Homemade Top Water Rat
Many anglers wonder if it is worthwhile to create their own lures.
Going through the process of building my own lure or hardbait and actually catching a bass off of it is something I’ve always wanted to do. Especially with the prices of the well known brands being on the expensive side.
I wanted to build something of a top water nature. With all the most popular topwater hardbaits in mind, I came up with the perfect idea… a copy of the pivoting, treblehooked top water rat.
After gathering a few materials I started to experiment and ended up using the following:
QMBTUJD EJWJEFS GSPN BO PME MVSF CPY B TQSJOH MPDL TQSJOH GSPN B TXJNCBJU IPPL B QJFDF PG BO PME QJDL CSPPN IBOEMF Y TUBJOMFTT TUFFM TBMUXBUFS IPPLT 2VJDLTFU FQPYZ SFTJO JO XIJUF NN EPXFM UXP OFPO DPMPVSFE QMBTUJD CFBET NN TUBJOMFTT TUFFM XJSF NFEJVN TJ[F TQMJU SJOHT BOE B DBO PG QPMZ XBY TFBMFS ɨF UPPMT * NBEF VTF PG XFSF B ESJMM QSFTT NN NN NN BOE NN ESJMM CJUT B 'SFU TBX B %SFNFM UPPM BOE BO assortment of hand files and rasps. In total, the project took me about two days to complete with all the testing and modifying. My first step in the project was the cut or file a basic body shape (9cm in length) of a rat out of the piece of pick handle, then going on to sanding and filing the final touches. The second step was to cut a half moon shape into the CBDL UIJSE PG UIF SBU T CPEZ XJUI B 'SFU TBX BOE ëMF BXBZ the sharp corners and edges. This left me with the head and thorax end and back end of the rat’s body.
The third step was to join the two halves of the rat’s body together, I had a lot of ideas as to how I would go about doing this but chose the one I thought would be easiest. ɨJT JT XIFSF * NBEF VTF PG UIF NN TUBJOMFTT TUFFM wire, the four remaining stainless hooks and the two neon plastic beads. * ESJMMFE UXP NN IPMFT PO UIF JOTJEF PG UIF IBMG NPPO cut on either side of the two halves of the rat. * UIFO DVU B NN QJFDF PG UIF TUBJOMFTT XJSF CFOU UIF one end closed, threaded a neon bead onto it, the four hook FZFT XIJDI * IBE BMSFBEZ DVU NN VQ UIF TIBGU MFBWJOH KVTU the eye and the shaft of the hooks, and then the final bead, bending the other end of the wire closed afterwards.
I then took the first and the third hook shaft that were threaded onto the stainless wire and epoxy’d them into the UXP NN IPMFT * IBE ESJMMFE JOUP UIF IFBE TJEF PG UIF SBU
and then the second and the fourth shafts were epoxy’d into UIF SFNBJOJOH UXP NN IPMFT PO UIF CBDL FOE PG UIF SBU I now had my hinge to allow the bait to pivot.
The fourth step was to drill a 4mm hole in the centre of the rat’s backside and epoxy in the spring lock spring off of the swimbait hook. I did this so I am able to attach a plastic XPSN UZQF UBJM UP UIF SBU 'SPN IFSF * XFOU PO UP ESJMMJOH UXP NN IPMFT VOEFSOFBUI UIF SBU T CPEZ PO FJUIFS TFDUJPO *O FBDI PG UIFTF NN IPMFT * JOTFSUFE UXP PG UIF TUBJOMFTT TUFFM IPPLT UIBU * IBE DVU Pê BCPVU NN VQ UIF TIBGU GSPN the eye of the hook; this was so I could attach two treble IPPLT POUP FBDI FZF XJUI UIF NFEJVN TJ[F TQMJU SJOHT The fifth step was cutting a ten degree angled slit with UIF 'SFU TBX JO GSPOU PG UIF ëSTU USFCMF IPPL FZF OFBS UIF OPTF of the bait to insert and epoxy in the plastic divider piece for
B CJMM XIJDI * UIFO DVU BOE TIBQFE XJUI UIF %SFNFM UPPM UP UIF TJ[F * XBOUFE After this, I worked out where I wanted to place the line UJF BOE ESJMMFE BOPUIFS NN IPMF VOEFSOFBUI UIF OPTF PG the bait and epoxy’d in another hook eye which I had cut; this one was slightly bigger than the two I had used from the treble hooks.
The sixth step only came about after testing but I suppose if I had used the right wood, I would not have had to do this. After dunking the bait into the pool a few UJNFT * SFBMJ[FE UIBU JU XBT OPU CVPZBOU FOPVHI BOE BMNPTU suspending in mid-water. After this observation, I came up with the idea to add air to the body of the rat to achieve the buoyancy I wanted. 8JUI B NN ESJMM CJU * ESJMMFE UIJSUFFO IPMFT JO UPUBM into the body of the bait in the areas I thought it needed to be buoyant. Some of the holes going right through the bait and some half way in. I then cut 3 to 4mm pieces of the NN EPXFM * IBE BOE ADPSLFE FBDI IPMF PO FJUIFS FOE UP create air pockets inside the body of the rat. The seventh step XBT ëOJTIJOH UIF SBU Pê 'PS UIF MBTU time, I mixed up an epoxy filling and sealing off all the nicks and gaps in the bait where I had inserted my dowel plugs, sanded the whole bait down and sealed it off with a reasonable coating of poly-wax sealer.
The eighth and final step was finding the right drop shot type worm to act as a tail for the rat that I would screw onto the spring-lock spring at the back of the bait. I haven’t decided what colour to paint the rat or fill in any detail as of yet.
I have since tested the bait and was pleasantly surprised! It floats perfectly and swims like the real thing. In actual fact, I had a fish blow up on it when fishing it early in the morning on the day I finished it but in my excitement of catching a fish on my new bait, I pulled the bait away without letting the fish grab a hold of it properly and missed it.
The build did not cost me much at all as most of the materials I already had lying around. It just took a bit of patients and elbow grease but I now have my very own home-made topwater rat.