April 29, 2014
By Ned Kehde
In February, Pure Fishing introduced its Berkley PowerBait Rib Shad, heralding it as a finesse swimbait.
It is 4½ inches long. Its head is endowed with two concaved eyes and two convexed gills. Its tapering torso is ringed with 10 ribs. The joint between its torso and tail is graced with one rib. Its tail is gilded with six ribs and boot or paddle. Its tail emits what Berkley's bait designers describe as "hard-thumping wiggles."
In the eyes of power anglers, it might be a finesse bait. They will rig it on either a weighted or unweighted extra-wide-gap or swimbait-style hook, as well as on an umbrella rig. In open-water scenarios, some power anglers will wield it on either a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce jig with an exposed hook.
From the perspective of dyed-in-the-wool Midwest finesse anglers, however, it is a tad to large to be a finesse bait. Across the years, Midwest finesse anglers have spent a lot of time customizing soft-plastic baits in order to make them the appropriate size. When Midwest finesse anglers work with the Rib Shad, they will likely trim three-quarters of an inch or so off of its head before they affix it to either a 1/16- or 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig, and then it will be what they deem a finesse-size swimbait.
It is also interesting to note that the hooks on the Gopher jigs are smaller than the ones that power anglers employ on their jigs. Thus, when Midwest finesse anglers retrieve the Rib Shad, those small hooks allow its entire body to undulate more alluringly than it does when power anglers affix it to their big jigs or Texas-rig it on a big extra-wide-gap hook. As numbers of talented trout anglers and Japanese finesse anglers have shown us, small hooks are extremely effective, but for a variety of reasons, most bass anglers are intimidated by small hooks, which might be one of the reasons why many of them struggle to catch only one or two bass per hour.
The Rib Shad is available in 12 colors: Blue Shiner Gold, Blueback Herring, California, Chartreuse Shad, Gizzard Shad, Green Pumpkin/Watermelon, June Bug, Oyster Shell Gold, Pearl White Silver Fleck, Racy Shad, Swamp Gas, and Tennessee Shad. They are also impregnated with PowerBait scent.
A package of five can be purchased for $4.49.