August 31, 2020
Since about 2017, a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers had been hoping that Storm Lures would create a finesse-sized 360GT Searchbait. And when they recently introduced the 2 ½-inch 360GT Searchbait, a chorus of alleluias erupted around the Midwest and elsewhere in North America.
We exchanged several emails with Dan Quinn of Hudson, Wisconsin, who is the Field Promotions Manager for Rapala, about the 2 ½-inch 360GT Searchbait and its bigger siblings. He also mailed us a few of them to work with, thoroughly examine, and create a gear guide about them. (By the way, Storm Lures is part of the Rapala conglomerate.)
Here is what we discovered about the 2 ½-inch 360GT Searchbait.
It is adorned with a 3/32-ounce jig, which is endowed with a number one VMC’s Coastal Black hook that possesses a 60-degree bend. The distance from the center of the eye of the hook to the apex of the bend of the hook is 1 1/4 inches. The hook’s gape is seven-eighths of an inch. The head of the jig, which is about a half of an inch long, is embellished with a pair of three-dimensional holographic eyes and a rattle. The head exhibits some of the features of a small fish. The jig’s collar is about seven-sixteenths of an inch long, and it is endowed with three cone-shaped bait keepers. The back of the head is unique, and it is designed to fit the contours of the tip of the anterior section of the body of the 360GT Searchbait.
Its soft-plastic body and tail are phthalate-free.
The tip of the anterior section is not flat. Instead, it is endowed with a unique V-shape, which matches the contours of the back of the head of the jig. What’s more, it has a hook hole, which is where the hook and collar of the jig are inserted.
When its soft-plastic body is measured along its dorsal area, the distance from the tip of the body’s anterior section to the edge of the top of its paddle-style tail is 2 5/8 inches long. When it is measured along its ventral area, it is 2 13/16 inches long. When it is measured along its side, it is 2 11/16 inches long.
All but the final three-eighths of its dorsal area is flat. The first 1 5/8 inches of the dorsal are endowed with 31 minuscule ribs, and there is also a hole that is one inch from the tip of the anterior section, which is the exit hole for the hook. The epidermis of the final fifteenth-sixteenths of an inch of the dorsal area is smooth.
Its ventral area is convex with a smooth epidermis.
The first 1 5/8 inches of the top portions of both sides of its body are embellished with the same minuscule ribs that embellish the dorsal area.
At the tip of the anterior section, it is seven-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 ¼ inches and height of about three-eighths of an inch. The width at 1 ¼ inches from the anterior’s tip is five-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of one inch and a height of about five-sixteenths of an inch.
The final seven-eighths of an inch of its torso is called the caudal peduncle, and it is the smallest portion of its body. At seven-sixteenths of an inch from the tip of the tail, the circumference is about a half of an inch with a width of about one-eighth of an inch and a height of about three-sixteenths of an inch.
At the caudal peduncle’s junction with the tail, the height increases to one-quarter of an inch, and it is slightly thicker.
Its paddle-style tail is flat and thin. It has a height of five-eighths of an inch and a width of a half of an inch at its widest spot.
When the body of the 360GT Searchbait is affixed to the jig, our measurements along its ventral area reveal that it is 3 ¼ inches long.
It is available in the following hues: Chartreuse Ice, Gaga, Herring, Hot Olive, Houdini, Marilyn, Pearl Ice, Smelt, Tru Blue, and Volunteer.
A package of three bodies and one jig costs $5.39.
- Here is a link to Rapala’s website: https://www.rapala.com/storm/soft-baits/360gt-searchbait/360gt-searchbait-/360GT+Searchbait.
- Here are two links to two YouTube videos about the 360GT Searchbait: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peg_ZrmRfRw; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcwkCEdoo1o.
- The 360GT Searchbait was designed as a swimbait in which an angler employs it with a straight swimming presentation and dissects vast areas rather quickly. Midwest finesse anglers will employ it with that same retrieve, but they are also like to use it with the other five Midwest finesse retrieves. Here is a link to our Midwest Finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.