I was delighted when Bassin USA asked me to do a product review on Gene Larews products. First, let me assure you I have tested hundreds of products from various companies, some have not met my expectations while others have blown me away. I always give a fair and impartial review of any product. I NEVER test products in local farm ponds or any other private waters. All my testing is done in waters open to the public, under the same conditions potential users would face. I do not wait for the perfect conditions, in fact, I try to test products under good and extreme fishing situations.
Fat Tail Tube
The Gene Larew product I tested was the Floating Series Fat Tail Tube. The tube I tested was the watermelon pepper color and as with all Gene Larew products, the bait was salt impregnated, and this one had Garlic Scent which is always a plus. I stuck one in my shirt pocket (garlic helps keep mosquitoes away). There are many so called-floating tubes on the market today, and yes, if you take one out of the package and throw it in the water it will float. But, will it float a bass hook? The hook I used for this review was the number two Daiichi Bass Hook that I use 99% of the time for soft plastics. Yes, the bait floated the hook and I'm sure it would float a number three hook too.
The first technique I tried was "walkin' the dog" on the surface. With just short twitches of my rod tip, the bait worked very well, caution should be used, to not over-fish the bait. Keep it slow and steady, the bait will do the rest. The conditions for this technique were terrible, no wind, bright sun and clear water, but I was simply seeing how the bait reacts on the surface. I'd rate it three and 1/2 stars out of a possible four.
Next I tried the old standard Texas Rig, again, I used the #2 Daiichi hook with a 1/4 ounce Gambler bass sinker. I watched the bait spiral toward the bottom, but my enjoyment of watching the bait was "spoiled" by a 1 1/2 pound bass that struck the bait on the fall. I DO NOT peg the sinker when using tube baits for open water applications, I feel it inhibits the baits action as it free falls. I tried short hops along the bottom with little success, then got on to the presentation of the day, a slow, steady retrieve just off the bottom. The fish liked that. I guess the soft swaying of the bait as it swam along minding its own business was too much for the bass.
The Floating Fat Tail Tube has a reinforced head which allows the angler to catch several fish on one tube, it just won't split like other tube heads, simply move the hook over a little when a tear or hole develops.
Next, I Carolina rigged the tube. This time I went to a 3/0 Tru-Turn bass hook. I left about four feet between the sinker and the bait but drew no strikes, I shortened the distance by two feet and got bit. The fish were right close to the bottom and wouldn't rise for the bait. The bait appeared to suspend nicely, even with the larger hook size. I even tried an old trick taught to me by Bassin USA Pro Staffer from Illinois, Dan Galusha. We like to shove a four inch straight worm right up inside the hollow cavity of tubes baits, this makes the bait bulkier, thus slowing the descent as the baits spirals downward. We use a contrasting color worm to give the fish a choice and we coat the worm with Original Fish Formula Shad, this adds taste, and smell, which the Gene Larew Fat Tube already has, but it also makes the worm slicker and easier to insert into the tube.
I rated this bait at 3 1/2 stars because I didn't catch a bass over five pounds on it yet, when I do, it gets 5 stars. It's a terrific bait and should be right on the top shelf of your tackle box.
Gene Larew Fat Tail Tube:
Size-five inches, just right for keeper size bass.
Material used: Larew's patented salt, tough plastic, garlic scent and pepper sparkle scale.
Performs as advertised, definitely, yes, it's a very versatile bait.
Should be able to fish heavy cover and catch several bass off just one tube.
The scent seems to last for about fifty casts, maybe longer, I think after awhile we become a accustomed to smelling the bait and its not as strong as right out of the package.
These baits require some limited skill in order to cast without added weight and to detect light bites, but otherwise very fishable... learn more