The original Osprey Swimbaits were triple jointed wood baits (no longer in production). The rubber baits we know now were released around the late 90's and sold for several years by Steve Harner. More recently Jim Tatum purchased the company and has added several new Opsrey swimbaits to the product line. The Osprey has probably been best selling rubber swimbait since big swimbaits came into existence. Many giant bass have been caught on the bait and many tournaments won. The Osprey comes in 4,7,9, and 12 inch sizes and a slew of different colors.
The Osprey up on the surface has this very subtle but strong kick that definitely gets bit. There is something about the way it dimples the surface and bulges just barely subsurface that fish just seem to associate with trout. That action near the top or barely under the water is the key Osprey action that catches a heck of a lot of fish. I really like the Osprey colors for the fact that they have a lot of silvery trout imitating shades. The heavy flake in the trout patterns looks very trout like. They have a huge array of other baitfish, bass, hitch, carp and other colors and some of those are pretty nice but the range of trout imitating colors are some of my favorite on the market.
With modification, the Osprey can also be a pretty versatile bait. Guys will take mojo weights and insert them in the belly, take egg sinkers and run the harness through them and all sorts of other mods to get the baits to sink down deeper. You can even take the harness out and put a big leadhead like a Hammerhead head inside the bait for a deep bomber bait. The mod you really need to make to this bait is the so called 'pro-rig' mod that was developed at Bass World West. With the pro rig the line slides through a tube in the lure so you can catch a reasonable number of fish per bait. 6, 8, 10 fish per bait wouldn't be unusual on a pro-rig bait. Bass World West sells the baits pre-made like this for your purchasing pleasure.
The main issue with the Osprey is getting the bait to run true at anything other than a crawl. You might get a killer bait that runs perfect out of the package, but a percentage of Ospreys are simply not going to run true right off. As discussed above, adding mojo weights or adjusting the hooks can help to tune in the bait, but there will be some baits that simply don't swim very well. I will say that the overall quality of the baits looks great in the batch I got recently as compared to a few years ago. I don't know if they are using better molds or just being more careful in the production process but the baits do look nice.
The other drawback on the bait is the harness system. If you fish the bait stock, you'll get about 2 or 3 fish per bait. It's very possible that you could throw out stick a 5lber and rip the bait in half on the first cast. You'll also miss a lot of fish because the body of the bait is wider than the tips of the hooks. Fish that clamp down from the sides of the bait have a hard time getting hooked with a small single treble. I'd either buy the Bass World West pro-rigged baits or pro rig them yourself.