September 16, 2019
Berkley introduced its Powerbait Zestail to the angling world at the 2018 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida.
It is a multifaceted creature-style bait that emulates some of the wow-zooy soft-plastic bait creations that originated in Japan.
Midwest finesse anglers are incessantly in search of soft-plastic creature-style baits that they can affix to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and at the behest of a veteran Midwest finesse angler, we were encouraged to publish a gear guide about the Zestail.
To facilitate this endeavor, Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Pure Fishing’s media and public relations manager, sent us six Zestails to examine and customize.
Our examinations revealed that it is 4 3/8 inches long, and Midwest finesse anglers can easily shorten it and customize it.
Its head is dome shaped and five-sixteenths of an inch long. It is seven-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of about 1 5/8 inches. Its skin is smooth.
Its torso is 1 1/2 inches long and five-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of 1 15/16 inches. The torso is endowed with seven significant ribs and two features that Berkley describes as ridges. The first half inch of the torso is encircled by four significant ribs; the last half inch of the torso possesses three significant ribs. The first of these four ribs encircles the entire torso, and the last two do not totally encompass the entire torso, which creates a hook slot on the dorsal and ventral areas of the torso. It is important to note that the Zestail’s dorsal and ventral areas are identical. The middle half inch of the torso is indented or waist-like, and it is endowed with two ridges, which extends from rib number four to rib number five. According to the folks at Berkley, these ridges allow “for perfect hook concealment and enhanced weedless performance,” which is not a concern for Midwest finesse anglers, because they use a jig with an exposed hook. Berkley, however, recommends that anglers Texas rig the Zestail and employ it with an offset and extra-wide-gap hook or a football-style jig.
Two flat and linear-shaped appendages radiate from each side of the torso. The front two appendages extend from rib number four. The back two appendages extend from rib number six. These appendages are a half of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide at their widest spot.
At the junction of its posterior section, the size of the torso diminishes, and it is three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 5/8 inches.
Its posterior consists of 16 tentacles that are 2 5 /16-inches long.
The posterior is also graced with two flat appendages that are 1 1/2 inches long and seven-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot. The two flat appendages are curled and similar to the tail of a curly-tailed grub, and when these appendages are uncurled and fully extended, they are 2 3/4 inches long.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Blue Fleck, Black Sapphire Blue, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Green, Okochobee Craw, Pumpkinseed Chartreuse Pepper, Watermelon Candy, and White.
It is impregnated with Powerbait scent. It is buoyant, which is an attractive feature in the eyes of Midwest finesse anglers.
A package of six costs $4.29.
(1) Here is a link to Berkley’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait-soft-bait-berkley-powerbait/powerbait-zestail/1454410.html.
(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) Historically, Midwest finesse anglers, like the Japanese finesse anglers, have been inveterate customizers of soft-plastic baits. In some Midwest finesse anglers’ eyes, the 4 3/8-inch Zestail is too long. And here are a few of the ways they might customize the Zestail to make it shorter:
One customization tactic will be to amputate its head and seven-eighths of an inch of its torso. See the photograph below.
Another one will be to remove its head and to shorten the tentacles from 2 5/16 inches long to an inch long or even shorter. This will extenuate its curly appendages, creating a 3 1/8-inch creature bait. See the photograph below.
A third customization scheme is to remove its head and the curled appendages and shorten the tentacles and create a solid-body tube with some creature-bait features. See the photograph below.
A fourth option will be to remove the curled appendages and radically trim the tentacles to make them almost whisker-like. Then the Midwest finesse angler will affix the mushroom-style jig to the posterior end of the Zestail, and make it a combination of an unusual stick-style bait and an upside-down creature-style bait, which is about 2 3/4 inches long. See the photograph below.