The Mattlures FT Series swimbaits debuted in 2004 and are hand made by Matt Servant in sunny Southern California. The bait comes in a 7" and 9" version. The 7" sports a 3/0 hook and the 9" comes stock with a 4/0. There are currently 7 colors available including 3 trout variations, baby bass, midnight/red flake, hitch and carp.
There are several baits now in this swimbait genre so you are probably wondering what sets this bait apart from some of the other offerings. There are definitely a few trick things about this bait to pay attention to.
The first thing you'll notice is the red gills and anatomically shaped head. From the bass' perspective (underneath the bait) the gills stand out very strongly and they actually have a roughed up look to them which makes them look very natural.
Another interesting feature on this bait is the bottom fins. The bottom fins are intentionally colored more darkly than the rest of the lure to help mask the hooks. If you look at the bottom and side pictures of the 9" lure above, you'll notice the hook really blends into the fins making it more difficult for the bass to see. And since most of us like to use stinger hooks on baits like this, the bait has a second set of fins to mask the stinger hook. It's really a pretty clever setup.
A few other attention to detail items you'll notice on this bait are the raised scale pattern on the sides, and the blended colors to give the lure a more natural look in the water. I feel like the selection of colors is solid with some very natural fish colors available.
Fish wise, I've heard that the 7" bait works well at night as a slow speed slightly subsurface bait. Definitely try this one on a slow surface or slightly subsurface retrieve.
The achilles heel of all baits shaped like this is that they like to roll up on their sides. Some baits are weighted to help alleviate this, but the Mattlures FT Series is weightless so that it will run right on top. As such, you need to be prepared to do one of two things with your baits to get them swimming without rolling.
The first option is to simply fish your bait very slowly from a stationary position. If you fish the bait from a stationary spot in calm conditions and work it really slow, that's when you're going to get a good consistent action from it.
The second option is to weight the bait so that you can fish the bait faster or in windy conditions. Matt suggests threading the line through the bait, then adding a 1/16 to 1/8 oz bullet weight or egg sinker on the line below the bait before tying the hook on and pulling it up snug to the bait. The added weight will act like a keel so that the bait doesn't roll as easily.
Overall this bait has some nice features that set it apart from other similar baits, but you need to be prepared to fish it slowly or modify it with weights to get it to fish correctly in wind or with a fast retrieve.