If I wanted to tell you that a Rate of Fall 5  (ROF 5) Huddleston Deluxe Trout is sometimes better than a ROF 12 or ROF 16 Huddleston Deluxe Trout, I would explain it two ways.  One has to do with the Rate of Fall and how slow sinking the ROF 5 is, compared to the other two.   The other measurement I’d like to provide you is it’s Rate of Stall score, meaning something I can ‘score’ the bait on and speak to the East and West travel of the bait (not just the North and South, as in Rate of Fall).   You can creep the ROF 5 along, and it still maintains its parallel to the surface posture, but moves toward you much much slower than doing the same thing with the ROF 16.  The ROF 16 wants to sink out and forces you to reel faster to get the bait planing toward you, which speeds up how fast it comes at you, the subtle difference between the time a ROF 16 vs a ROF 5 in terms of how slow you can reel each bait and fish it properly is a based in an understanding of Rate of Stall, at least, that’s what I’m calling it for now!  When fish are on points or offshore it requires a slower and more thorough presentation, and at times, the ROF 5 8″ Huddleston is the better choice (amongst the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe family of trout baits)  for 2 reasons:  Rate of Fall (ROF) and Rate of Stall (ROS).  ROS is not just a Huddleston thing, in fact, understanding ROS within the swim of the Huddleston conversation is an ‘advanced’ conversation.   Floating baits best help visualize Rate of Stall, a la the Nezumaa Rat, as you’ll see in the video clip.

The above video clip is an attempt to present the idea of Rate of Stall, and is the beginning to what will be a multiple part online discussion. We touched on Rate of Stall in Southern Trout Eaters, and I talked about how I learned how to alter my MS Slammer retrieve from a straight wind, to a more walk the dog, start and stop–more stalled retrieve based on what I’d learned from fishing the Nezumaa Rat.  I was able to keep my MS Slammer around the shade lines and steep faces of the Ozark Lakes, and that was where the fish were, and what it took to draw the strikes.      I’ve asked Rob McComas (who is featured in Southern Trout Eaters) who is a MS Slammer specialist and Matt Allen from Tacticalbassin.com to provide some feedback and prepare a video response to Rate of Stall.  I watched a video clip of Matt talking about the Lunker Punker and talking about fishing it over points, and I knew he would understand Rate of Stall and what I’m proposing here, so I reached out to get Matt’s perspective on the theme of Rate of Stall.  I’m hoping having an online discussion where multiple people can provide video responses can be done in an orderly and effective fashion and provides a refreshed medium to have online fishing discussions.    So, here is my part, just proposing Rate of Stall as a form of measurement and a rating or scaling system we might consider in talking about our baits.  The “East and West” if you consider Rate of Fall to be “North and South”.   I’m on Okeechobee right now, testing out Rate of Stall as it relates to fishing softbaits like the 3:16 Bluegill and neutrally buoyant and floating hardbaits like the 22nd Century Bluegill, rat baits, and MS Slammers in the grass, keyword:  “grass”.  I have other additions to Rate of Stall already underway, and I’m anxious to hear what Matt and Rob have to say about it, and we go from there.  Check back here, for updates and the various responses.  I have my fingers crossed, this online discussion format, with varying responses being stacked chronologically and playing off each other, will fly.   We shall see.  Please comment below, if you have some input on Rate of Stall.

nezumaa rat rate of stall

The Nezumaa Rat helped me grasp something I knew, but couldn't fully explain. Talking to Rob McComas, hearing what Matt Allen said about the Lunker Punker in one of his TacticalBassin.com videos, my experience with ROF 5 vs ROF 12 or 16, and grass fishing has lead me to: Rate of Stall. . Oh the grass fishing, probably nowhere more important is Rate of Stall and understanding it in bait selection, line (braid and its neutral buoyancy adds Rate of Stall for example), the vortex of the tail (boot vs. wedge vs. modified wedge), or the buoyancy (floating vs. slow sink vs. neutral) properties of various hard and softbaits. But Rate of Stall, I argue is a missing dimension in talking about the swim of most of the baits we fish. You've got to be able to talk about the East and West and track a bait as it swims or can be stalled, toward the boat (not just the sink rate, or North and South, as in Rate of Fall). The Net Net Net of this conversation is picking the right baits for the right situations and also applying the right retrieves, and/or a combination thereof. Ryan Thoni catching a small one, and the Nezumaa Rat shifting into high-low gear.

10 Responses »

  1. Anthony Luna says:

    Great topic to be discussed! I look forward to the future installments.


  2. Richard says:


    Great discussion topic. Here are my 2 points:

    Rate of Pause (“Stall”) is a key for my Slammer fish’n.

    Also, to preserve the integrity of the man who coined “Structure”—Mr.Buck Perry.

    I must respectfully correct that there is no such thing as “piece of structure.” as you’ve said couple of times.

    What I think you mean is, “Piece of cover”. For Buck Perry defines structure as, “a change in bottom and contour.”

    Since rate of pause/stall/fall all happens on the stage of both structure and cover. I believe clarification is important.

    Thank you for all your great information. I am a big fan!


    • Richard: You can correct me any day man! I welcome a good healthy discussion. I haven’t read Buck Perry, and can see the point, but seriously, its not something I agree with. I mean, the use of english language, when you build a bridge, its a structure. When you put a brush pile or PVC pipe porcupine thing or something as an attractor in the water, I see it as an underwater ‘structure’ but it can also be cover. Is a bridge piling that is sitting in 80 feet of water that comes up to the surface and connects two pieces of land a structure or cover? Its both. I totally dig your comments, and I’m just saying, that structure vs. cover thing is a serious misnomer. Structure is not a change in the bottom and contour. Structure is a physical something … Mr. Perry’s structure is more like ‘a rough spot’ or ‘transition’ point or more like something changes. His naming convention is asking for trouble. You want to see a piece of structure? 99.99% of all humans can understand you are going to show them a physical something in response, nothing to do with fishing, just saying structure implies a physical something that has volume, and it might indeed provide ‘cover’ for the fish. So yes, I can show you a piece of structure, of course there is such thing. And I can show you a piece of cover, and more like show you a structure and point out that fish use it as cover.

      Anywho, not to get on a tangent, I happen to not agree with Mr. Perry’s use of the word ‘structure’ would be the simplest response I have(and no disrespect meant). I need to read the book, but this point is often brought up, and I hate to say it, but the naming conventions he used could have been clearer and simpler and more logical, cover and structure are too easily interchanged and related and synonymous. Structure isn’t a ‘transition’ or a rough spot or hard to soft bottom change, or end of a grass edge…structure is something that represents having a frame and mass or volume. How about its like “structure/cover & bottom/contour change”. Structure vs. cover is counter-intuitive to me, and I know it is to others too, because this isn’t a new topic of clarification. WWSJS? What would Steve Jobs Say? “Simplify”. Lowrance has a ‘structure scan’ and its not about finding change of bottom and contour, only. It about locating brush piles, rocks, rough spots, transitions, shell beds, sunken boats, etc. 3D views that show physical objects and their relation to other physical objects.

      Your understanding of Rate of Stall is clear, and thank you for validating the stall retrieve bite with the MS Salami sandwich. You know what time it is, I can gather that. I absolutely respect your points, but I happen to not agree with this structure vs. cover thing that Mr. Perry has come up with, because of the ‘naming’ convention, not because I don’t agree, the naming convention asks for, and receives confusion. This is an important point, I agree, and something I hadn’t really considered.

  3. Eric says:

    Matt –

    Another great topic; thanks! The suspending jerkbait comes to mind as one of the ultimate “rate of stall” baits. As you know, its effectiveness really shines in cold water, when the fish are more sluggish, when the lure is paused or “stalled”. It hangs motionless in the strike zone, giving a bass a lot of time to commit.

    Love to see a Triple Trout do that! It might need a lip to get it down verse its current rate of fall to get it down, but could be the next great thing! You could be on to something big here Matt…

    Thanks again Matt; always look forward to see what you have going on as I always learn something new.


    • Eric: Jerkbaits are definitely going to be included in the ‘conventional/tournament style’ part of the discussion. You are totally right about the bait stalling, and that is why I’m like we need Rate of Stall and Rate of Fall, because you’ve got to convey neutral buoyancy somehow or slow fall or rise and angles of down or up and swim lanes. But I digress! Thank for the input Eric, good call.

  4. I think it all just has to do with matching your swimbaits to the conditions you’re faced with and using the best tool for the job. As good as a ROF12 Hudd is, there are times when it’s not the best bait; or ROF. Grass is one of those times. I’ve seen days where a ROF5 is even too “heavy”. When it comes to grass, depending on the type; lighter or slower sinking is usually better with swimbaits. I have Hudd ROF0s that I weighted with nail weights; to make them ROF3s. They don’t dig into the grass like a heavier bait will, and because of that; it fishes better. I can creep it over the grass and pop it out better; because it’s not digging into the stuff. As far as the surface baits go, I think a lot of guys buy “wake baits”; and mostly just wake them. At times, that can be deadly; but the “twitch twitch pause” retrieve is my favorite way to fish floaters. It works all year, hot or cold; and with all floating baits. Cool read Matt, keep up the good work.

    • Thank you Arden! You are already nailing it with this reply. Killer feedback. ROF0 modified. I can dig it. Deadsticking is definitely part of the conversation of Rate of Stall I plan on having yet, but you’re not talking dead stick. Your talking ROF3 and making custom ROFs. Very wise you are, young Hanline. Great input. Especially like the implications of the ROF3 in grass situations, and like that you understood changing the wake retrieve to a twitch pause, which is definitely what I’m trying to convey. Thank you for the input, excellent. Now, photos and video and your 5 -10 min piece on modifying ROFs would be appreciated, please get me that by let’s say, next Thursday? hahahahahahah. No really, do it, rock it and glad to include it. Take your time and do it right, if at all. The more big San Diego fishes from Chula Vista the mas bueno.

  5. Matt,

    Great topic! I have been throwing the Roman Made Negotiator a lot over the last few weeks. The biggest advantage I have found with this bait is it’s ability to pause around structure. It sinks slowly and has an S like motion in the water. Most of the strikes I have been getting from this lure are when I pause it just above drop off or above sunken bushes.

    The reason I bring this up is because it fits perfectly with your rate of stall. This bait sinks so slowly you can stall it pretty easy under the water. I think a lot of what you stated in the clip can also be related to some topwater frogs on the market and the Deps buzz jet. I love creating that subtle ripple on top that get those bass going quickly.

    Looking forward to see you do something on color patterns, hopefully it’s in the works.

    Great content it really helps us average anglers better understand the best way to retrieve these big baits.

  6. Evan Howard says:

    Wow, I work my baits way too fast. Deadsticking is way beyond the veil for me, but I can totally see the value of rate of stall. I just got a JSJ Trout floater and this really pumps me up to watch this video. I agree, a rat is definitely on my radar now.

  7. Evan Howard says:

    Matt, is this primarily a deep Summer technique when bass are stuffed under cover? When do you use a slow technique versus a fast technique, like burning or ripping a TT to pull a reaction strike. Also, does this technique seem more productive fishing around visible structure or around bluff walls, suspended fish, or underwater structure?

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