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Huddleston Deluxe 8 Inch Trout Swimbait

Author: Rob Belloni

History/Overview: The Huddleston Deluxe 8" Trout was debuted in the winter of '03/04. It comes in four varieties, which are designated by Rate of Fall (ROF). The ROF 0 floats, the 5,12, and 16 naturally fish to approximately those depths. The ROF 0 and 5 come with no top hook, and a wire loop in the belly to put a treble hook on. The ROF 12 and 16 baits come with a single hook on the top and a wire loop in the belly so you can add an additional treble hook if you like. The baits are a heavy duty type plastic, and the finish is basically more plastic that has been shot onto the bait. 

Pros: Realism, realism, realism. Wow, when you get this bait and have a close look at it, the way it's done up is just extremely trout like. If you laid this bait on the ground next to an 8" trout and walked back 10 feet, they'd look pretty darn similar. I'm very impressed by the level of detail for a rubber bait. It's little things like the way the line tie and wire loop on the belly are imbedded inside the bait that can give you that extra edge and maybe get you a few extra bites.  Overall the reports on the Huddleston are very good and it's a bait that generates a lot of bites.

I like the overall size of this bait as well. I think it's really in that sweet spot for lure size.  Big enough to get their attention but small enough to be inhaled by a 10lber.  The bait also has a fairly thin profile which helps a fish get it's mouth around it. 4 pounders could eat this bait without too much difficulty, and 10+ fish are going to get it completely inside their mouth if they commit on it. That's a plus when it comes to boating fish.

The hook setup is pretty solid on this bait, but I would go with a stinger hook on the ROF 0 and 5.  You could add a stinger on the 12 and 16 as well, but that would add up to 3 hooks which becomes more noticeable when you look at the lure. 

Durability wise, it's a solid performer.  In fact it's very good for a rubber lure.  The one thing you have to watch out for is baits where the skin basically starts peeling off.  There are a few like this out there from a bad production run. I got one and it started coming off right away before I even made the first cast with the lure.  However, on my other baits, the paint (or plastisol or whatever it is) is very good and hasn't come off at all really.  If you do wind up with one that starts falling apart when you hold it in your hand to tie it to your line, you might see about getting it replaced.

Cons: You can see in the pictures above that this bait has a very unique tail design compared to the standard boot tail swimbait design. This tail design gives the bait a more realistic tail profile, especially from the side, but it also limits the action on the bait. Rating this characteristic as a negative is relative to what you consider good action in a bait. If you want a bait that you can feel on the end of your rod as it kicks, this bait doesn't really do that. The tail action is very subtle, and I really believe that fish are biting this lure not because they sense a commotion in the water, but because the see it and visually it looks so much like a trout, they just can't resist. 

Lost fish are going to be an issue for you on this bait, no matter how many trebles you add.  The baits in all sizes are quite heavy and compact and when a fish gets airborne with this lure on the outside of it's face, it's got leverage to throw the bait.  Like any big bait, just make sure your hooks are razor sharp and get those fish to the boat as fast as you can. There are only three colors available right now.  Rainbow Trout, Brown Back/Gold (Hitch), and Silver/Blue Back.  All of these colors are sweet, but a few more sure couldn't hurt. 

Average Rating out of 9 voters
Jake( ojai, CA) Jan 26, 2008
What has Happened to the quality?
I need to first start by saying this is one of the most effective lures I've ever fished with and the initial year or 2 of production was absolutely mind blowing with respect to the attention to detail. i.e. number of spots, the green on top was what it should be... just green on top! Recent ones have the green extending to almost the lateral line. (Some) The plastic was even different on the older ones! Bellies were completely white... the material seemed to be more responsive if that makes any sense. The plastic on the newer ones is more jelly like. eyes are sloppy too.

Most are sparsely spotted and have no where near the number of spots older ones did. The plastic's consistency is totally different and of the last 5 or so baits I've purchased have had some sort of swim issue where the bait does not come to you at a perfectly straight angle.

the newer ones would be lucky if they had 50% of the spots older ones had.

I have not seen a hudd like the one in Rob's picture in a shop for ages.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who's noticed this as my buddies are echoing what I've been seeing and feeling about the 8inch baits.

I bring all this up in light of the fact that a friend of mine just accquired 2 older huddlestons.
Ones with the Oregon address on the header. They were brand new and had never been fished. When we took them out of the package we were shocked and couldn't believe how poor the newer ones looked. I was freaking out at how realistic the older ones looked! You could mistake it for a live trout from a mile away! That's the hudd I remember!

They were quite honestly night and day from each other and it didn't just end there as when we pool tested them we noticed that even with kinked tails the older ones swam PERFECTLY straight at us! For some reason my newer ones don't have that worm wiggle on the fall or air pockets behind the insert???? and come back at a slight angle... I even have a ROF 5 that sinks like and rof 1.

I'm just sad that mass production has probably resulted in the decline. Bring the old hudd back and I'll pay 80 bucks a bait!! as it is now unfortunately, I will not be buying from huddleston anytime soon.

Matt Peters( Roswell, GA) May 02, 2007
Refreshed review, version 2.0
OK, I'm a little older and wiser than I was 2-3 years ago. Clearly a little more bald and bigger waist line, anyway!

You ever listen to Waylon Jennings? You hear the one about "Bob Wills is still the King" Well, if you ever going after the trout eaters, the Hudd is still the king.

Just to add to my previous review, don't forget about the ROF12 and ROF16 Hudds. They are now more a staple in my arsenal than the ROF5, and due to the momentum they create swimming thru the water, they tend to hook more fish than the ROF5.

Basically, I have 3 rods on deck with the ROF5, ROF12, and ROF16...rigged and ready to rock based on what I'm fishing at that moment.

The alternative to the Hudd are OK, but not tops. The Rago Real Trout showed promise, but...alas we was mistaken. The Reaction Strikes have a place, but day in and day out..."if you ever fishing for trout eaters, the Hudd is still the King"

Oh yeah, whatever you do, don't fish the Hudd on non trout fed, clear lake. Clearly the Hudd is limited to trout fed lakes!!! And call me, I have some beach front property in Arizona I'm willing to sell you.


Brad Smith( Mission viejo) Apr 08, 2007
Great Bait
The Huddleston is a great bait. Caught a whole bunch of fish they are strong baits. They catch you a whole lot of fish all year round.
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