Author: Rob Belloni
Overview/History: The ABT Wag Tail come out around the summer of 2006. This 5.5" plastic hardbait weighs about 1 and 3/4oz and comes in nine colors representing a wide range of baitfish and popular color schemes. The Wag Tail is hollow bodied like a crankbait and has an internal rattle system in the front half of the bait. There are three hooks that come with the bait. The two primary hooks are #1 VMC Carbon Steels and the rear treble is a Gamakatsu round bend bronze treble hook, I believe size #4. This lure retails for $22. Pros: When I made my first cast with the Wag Tail the first thing that popped in to my mind was spotted bass (kentucky's if you're from the south/east). There's something about the size and motion of this bait that makes me think it will really be a killer on spots. The lure also has a screw eye on the tail to allow for a trailer hook running straight off the back of the bait. There is a Gamakatsu treble provided seperately for this purpose in the package. If you haven't fished spots it might seem like overkill to fish three trebles on a 5.5" bait but spots have a habit of tail grabbing baits so it totally makes sense to me on this lure. You should also keep in mind that ABT owner Allen Borden fishes on Bass Lake in Central California, a lake that is home to some very good sized spotted bass. So the third treble is probably a result of direct experience with the tail grabbing nature of this particular bass species. The tail of the Wag Tail as you can see from the pictures is very similar to the Huddleston tail, and the action of the Wag Tail is about like an ROF5 Hudd. You raise your rod tip and wake the lure across the surface without too much effort, or you can let the bait sink out and slow wind it back. My bait ran perfectly true out of the box and swam very nicely at all speeds. Some baits have a natural cadence but with the Wag Tail I think you can go fast or slow with equal success and no impact on the action of the bait. The colors on the Wag Tail cover your basics. There's a trout, baby bass, shad, golden shiner, perch, etc. Yes, there's a firetiger but I should stop with the firetiger jokes already. I thought that the chartreuse shad color actually looked pretty interesting. It has a lot of yellow in it but it caught my eye as a minnow imitator. The eyes on the Wag Tail have a holographic background that reflects with an orange-ish glow. From an angle they have an interesting look to them and I like the overall effect. From a construction and durability standpoint, the Wag Tail should be on par with your typical plastic bodied crankbait. The joint system looks solid and all of the hardware is quality. The split rings are the thicker heavy duty style, the screw eyes are adequate, and the two primary hooks are excellent. I haven't had much experience with the VMC Carbon Steel hooks but when I took a pair of pliers and tried to bend them out, they held up much better than your typical round bend treble. I'd put a hook file on them just to ensure they are razor on the tips, but they're very close to perfect out of the box. One last detail to discuss is the internal rattle. I have an aluminum boat so I can hear lures that rattle under water as they echo off the sides of the boat. The rattle in the Wag Tail is subtle but definitely audible, even on a slow retrieve. I wish more swimbait manufacturers would incorporate internal rattles in their baits and I feel like this gives the wag tail a definite advantage in dingy water conditions or when trying to attract fish from a distance. Cons: One thing I noticed on the Wag Tail colors is that what is shown on the ABT site doesn't match up exactly with the production baits. For example, my demo bait was a 'Blue Back' color which I assumed would look like on the ABT site. The lure I got looks like what is on Tacklewarehouse.com which is a brighter blue back with a scale pattern. That was a bit disappointing because I feel like the blue back color on the ABT site was a better kokanee imitator. When purchasing your lure, look at TW for guidance on the color schemes. My only other comment in the cons department is in regards to the size of the lure. At 5.5 inches, this bait is unlikely to ever achieve status as a trophy bass killer. This is much more of a tournament style numbers bait. An 8 to 10" model would be a nice addition to the lineup in my opinion. Overall I don't have much bad to say about the Wag Tail. The baits have solid, accurate construction, they swim straight at all speeds and they give the angler plenty of options in regards to hook placement. If I was headed to Shasta, Oroville, or Folsom in the near future I'd think about putting one of these in my box.