November 22, 2013
By Ned Kehde
Stickbaits are the keystone of Midwest finesse tactics. Thus, whenever a new one appears, it catches the eyes of a goodly number of Midwest finesse devotees. And Zoom Bait Company's recent announcement that they have created a 6 1/4-inch Fluke Stick has caught these anglers' attention.
The Fluke Stick possesses an egg sack in the middle of its torso, and it is begirded by a series of ribs that extend to its head and forked tail. According the folks at Zoom, its ribs and forked tail work together to create a potent and bewitching under-water motion.
It is impregnated with a heavy dose of salt, which allows anglers to wield it easily on a weightless light-wire hook, and as it plummets towards the bottom or into a largemouth bass' lair, it shimmies and glides alluringly. If anglers shake or twitch their rods as it falls to the bottom, it darts, rolls and gyrates, replicating the renowned motions of Zoom's Fluke and Super Fluke.
When an angler affixes it to a drop-shot rig and utilizes a deadstick presentation, it exhibits what Zoom calls a slithering motif as its forked tail subtly moves back and forth.
When it was introduced to the angling world, Zoom didn't mention that its field testers worked with it on a small jig, which is the way Midwest finesse anglers use stickbaits. In the months to come, however, a some Midwest finesse anglers will be testing it on Gopher Tackle's 1/32-, 1/16-, and 3/32-ounce Mushroom Head Jigs, which are the jigs most Midwest finesse anglers use with stickbaits, as well as Zoom's Fluke Fluke, Super Fluke, Mini Lizard and Tiny Brush Hog. (It should be noted that since the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City created the Beetle, Beetle Spin and jig worm in the 1950s and 1960s, Midwest finesse anglers have realized that the jig-and-soft-plastic-bait combo will substantially outperform other rigging options.)
What's more, most Midwest finesse anglers customize many of the soft-plastic baits that they use. Therefore it is likely that they will customize the Fluke Stick by trimming an inch or two from its head, and adding a slice or incision up its tail. Some finesse angler might even trim three inches off its head, making two baits: a three-inch stickbait and a 3 1/4-inch forked-tail stickbait.
It is available in nine colors: Blueberry, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Magic, Green Pumpkin Purple Green, Junebug, Watermelon Magic, Watermelon Red, Watermelon Red Magic, and Watermelon Seed. (The Green-Pumpkin-Purple-Green Fluke Stick is featured in the photograph at the head of this blog.)
The suggested retail price for a package of 10 is $4.49.