Trends in fishing come and go. Yes, some show up and take us all by surprise and really do end up being the next big thing, but many get their fifteen minutes of fame and fizzle out, becoming nothing more than a ‘remember that’ story.
Case in point: the rat. Ok, the rat hasn’t lost all of its luster just yet, but it isn't the bass fishing sensation that it was only a few years back when it burst onto the scene.
Rats get a lot of hate these days, but there are still some bass anglers giving them love, and that's because they work. They may not be the lure you reach for when you’re looking to catch lots of bass. They may even be the last thing most will throw, but there's no denying that under the right conditions, rats catch big bass.
If you’re considering these a shot, we’ve put together this list of the top rated rat lures on the market.
Quick glance at the best rat lures for bass:
- Spro BBZ-1 Rat - Best Overall
- Savage Gear 3D Rad Rat - Runner Up
- Truscend Rat - Best for Beginners
- Lunkerhunt Yappa Rat - Best Weedless
- FishLab BBZ Bio-Rat - Most Unique
Table of Contents (clickable)
- 1 Best Rat Lures for Bass Reviewed
- 2 What to Consider When Selecting The Best Rat Lure For Bass
- 3 Some Quick Tips for Fishing Rat Lures for Bass
- 4 Our Pick - Spro BBZ-1 Rat
- 5 Final Thoughts
Best Rat Lures for Bass Reviewed
Spro BBZ-1 Rat - Best Overall
Lure Type: Topwater Swimbait/Wakebait
Length: 3 ¼ to 10 inches
Weight: ½ to 2 ½ oz.
Ask any bass angler who fishes with rats what their go to is and chances are the answer is going to be the Spro BBZ-1 Rat.
This lure is designed with the serious rat angler in mind and is made from high-quality plastic that holds up fish after fish. The two-piece, single jointed body and articulating tail create a lifelike swimming motion, while the square bill churns up water, making sure big bass take notice.
The BBZ-1 Rat is one of the more versatile on the market and can be fished several different ways from a steady retrieve to walking the dog, and even popping. Its versatility, however, does not equal ease of use, and it may not be the best option if just starting out with rat fishing. Even a simple cast and retrieve with this lure can take a bit of practice. Too slow and the square bill won’t stir up the water; too fast and the lure will start to submerge, defeating the purpose.
- Highly durable plastic body.
- Includes an extra replaceable tail.
- Life-like appearance.
- Square bill creates lots of commotion.
- Takes some practice to get the presentation right.
Savage Gear 3D Rad Rat
Lure Type: Topwater Swimbait
Length: 6 ½, 7 ¾, 11 ¾ inches
Weight: ½ oz, 1 oz, 2 ½ oz
There isn’t a more realistic looking rat than the Savage Gear 3D Rad Rat, and that's because the designers used 3D imagining of an actual rat to get the details just right. With soft legs and ears, and an innovative nylon mesh joint to perfectly replicate the swimming motion of a rat, it's hard for bass to tell the difference between this lure and the real thing.
Aside from its ultra-realistic look, there are a couple of features that set this rat apart from others on the market. First, it has a wider belly than most and often gets quick looks the moment it hits the water with a belly splashing flop. Second is the extra hook holders on the top of the body, meaning you can easily make this lure weedless by changing the hook position from the bottom to the top.
It’s obvious that a lot of hard work has gone into the 3D Rad Rat, but it’s a lure that isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to fishing with it. If you’re after lots of bass, then look at other options, but if you’re trophy hunting, this is the rat you should tie on first. With the smallest version being 6 ½ inches long, this is a big fish bait all day long.
- Incredible life-like presentation.
- Durable plastic construction.
- Large size attracts the biggest bass.
- Top hook rigging option to make the lure weedless.
- Requires some heavy gear and high endurance to toss the big lure all day.
- Customers report that the tail comes off easily.
Truscend Rat - Best for Beginners
Lure Type: Topwater Swimbait
Length: 3 ½ inch
Weight: ¾ oz.
If you’re looking to get started tossing a rat for bass, then look no further than the Truscend Rat. The smaller size requires no special equipment and can be fished with the same gear you would fish any topwater bait with. These lures also come in packs of three for the same price as one of the more expensive rats on the market, making it an easy choice if you’re unsure but want to try rat lures out.
Don’t let the low price trick you into thinking these are throw away lures. The two-piece, hard metal hinged body features highly detailed patterns that closely resemble the coloring of a rat, and the 3D eye’s help to give the lure its lifelike appearance. Add in the soft rubber tail, and you’ve got an entry level rat that does an excellent job of fooling big, hungry bass.
It does take a little practice to get the retrieve speed right and have the lure run true, but aside from that trial and error, the Truscend rat is one of the easiest rat lures to use. Get the retrieve speed right and the square bill, and the swiveling body will do the rest.
- Very affordable.
- Easy to use.
- Can be used with any gear used to fish topwater bass.
- Comes with strong, ultra-sharp VMC treble hooks.
- Tail can come off or get damaged easily.
Lunkerhunt Yappa Rat - Best Weedless
Lure Type: Weedless Topwater
Length: 2 ¾ inch
Weight: ¾ oz.
It’s no secret that bass love topwater frogs, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would also love the Lunkerhunt Yappa Rat. One look and you’ll immediately associate it with the hollow bodied frogs that share the popular design.
The Lunkerhunt Yappa Rat is a soft hollow body lure that features a transparent, flexible, flared front bill that displaces the water as it’s retrieved, closely mimicking a small rat struggling to swim to safety. The single rear skirt wags like a tail as the lure makes its way across the surface.
This is another rat lure that is very user-friendly. While it can be worked with the same swinging motion you might work a frog, often all that is needed with this lure is a slow and steady retrieve, the front bill creating the comotion needed to call out to any bass in the area.
Unlike other rat lures on this list, the Yappa Rat can be tossed into heavy cover and thick vegetation without the worry of it getting hung up.
While rat lures are typically associated with big fish, the smaller stature of this lure makes it suitable for bass of all sizes
- Easy to use.
- Hollow body design is soft yet durable.
- Flared front bill creates lots of fish attracting commotion.
- Retrieve can take some practice to perfect.
FishLab BBZ Bio-Rat - Most Unique
Lure Type: Topwater Swimbait/Prop Bait
Length: 7 ½ and 10 inches
Weight: 1 ½ oz and 2 ½ oz.
Even among bass anglers that regularly fish rat lures, prop baits aren’t what comes to mind, but the FishLab BBZ Bio-Rat could easily be classified as that.
When most companies are focusing on making their rat lures as realistic as possible, FishLab has gone in a different direction with their BBZ Bio-Rat, creating a lure that doesn’t necessarily rely on realism but instead on creating as much commotion as possible.
While this lure does have a realistic body shape and tail like most other rat lures, what makes it unique are the spinning ‘feet’ on the back of the bait. These stainless blades spin with ease and create gurgling sounds while splashing water. Even if bass aren’t looking to the surface for a passing rat, this lure is going to get their attention.
These are big lures designed to attract big fish, and of the big lures on this list are the easiest to fish. If you’re good at walking the dog, this lure is going to be perfect for you, but even if you aren't, the commotion created from a simple cast and retrieve is sure to peak a bass’ curiosity.
- Easy to use and can be fished at any speed
- Replaceable tail
- Strong and sharp nickel hooks
- Would be nice to have some small size options
What to Consider When Selecting The Best Rat Lure For Bass
Rat lures have quickly become known for catching big fish, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch all sizes of bass on them. Consider the fish you’re going after. If you’re after that trophy, then you’re going to want to fish bigger lures, but if you’re chasing numbers of fish, the smaller the lure gives you the better chance at those numbers.
The size of the lure is also relative to the body of water you’re going to fish. Yes, there can be some big bass in small ponds, but if you’re tossing the biggest rat you can find into a small body of water, you’re more likely to scare already skittish bass away than you are to entice them into striking.
The right action can be the difference between hooking fish and not. Do fish want something lifelike or something that's creating all kinds of commotion? Of course, this can change from day to day or even hour to hour, so it’s often a good idea to find a rat lure that can be presented in more than one way and can be adjusted accordingly based on the fish’s mood.
Many bass anglers that use rat lures will be quick to argue that color doesn’t matter and that fish are more attracted to the action of the lure than anything else. It’s a hard point to dispute and an argument that can be had with any topwater bait. But there are going to be those days where color is a big factor, whether that means using a dark lure that contrasts the water clarity and light conditions or a bright color for a little added attraction. Color may not be as big of a factor as it would with other lures, but that doesn’t mean that it should be discounted.
Some Quick Tips for Fishing Rat Lures for Bass
- Have the confidence. Lures like these are often something we only reach for when the fishing is tough and all else has failed. Chances are if everything else has failed, rat lures will, too. Fish these lures when the bite is hot to get the confidence needed to keep fishing them.
- Be patient. As we’ve already mentioned, rat lures aren’t going to be the most productive lure in your box as far as numbers of fish are concerned. Anglers using rat lures need to be patient, often casting all day for only a strike or two.
- Fish as close to shore as possible. Rats don’t swim for the pleasure of it, and you aren’t going to find them out in open water. They're in the water unintentionally, and always close to shore, trying to swim back to dry land.
- Use a steady retrieve. One of the biggest things that separates a rat lure from a frog is the retrieve. Frogs will stop and go as they swim, so it’s understandable that a retrieve would copy that. Rats, however, do not. Instead, they’re more than likely panicking and trying to get back to shore as quickly as possible, meaning a steady retrieve is a more realistic one.
Our Pick - Spro BBZ-1 Rat
From handcrafted speciality lures to those sold by big manufacturers, there's no shortage of choices when it comes to selecting the best rat lure for bass.
When it comes to picking just one, however, you can’t beat the Spro BBZ-1 Rat. From its realistic appearance and movement to the multiple ways this lure can be fished, the BBZ-1 Rat is just slightly better than the rest at accomplishing everything you need from a rat lure.
Of course, every lure on this list is a good option, and may even work better than the BBZ-1 depending on the scenario, but as far as an all around rat lure for catching bass, this one has it all.
Rat lures don’t get the love they deserve these days, but those who know take advantage of their ability to catch big fish. However popular or unpopular they are, rat lures should not be slept on.
Whether you’re looking to start fishing with rat lures for bass, or you’re exploring other options to add to your arsenal, we hope this helped. Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts!