July 09, 2020
By Ned Kehde
On May 30, we began corresponding with the owners of Rabid Baits of Poultney, Vermont, about their unique soft-plastic finesse baits.
One of the owners is Bob Scott, who is 63 years old and a dyed-in-the-wool fly fisherman. He has two partners.
The second owner is Bob’s son. His name is also Bob. He is 29 years old and a talented black bass angler who also caught the Vermont state record channel catfish in June of 2012 that weighed 30 pounds, 15 ounces. At times, he has competed on several bass-tournament circuits. He studied mechanical engineering at Western New England College and received a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2012 from Castleton University.
The third owner is Joshua Mossey, who is 29 years old. He and Bob became friends in college, and he is described by the elder Bob as being Rabid Baits’ mathematics guru and accountant.
Currently, they have four finesse baits in their repertoire. They are the Darter, Goby, Rapid Craw, and Shaker Worm.
They began designing and developing these baits in 2016 and 2017, and they eventually submitted patent applications for them on Mar. 20, 2019. In October of 2019, they moved into a 15,000-square-foot building, where the baits are manufactured and shipped.
The elder Scott described this endeavor as “a seven-day-a-week job,” and to help them with this massive undertaking, they have hired another employee.
To help us publish gear guides about their finesse baits, they sent us samples of them, which allowed us to thoroughly examine and work with them.
Here is what we discovered about the Shaker Worm.
Its soft-plastic torso is 5 1/16 inches long. The end of its posterior section is embellished with a delicate assembly of rabbit fur that is about 1 ½ inches long. Thus, the entire worm is about 6 11/16 inches long.
It is interesting to note that they initially tried to use marabou for the tail. But it failed to possess what they described as a rapid enough recovery rate once it became wet. In other words, it was not alluring. Therefore, they experimented with a variety of other feathers and furs, and they eventually discovered that a rabbit zonker possessed the attributes that they wanted to affix to the tip of their worm’s soft-plastic torso. (In the vernacular of the fly-tying world, this piece of fur is called a rabbit zonker.) They note that the “fur tail that adds finesse action unlike any other bait.” Each tail is securely hand tied to the soft-plastic end of the posterior section.
The anterior portion of the Shaker Worm is 2 9/16 inches long. It is cylinder shaped.
The anterior is graced with a clitellum that is almost three-quarters of an inch long with a width of three-eighths of an inch and a circumference of slightly less than 1 1/8 inches.
The tip or head of the anterior section is somewhat flat and endowed with an indentation, which is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and bait keeper of a mushroom-style jig. The circumference of the head is slightly less than 1 1/8 inches. The diameter of the area that contains the indentation is three-sixteenths of an inch.
The epidermis of the clitellum is smooth. The epidermis of the anterior section from the beginning of the clitellum to the tip of the head is encompassed with 33 small ribs, and this segment is 1 3/8 inches long.
The dimensions of the soft-plastic torso decrease in size as it approaches the end of the posterior section.
At the junction of the posterior section and the protrusion of the rabbit-fur tail, the soft-plastic torso has a width of one-eighth of an inch and a circumference of three-quarters of an inch.
The entire epidermis of the posterior section’s soft-plastic torso is encircled with a series of small ribs, and there are 20 of them per inch.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Erie, Green Pumpkin Black, Green Pumpkin Orange, Lunar Eclipse, Midnight Magic, Mud Puppy, St Lawrence, and Watermelon Red.
It is exceptionally buoyant and impregnated with a scent.
A package of six, which are packed in a state-of-the-art container, costs $5.99.
The folks at Rabid Baits note that it can be employed on a Carolina rig, Texas rig, shaky-head jig, drop-shot rig, and a mushroom-style jig. Of course, Midwest finesse anglers will opt for affixing it to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and they will find that its buoyant nature will accentuate their swim-glide-and-shake presentation. (See endnote number two for more information about the swim-glide-and-shake presentation and the other Midwest finesse retrieves.)
- Here is the link to Rabid Baits’ website: www.rabidbaits.com.
- Midwest finesse anglers will present the Shaker Worm to their black-bass quarries by using all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. Here is the link to our Midwest Finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
- Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers of soft-plastic baits. These anglers have an infatuation with short soft-plastic worms. Therefore, a goodly number of them will remove one inch or perhaps 1 ½ inches from the tip of the anterior section of the Shaker Worm.
- In the weeks to come, we will publish gear guides about the Darter, Goby, and Rapid Craw.