglers about... I left it in the package and didn't even fish it for over a year! One day when I left my regular box of wakebaits in my other boat and didn't have a rat available I freed the Rad Rat from the clear retail box that it came in and finally tied it on.


I've been fishing the Rad for years now, and it only took one trip for me to realize what a special bait it is

Next Section: Blowing my mind one ratfish at a time...









Copyright 2000-2024 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information