Author: Rob Belloni
Overview/History: The Gambler Brutus was a quiet introduction to the swimbait market in 2008, or was it 2007? This novel bait is available in 10 colors and two sizes. We’re only going to talk about the 4” model here. Retail price is $4 for seven lures. The lures are scented with Bang scent and they do not come with hooks. Pros: I added a pack of Brutus swimbaits to an online order when they first came out. The box came; I opened the pack - took a sniff and a quick look - then tossed them in the bin reserved for future evaluation. They sat there for quite a while. These lures look strange and my mental block about their outward appearance held me back from trying them. This was too bad because when I did pin one on it was apparent that this is a lure with outstanding fish-catching potential. The 4” Brutus looks terrific in the water and has what I like to call secondary action. This means that in addition to the tail kick you expect to see, you also get body wobble. Great swimbaits like the Basstrix and the Big Hammer have this characteristic. So do proven lures like spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. I believe that there is something about secondary action that convinces fish that the lure is alive. If you’ve ever played with a cat, picture your average fake mouse toy on a string. The cat might attack it for a while when you impart movement. But imagine upgrading your fake mouse with a tail that moves independent of the movement you impart with the string. That secondary action is going to drive the cat bonkers. Despite, or perhaps because of its strange appearance, the Brutus has good secondary action.So you’re wondering how to rig this lure. There are a variety of options. A round ball jighead is the simple option. Dartheads are ok but don’t yield the best swimming action. Gambler makes a head called a Swim Head that gives an interesting weedless presentation along with a detailed shad head/eyeball setup. If you’re feeling creative, put the Brutus on the back of a fish-head spin or chatterbait (hint). The important thing is to get enough weight in front of the lure to keep it running true. In the 1990’s if you read the Western Outdoor News like I did you might remember the guys at Casitas who would report big numbers of bass on a lure called a Wham Fisheez. We used to buy these every year at the Fred Hall show in Long Beach, CA. Part of what made the Wham Fisheez great was the super finesse shad color patterns. The Gambler Brutus has similarly wonderful color patterns. If you’re going to buy just one pack, try the Ghost Shad. Money. These are finesse swimbaits!Taking a look through my baits I’ve found each one to be well molded. They don’t come in clamshells so they’re not going to be perfectly formed, but Gambler has plastics figured out. The pours are good and the swimming action of each lure has been consistent for me. Cons: After that love fest, what bad could have to say? There’s nothing to say. These lures cost 57 cents apiece, swim great and offer a variety of rigging options. If you can get over the funky look they’re worth a spot in your tackle box.