Friday, March 2, 2012

Call an exterminator, the Mice are taking over



Well it's not like this is a new thing, but ever since the launch of Live Targets field mouse at last years Icast event, there has been a mini mouse craze going on.. with new mice joining the field, and some old ones getting noticed all over again.

I have to admit I have had a few mice and or rats in my frog arsenal for years now. The first one I ever picked up was the Strike King "King Rat" a soft plastic rat that could be paired up with your hook of choice, it has some heft to it and can be cast a mile. Like most baits It does have it's flaws, and the texas rigging was one of them. I found it hard to keep the hook in place and when it crawled over the pads the hook would occasionally snag on one. To get the best hook penetration you would want to use a EWG hook, this means you have either too much hook on the bottom (causing the rat to flip) or two much hook on the top, leaving the point exposed. The texture of the body also made it a bit difficult to drag across large sections of pad, it does not slide as easily as other mice and will make your retrieve choppy

The next mouse I own is the Snag Proof Moss Mouse, this one is  similar to a standard hollow body frog and fishes just as well if not better then the average Snag Proof frog. Being that I was not a huge fan of Snagg Proof products when I tried the mouse, I was impressed with the slender body and the higher set hooks that should assist in a better hook up ratio (my complaint with many Snag Proof Frogs is the wide leg stance getting in the way).

This is not to say there are no issues with the Moss Mouse.. priced at half of what other mice are going for, you will quickly see that this mouse is cheaply made.  Low grade hooks and a plastic body that looks ruff around the edges (visible molding marks) are just some of the flaws easily spotted on this product.  In the water, I find the Moss Mouse is kinda flat, the tails imparts little to no motion and sits up in the water doing nothing to entice the fish when paused. Made of a very thin plastic I would be surprised if it held up to more then one battle. The Moss Mouse weighs in at 1/4 oz, and is not the best casting mouse available. It does sit well in the water and the way the weight is possitioned does help keep it upright.

(Moss Mouse)

  Newer on the mouse market is the Rat N Rat produced by MTL a Japanese import this bait was  launched at Icast 2009. This Rat has a unique twist not see on other mice, in that in place of legs, the RnR is equipped with two tiny colorado blades as feet, setting off some nice flash when walked across open water. The tail on the RnR is also longer and softer then most, it hangs down when paused and can actually be used to entice a bite by slowly twitching the mouse.

Although I have yet to fish it, the Rat N Rat appears to be a quality product, the body is soft/supple enough to be easily compressed when a fish hits, but strong enough to hold up during the fight. I love the color options available and could not pass up this blue gill imitation. Watch for a full review this summer, as I cant wait to get this one tied on.

(MTL Rat N Rat - Real Deal Color)


Live Target has to be credited with the upswing of the interest in mouse fishing, when their line of field mice landed at ICAST 2011 they caused quite the commotion.. and why not, they are a Live Target product, they look stellar and if they fish half as well as the frog line, they will be a winner.

I love the profile and the way the hooks stand up on this bait, although still completely weedless I feel more of the hook is exposed and when a fish hits it, the collapsable body gets out of the way and you get more hook into the fish. The thin body/frame also helps your hook-up percentage, while still allowing you to walk the mouse perfectly.  Personally the only faults I can find is in the sizes, I'm not super happy with the size options. The large size mouse is not big enough, and should be the middle of 3 sizes. (When I first ordered it I though I had been shipped the wrong size). When out of the package the tail and thin rubber strands add some additional size, but still not quite enough for me. I do like the motion these two features give off in the water even when paused. I have heard some complaints of sinking mice, i have yet to fish mine (due to ice) but I hope the reports are not true.. no one likes a wet rat


(Live Target Field Mouse)


Will 2012  be the year of the mouse? it is sure shaping up that way. Now all I need this ice to start melting so I can head out and break in some of these new baits. If your a frog fisherman looking for something new for this season, head on out and grab yourself a mouse. There are more and more to choose from, and I would not be surprised to see mice introduced from all the big guns in the coming seasons... this is not a bad thing, only 1 in 3 will get it right, and the fun part is finding that 1

Trivia Question: Who makes the Mouse show in the top image, but not discussed in the blog?

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