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Swimbait Review

 


RatRumble : The Surprisingly Refined LitRat

 

Date: 10/21/21
Tackle Type: Swimbait
Manufacturer: LitLures
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.00 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction:
The LitLures mission began in Southern California, where in 2017, Jesse LeMar grew tired of fishing rat baits that would either foul during the cast or as he was working them close to structure wasting opportunity after opportunity. He started where most bait makers begin, by carving bodies out of wood. But once he was satisfied with a design, he immediately moved to resin so he could more easily and quickly replicate the blanks and use them to experiment with weight placement dialing in action and hook placements until the bait was just right. His goal was for a rat that was not only effective at tempting big fish, but one that would not have the fouling issues that drove him to down that bait making trail. How successful was he in his efforts? Let's take a look at LitLures's LitRat.

 

LitLures LitRat Specifications

Type Waking or Crankdown
Length 11"
Weight 3.5oz
Depth 0-2 feet
Material Wood, Hard Plastic, or Resin
No. Pieces 3
Joint Style V Joint w/ Pin & Screw Eye Hinge
Bill Angle 80d
Variants At the time of this writing, a two piece variant was in the works
Hooks 2x 1/0
MSRP $120 (standard colors)

 

Impressions & Craftsmanship: Official release date for the LitRat was actually very recent. In October of 2020, the Jesse La Mar's creation was officially ready and offered in three standard colors, black, white, and silver. Through his newly formed bait company, LitLures, La Mar also collaborates with custom painters for more intricate, exclusive patterns. That's how I became aware of the bait, through a Social Media drop announcement on a batch of collaborative colors painted by Peter Contreras. I just happened to see the announcement within the first few minutes of it going live, messaged La Mar, and my first LitRat was soon on its way into my dirty little paws.


The LitLures LitRat was one of the first baits to land for our 2021 Rat Rumble

The LitRat is a three piece bait with V-style joints held together with pin and screw eye hardware. Every aspect of the bait is carefully though out; from the rounded ears for lifelike detailing, but no edges to catch your line, to the placement of the recessed tail hole minimizing chances of that rear hook getting caught at this point of attachment. Placement of the hooks is such that they will not catch with each other or the bait's joints or lip. The standard colors are utilitarian, but the collabs are simply lit.


Some early season swim tests with the LitRat

Ready to Rumble: However, this is TackleTour where carefully executed finishes and promises of performance may get you in the door and tied to the end of our lines, but the rest comes down to performance. To test the LitRat, I relied upon a stick donated for the Rat Rumble by Matt Newman, owner of iRod. His Kaimana SWC794C-H, or Poe's Mag Stick as it is nicknamed, is a seven foot, nine inch (7'-9") fishing rod from the company's new Saltwater Coastal Series. It comes with a max lure rating of only two ounces (2 oz) but can actually handle up to four. I felt the shared, Southern California roots would offer a sort of symbiotic mojo to enhance my experience fishing this bait.


When it came time to get serious, I relied on iRod's SWC794C-H matched with my custom painted, Shimano Core7 to fish the LitRat

For a reel, I chose my retired Justice League inspired Flash reel painted by ZPI Japan back in 2008. I spooled the reel with a fresh supply of 50lb Daiwa J-Braid Grand with a leader of 20lb Seaguar Gold Label FC. Due to the sinking nature of fluorocarbon, I don't normally fish topwater baits with this type of line, but Gold Label is specially formulated to serve as a leader material and I wanted to try it for shock absorption and lower line visibility. I'm also hopeful that using the fluoro as a leader and not a mainline will neutralize the tendency for the line to sink and pull the nose of the bait down. Of course, big wake baits like the LitRat have so much flotation, sinking line will likely have little affect on action anyway. I executed the leader attachment with an FG knot tied with the help of Daiichi's Knot Assist 2.0.


Sweating from the workout, the LitRat is a serious swimmer

LitLures outfits their rat with a heavy duty split ring at the line tie. Call me paranoid, but while I like wiggle room split rings give baits at the line tie, I typically bypass them with a snap to avoid complications that might arise from that spot on the split ring where the open ends of the wire meet. Snaps also allow me quick-change flexibility in case I want to swap baits or colors. Not having to retie not only saves time, but also preserves the length of my very expensive leader material.


I don't like split rings, so most of the time, I use a snap to connect with my big baits

Next Section: Dexterity of the Lit Rat

 

   

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