A NEW RAT FROM THE BIG CHEESE
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
I knew when his BBZ National Youth/High School tournament series ended that Bill Siemantel, a Hall of Fame tournament angler and lure designer, would be back. His passion for fishing is too strong, and his talent for bait design too great. When I recently found myself talking to Bill, and seeing his excitement about the lures they will introduce at this year’s ICAST 2022, I just had to smile. These baits are special and his youthful exuberance- down right giddiness- told me I was about to see some things that were very special.
If you haven’t heard of Freshwater Hall of Fame angler Bill Siemantel, you need get busy on Google. Bill has won a lot of tournaments, and designed some very successful big bass baits. If you are familiar with the Spro Rat or the BBZ Rat, you might say Bill is the big cheese, and now that design energy has been unharnessed at FishLab, and the results made me sit up and take notice. Bill showed me the soft plastic, top water and crank baits they plan to launch at ICAST, the largest industry only show in the US, where every major player in the fishing industry rolls out their new products.
The first bait Bill showed me was his latest buzz bait in the form of a swimming rat, the Bio-Rat. Bill’s theme for this bait is realism- appearance and swimming action- at an affordable price. The Bio-Rat has two sets of hooks, an angry rat face, a contoured body, a jointed tail, and cupped feet at the back that give it the gurgle and splash of a buzz bait. Right away I noticed the attention to detail down to the rounded nose section of the bait- indented whisker holes, slanted brow, and inset eyes that add to the mean look. The realism is further enhanced by fur grooves, ear cut outs, carved-out hands and forward legs tucked tight to the body. There is a small peg that is right above the rear to hold the tail and allow for easy change when needed. Each Bio-Rat will come with an additional tail if you happen to lose one.
The bait attaches under the chin of the Bio-Rat, where there is a solid ring with a heavy-duty split ring. Bill pointed out that the position of the rings keep the bait up and out of the water furthering the buzz bait effect on the surface. The hooks are super sharp and sturdy BKK hooks, with heavy duty split rings attached. As we discussed the Bio-Rat, Bill kept referring to it as a buzz bait. When he explained the feet, I really began to understand. The two feet have a dual-cup design, with intricate detail. This design provides a plopper-style action. Each of the feet are attached to a small through-wire that keeps the feet spinning freely. The feet really are key to thinking of this topwater as a buzz bait.
The Bio- Rat will be available in two sizes, a 7 1/2″ and 10″ bait and these are offered in grey, white, brown, black and morning dawn for a very affordable $21.99 to $24.99