The Spro BBZ-1 Rat 25 – Mighty Mouse?

This time of year we are usually testing a bunch of new topwater offerings that debuted at ICAST.

This year has been no different and we have discovered that there are several gems.


Today we are looking at something that is truly special and has been putting fish in the boat since the first trip.

We’ve now thrown this plug on every subsequent trip and have never failed to catch fish with it. It’s a fish magnet, plain and simple.

The new Spro BBZ-1 Rat 25. The smallest and newest member of the rat pack. With a body length of 2-1/2 inches, an overall length of about 4-3/4 inches and weighing 5/16oz., the 25 exhibits a considerably smaller profile than its nearest sized sibling, the Rat 30.

Bill Siemantel took the time to walk us through the 25 at ICAST and shared some of the hidden secrets to customizing this bait which you can see for yourself on our YouTube channel. While it’s entirely possible as well as easy to tune this plug to change how it suspends, it’s completely unnecessary.

This plug, like all the lures in the Rat series, is perfectly capable of catching right out of the package. It shares the same quality construction processes as the rest of the family, same high end components as well as the same precisely executed engineering. In other words, it does exactly what it is designed to do.

The Action

While the 50 and 40 are designed as surface lures that can be fished with a variety of retrieves, the 30 and now the 25 allow the angler to fish sub-surface with the 25 intentionally exhibiting more of the characteristics of a squarebill than any of its brethren.

This action is what sets the Rat 25 apart from its larger cousins and makes it something that the fish have not seen before or been able to avoid.

We’ve been fishing the 25 on the Daiwa Tatula SV TW spooled with 10# co-polymer mounted on a Tatula Elite AGS 7’ Med-Med.Hvy action stick. This rig is absolutely ideal for these smallish, lighter weight baits. You can cast them a surprising distance while maintaining the accuracy you would get from a heavier lure.

Our first cast with the BBZ-1 Rat 25 was an exploratory exercise. We wanted to see if you could, like its larger siblings, confine it to working just on the surface. In a blink, we found that this was not what this plug was designed for. Duh! Bill had explained that just a few days earlier but we had to see for ourselves.

So, we brought it in, fired it back out, took two quick turns of the reel handle to get it to its proper running depth and it got hammered! Got that fish in, unhooked and back in the water in short order.

Now it’s the third cast with the 25. We repeated what we had done the previous cast and this time had about 5 turns of the handle before another fish jumped all over the rat. Landed him, took a quick picture, unhooked him and sent him on his way.

This went on with a fish every few casts for the rest of the time we used the Rat that trip. What we found in doing this is that the Rat 25 has the same seductive, natural swimming action and single knocker sound as its larger stable mates but does it a couple of feet under the surface. The way this bait moves is downright smooth. The body and tail work together in such a way that the motion is indistinguishable from a living critter. It’s just flat out sexy!

More details

In addition to the incredible action of the 25, the lip on this bait paired with the #6 short shank Gamakatsu trebles fore and aft make it more weedless than we would have thought without testing it. It will come through moderate cover without hanging up as well or better than a good percentage of squarebills available.

Our hook-up percentage has been more than enviable every time we’ve used this bait. We have lost so few fish that hit the Rat that we can count them on one hand and we’ve caught dozens of fish using this plug.

More Options

You can use several retrieves with this bait because it’s a slow-sinking, suspending lure. Most of our fish have come on a straight medium retrieve. We’ve sped it up to see how the Rat would respond and it didn’t do anything but change its cadence. We’ve also employed the suspending feature by reeling it down then killing it. This has been another effective retrieve for us as some shy followers took that opportunity to crush the bait.

Our bait has held up very well to all the fish strikes we’ve gotten. We haven’t changed out the hooks yet but anticipate doing that in the not to distant future just as a maintenance kind of thing.

We believe that the best way to look at the 25 in terms of how to use it would be as a segmented, shallow running crankbait. It does everything your typical squarebill does and then some.

Spro and Bill Siemantel hit a grand slam with the BBZ-1 Rat 25. This little rodent has fantastic action, is built to last, gets fish of all sizes to bite, can be used by a journeyman angler or a complete novice and can be customized. It just doesn’t get much better than that …

Spro BBZ-1 Rat 25
A fantastic subsurface rodent

See ya’ on the water …

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