Author: Rob Belloni
Overview/History: The BaitSmith Magnum trout released in early 2009. This 9.5 inch bait weighs 6oz and comes in 3 trout imitating colors. The rate of fall is advertised as being 1.5 feet per second, and - to use the Huddleston nomenclature and convert to real on the water experience - I'll just tell you it's like an ROF18. The top hook looks like a Mustad UltraPoint - nice and sharp. Retail price on the Magnum Trout is around $40. Pros: It's just like a Huddleston only bigger? Somebody is going to accuse me of being too direct, but that's the BaitSmith Magnum Trout in a nutshell. Ever since the Hudd came out, I'd been wanting a bigger one and the Magnum trout fits the bill well in this regard. It's longer, heavier, and sinks faster. Those three attributes appeal to me as a fisherman who frequents deep clear-water lakes. You can fire this bait in to 40' of water, get it down there and really fish it at depth. The action is more subtle than a Hudd, due to slightly tougher plastic, and less "play" in the tail section of the lure. The tail kick looks good (but not amazing) on the swim. One thing that is nice though is the fin movement. On a medium to fast retrieve, the fins start to vibrate. It's similar to what you'll see with a 10" Castaic Platinum trout on a fast retrieve. I love this added secondary action on any bait. Looks outstanding. Another differentiator with the Magnum Trout is the addition of two wire loops to hold hooks in front of the tail fin and behind the dorsal fin. The location of the hook holders is just right, and it obviates the need to run wire or similar trap rigs. I put an Owner Hyperwire split ring and a #2 Gamakatsu 4x strong hook on both belly loops and go to town. I'm a big fan of convenience. Straightness of swim and durability are two of the most important factors in any $40 soft bait and the BaitSmith didn't let me down. On a reasonable retrieve my two Magnum Trout swam well. Not perfect dead on money, but good. And after fishing both baits for a few months and getting them snagged a few times each - they both look like new. You should get 10-30 fish per bait without issue. BaitSmith as a company is strong on the production side. The color patterns are accurate in terms of trout representation. They don't have the glossy look that a brand new Hudd has (yum) but in the water they look right. The Dark Trout pattern with its purple overtones is particularly appealing to me. It reminds of the purple 'Nitro Express' MS Slammer color that has always been a good producer. Cons: With the price of a Hudd dropping to $25, the $40 price tag on this bait looks a little less appealing. I'm not saying its not worth it to have a larger hudd-like option in your arsenal, but the price will probably discourage some people. My only other issue with the Magnum trout is the fickle-ness of the swim when the lure is loaded up with hooks. I found that the position of a single small treble hook could cause my bait to run on its side a little. Being fanatical about how my lures swim, this bothered me. Most people wouldn't even notice the difference in the swim but I obsess about these things and tend to find the subtle faults . This problem nagged me with the 6" BaitSmith as well. The bait swims good on one cast, then a little off on the next cast. Watch your baits carefully and tell me in a review comment if you agree or not. My review of the Magnum Trout is more critical than for other lures, but with the strong similarities between this lure and the Hudd, you have to hold the bait to the same standards and ask if its really worth the money to have a larger heavier lure. The fish will make that determination over time. Overall this bait should be a big fish catcher. I haven't heard a lot of feedback on it, but I think we'll hear more about big bass and stripers getting caught on the Magnum in the future.