Do-it’s New Essential Series Ripper


This may be the most versatile swimbait in your arsenal

A couple years ago the Do-it company came out with a 3-inch swimbait called the Ripper. A lot of testing took place with this bait, resulting in some giant walleyes, giant smallmouths, and a variety of other gamefish falling victim to this very versatile bait.


I was no exception. As soon as I got this mold in my hand, I fell in love with this bait’s appeal for not only both of the bass species, walleyes, pike, but also Lake Michigan’s giant brown trout. I knew instantly, this lure was a winner!


Fast forward to this past fall, I got the announcement that Do-it was going to offer this great bait in its Essential Series, in the no-doubt-most-versatile size, the 3-inch Ripper!


The Essential Series


Let me first explain the Essential Series. Soft plastic lure molds can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common is aluminum. These molds are milled from a block of aluminum with a CNC (computer numeric control) machine. Although there is cost involved with the actual material, much of the cost of a detailed mold is the CNC operating time. Simple molds are inexpensive. Very complicated molds with a lot of detail or ribs can get a little spendy. They are well worth the money, but not in everyone’s hobby budget.


That’s where the Essential Series products and molds come in. The Do-it Corporation has been the leader in cast aluminum molds for jigs, weights, and lead lures for decades. A few years ago, they knew they had the precision technology in cast aluminum to make soft plastic lure molds without the use of the CNC. This dropped the cost down for a great soft plastic lure mold down to a level that any hobbyist could afford. This was the birth of the Essential Series, ES, line of lure molds.


Mold more of your own than ever!

This smallie came on a weighted-hook-rigged Ripper bumped along a shallow rock bar.

The ES molds truly cover the “essentials” needed for most freshwater and some saltwater applications. These include several bass “bug” or chunk baits, worms, grubs, frogs, lizards, jerkbaits, paddle tail swimbaits. Heck they even have the original “Senko” (Gary Y approved!) available in an ES mold in three different sizes for $40! No bass fisherman worth his salty Senko can pass up that opportunity!


Along with the molds, they offer economy plastic, colors, and glitter that allow any hobbyist to get his/her toe wet in the lure-making hobby at minimal investment.


Now you know why I was pretty excited to see the workhorse of my swimbait lineup, the Ripper, now available in an ES value mold. Beyond the value, the ES Ripper mold makes five baits at a time. My original Ripper mold made one…and I use a lot of them! Shooting five at a time is so awesome!


‘Ripper’ for you, ‘Reaper’ for fish


What is “The Ripper”? The Ripper is a 3-inch ribbed swimbait with a realistic baitfish shape and a tantalizing swimming action at any speed. I haven’t caught a muskie on one yet, but that’s about the only gamefish I haven’t caught on them. I even had mangrove snapper tear them to bits last spring on a trip to the Keys.


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The 3-inch is the perfect size for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleyes, pike, and Great Lakes trout and salmon. For those of you that wander to the saltwater now and then, anything that eats a small baitfish will smash a Ripper.


A jighead is the most common presentation for the Ripper. Like any jig presentation, you must choose a jig that works for your situation. The Ripper will complement any of them. Personally, I really like the Ripper in weed situations for inland, warm-water species. For those, I like weedless jigs like 1/4- to 3/8-ounce Poison Tail Jigs. The Poison Tail features a wide-bend jig that works really well with a fiber or Y weed guard. Even if there is some interference from the weed guard on the strike, this sticky sharp hook never fails me.


For open-water situations, I like a realistic head like a Diner Shiner or the Herring Head with or without the blade. For the river guys, many of the Do-it field staff have made a career with the Tear Drop head and the Ripper. This head cuts the current and stays deep even in swift waters.


Beyond a plain jig, I have used them as trailers on many different baits. A Ripper is a great trailer on the typical rubber-legged bass jig. On the back of a spinnerbait or buzzbait, it’s an excellent addition directly to the main hook, or on a trailer hook. I’ve even caught some nice pike using them on a single Siwash kook trailing behind a plain in-line spinner. The possibilities are endless.


Best Ripper presentations

My personal favorite way to fish the Ripper is on a screw-lock pigtail and a weighted hook. This 3-inch Ripper is a perfect match for a weighted hook poured using the Mustad #91768BLN hook in a size 2/0. This is the same hook that is used in the Poison Tail Jig mentioned earlier.


Rigged weedless on this weighted hook, the Ripper can be fished anywhere. Toss it in the weeds, toss it in the pads, toss it in the rocks, toss it in the timber, toss it under docks. It doesn’t matter. It’s about 99 percent snag resistant when rigged in this manner. It almost seems like the more objects you smack into, the more attention you get from the predators. In pike country, I add a .012 wire leader directly to the hook to prevent any bite-offs. This rig, matched up with a spinning or casting outfit, and 10- or 12-pound line is literally a catch-anything system in Midwestern lakes.


Better control in the water


The ribs on the Ripper offer something that is tough to explain, but it’s lure control. Some swimbaits slide through the water with little resistance and you lose your feel for them coming through the water, between the tail action and the ribs. The Ripper has what we call “traction” in the water. You feel the thump. You feel resistance, and this resistance is also giving off a tremendous amount of vibration to the fish trying to locate it. I do a lot of night fishing. The Ripper is one of the few soft-plastic lures that will produce at the same level in the dark as a lure with rattles or a spinning blade.


Whether you are a seasoned soft-plastic artisan or just getting started, the Ripper should be on your radar. Now available in the economical Essential Series, this five-cavity mold will keep you stocked in any color Ripper you can dream up. There is nothing better than catching a fish on a lure that you made yourself.