Casting: Early on, I was tossing this bait with a Mattlures Signature Series, XHvy rod, but it feels equally at home on just about any stick designed to toss baits up to roughly five ounces in weight. As one might expect, the hard bass sails through the air with little difficulties. In fact, coming in at under five ounces, the Hard Bass is relatively easy to throw. It’s not quite as easy to sling around as say a 22nd Century Triple trout, but it’s certainly less hefty and cumbersome than a Rago Baby Tool or Spro BBZ-1. Of course, it’s also half an inch shorter than either of these two baits.
Viewed from the underside, you'd almost expect to see this bait breathing.
Action: I fished the Hard Bass both via direct tie to the nose of the bait and also via a heavy duty snap. I think it behaved slightly better on direct tie but either way works just fine. It swims decidedly different than other three piece baits whose actions tend to be in a wide, or exaggerated lazy-s motion. The Mattlures Hard Bass moves in this same general pattern, but in a much tighter line.
The Hard Bass Series feature Owner ST-41 hooks and 3x-xtra-hvy split rings.
Top to bottom wobble, common in some baits of this design, is practically non-existent with this bait. It really resembles a baby bass expending as little energy as possible to move through the water.
As one might expect, not a detail is missed on these baits.
With such a tight wiggle to its swim, when you pause the Hard Bass and feed it some slack, it darts to one side and suspends for half a second rather than spinning around in a one hundred eighty degree turn like most hard bait trouts. Retrieve it on a ripping cadence and you can get it to behave like a jerkbait, but beware if you’re using braid as this bait is susceptible to fouling on slack line.
The tails are soft plastic and each bait comes with a spare tail.
While certainly not invulnerable to wear, tear, and damage, after several months fishing this bait, even the one sign of wear we could find looks natural! Thanks to Mattlures' painstaking painting process, this bit of chip in the finish simply reveals another layer and resembles a true injury on the fish's skin.
Since this bait is relatively subtle in its motion, it is not one you can feel swimming back to you during a slow retrieve. This bit of feedback is important to some big bait tossers, but rest assured, with the strikes we received on this bait, as long as you’re using a good quality rod, with average to above average sensitivity (all of which can be enhanced by using braided line), when a fish takes the Mattlures Hard Bass, there’s no doubt you have a fish at the end of the line!
The Mattlures Hard Bass comes in several standard colors including "Dark Largemouth"...
That is not to say you can’t tell when the bait isn’t swimming right either. On the inevitable chance the lure fouls during a cast, snags some hitchhiking weeds, or tangles with your line during an erratic retrieve, it is certainly discernable that something isn’t right. But again, this is more a function of your rod, reel, and line than it is the bait itself.
... "Walleye" ...
... with the requisite white eyes ...