View More Reviews
video homepage buy online
22nd Century Swimbait Co. Nezumaa Rat

Author: Rob Belloni

Overview/History: The 22nd Century Swimbait Company’s Nezumaa Rat debuted in limited numbers in late winter of 2004.  This rodent imitator is available in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra large.  The specs on the baits are as follows:

Total Length
Extra Large

There are six colors generally available in the US although you might see some additional variations in Japan if you search around online.  The three larger sizes use VMC hooks affixed to swivels mounted in the belly of the bait (same as the Triple Trout and Swimstick).  The small version uses standard screw eyes and comes with Owner stinger trebles.  All of the Nezumaa models are made from a composite material. 

Pros: For as gnarly as the Nezumaa Rat looks, it has a surprisingly subtle action.  When I made my first cast I was expecting a heavy spastic surface action and that really was not the case.  What I did see surprised me and that was a slower subtle swim and a sinuous tail movement.  If you’ve ever watched a large rodent swim, you’ll notice that their heads don’t move much and most of the turbulence is back by the feet.  I feel like the Nezumaa really imitates this well, and I like that the natural action of the lure is slow because for me personally, I’m a pretty slow fisherman most of the time.

If you speed the Nezumaa up, you can hold it on the surface to a point by lifting your rod up but at a fast retrieve it will eventually start to dive.  I don’t feel like high speed surface action looks that great, but the subsurface swim is not bad.  The tail action flattens out under water a little bit but the general swim is the same as on top.  The bait will run down to about 2 feet max, maybe a little further if you do the old kneel and reel, but overall I think the natural action of the Nezumaa is slow and steady on top.

There are a few interesting construction details to discuss with the Nezumaa, the first of which is the tail.  I believe the tails are hand poured, and they are affixed with a metal pigtail mounted to the butt of the bait.  This design allows you to quickly and easily replace the tail with no glue or special tools (just unscrew the old one and screw on a new one).

The other interesting feature on the Nezumaa is the swivel mounted hooks.  All of the 22nd Century Co. baits have this feature and what it is basically is a heavy duty swivel mounted up inside the lure.  The split ring is attached to the swivel, and the hook of course is attached to the split ring.  The idea behind this design is to allow a fish to twist around 360 degrees without tearing the hook out.  Note that the baits photographed above were prototypes and do not have the swiveling hooks.  For a picture of the swiveling hooks, take a look at the bottom pictures in the Triple Trout review.

From a durability standpoint, the Nezumma is a solid performer.  Catching 50+ fish on a lure would be very reasonable.  The paint will chip up if you knock it off the shore but the lure doesn’t beat on itself in the joints much, so it should have excellent longevity.  You will want to carry some spare tails or get yourself a pack of Zoom Trick Worms as replacements.

Cons: The first thing to mention with Nezumaa is availability.  These baits are pretty darn hard to come by.  The only place you are going to find them is at Performance Tackle (562) 430-7671 or Anglers Marine (714) 666-2628.  At the time of this review, they are not available online anywhere. 

Although I do like the easy tail replacement feature, the stock tails are very soft and I think it would be nice if each bait came with a pack of replacement tails, maybe a half dozen or so.  Even though Zoom trick worms are $3 for 20, it’s just one more thing to locate and purchase before you go fishing.

The last thing I want to hit on is the hooks.  If you’ve read the other Triple Trout and MS Slammer reviews, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of the VMC hooks used on these baits.  The Nezumaa uses these same hooks on the medium, large and extra large sizes so I would really recommend replacing them, especially if you are out for a night fishing mission.  You might even go up in size a bit on the front hook to help compensate for how wide the head of the lure is.

Overall the Nezumaa is a solid performer with a great slow speed action.  It has strong potential for night fishing and daytime bites on larger than average fish, so if you’re looking to imitate the local rodent population, tie up some heavy line and see what happens.



Average Rating out of 1 voters
Matt Peters Sep 12, 2005
Nezumaa--Big and Bad
I don't know what Nezumaa means, but I can tell you, the XL Nezumma rat is like nothing the fish at your lake have seen. This bait is just downright big and bad.

Pros: The bait is big and bulky, and a good choice for targeting bigger fish. The bait swims very well, at a nice slow and steady speed. Kinda like at a 9" Slammer pace. You can twitch the bait and get it walk the dog pretty neatly in place. Overall, of the baits I have, they all run pretty much dead-on true.

I changed the hooks to Owner Stingers, and added a 3/0 upfront and a 2/0 in the rear. With the size of this bait, I think the bigger hooks are necessary, and thus far have been successfull.

This bait will imitate a large rat, or other terrestrial creature that other rat baits cannot effectively do, just based on the size factor. I'm guessing this bait is approx 14" from nose to end of tail...Just big and bad, and it gets bit. Since it has two hanging trebles, this bait has a good hookup and land ratio.

Gear: I am lobbing this bait on a rod rated for 1-4oz baits...not the absolute heaviest of big bait sticks, but still you want to throw the XL Nezumaa on a rod with guts. I've been throwing on 25 and 30 pound CXX Pline, and a 400 Calcutta reel. I like the 400 vs. the TE 400 for the slower retrieve.

Cons: The tail...You better carry some spare tails and perhaps invest in some Zoom trick worms to act as tails too. The tails tear and otherwise become loose. Other than that, not a lot of cons about this bait. The paint will chip and wear, so be prepared to touch the bait up, or otherwise seal it.

Final Thoughts: After recently striking out on trout swimbaits, the Nezumaa produced two nice fish on a bluebird day. Something big and bad the fish haven't seen, and definitely has the size to pull fish out of cover to come take a looksy. Definitely a bait to try and have ready for action.

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
Login /