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Swimbait Review


This Stray Rat is Definitely Ready to Rumble


Date: 4/19/22
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Stray Rats Swimbait Co.
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.08 - GREAT

Jesse Barnett has been building baits for close to twenty years, but up until three or four years ago, kept the fruits of his creation as secret as his favorite fishing hole. That all changed in 2018 when the subject of today's review finally forced its way into the public eye and Barnett's bait company was born. How appropriate it is then, that amidst our focus on rat baits we chose this year to write about it. Introducing Stray Rats Swimbait Company's Rumble Rat.


Stray Rats Rumble Rat Specifications

Type Waking or Crankdown
Length 13
Weight 4.8oz (137grams)
Depth 0-2 feet
Material Resin
No. Pieces 2
Joint Style Flat
Bill Angle 70d
Hooks 2x 2/0 (Owner ST-36)
MSRP $145


Introducing Stray Rats Swimbait Co's Rumble Rat


Impressions & Craftsmanship: The Rumble Rat by Stray Rats Bait Company is built for anglers who are serious about their rat baits. Measuring thirteen inches (13") from tip of its nose, to the tip of its tail, and weighing in just under five ounces at four point eight (4.8oz), this rat is in the category of a true big bait. It is made out of resin and consists of two pieces connected via a double screw eye joint with flat cut pieces on either side. The custom pour tail is attached to the back of the bait with a center-pin type screw.

Paired with a Leviathan Omega 8' Heavy and Daiwa/Deps DR-Z2020XHL

Ready to Rumble: The Rumble Rat exceeds the specifications of the two rods which up until this point, I had relied upon to fish the rats I'd been testing this year, namely Evergreen's Combat Stick RCSC-78XH Wakebait, and iRod's Kaimana SWC794C-H Poe's Mag Stick, so I had to break out a more serious rod with which to fish this bait. Primary duties fell upon my Leviathan Omega 8' Heavy swimbait stick that I matched with my 2018 Daiwa Deps DR-Z2020XHL. For line, I chose 50lb Seaguar Threadlock hollow braid and a top shot of 30lb Gold Label FC Leader. Secondary duties went to my combo of a Denali Lithium L945SW Mag Swimbait stick paired with my Daiwa Pluton spooled with the same 50lb Threadlock but this time I installed a topshot of 30lb Seaguar Fluoro Premier FC Leader.

The Rumble Rat comes with a heavy duty split ring in the packaging, but it is not installed at the line tie leaving that option for the consumer in case the preference is for a snap

Stray Rats Swimbait Co. includes a heavy duty split ring in the bait's package intended for use at the line tie, but leaves the option of installing this line tie up to the consumer. A note included with the bait simply states "Preferably fished with HD (heavy duty) snap or ring". It's as if they read my mind knowing my preference is use a snap and that I'm too lazy to remove the split ring if there's already one installed. So this was a nice little surprise and allowed me to attach the bait via a #3 sized VMC Crankbait Snap with no interference from a split ring. I like the nice, rounded triangle shape of this snap (more commonly referred to as an egg shape). The round bend at the end speaks to a snap that allows the bait a great deal of freedom in its movement.

Upon splashdown, the Rumble Rat sits at the surface with most of its mass submerged

Dexterity: Whichever method of attachment you choose, you're going to want that freedom of movement with this bait because the Rumble Rat doesn't mess around. Once you begin your retrieve you'll see a good size wake forming behind the bait. This surface disturbance is formed from a very distinct head roll that throws the back section from side to side which in turn whips that tail back and forth like a snake. It's a good thing that single connection point between the bait's pieces is so heavy duty because at times, watching the bait swim, that back end resembles a cowboy holding onto for dear life on-board a wild, bucking bull.

There are connection joints and then there are connection joints. Stray Rats Swimbait Co. takes this connection very seriously

This bull has some moves too. Not only is it effective on a steady retrieve, but stop that retrieve and twitch your rod and it will dance in place sliding its body from side to side. Speed your retrieve and/or give the bait a good tug as you're turning the handle of your reel and the Rumble Rat will crank down a foot or two very easily. If you like that move of swimming your wake baits just an inch or so below the surface, it's easy to find that cadence with the Rumble Rat.

The Rumble Rat's tail is hand poured in house, not a re-purposed soft plastic worm, like so many other rats


Drawing Power: Along with the body roll and wiggle and that easy to track wake, the Rumble Rat performs that one, very coveted feature of a topwater rat. It actually knocks. We're not talking a subtle clack like the majority of resin based rats make. We're talking a much more audible, bonafied knock. It's not as loud as some wood rats, but it's certainly louder than I expected from a bait made of resin and certainly inspires confidence the bait will be crushed at any moment.


The tail is held in place with this center-pin type screw, recessed within the back of the bait for a cleaner finished product


Next Section: Slosh versus Knock...









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