Rattle Eye Minnows

A streamer fly designed to attract more fish


Not only do you get the flash and motion of a great streamer fly, but the rattling eyes make noise to help attract bass, pike, panfish and more. A great streamer fly to increase your odds when fly fishing for warm water species.
Sizes 2, 6. Length 2¾", 2".
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Overall: Show Rating Distribution 4.9 / 5 based on 7 reviews


7 of 7 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Irresistible - 4/8/2014
    By: from Puerto Rico

    Fish seem to love this minnow, I've had a strike every sinlge time I've used it when others have failed to attract attention. Tarpon, Peacock Bass and even tilapia can't seem to resist the rattle eyes.

  • 4/5

    Great fly...so far. - 10/18/2013
    By: from Lafayette, In

    I have had the opportunity to use this fly on only a handful of occasions. Works well but I don't think the price is worth the 'rattle- eye'. I prefer olive and white clousers but Orvis couldn't get them out (9 weeks to receive!). Good fly but currently 25% more expensive than the clousers.

  • 5/5

    Works for aggressive browns too! - 11/24/2012

    I used this fly on a tailwater in Oregon and landed 8 large browns and 2 large rainbows within an hour. Largest trout was 20 inches. Works great during on murky, low water, post spawning. Fly was very durable.

  • 5/5

    Top notch - 8/16/2012
    By: from SE Minnesota

    I wasn't expecting too much from this fly - perhaps small bass. Caught several large bass by casting to the edge of a huge weedbed. Only complaint is that the plastic eyes break when my errant casts hit the side of the canoe. But that's user error!

  • 5/5

    Big Bass - 7/28/2011

    Like another reviewer, I have had good success with this fly's ability to tempt large largemouths. Excellent fly.

  • 5/5

    A Most Unepectedly Effective Fly - 5/19/2010

    I purchased this product because it was a fly with a rattling sound I have never tried. As soon as I decided to switch to this pattern and give it a try, a sixty foot cast hit the water. It barley was in the water for 5 seconds and was slammed by my biggest bass that day. It was about 2.5lbs and 18 to 20 inches. Boy did it bend my 6wt fly rod. I got excited and decided on the spot to purchase 6 more. I highly recommend giving this fly pattern a serious usage test where ever you like to fish.

  • 5/5

    Eye-less wonder - 4/25/2009

    I tried this fly out yesterday on a pretty tough lake - Lake Santa Margarita in California. It gets beat up pretty bad by bass tournaments all year, so flyfishing gives the bass something different to look at. Right off the bat the Rattle Eye Minnow in Olive started catching bass. After about the sixth fish I noticed the eyes were missing but it was the only one I had so I kept using it and it kept catching - 10 in total, which is good for that lake. I'm buying more now!

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Rattle Eye Minnow

Break the clouser habit and fool more stripers

The world-class striper fishery on the entire East Coast of the United States has a dirty little secret: The fish have gotten harder to catch. If you started fishing in the early 90s when striper populations began to explode, you know that any Clouser or Deceiver thrown over a school of stripers would turn their heads and open their jaws without hesitation. Even though you can now find striped bass on any beach in the northeast from May to October, they seem to think a minute before eating a fly. Even worse, I’ve watched striped bass in shallow water aggressively chase my fly, only to finally peer at it like a farsighted dowager reading a phone book, then suddenly quiver with apparent fright and swim in the opposite direction with afterburners on. It’s not surprising, as many of these fish are over a decade old. They likely migrate from the Chesapeake to the same haunts in New England every summer, and a dozen-year-old striper has seen hundreds of Chartreuse Clousers in its lifetime.

You can still go offshore in a boat and find stripers that will take every fly thrown at them. But if you spend time wading the accessible beaches or famous flats, you’re going to encounter snotty fish. How can you interest these fish? One way is to fish a fly that no one else uses. I hardly ever use Clouser Minnows and Deceivers for inshore fish anymore. I’ve learned from guides that a fly that acts like food, but does not advertise its presence as a fake is far more likely to draw strikes.

One of the most important aspects of smart fly design is something I learned from George Ryan, who guides the heavily pounded beaches of Cape Cod, particularly Monomoy Island. George’s clients are often the only people on the flats who catch fish, and a few seasons ago George showed me some of the flies he was using. Sparse is an overstatement. They were tiny, size 6 and 8 versions of Clouser Minnows, in dull shades of olive and brown, with barely two dozen hairs of bucktail on them. He also leaves the flash off many of his flies, figuring since most of today’s saltwater flies incorporate some kind of flashy material (they sell better in fly shops that way), a fly without any added flash might arouse less suspicion from the bass. I tied up some copies of George’s flies and my success rate climbed. More fish were eating than running.

Then some local guides started adding little glass rattles to their crab patterns. Crabs and shrimp apparently make tiny clicks as they flee a hungry predator, and the rattles seemed to draw stripers form longer distances without making them spooky. (Some people have been known to add crab scent to their flies, but we won’t go there. And of course I never tried it. Right.)

When looking for new fly-tying products for the Orvis catalog a few years ago, we found some tiny glass dumbbell eyes with rattles inside. It didn’t take a fisheries scientist to figure out that adding these eyes to George’s style of fly should be a winner. And it was. There were some added bonuses to using these smaller, lighter eyes as well. You could still get the big-eye aspect of a baitfish without adding much weight. When these flies hit the water they don’t make a big splash, which is an aspect of standard flies with metal eyes that will spook stripers.

Although there is something about the jigging action of a Clouser Minnow that attracts bass under some conditions, it can sometimes turn them off. Baitfish don’t swim with a jigging action, and neither do shrimp (a very important but under-rated food source for stripers), and the Rattle-Eye Minnow, with its more natural behavior in the water, may just give you an edge when everyone else is throwing Clousers.

There are times for Deceivers, when bass are eating squid or big sand eels offshore; or for Clousers, best when offshore fish are in 30 feet of water. But if you wade-fish the shallows and flats anywhere (the Rattle-Eye Minnow has worked as far away as the Louisiana redfish bayous), I think you’ll find this fly to be your ace-in-the-hole. It has been for me. Just don’t tell your fishing buddies. We don’t want the bass to get wise to this fly!

Fly Recipe

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