The Generic Hardbait trout debuted around the beginning of 2001. This was Jerry Rago's first hardbait released to the public and although it has been very popular, it has also been very hard to come buy as Jerry only makes a limited number of baits per year and there was a stretch for almost a year where the baits were not available at all. These baits are true works of art with incredible detail built in. Jerry tunes and weights each bait one at a time to make sure they swim dead on when you get the bait.
The most commonly available size is 12 inch however there are 7,9,12, and the monster 16" versions out there. Another thing to note about the bait is that there are two variations. A wood version and a synthetic version. What Jerry makes the synthetic one out of is a secret, but the two are virtually indistinguishable without taking a knife and cutting into the lure.
This is a versatile hardbait period. The bait is typically weighted so that it floats, but just barely. You can work it super slow across the top with the tail just barely kicking, or you can crank it down hard and make it dive 6 to 10 feet. The action is a tight action, but the tail has a lot of wiggle to it. As many of you know, Jerry catches a lot of large bass trolling and this bait is super deadly trolling. It's a spot on trout profile and the paint jobs are incredible for realism. It has two large hooks and it's the kind of durable bait that you could catch dozens of bass on.
The one thing to understand about this bait is that this is a BIG fish bait. It's the kind of bait that you can go a long time without a bite on, but when you do get bit on this guy, it's going to be a slob more often than not. Little fish just seem scared of this bait but the big ones, when they are in the mood, they are going to destroy it.
There is not much to dislike about this bait but it does have a few small weaknesses. The fins are very very securely attached to the bait, but with any thin rigid piece of plastic on a lure that weighs several ounces, if you take and fire this thing into a rock or dock, you might break something. That's the price you pay for the realism.
The other thing is the paint. All hardbaits are susceptible to paint chipping and cracking and the Generic is no exception. If you are the type to shed tears if you chip a pricey bait, you might consider coating it with some clear epoxy such as Aristocrat Liquid Glass. A quick search on google.com should put you in touch with some of this excellent product.
As far as I know, this lure is no longer in production