Lure Review: YUM Hellgrammite

The 3-inch long YUM Hellgrammite represents the size of the creature as an adult in its larval stage before becoming a dobsonfly.

Leave it to Patrick Marbury to make a soft plastic lookalike bug like the YUM Hellgrammite.

The 49-year-old Rogers, Ark., artificial lure designer enjoys visualizing, then creating artificial lures as brand manager for Rebel Lures. However, Marbury also works as a product developer for YUM Baits, which is another artificial lure manufacturer under the umbrella of PRADCO Outdoor Brands.

“I’m happy I got lucky enough to fall into the fishing industry. I love it,” said the avid bass angler who changed careers more than two decades ago and has been loving this one ever since.

His target area as artificial lure designer is for “small water anglers,” those who go after smallmouth bass in clear waterbodies such as creeks and rivers. He decided to make a hellgrammite, an ugly underwater bug, and began developing his version of the creature during Spring 2022.

“It looks like a bug, something they can eat,” he said. “We create a product with an intent in mind.”

Durable design

During the development process, the veteran artificial lure designer said he needed to adjust and change body segments three or four times to come up with a soft plastic that didn’t pull apart easily, such as if a bass grabbed the end of it.

“I was tweaking it a little bit to make sure exactly where it (each segment) needed to be to work it,” he said.

After three or four variations, Marbury eventually liked what he saw. The YUM Hellgrammite went into production and was introduced to the world at ICAST 2023.

It was no coincidence YUM’S Ned Head was introduced the same year as the YUM Hellgrammite. Ned Heads’ popularity had skyrocketed over the years and YUM wanted to get in the game with its own model, which happens to be the perfect fit for a 3-inch long YUM Helgrammite, according to Marbury.

The YUM Hellgrammite has been a fan favorite, so to speak, ever since.

“It’s very versatile,” Marbury said.

YUM Hellgrammites have put a smile on the face of many anglers since it was introduced at the 2023 ICAST.

Marbury explained why he chose the length of the YUM Hellgrammite and said, “The reason it’s 3 inches long is because that’s the standard size Ned Head.”

But there’s more to the length he decided on, he confided. That is about as large as an adult hellgrammite gets before it emerges from the water to become a dobsonfly, which lives for less than a week after spending most of its life, up to five years, underwater in the larval stage.

Ways to fish the YUM Hellgrammite

Bass anglers can put it on a Ned Rig, use it on a split shot, dangle it as a drop-shotted soft plastic creature bait, Texas rig it or fish it wacky style.

For the record, Marbury said, “A split shot, Mojo-style rig is how I designed it to be used.”

In its simplest concept, the Mojo rig can be compared to a lightweight Carolina rig utilizing at the most a 1/8-ounce Tungsten weight above a 1/0 hook with line between them. When conditions are toughest, such as on a bluebird day, a Mojo rig often can be more effective than a drop-shotted YUM Hellgrammite.

YUM Hellgrammites do have their place in and around the Sportsman’s Paradise. Don’t let the main storyline fool you. They are touted as a go-to “creek” or “river” soft plastic, waterbodies where bass, especially smallies, absolutely love to eat the bug, but the bogus hellgrammite has a home in Toledo Bend and many other popular bassin’ destinations across Louisiana.

A Texas-rigged YUM Hellgrammite stands out as one of the options for use in this state. If Marbury fishes it Texas-rigged, he’ll put it on an EWG 3/0 hook (regular wire 1X) under no heavier than a ¼-ounce worm weight or free rigged. He does recommend a 3/16-ounce worm weight if a basser can get away with it.

Also, Louisianians may want to drop shot the soft plastic in their favorite fishin’ hole on either a No. 1 or No. 2 hook, he said, noting he hooked and boated a 7 ½-pounder last year on a No. 2 hook. Again, a 3/16- or ¼-ounce worm weight is best.

For more information on the YUM Hellgrammite and other YUM Bait products, go to or call (479) 783-0234.

About Don Shoopman 563 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.