Berkley introduced its PowerBait Maxscent Flat Worm to the angling world at the 2018 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida. And it immediately caught the attention of a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers who have developed an affection for shad-shaped and minnow-shaped worms.
Straightaway, these anglers wanted to know about it, which provoked us to ask Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, to help us in our endeavor to publish a gear guide about it. He responded by sending us some samples to examine and work with.
It is advertised as being four inches long. Our measurements, however, revealed that it is 3 9/16 inches long, which is an ideal size in the eyes of most Midwest finesse anglers.
The ventral and dorsal areas of the Flat Worm are different than the ones on the typical shad-shaped or minnow-shaped worms that Midwest finesse anglers have been affixing to a mushroom-shaped jig with an exposed hook since 2006.
The ventral or belly section on most shad-shaped and minnow-shaped worms that we have used is shaped like a keel, which is supposed to help it swim straight as anglers employ a straight swimming retrieve. The keel shape also replicates the ventral area of a gizzard shad and a threadfin shad. But the Flat Worm’s entire ventral section is flat. Its head and tail are also flat.
The skin of the entire ventral section is smooth, but not shiny. And it should be noted that Midwest finesse anglers adore soft-plastic baits that possess a flat belly, head, and tail, and that is because the flatness extenuates the gliding motif of their swim-glide-and-shake retrieves, which they think is a very critical element in the way they present it to their black bass quarries.
The Flat Worm’s dorsal or back is not flat from the tip of its head or anterior section to the tip of its tail or posterior section. Instead, it is convexed and partially ribbed. The sides and dorsal portions of the Flat Worm’s head and torso are adorned with 23 ribs. The last three-eighths of an inch of its torso is devoid of ribs, and as this segment of the torso approaches the union with its tail, it becomes significantly smaller. The width of this small section of its torso is five-sixteenths of an inch at its widest spot with a circumference of about a half of an inch. At the widest spot of its ribbed and bigger section, its torso is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches.
Its tail is seven-eighths of an inch long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of about three-quarters of an inch. It possesses an elliptical shape, but some folks might describe it as possessing an ovate shape. Its ventral area is flat. The dorsal area in convexed. The tails's skin is smooth, but it is not shiny, and it is devoid of ribs.
It was primarily designed to affix to a drop-shot rig for smallmouth bass anglers. Of course, Midwest finesse anglers will employ it on a mushroom-style hook with an exposed hook, and use it to pursue largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.
It is manufactured with what Berkley describes as an “all-new material that provides an ultra-realistic texture and comes in natural matte colors,” and it is a “durable construction that ensures a lifelike action and better hook-ups.” It is not buoyant, and when it is tossed into the water devoid of a drop-shot hook or a mushroom-style jig, it falls rather rapidly to the bottom. The folks at Berkley say it glides to the bottom slightly nose first with its tail wagging, and our tests revealed that it does glide, but its nose or tip of its head is virtually level with its torso, and the movement of its tail is quite subtle. But when it is affixed to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and when it is retrieved with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, the nose is slightly down and its tail and much of it torso undulate and quiver.
It is impregnated with Maxscent, which is described as a system that releases “a super-charged scent field.” It is said to be a new variation of Berkley’s Gulp.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black, Black Shiner, Brown Back, Goby, Green Pumpkin, Mango Magic, Natural Shad, Smoke Black Purple, and White Pearl.
A package of 10 cost $6.99.
(1) Here is a link to Berkley’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait/
(2) For more information about the scents that Berkley employs, see Steve Quinn’s insights in his article entitled “Berkley Takes New Soft Baits To The Max.” Here is the link to Quinn’s article: http://www.bassfan.com/reviews_article.asp?id=257#.W6ew8PlRcdU#ixzz5RwIGYBHT
(3) On April 1, 2006, Midwest finesse anglers were introduced to the manifold virtue of shad-shaped or minnow-shaped worms by Shin Fukae of Palestine, Texas, and Osaka, Japan. Here is a link to an article that we wrote about that outing on Beaver Lake, Arkansas: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/a-midwest-finesse-tribute-to-shin-fukae/
(4) At the Bassmater Elite tournament at the St. Lawrence River, New York, on Aug. 23, 24, 25, and 26, Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, used the Flat Worm and garnered ninth-place honors. Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Alabama, used it and finished in second place. Josh Bertrand of San Tan Valley, Arizona, used it to catch 95 pounds and three ounces of smallmouth bass to win $100,000 and the first-place trophy.
Lucas and Bertrand also used it at the Bassmaster Elite tournament at Lake Oahe, South Dakota, on June 29 and 30 and July 1 and 2. Bertrand caught 61 pounds and one ounce of smallmouth bass and finished in eighth place. Lucas caught 58 pounds and three ounces of smallmouth bass and finished in ninth place.