Say hello to The Original Rumba Doll Spinnerbait, which has gotten a facelift since former Louisiana resident Craig Adams of Salt Lake City bought the Rumbo Doll line in 2000 from founder Euclid Tregre of Luling. Tregre designed the spinnerbait in the mid-1980s specifically for bassin' in South Louisiana.
Adams' message to anglers everywhere: "Hey, we're still here. And our spinnerbaits are better."
Adams, who was born and raised in Lockport, took the spinnerbait, tweaked it and put it in packaging that he says better displays the product.
At 32, with a strong background in business, Adams has been learning the ropes. His considerable freshwater and saltwater fishing experience in his native state has helped.
"I've learned a lot since taking over, and he's been very supportive with the information he had," he said about Tregre.
"I think we've got Rumbo Doll to the point where we're proud," he said.
But will the bassin' public buy it on name and reputation alone?
"It really looks good. I hope the look doesn't deter the old customers," said Country Station Store owner Larry Cupper, who lives on the shoreline of Toledo Bend.
Cupper, 52, has owned the convenience store/fishing tackle shop in Broussard (near Lafayette) before and after moving eight years ago to his home near Toledo Bend State Park. He also is the fishing editor for KATC-TV, Channel 3, in Lafayette.
"He (Adams) said he hasn't changed the formula in the wire, or the spacing and the blades, the equipment to put it together. And he added some features to the head. He added eyes, a custom paint job and a new look to the head," he said.
Will that translate into a continued love affair with Rumba Dolls? The jury's out on that and in the hands of bassers, said Cupper, who was expecting his first shipment of the facelifted Rumba Dolls as of the last week of October.
"I still like the old ones until the new ones prove themselves," he said candidly, noting he still has old models tied to his fishing rods. "You know, it's a good product. It's up to the consumer to decide that."
As brutal as the market has been for retailers and manufacturers of artificial lures due to rising gas prices, among other reasons, Rumba Doll is in it for the long haul and for the serious and casual bass fisherman, Adams said assuredly.
"We don't have any intention of going away. We have every intention to invest more. We have good products. Every Rumba Doll product has good components, especially our spinnerbaits. They've been used for 20 years. Everybody knows it works," he said.
The Rumba Doll blade with its distinct signature logo stamped on each one makes the artificial lure stand out, he said. The manufacturer calls them the Thunder N Lightning Premium Blades.
Those blades are made of a premium gauge alloy with durable plating, Adams said. The willowleaf blade has a slight arch near the front that creates significant drag when it hums through the water on the retrieve.
"The blades make the bait," Adams said.
The Rumba Doll's claim to fame and what has made it the boss of the bayou, according to veteran bass anglers who swear by the spinnerbaits, is the thin gauge of the wire. Adams said a 1/4-ounce model uses 30,000th, a 3/8-ounce model uses 32,000th, and a 1/2-ounce model uses 35,000th.
Nearly all other spinnerbaits on the market use 35,000ths, he said.
A demand for a more lifelike look of the spinnerbait's head was answered by Adams, who added 3D holographic eyes and, for lagniappe, a multi-purpose skirt collar to give it versatility for anglers who prefer either flat rubber skirts or silicone skirts.
"Every fisherman knows you don't need an eye to catch fish. (But) we're trying to attract everyone," he said. "The head size is more to what the weight (of the spinnerbait) is."
Rumba Dolls still boast a Sampo stainless steel ball-bearing swivel and an Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp long shank hook.
As hundreds of fishermen have known for two decades, it's quite a weapon to have in their arsenal. It comes through grass and over structure nicely with a solid vibration.
The model with a gold willowleaf blade/white Colorado blade was a killer in the late 1980s and 1990s in South Louisiana, particularly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin.
For more information on The Original Rumba Doll Spinnerbait, which can be bought retail and ordered standard or custom, or other Rumba Doll products such as flippin' jigs and clip-on spinner bodies, call (800) 756-0283 or log on to www.rumbadoll.com.