From now until the end of fall, it’s a great idea to have a wide array of topwater lures nearby when you go bass fishing. The bass are slowly—but surely—moving shallow as deep water conditions deplete and beginning to gorge themselves on shad. I’ve been brushing up on my topwater skills in the evenings with the Damiki Rambler 120 and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it.
There are four things that would make it a solid addition to your collection of topwater lures.
Easy to use regardless of skill level
A lot of anglers have a hard time working their walking topwaters. It’s an acquired skill, but your learning curve will be significantly shortened if you learn with user-friendly lures. I’ve used several walking topwater lures over the years that don’t walk worth a flip. Regardless of your line selection, knot, rod angle or retrieve speed, they’ll just dive like a submarine and come back in a tangled mess.
The Damiki Rambler 120, however, walks very easily and with minimal effort. Even on short casts to specific cover, it doesn’t need several twitches of the rod tip to starts its motion—it begins walking on from the beginning of your retrieve.
I’m usually a big proponent of adding an oval split ring to the line tie of walking topwaters because I feel it gives them a wider, more pronounced walking action. I was initially a bit skeptic of the Rambler 120 due to its lack of a split ring, but to my surprise it’s actually not necessary. I’ve been connecting my 30-pound braided line directly to the line tie with a simple Palomar knot and it walks like a dream. I don’t have to constantly concentrate on my cadence which allows me to keep my head on a swivel and be on the lookout for the slightest signs of surface activity.
Clacks and rattles
I have a big collection of topwater lures that I really like, but I’ve found that most of them either “clack” or “rattle”—there’s not much middle ground. My home lakes get pounded with topwaters this time of year and I believe the bass become conditioned to hearing the same ol’ sound day-in and day-out.
With that being said, I’ve been super impressed by the unique sound of the Rambler 120. The front inch of the lure acts as a separate rattle chamber containing five glass beads. These beads don’t make a bunch of noise, but they’ve proved extremely sensitive to even the slightest movement. As the bait sits motionless in the water, they quietly rattle as the lures sways with the motion of the water.
In the back of the lure, you’ll find a large steel knocker which is responsible for most of the noise throughout the retrieve. As you walk the Rambler 120 across the surface, the steel knocker emits a very distinct “clacking” noise. Even on a long cast, I can hear it clacking all the way from my boat.
Long casts aren’t a problem
Topwaters or not, I really like lures I can cast effortlessly. Bass are finicky creatures and I can’t help but think the shadow of a bass boat, the hum of a trolling motor prop and the ticking of multiple transducers spooks them. I imagine it would be like a noisy helicopter ominously hovering over my house—I’d be freaked out, too.
Regardless of your skill level, you’ll be able to make some insane casts with the Rambler 120. It weighs a full ounce and measures 4.7 inches, but these sizeable dimensions aren’t the only factors that facilitate long casts. Remember that big steel knocker I just talked about? It also doubles as a scaled-down weight transfer system that helps your rod load excellently on the back cast and catapult the lure across large expanses of water. Wind or no wind, castability has not been an issue.
Three treble hooks
To be quite honest, I’ve never been too crazy about throwing topwaters in tournament situations. I’ll do it if I have to, but it can definitely hurt your feelings. Regardless of your fishing skills, heartbreaking short strikes and missed hooksets are bound to happen—it’s just part of the topwater game.
I love the fact that Damiki designed the Rambler 120 with three treble hooks. The extra treble doesn’t hinder the balance or action of the lure whatsoever and those three extra hook points give me a little more confidence when I’m casting to schooling fish.
If it hasn’t happened in your area yet, topwater season is quickly approaching. I’ve enjoyed my experience with the Damiki Rambler 120 and I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a topwater fishing guru.