The Rago rat was debuted after many years of secrecy in the fall of 2002. The original baits were wood, but the production baits now are synthetic. The baits are very light and buoyant and use a Crème worm for the tail section. The rat measures 8" total lenth (4 and ¼" for the body) and come stock with a VMC hook. The Rago Mouse came out in late 2003. The mouse is 6 and ¾" total length.
Now here is a lure with some ACTION. The rat and mouse have a wild surface action because as the bill causes the head of the bait to jolt back and forth, the tail section follows the action of the head but at the same time, the worm in the tail is so long that it can't keep up and it starts just shooting back and forth, even on a medium/slow retrieve. You can burn the rat and make it dive a few inches under the surface with a wild action, or you can creep it on top, giving it the most subtle slow speed action. Throw in a few twitches and pops, and it just quivers on the surface. Overall the rat and mouse just have phenomenal action on top.
The next thing we need to talk about is unique presentation. These baits are still relatively new on the market and odds are that the fish in your area have not seen anything like this before. It just doesn't look like anything that existed on the market 5 years ago. That uniqueness can be big advantage.
The rat has two hinges and overall has very solid construction. You're going to go through some tails when fish bite only at the tail, but overall this is a bait you can legitimately catch 100 bass on. It's a topwater bait that you are probably never going to lose,, and at around $30 to $40 each, that's not a bad buy at all.
As far as hooking and landing the fish goes, the rat is a solid performer. It has only one hook but the body of the bait is relatively small. Anything over about 2 and a half pounds shouldn't have a problem eating the rat. The bait is also very light, which allows fish to suck it in easily.
There's really not much bad to say about the rat. Replacing the tails on the water can be somewhat of a pain because you have to glue them in. But functionally that's about it. For me personally, I have not done that well on the rat, but I know first hand that a whole lot of tournament money has been won on this bait and I have no doubt that despite limited production on the lure, it will continue to grow in popularity around the country.
If the rat in the pic above looks a little beat on the paint, it's because it was one of the original wood baits that was just quickly painted up for Jerry to fish with. The production baits look like the mouse pictured above and the paint is just fine.