This Week's View

by Deanna Birkholm

February 5th, 2001


Congratulations to Rat-L-Trap!

For those who haven't spin or bait-fished, Rat-L-Trap makes crank baits.


On a fly fishing website?

Freedom Bait

You bet, and for good reason. Rat-L-Trap is one of the most popular crank baits, with a huge variety of baits. Now, here's the big one - they have introduced BARBLESS hooks. Yes, they are treble hooks, and the baits work just like they always have - but the barbless hooks are a new concept in the crank bait business.

Ken Chaumont at Rat-L-Trap said the new "Freedom" barbless hooks are having great acceptance with guides as well as members of the B.A.S.S. pro team, (and in truth the pros on the tournament circuit mash the barbs down on their own hooks) but the most resistance is from anglers who think barbless hooks make it harder to land fish. They are working on educating those folks to understand the barbless hooks actually make catching easier since the hook goes in easier and holds the fish on the bend of the hook - they have even coated the hook with Nickel Teflon for easy removal.

Quoting Ken, "There is a growing trend towards more catch & release fishing. It makes good sense to release healthy fish, to enjoy catching another day. Because some species are more fragile than others, they require better handling with a quick release. The new Freedom hook slides right out with minimal stress and really has little impact on your catch ratio.

It's also going to be a big hit with kids. Parents will like it because it's a very safe hook to fish with. If you happen to get stuck by this hook, it will come right out reducing the discomfort that's associated with the removal of a barbed hook."

Rat-L-Trap is the FIRST traditional crank bait manufacturer to come forward and offer barbless hooks. The Freedom series is available in their six best selling colors, in 1/4 and oz sizes. Ken says they intend to offer more in the future - including a salt-water series.

A tip of the FAOL hat to Rat-L-Trap for stepping ahead of the industry on the use of barbless hooks on their Freedom series. By the way, it is more expensive to produce the barbless hooks, and there is no price increase on these baits. Nice going!

And if those spin and bait fishers decide to fly fish? Barbless hooks won't be a new idea. ~ The LadyFisher

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