Fishing lures sometime go through a cycle where it fades from popularity to the point where production ceases. Then, when anglers realize new ones are no longer available, demand surges until eventually the manufacturer brings back that lure.

Such was the case with the Rebel Humpback, and countless anglers were delighted by the return of this diminutive crankbait a couple of years ago. Those original users knew a Humpback’s virtues, and most have a fresh supply in regular use. In addition, many anglers have discovered this classic lure for the first time since the re-release.

If you’re in neither group, you might have looked curiously at a Humpback but thought it looked a little “different.” A Humpback looks different because it is different, but those differences are part of what makes this lure so good.

Starting with the somewhat unusual shape, which is rounded across the back (hence the name), straight along the underside and somewhat stubby, a Humpback bridges the shape of most minnows with that of sunfish or shad. That makes it an outstanding attractor that isn’t a perfect match of any one forage fish but suggests much of what larger gamefish like bass and walleyes like to eat.

This lure’s size similarly falls between many popular lures. At 1 ¾ inches, it’s smaller than most bass or walleye crankbaits but bigger than a true ultralight lure. Consequently, it’s small enough to look like an easy meal but big enough to seem worthwhile. The Humpback is generally more of a “numbers” lure than a big fish bait, but don’t be surprised when hefty largemouth grabs one!

Being slightly larger than a true ultralight crankbait and weighing ¼ ounce, the Humpback is also easy to cast with medium spinning tackle and even manageable with baitcasting gear.

A Humpback stays shallow, hitting a maximum depth of about 4 feet, and has a fairly wide action. It’s a popular lure for working stump flats and swimming over the top of submerged vegetation or through the higher branches of brushpiles. Good buoyancy and a wide swing help it deflect wood and weeds and roll out of cover well, and if one does get snagged, it’s usually within reach of the rod tip, if you’re fishing from a boat.

The buoyancy of a Humpback also causes it to rise when you pause a retrieve even slightly, which can trigger a strike, and makes it a good lure for stop-and-go presentations. Like with many lures, though, the best strategy usually is to mix up presentations and see what the fish prefer any given day.

The Rebel Humpback comes in eight colors, which range from natural forage-imitating colors like Brown Craw and Pearl Shad to bolder attractors like Fire Tiger and Black/Gold Back.