Ripping a rattlebait through grass and weed is a well known and very successful lure fishing technique in lakes and ponds. It’s also a lesser known but equally effective technique in estuarine and coastal areas. The idea is to work your rattlebait with sufficient speed to just keep it just in contact with the tips of the grass. Every now and the bait “digs in” to the grass and is ripped through with a sharp upwards sweep of the rod tip.
Ripping A Rattlebait: A New Twist On A Classic Technique
Ripping is certainly not a new technique, but with everything good a simple tweak can sometimes take it to the next level. And that’s one of the great things about lure making: you can actually tweak the lure as well as the fishing technique.
My intention when I designed the Rat-LR rattlebait was to open up a new technique that I wanted to try – kind of ripping with a difference! You see, not many commercial lure makers produce a floating rattlebait, the vast majority are sinking lures. This allows them to drop down into the weed and be worked upwards with sharp stabs of the rod tip, but it does mean they need to be worked relatively quickly.
The Rat-LR I designed float gently upward when the retrieve is paused or the rod tip is momentarily dropped, which turns the whole ripping technique on its head! It give you three great fishing options:
- You can rip this lure the same way as you normally would for any other rattlebait. That is, use a reasonably fast taper rod and simply lift the tip sharply each time the bait contacts the grass, pulling it free and continuing on cranking. This is great when fish are feeding aggressively or (the other extreme) when they re shut down and need a “wake up” call. The lure is what’s known as a reaction bait and works by surprising the fish and causing them to strike instinctively from hunger or aggression.
- You can pause cranking when the lure touches the weed (or other structure), allowing it to float upwards and free of the grass before you continue cranking. This is great when fish are a little shy, but also is rarely refused by actively feeding fish. Don’t allow the line to go slack, strikes often occur as the lure free floats and you want to be in touch with your lures when that happens. This also has the advantage that is can be effective in woody structure where a sinking rattlebait would be a disaster!
- You can mix it up, ripping and pausing within a cast or between casts to see what’s working on the day.
Being a wooden lure, the Rat-LR also makes a low tone rattle that is more ntaural than the higher pitched sound of a plastic lure and is deadly on all species. It floats a little head-down and swims that way too (actually, most rattlebaits tend to swim head-down). That means the hooks are kept up and out of the grass, but are right in the fish’s face!
With a little practice you can keep this little guy buzzing around the tips of the grass, bouncing off stumps and snags or deflecting off riprap for the whole retrieve, no matter how fast you are working it. It’s just deadly.
If you’re interested in making this lure for yourself, it’s one of around 28 project lures that we make in my Crankbait Masterclass. Participants get the templates and a video tutorial showing how to make this lure (and others of this type for those who want to design their own. There’s also a video tutorial showing how I did the foiling and painting for the bait shown here.