The Huddleston Deluxe 68 Special.  Wow.  I only recently got my hands on a real one of these, and I’m blown away.  Ken Huddleston believes in designing his baits to align with the natural world.  We documented this in Southern Trout Eaters, and it was the most profound stuff I’d ever heard anyone speak with regards to swimbait fishing, and it was beautiful, because I got to film the conversation.  Ken had been telling me stuff over the phone to prime me up a little, but we didn’t have the ‘big talk’ until we met in a park in Las Vegas for an impromptu interview that became the foundation of Southern Trout Eaters, and changed my world.

   “Nature is subtle, it tries to blend in, and that’s the key, to catching these giants, that don’t make mistakes” — Ken Huddleston.

The Huddleston Vortex is both literal and figurative. Literal if you have ever committed time to swimbait fishing. Figurative if you are a person who isn’t satisfied with K thru 6 level fishing conversation your entire life.

The Huddleston 68 Special is a compromise.   The 68 Special is the 6″ Huddleston Deluxe trout with the tail of the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe trout.  The tail of the 68 special has 3-4X the surface area and volume of the standard tail on the stock 6″ Huddleston Deluxe Trout.   We shared the ‘Sasquatch Rig’ in Southern Trout Eaters, whereby hardcore swimbait chuckers were cutting the tails off their 8″ Huddlestons and gluing them onto the 6″ Huddlestons. Ken decided it would be best to release a commercial version of the rig, since guys were destroying baits to make this rig, not to mention it’s a really hard rig to do, and it doesn’t hold up for days and days of chunking and winding.   Think about Ken “Natural Dude” Huddleston making a bait that does a bunch of ‘vibrating’ and has loud over exaggerated movements and swim.   The Hudd 68 Special  goes against the grain of his design methodolog/beliefs , and I will argue, we (Ken included) are all the better, because compromise is a powerful thing, and in this case if gives us the best of 2 worlds:  tournament and trophy fishing compromise.

The Hudd 68. Night Stalker color

Compromise is a word I have recently began to really think about and focus on.   Compromise is so easier said than done.   Think about your most fundamental beliefs, your core values, and then think about how difficult it is to compromise and accept or even be civil to others who have beliefs and core values that contradict, oppose, or attack your own.   Think about how difficult it is to compromise a position of power, where you are the boss and you believe you are entitled or have earned certain rights or privileges, and then circumstances change, and now you have to give up things you didn’t have to.  Those are incredibly challenging and humbling experiences, financially and spiritually.    You can fervently fight, declare wars on things,  and get really upset over having to compromise or you can take the wiser, more mature route and understand that compromise is one of the more sophisticated and enlightened positions a person can achieve.  If you aren’t old enough to grasp this, someday you will.   My modern day American experiences tell me the country is extremely divided, and getting worse.   I believe the phrase  “divided we fall” to be true,  so let me take this opportunity with the Hudd 68 Special discussion to publish a little public service message around compromise.   Compromise is a good and healthy thing, it ushers in moderate approaches to problems and differences, and ultimately provides a fair and just system where everyone wins and everyone loses–a little.   The Huddleston 68 Special just might be the perfect compromise for guys like me:  a tournament and trophy centric swimbait that borrows from the best of both worlds and applies in more waters all over the world.

Sasquatch! The big oversized tail exaggerates everything from the head wobbling, to the tail thumping, to how slow you can creep the bait and keep it planed correctly, to how the stops and stalls, to how it falls…Not to mention differences in lift, drag, displacement and overall profile.

You can only buy a Hudd 68 Special  directly from the Huddleston Deluxe website ( huddbaits.com).   They are often sold out and hard to get.  You can search and troll eBay for them.  I suggest you go to the Huddleston Deluxe website and sign up for the newsletter, right side column of the homepage and enter your email address.  The newsletter announces when the Huddleston 68 Specials go on sale, and you better get online and get yours exactly as the newsletter announces because these things go fast.    In fact, I’m hiring some hacker buddies of mine to launch a Denial of Service attack on the day the next Hudd 68 Special Sale happens, so nobody can get these things!!!   Not really.  The bait is smoking hot, and you can expect a swim signature piece committed to comparing the 6″ Huddleston Deluxe to the Huddleston 68 Special.

The Huddleston 68 Special blends tournament and trophy, big and small, simple and sophisticated, and just gives us another tool in our toolkit, which as a guy who fishes for a living, can use now and again. A new tool that does things my others do not, and builds off my most productive other tools.


  1. Chris Jenkins

    Hey long time no talk to. This is Chris Jenkins. As we both know, when shooting video of any swimbait it looks alot better when seen in a river. However, almost none of us are using these Hudds in a river. So the action we are seeing in these videos is not what we will experience in a lake or Reservoir unless we retrieve the bait at a high speed. The Hudds are top knotch, but lets show the people what it really looks like in a lake at a “normal” retireve. Peace bro, waiting on part 2 of Southern Trout Eaters.

    1. southernswimbait

      Chris: I live on a river, and I’m taking advantage of it. True, running baits in current is not 100% accurate, but it’s pretty darn close. I realize it appears things are always high speed, but they are not, and I purposely choose slack water and lakes at times for certain projects. I like to think of it as putting a runner an a treadmill and analyzing them. When a person runs in place or a swimmer swims in one of those pools with current in them, it gives the people who watch them a chance to analyze things they cannot do without incredible resources to chase a moving target around and film it. I appreciate the feedback, but don’t agree with the tone that I’m unfairly representing how these baits swim, nor do I agree with the line about “as we both know a swimbait looks a lot better in a river’. I have no clue your skill set or talents, but I’m saying my experience tells me swimming bait in current is a legit way to show how they swim and will behave in non-current. MP

  2. As far as the comprimise goes very profound and enlightning commentary .as far as the hudd 68 i apprieciate any info i can get good ,bad or indifferent . Im want to be able to make an informed decision when i start throwing my money around . Ill take any video i can get ,casting ,swimming or flopping so i know whats going to work best for me being that im stepping out of the box and trying something new .thanx get that seond ideo done ! P.s. saw a great one you did on big hammers recently thanx

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