Author: Rob Belloni
History/Overview: The 22nd Century Triple Trout was released in late 2004. These baits are manufactured in Southern California by Scott Whitmer and sold under the 22nd Century brand. There are currently four sizes available:
The colors pictured above are the most available colors right now. There are other colors available but availability on other colors may vary. The Triple Trout is made from a composite (wood like) material and all baits come stock with VMC hooks. Pros: The first thing you're going to notice with the Triple Trout is that it has no apparent swimming mechanism. Similar to the 3:16 Sidewinder, the Triple Trout swims because the shape of the head causes the bait to move back and forth and the body just sort of follows along. The positioning of the two joints results an extraordinary S curve type action that is much more exaggerated than you would think could be generated from a lure with no bill. This lure literally swims like the letter S on a slow to medium retrieve. If you rip the bait or hit the rod, you can make the lure actually turn around backwards which is something that few lures can do (picture a Lucky Craft Pointer Minnow). In addition to its unusual action, the Triple Trout fishes surprisingly well at high speeds. You can burn the bait on the surface as fast as you can reel and it won't roll over or turn on its side. I have a half dozen of these baits and they all exhibit this ability. The speed versatility gives you a lot of options on the retrieve. You could slow wind it in the 3 to 5 foot depth range, then burn it up over a weedbed or tree, then slow it way down again on the other side. Or you could let the bait sink out into 20' and burn it back as fast as you can possibly reel to make it look like a trout shooting up off the bottom to escape. When you kill the bait is stops almost immediately and begins a slow steady fall. The bait will actually continue to make slow S turns on the fall if you give it enough slack. One last thing to mention about the action is the fact that you can feel the lure swimming on the end of your rod, especially on the 10" version. I personally like baits where I can feel the lure swimming because it demonstrates to me that the bait is sending out a good disturbance in the water, and it helps me keep contact with the lure. Another interesting and unique feature on the Triple Trout is the way the hooks are affixed to the bait. There are heavy duty swivels molded into the body of the lure so instead of attaching the split ring and hook to a stationary eyelet, you attach the split ring and hook to a swivel. This allows the hook to rotate 360 degrees which could potentially keep the fish from getting leverage to rip out the hook. Its an interesting modification, one that I think will work well and help land more fish on this bait. Overall the Triple Trout is a solid performer and I've heard through the fishing grapevine that a number of tournaments in Southern California have been won on this bait already. If you're looking for a swimbait with a lot of action that can be burned, ripped and twitched, this is a great option. Cons: There are a few inconveniences with the Triple Trout worth mentioning. Number one is the hooks. The VMC hooks on this bait are the type that have a habit of bending out on big fish. I've seen it happen on these hooks with stripers on several occasions and once on a bass. You'd do well to switch them out for Owner or Gammie hooks. When you switch the hooks you should also be sensitive to hook weight. If you rig up a couple 2/0 Owners on the 7" for example, the added weight will decrease the action on the lure. For the 7" Triple Trout I would recommend a 1/0 in the front and a #1 in the back. For the 10" I would go with 2/0 in front and either 2/0 or 1/0 in the back. I'd be inclined to fish Gammies on the 10" bait also. The other issue on the Triple Trout is that the bait has a tendency to beat on itself. What I mean by that is that when the bait swims, the joints knock into each other and wear down the paint in those areas. This is especially true on the 10" bait. After a few trips of burning the bait and fishing it hard, you're going to start to chew up the paint in and around the joint. If you're concerned about that, some Aristocrat liquid glass or Devcon 2 Epoxy will help reduce wear and tear. Longevity wise, you should expect 50+ fish per bait since there's nothing really with the lure that will wear out.