February 04, 2020
By Ned Kehde
Berkley Fishing introduced Powerbait’s Flute Worm to the angling world at the 2019 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.
Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, who in 2019 competed at the Latin Bass Cup and on the Bassmaster and Major League Fishing circuits, played a significant role in the creation of the Flute Worm.
It is manufactured in three sizes: 4.7 inches, 5.7 inches, and 6.7 inches. The 4.7-inch model immediately caught the eyes and attention of some Midwest finesse anglers, and one of them called it an inch worm, saying that the Flute Worm’s format allows it to be easily customized. And customization of soft-plastic baits has been part of the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers since the late 1950s.
We asked Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, to help us in our endeavor of publishing a gear guide about the 4.7-inch Flute Worm. He responded by sending us some samples to examine, work with, and describe.
Here is what we discovered about it.
In our eyes, it does not look like the woodwind instrument that is called a flute, but its profile does somewhat replicate the profile of an oboe. Perhaps its name stems from the architectural term that describes the way the Flute Worm is channeled, ribbed, ridged, or grooved, such as a building’s fluted pillars or columns.
It does not possess any of the anatomical features of an earthworm. But it possesses an array of unique features.
Our measurements indicated that it is 4 11/16 inches long.
Its first 3 1/2 inches possesses a cylinder shape. The next 1 1/8 inches, which is its posterior section, has a cylinder shape that gradually becomes flat and somewhat similar to a knife or spear. From the tip of its anterior section to the end of its posterior section, the width and circumference of the Flute worm becomes significantly smaller.
Its torso is divided into four significant segments.
The first segment or the anterior one, which includes the head, is 1 1/4 inches long. Its head is round and exhibits a semi- or truncated-cone shape, which is similar to the bell of a trumpet or trombone. It has a diameter of seven-sixteenths of an inch and circumference of 1 1/4 inches. At the center of the tip of the head, there is an indentation that is three-sixteenths of an inch wide, and this is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and collar of a mushroom-style jig. And Iaconelli notes that this indentation is also where anglers can insert a Neko-rig sinker.
The first three-eighths of an inch of the anterior’s segment, which is its semi-cone-shaped head, has a smooth epidermis. The next eleven-sixteenths of an inch is encircled with eight ribs. At ribs number three and four, the width is a quarter of an inch with a circumference of fifteen-sixteenths of an inch. The final quarter-inch of the first section has a smooth epidermis, and it possesses the same semi-cone shape of its head, but its width is five-sixteenths of an inch at its widest spot with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches.
The Flute Worm’s four significant segments are linked together with two semi-cone-shaped features, and between the two semi-cone-shaped features, there is a significant groove. According to Iaconelli, these grooves were designed for Neko-rig and wacky-rig anglers, and in those grooves, the Neko- and wacky-rig anglers will insert an O-ring, and under the O-ring, the angler will affix a hook.
The next 1 1/2 inches of the Flute Worm’s torso has two segments. They lie in the middle portion of the torso. These segments are adorned with four semi-cone-shaped connectors that have a smooth epidermis. Each segment is endowed with four ribs. The first of the two segments is three-quarters of an inch long. Ribs number two and three inside the first segment have a circumference of about seven-eighths of an inch and a width of a quarter of an inch. The second segment is eleven-sixteenths of an inch long. Ribs number two and three inside the second segment have a circumference of three-quarters of an inch and a width of three-sixteenths of an inch.
The Flute Worm’s fourth segment or posterior section is 1 15/16 inches long.
At the posterior section’s junction to the Flute Worm’s third section, the circumference of the posterior’s semi-cone-shaped feature is seven-eighths of an inch with a width of a quarter of an inch and a length of three-sixteenths of an inch. Its epidermis is smooth.
The next eleven-sixteenths of an inch of the posterior section are embellished with nine ribs. The ninth rib is one-eighth of an inch wide with a circumference of eleven-sixteenths of an inch.
The final 1 1/8 inches of the posterior section is devoid of ribs. Except for the word Berkley that is engraved on one side of it, the epidermis is smooth. In this final section, the Flute Worm’s cylinder shape morphs into a flat motif, exhibiting the features of a sharply pointed spear. The tip of this spear is about one-sixteenth of an inch wide and less than a centimeter thick.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Blue Fleck, Chocolate Brown, Cinnamon Brown Blue Fleck, Green Pumpkin, Green Weenie, IKE's Green Pumpkin Blue Flash, IKE's Magic, IKE's Morning Dawn, Redbug, Shady Watermelon Candy, Smoke Purple, and Watermelon Red.
It is permeated with Berkley’s poignant Powerbait scent.
It is buoyant.
A package of 15 costs $4.99.
- Here is a link to Berkley’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait-soft-bait-berkley-powerbait/powerbait-flute-worm/1509870.html.
- Here are two links to YouTube videos featuring Iaconelli talking about the Flute Worm and how he fishes it:
- Iaconelli rigs the Flute Worm five different ways: on a weightless wacky rig, on a Neko rig, on a mushroom-style jig, on a shaky head jig, and on a wacky jig.
Midwest finesse anglers will affix the Flute Worm to a mushroom-style jig, and they will present it to their black bass quarries by employing the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. And all of those retrieves will revolve around a no-feel presentation. Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that explains how to execute those six no-feel retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
- When the first segment of the Flute Worm becomes too tattered to remain solidly affixed to a mushroom-style jig, the frugal nature of some Midwest finesse anglers will provoke them to remove the posterior section of the Flute Worm, which will create a unique stick-style bait that is 2 3/4 inches long. These anglers will affix the jig into the third segment, making it the anterior section and the first segment becomes the Flute Worm’s posterior section. They will employ this stick-style version of the Flute Worm with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. (See the photograph below.)