Huddleston Deluxe - 6 Inch
Author: Rob Belloni
The 6 inch Huddleston Deluxe debuted in the fall of 2007. As the third trout in the Hudd lineup, this was a much anticipated release. The 6” comes in 11 colors and two rates of fall (ROF5 and ROF12). The ROF5 weighs in at 2.0oz and the ROF12 goes 2.4oz. There are two basic color types; the transparent “Phantom” models and the standard white body baits. Retail price is $15.
Like all things Huddleston, the 6” Hudd displays amazing attention to detail. Let’s recap from head to tail: The hook eye is recessed in to the plastic so that less than half of the eye shows. The wire loop on the belly is similarly recessed to hide the hardware. Eyeballs are painted gold or silver in the back - then filled with clear plastic to give the illusion of depth. The top hook is positioned perfect every time - dead center in the back of the lure and exposed at the right point to keep bass hooked.
Inside, both models use foam as floatation to balance the lure and elicit a level (ROF5) or head down (ROF12) falling action. This method of lure construction is - in my opinion - the number one reason why Huddleston baits have been so successful. This is also the number one reason why many of the Hudd clones have been unsuccessful. It’s the attention to detail that sets the Hudd apart.
The swimming action of the 6” Hudd is good, but not the same as the 8”. Where the 8” has wag and wobble, the 6” is tighter and exhibits less body movement. The difference in action can be attributed to the size of the tail relative to the body. The 6” tail is just smaller. You can be assured however that none of this is accidental. Ken just went for a different action with this smaller bait and it matches up well with the fact that smaller fish swim with tighter movement than larger fish. Picture a big 15 inch planter trout swimming next to a native 6” rainbow and the visual will become clear.
Like the 8” model, the ROF5 6” Hudd falls parallel to the surface and rolls gently side to side as it sinks. The ROF12 sinks nose down with the tail kicking on the way down. Can you say sink bite? The 8” Hudd has produced many sink bites for me over the year and the 6” should be no different. That’s one of the great things about the Hudd. Instead of wasting time while the lure sinks, you are actively fishing!
Pricing on Hudds has varied through the years but the general trend has been down. At $15 apiece, I feel like the 6” Hudd is priced just right and well within the realm of reason for your average angler. You’re going to catch 10 or 20+ fish per bait with this lure barring catastrophe (fish biting tail off). The baits do get teeth marks and shredding through the paint job but the plastic is tough – not the kind to rip apart on a few fish.
Two applications jump to mind with the 6” Hudd as being its real strong points. The first is tournament fishing. You could take the bass, shiner, or hitch patterns anywhere in the country and catch bass. 2 pound bass will eat this lure no problem and you’ll hook and land most fish over 4lbs if you use a trap hook on the belly. The second application is sight fishing. I shouldn’t say that out loud but the 6” Hudd is such an obvious choice when you want to imitate a trout but put something on the bed that can be easily engulfed.
For your rod and reel I would be thinking of a 7’11 Medium-Heavy or Heavy action rod with 15 to 20 pound test. 17 seems just about right. You could go with a 200 size reel but a 300 can give you a little more leverage and line capacity for long casts. Either way the lure is approachable on typical bass gear.
My 6” Hudds all swim straight out of the package with no modification. That said, some swim better than others. Unlike the 8” bait where I’ve gone through dozens of lures with virtually no duds, the six inchers have shown some variability in terms of leaning to one side. It’s not something you’ll notice at slow speeds, but when you burn your baits in you might find that some of them lean right or left.
Obviously I’m holding the bait to a high standard here and being picky about the action. But if you’re a bait burning dude, you should know that not all 6 inch Hudds are going to rock it at surface bulging speed.
Other than that, these little guys are just another example of fine fishing machinery from Ken Huddleston. They should be a lasting fixture in the swimbait world for years to come.