Home of the "HAMMER"

Rainbow Baits History

A History of Rainbow Baits

Custom Made in SC since 1979


The Beginning:

Rainbow baits started out of a love for fishing, and a need for more crank baits. In 1979, with no experience in painting, design, or woodworking, I decided to try and make my own baits. My first shop was a 4x20 utility room off the side of our garage. I began to experiment with different ways to carve, weight, and paint balsa-wood to make it look and run like a professionally made crank bait. It is from these humble beginnings and much trial and error, that eventually Rainbow Baits was born.


The Name:

In my shop I used a Wood Dowel Tree to display my baits for customers and friends. By this time I was paining 25 different patterns in a multitude of colors and it struck me how much the display looked like a rainbow of colors and the name “Rainbow Baits” was born.



For years I called my custom balsa bait  "The Flat Bait"  I had so many people ask me "What is the name of your bait" I thought about fishing the bait and the fish that I have caught over the years.  When you fish this bait, fish will Hammer it. So it was natural to call it "THE HAMMER".


The One’s That Didn’t Get Away:

While fishing a local lake I caught my largest bass on one of my HAMMER baits. I was using the Blue Back Sparkle Shad HAMMER and hooked a 9lb 14oz bass. He put up a fight all the way, but had no chance of getting away from my custom made HAMMER Crankbait!

The largest bass landed on one of my HAMMER Crankbaits (that I know of) was a 12lb 10oz largemouth bass on our very popular “Grey Ghost” pattern.


What’s Happening Now:

I am now considered a “retiree” from the workforce, but have the great pleasure of working “full time” at my passion, which is designing and painting crank baits. I recently took on a new partner, Don Artman, who has been a tremendous help in developing our business. He is the most knowledgeable person I know in the fishing industry and his assistance and hard work are greatly appreciated.


I now have over 100 paint schemes using a variety of techniques to make today’s Rainbow Baits some of the most realistic and unique “custom made” baits in the industry. This is not what you will find in a local tackle shop. We now ship baits all over the country and have our baits being used in the BASS Elite series, FLW, and EverStart Pros.  I hope you will enjoy fishing these baits as much as I enjoy making them.  And remember… If you want to nail 'em… Use a HAMMER.


Thank you,

Donnie Maddox  &  Don Artman

Rainbow Baits



(864) 430-1427