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A Small, Northern California Company's Answer to the Paddletail Craze: Rainbow Worms' Rainbow Bowfish. (continued)

Durability: That little rigging method will ensure your Bowfish, or really, any similar soft plastic, will last much longer when used with a weighted hook. Just the same, it'd help to have a soft plastic glue like Mend-It on hand to prolong the life of your Bowfish which is really handy when pitting this soft hand poured plastic bait up against the likes of striped bass. I managed to keep one bait going for about 6 fish before a little schoolie ripped it clean in half!


Then, line up the back of the hook with the body...

An area of annoyance with these baits in particular is the ease by which the plastic eyes fall off the bait. Any exposure to heat seems to soften up the glue holding the eyes in place and off they come. Again, using a soft plastic glue can help put the eyes back in place, but at over $2.50 per bait, we expected a bit more durability with the eyes.

.. and stick it up through the Bowfish's belly and out through the top. Voila!


Application: The only limit to a bait such as this, really, is your imagination. Burn it on top like a wake bait, let it sink a bit and swim it back at just about any depth, hop it along the bottom like a jig, or even drag it through the mud like a slow rolled spinnerbait. The Bowfish is capable of a number of different presentations.


A bit of concern or annoyance is the ease by which the eyes fall off this bait.

Another look at the Bowfish's failing eye

Availability: Right now, the Rainbow Bowfish seems to be a product localized to Northern California. The only online resource for this bait is Hi's Tackle Box Rainbow-Worms-Custom-Hand-Poured-Soft-Plastic-Lures-s/378.htm). At the time of this writing, there were a couple packs still available in a private giveaway contest conducted by one our forum members. Tune into our Swimbait Fishing forum and look for "DaveJ/Shinner's Paddle Tail Reverse Grip Giveaway" for more information and witness that the swimbait craze is definitely NOT limited to the West Coast.

One last look at the business end of the Rainbow Bowfish



Rainbow Worms Bowfish Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Pretty much the only point of contention is with the eyes 8
Performance A little too much wobble, but decent tail action 8
Price Even for a hand pour, at $2.50 per bait, they're quite pricey 6.5
Features The best feature of this bait is its availability! but the weedless rigging is very convenient as well as the hand pour softness of the plastic 8
Design (Ergonomics) Certainly not a new design but a nice blend of a few different ideas 8
Application As versatile as they come 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Handpoured softness L A bit pricey
J Action is good L The ease by which the eyes fall off is a annoying
J Easily available - for now anyway  
J Nicely executed color palette


Look what came up on the other end of my Rainbow Bowfish, this 8lb striper!


Conclusion: Is it too late to catch onto the paddletail minnow craze or will the inevitable flood of me too product saturate the bite? The natural size and action of these style baits tells us they'll be popular for a long time to come. The Rainbow Worms Rainbow Bowfish is a different take on the concept of the paddletail minnow and it's a welcome implementation thanks to the soft, hand pour plastic. They might not be as durable as some of the mass produced baits, but hand pours never are and they aren't meant to be. Fish seem to hold on longer with hand pours giving you more time to detect the bite and set the hook. All it really takes is the fortitude to tie one on and try it out for yourself. Though not quite a pot of gold, if you're looking for a versatile bait in the style of a paddletail minnow, the Rainbow Bowfish is certainly worthy of a try.











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