August 27, 2014
By Ned Kehde
Gene Larew Lures introduced its Rally Grub to the angling world on July 15 at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida.
Gary Dollahon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and marketing director for the Tulsa, Oklahoma, lure manufacturer said it was the creation of Larew's primary lure designer, George Toalson of Tulsa.
In some ways, it is a beefed-up rendition of the Bobby Garland Crappie Baits' 2 1/2-inch Stroll'R. It incorporates the tail design of the Stroll'R, which has a narrow and curled tail with a disk or flat knob affixed to the end of it.
The Rally Grub is 3 1/2-inches long. Its torso and head are burly, and its belly is endowed with 12 ribs.
Toalson said he began working on the first prototype about four years ago with an eye on creating a soft-plastic bait that combines the best features of a grub and a swimbait. One of his missions was to create a bait that vibrates and undulates from the tip of its nose to its tail when an angler retrieves it at a slow pace. Toalson noted that the tail of a standard bass grub doesn't start to move until it reaches the speed of around 6 mph. The Rally Grub's tail, however, commences its gyrations at 2 mph. What's more, the unique movement of the tail causes the 12 ribs to vibrate, which provokes the entire torso and head to subtly undulate. From his many days of testing it, Toalson discovered that the Rally Grub moves and vibrates more than all of the grubs that he has compared it to.
Through every season and all the months of a year, he field tested various prototypes of the Rally Grub at the reservoirs in northeastern Oklahoma.€¨ And during the summer of 2013, he took a prototype to the Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada, and to his delight, it inveigled unending numbers of species by rigging it on a 1/8-ounce ball jig with a 3/0 hook. He employed it on a spinning outfit that was spooled with eight-pound-test fluorocarbon line.
In 2014, he took the final product to Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, during the third week in June, when some of Mille Lacs' smallmouth bass were spawning and some were in their post-spawn motif.
Throughout that week, he fished two patterns: One scenario revolved around casting and retrieving the Rally Grub around and under the boat docks that line some of the shorelines, as well as some spawning sites between some of the boat docks. The second one focused on the offshore rock piles and reefs that were covered with four feet of water at their shallowest point and drop into 10 to 20 or more feet of water.
At Mille Lacs, he rigged it on a 1/8-ounce ball jig with a 3/0 hook and wielded it on spinning tackle with eight-pound-test fluorocarbon line. Around the docks, he used the Glacier colored Rally Grub. When he probed the offshore rock piles and reefs, he discovered that the watermelon-pepper one was the most effective color.
Around the docks, he would cast and retrieve it parallel to the sides of the docks. He would also skip it under docks. And he retrieved the Rally Grub by implementing what he described as a lift-and-drop presentation, which he executed by slowly lifting his rod from the 10 o-clock position to about a 12 o'clock position and then dropping it back to the 10 o'clock position and reeling up the slack line. A sizable number of the dock-oriented smallmouth bass engulfed the Rally Grub on the initial drop. Some docks yielded as many as four smallmouth bass, and the bigger ones were usually extracted from under the docks.
The biggest smallmouth bass, however, were caught on the rock piles and reefs, where he retrieved the watermelon-pepper Rally Grub with the same lift-drop-and-reel motif that he used around the docks.
He caught 70 to 100 smallmouth bass a day, as well as about 40 walleye each day. The walleye were caught on the rock piles and reefs, and they engulfed the watermelon-pepper Rally Grub as he retrieved it with the lift-drop-and-reel presentation. During the week, he caught nine smallmouth bass that weighed more than six pounds, 15 that weighed more than five pounds, and the biggest weighed seven pounds, two ounces. He said a goodly number of the walleye were impressive specimens, too.
Day in and day out and at every waterway that Toalson fishes, the Glacier Rally Grub is his favorite hue — even at waterways that are stained and exhibit only 12 inches of visibility.
At the reservoirs in Oklahoma during the summertime, he affixes it to a 1/8-ounce jig that is endowed with several strands of fiberguard for a hook guard, and he probes man-made brush piles with it.
In the fall in Oklahoma, he likes to attach it to a 1/8-ounce Scrounger-style jig, and he employs it like a swimbait around largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass lairs, where these bass are foraging upon schools of gizzard and threadfin shad.
During the winter in Oklahoma, Toalson focuses on suspended largemouth bass and spotted bass that abide around deep-water boat docks. He rigs it on the same 1/8-ounce jig that he fishes brush piles with in the summer. He says the Rally Grub has replaced the jerkbait in his wintertime arsenal.
As 2014 continues to unfold, Toalson says he wants to spend time using it on a 3/16-ounce Gene Larew Lures' Biffle HardHead.
Toalson created the Rally Grub as a bait to be affixed to a jig, which anglers cast and retrieve as they would a grub or swimbait, but Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, who is Larew's national pro-staffer, says its real strength revolves around using it on a drop-shot rig.
Upshaw competes on the Walmart FLW Tour, Platinum Team Trail, and Bassmaster Northern Opens. And on Aug. 9 and 10, he competed at the Platinum Team Trail event on Lake Amistad, Texas, where he spent some of his practice days using drop-shot rigged Rally Grubs in the Glass Shad hue, while his boat floated 50 to 80 feet of water. He employed them on two six-foot, 10-inch Lew's Custom Speed Stick drop-shot rods and TL200H Lew's Team Lew's Gold Spin High Speed Spin reels.
One of his reels was spooled with four-pound-test fluorocarbon line, and the other reel was spooled with five-pound-test fluorocarbon line. On the four-pound-test outfit, he worked with a 1/4-ounce drop-shot sinker, and he used a 3/8-ounce drop-shot sinker on the five-pound-test unit. Because the body of the Rally Grub is bulky, he had to nose-hook it to a 1/0 drop-shot hook rather than rig it Texas-style. The 1/4-ounce rig caught largemouth bass that were suspended in 40 feet of water, and the 3/8-ounce one caught largemouth bass on the bottom in 50 feet of water.
While he practiced with the Rally Grub, he compared its effectiveness to several of the most heralded soft-plastic drop-shot baits, and he found that the Rally Grub was more fruitful by a significant margin.
In Upshaw's eyes, it is the movement of the tail as it falls on a drop-shot rig that is the key to its effectiveness on a drop-shot rig. He says there is no other bait like it. €¨He is eager to take it to the Bassmaster Northern Open at Lake St. Clair on Sept. 4-6. He thinks it will wow St. Clair's smallmouth bass the same that it wowed the smallmouth bass on Mille Lacs Lake for Toalson. But Upshaw will be wielding it on a drop-shot rig rather than on a jig.
The Larew Rally Grub is available in 16 colors: Blue Ice, Blue Thunder, Crystal Shad, Fire Tiger, Glacier, Glass Shad, Green Pumpkin Candy, Monkey Milk, Pearl Pepper, Pearl White, Purple Flash Shad, Shimmer Shad, Shiny Shimmer, Smoke Pepper Purple, Sooner Run, and Watermelon Pepper.
A package of 12 sells for around $4.99.
Here are the links to three YouTube videos that feature the Rally Grub: