May 26, 2020
Berkley Fishing introduced its Powerbait The Deal to the angling world at the 2019 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trade show.
It is a soft-plastic swimbait that Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, played a significant role in creating.
It is manufactured in two sizes: a 3 1/2-incher and a 4 1/2-incher.
We have noted in several Midwest Finesse columns in years past that a 3 1/2- to four-inch curly-tail grub affixed to a jig has played an integral role in the repertoire of many Midwest finesse anglers. But at many of the venues that Midwest finesse anglers ply, it seems as if the grub’s effectiveness has waned in recent years. Thus a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers have been searching for an alternative, and a small swimbait has become one of their alternatives. At first sight, the 3 1/2-inch The Deal looked as if it will fit this option very well indeed.
Therefore, we asked 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 for a Midwest Finesse column. He responded by sending us a sample of the 3 1/2-inch The Deal to examine, work with, and describe.
According to our measurements, it is exactly 3 1/2 inches long when its tail or caudal fin is relaxed, and it is 3 7/8 inches long when its tail is totally extended.
Its snout, which is the tip of its head, is flat and round. It is graced with a slight indentation, which is where a Midwest finesse angler will insert the hook or collar or bait keeper of a mushroom-style jig. The snout has a diameter of one-quarter of an inch and a circumference of nine-sixteenths of an inch.
The distance from the tip of its snout to the junction with its caudal fin or tail is 2 3/16 inches.
There is no visible distinction that separates its predorsal area from its dorsal area. The predorsal consists of the snout, head, eyes, and gill membrane. The torso consists of its breast, abdomen, dorsal, and caudal peduncle.
The profile of its torso reflects the shapes of a variety of small fishes – such as alewife, common shiner, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and skipjack herring. But in most anglers’ eyes, the torso is an abstract rendition of a threadfin shad.
Except for its caudal fin, it is devoid of fin-like features.
The largest part of the torso is 1 1/8 inches from the tip of its head. At this spot, its dorsal is about three-eighths of an inch wide. The ventral area or abdomen is about one-quarter of an inch wide. The circumference is 1 5/8 inches. The distance between its dorsal and ventral areas is about five-eighths of an inch.
The caudal peduncle section is about a half of an inch long. As this section approaches the union with the caudal fin, the width of the dorsal and ventral areas diminishes significantly -- as does its circumference and height. Adjacent to its junction with the caudal fin, the caudal peduncle’s dorsal and ventral have a width of slightly less than one-eighth of an inch. The circumference is about three-quarters of an inch, and it has a height of a quarter of an inch.
The caudal section is forked and adorned with two thin and wide sickle-style appendages. Each one is 1 1/4 inches long, and when it is fully extended, it is 1 1/2 inches long. Their outside edges are endowed with a minor rim or flange, which is about one-eighth of an inch thick at its thickest spot. The inside edges are less than a millimeter thick. At their widest spot, they are seven-sixteenths of an inch wide and about one-sixteenth of an inch wide at their tips. Reese says the format of these appendages is similar to the sickle-style appendage that radiates off of the side of Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss. But the Pitt Boss’ appendages are horizontal rather than vertical. Reese notes that The Deal’s vertical tail is also a “counter-acting split tail” that exhibits “a live-like action.”
It is available in the following hues: Ayu, Black Blue, Black Shad, Electric Shad, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin/Chartreuse, Junebug, Pearl White, Skeet's Chartreuse Shad, Skeet's Ghost Minnow, and Skeet's Green Money.
It is infused with PowerBait scent. And it is slightly buoyant.
The head, torso, and tail of the 3 1/2-inch The Deal consists of solid soft-plastic.
A package of 10 costs $4.99.
Reese and the folks at Berkley did not design The Deal for Midwest finesse applications. But when Midwest finesse anglers affix it to a mushroom-style jig, most of them will employ it with the straight-swimming presentation, which is similar to the do-nothing retrieve that the late Charlie Brewer of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, used with an array of his Slider rigs, and it is also similar to the I-motion retrieve that the Japanese finesse anglers have developed. It will also work on the swim-glide-and-shake presentation, which is one of the six standard Midwest finesse presentations. Moreover, it is likely that some Midwest finesse anglers will rig The Deal on its side and skip it and shoot it around docks.