Do-it Ripper, The Incredible Soft-Plastic Swimbait

Do-It Ripper: multispecies soft-plastic swimbait

Swimbaits have become a staple for fishermen chasing nearly everything in fresh and salt water. Let’s face it, anything that eats a smaller fish will fall victim to swimbait at one time or another. But all swimbaits are not made equal. Some need a little more speed to get the tail moving and are better in the summer. Some have a thin tail that moves well at slow speeds but goes straight and lifeless at higher speeds. Do-it Molds has come up with the perfect swimbait for all seasons: The Ripper.

The Do-It Ripper is a 3.5-inch ribbed-body boot tail swimbait, designed to swim with the same tantalizing action whether it’s at a snail’s pace in 38-degree water or burned at high speed in the heat of summer. I proved it to myself, testing the Ripper under both extreme conditions.

Traction and attraction of the Do-It Ripper boot tail swimbait

One thing I noticed right away when I tried this bait for the first time is its “traction.” Let me explain. Some plastic swim baits slide through the water so easily that you can’t feel them coming back. It’s like reeling in empty line. The Ripper is just the opposite. The ribbed body and the pulse of the tail give you traction on the retrieve. You stay in contact with it like you would a crankbait. You can feel the thump of the tail like a crankbait swimming.

As mentioned, the tail swims with the slightest movement so it swims on the fall as well. You really have to take this into account when you are casting it out and waiting for it to get to the bottom. Several times this summer, it got hammered as it fell. I nearly got the rod ripped out of my hand as I admired the scenery. Remember, this tail never stops swimming!

The body features a great baitfish profile and what photos don’t show well is its tri-oval cross section. The shoulders slim down to the belly like a real fish. Not only is it realistic, but it adds a slight rock and roll to the entire body during the retrieve.

One last thing that really surprised me, this summer, was its unbelievable success at night. I have night-fished all my life and my go-to bait has always been a black spinnerbait with a big thumper black blade. This summer, I tried the Ripper at night and it hammered walleyes, bass, pike, and even some crazy rock bass. I never thought I’d find a soft plastic that would produce like a spinnerbait and be much more weedless.

How to rig the Do-It Ripper soft-plastic swimbait

So, what do you put the Ripper on? Just about anything! For hard bottoms, clean areas and Great Lakes piers, I have been using them on Do-it Herring Heads (HHU-5-A no spinner) the old school Stand Up Head (SUHD-5-A) and the rounded Bullet Nose Jig (BDB-5-A) in weights from 1/4 ounce, all the way up to 1/2 ounce in deep water. The 1/4 and 3/8 weights are probably the best for most bass and walleye applications. Do-it staffer and one of the designers of the Ripper, Kyle Steinfeldt, has made a career this year on giant walleyes and bruiser smallies fishing the Ripper on the Teardrop Jig in 3/8 ounce. That Teardrop head (JT-7-WBA) has been a favorite of river walleye fishermen forever. Two new jigheads that are also perfect for the Ripper are the new Swimbait Head and the Diner Shiner.

One of my absolute favorite ways to fish the Ripper is weedless on a Weighted Hook Jig. Using the Mustad 91768BLN in 3/0, I pour a lead body using the Do-It SMB-4-MTD in either 3/16 or 1/4 ounce. The Ripper is rigged to the eye of the hook with a spiral wire hitching post . Once rigged weedless, this bait is perfect for working through shallow weeds, pads, deep weedlines, and just about anything without getting snagged. I like to have the hook come completely through the body and then tuck the point back in just a hair to give it the “Texposed” rigging.

Do-It boot tail swimbait: agile and adaptable

Whether it’s on a jighead or a weighted hook, the Ripper can be fished many ways. You can lift it and drop it from 9 to 11 o’clock. Be ready to set the hook on the drop and gather line quickly or you will be caught off guard. Personally, I hold the rod horizontally and use the reel to swim the Ripper. One turn, three turns, two turns…always allowing it to fall a second, or two, or three and letting the bait reestablish depth or even make bottom contact.

In summer, a lot of the fish hit the Ripper as it was swimming. The bait would just get heavy. If you feel that, set the hook. As the water got colder in fall, I noticed that they hit it more. It was the telltale thump on the pause.

We think we’ve found it, the secret to catching more fish.

Do-It Ripper Swimbait Colors

This is where you get to be creative. It’s hard to beat a slightly transparent watermelon with black flake, or a smoke with red flake, for starters. Pearl white is always a good color around shad or alewives. Purple June Bug is a proven winner for bass and river walleyes. This mold also lends itself perfectly to two-tone baits using a Do-It dual injector. The Dual Injector shoots two colors at once and gets that baitfish blend. You want to see some incredible creations? Check out the Do-it website (do-itmolds.com) and peruse the lure-making forum. These guys pour out some masterpieces and give great tips for all types of lure making.

The Ripper is also a great rubber-skirt jig trailer, spinnerbait trailer, buzzbait trailer, Alabama rig body— you name it. The Ripper is one of the most versatile swimbait bodies I have ever used. It has proven itself under many conditions this year. And, it’s so much more fun catching fish on a lure that you made yourself.

For more information on fishing swimbaits or how to create your own, check out this MWO exclusive paddle-tail swimbait article by Marc Wisniewski.