New Z-Man® ChatterSpike™ showcases creative engineering and increases blade jig performance
Since the original ChatterBait® won the first of what would soon be dozens of tournament victories and mega-stacks of cash a couple of decades ago, the soft plastic trailer of the bladed jig has been around almost forever. like an afterthought. Or, depending on the design of the trailer, maybe it’s the other way around: the tail wags the dog. Perhaps science explains it best: the tail helps maintain balance, offers counterbalance and assistance with movement, and certainly communicates a very specialized message.
For Z-Man pro and ChatterBait tactician Stephen Browning, it’s all about hydrodynamics. Always, he leans on the blade for its flash, action, and sideline strumming vibes. But Browning also understands the critical role of the trailer of his chosen ChatterBait: providing volume, a bit of buoyancy, baitfish profile, and enough tail-kicking animation to augment, but not overpower, the blade itself.
Bringing out the best fish-catching vibes of a ChatterBait, while simultaneously injecting additional dimensions of balance, movement, and bass talk, the new Z-Man ChatterSpike™ looks and works like it’s perfectly at home on the back of any bladed jig.
“Beyond its smooth and durable ElaZtech® composition,” suggests Browning, “the best thing about the ChatterSpike is that it absolutely maximizes blade performance and hunting action and never gets in the way of ChatterBait talents. Many other trailers seem to be designed without considering how their volume, shape, or action affects the function of the ChatterBlade®.” Think of ChatterSpike as a smart, highly refined trailer that brings harmony to an already catchy tune.
Aerodynamic and hydrodynamic at first glance, ChatterSpike’s minimalist pintail bait facade embodies impressive engineering. “To give the ChatterSpike a crisp, fluid, and more responsive action, we sculpted it with a diamond-shaped cross section and leading edges that effortlessly slice through the water and transfer energy throughout the body,” explains José Chávez, director of z-man of Product Development. “To increase water displacement and shuddering action through the tail section, we cut a series of V-shaped ridges, up and down. This segmented back makes the ChatterSpike swim with a quick, crisp, side-to-side whipping action. It’s a tight but realistic range of motion that the angler can customize.”
Viewing the bait upside down reveals its series of overlapping V-shaped segments, each reinforced with subtle swimming wings. “To increase their action and range of side-to-side motion, you can trim the wings to the proper size,” Browning says. “All the while, ChatterSpike’s slender tail twitches and quivers restlessly. When you see what this thing looks like in the water and how it works on a ChatterBait, you immediately know it’s in the money.”
Browning delves into the delicate dynamic between the shoveled jig and its trailer. “Although the ChatterSpike offers its own independent action and profile, it never interrupts the flash or vibration of a ChatterBait. So when you’re casting a lure like the new ChatterBait Elite EVO™, the ChatterSpike provides the correct balance and range of motion to maximize the blade.
“You have the sweet action of wagging your tail on every pitch. But you soon realize that no two molds are exactly alike. The lure does something a little different each time. Sometimes, it works as true as it can be. Other sets, the lure darts and dives; exhibits a strong zig and zag hunting action.
“Think of the ChatterSpike as a subtle but energetic trailer, with a wispy little reddish tail that is continually twitching. To combat hard-pressed bass, it’s certainly a more subdued and punchy movement and presentation than your typical soft plastic. And probably the most realistic movement you’ve ever seen in a ChatterBait trailer. Now consider its extra smooth, yet incredibly durable ElaZtech nature, and it has a single bait that goes on and stays put for as much bass as it can handle.”
Equipped with dorsal and ventral hook slots, the 4.5-inch ChatterSpike is easy to mount in an arrow shape and fits all jigs with blades. Beyond implementation as a ChatterBait trailer, the ChatterSpike is also suited to a variety of other applications, including spinnerbait/buzzbait trailer and smooth jerkbait/swimbait. Innovators and leaders in the ChatterBait category he created, Z-Man offers the most complete line of soft plastic bladed hooks and trailers today. Available in October, the ChatterSpike comes in ten matching ChatterBait colors, all made in the USA. For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com.
About Z-Man Fishing Products: A dynamic company based in Charleston, South Carolina, Z-Man Fishing Products has been fusing cutting-edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been one of the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits, and other lures. Creator of the original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovator of 10X Tough ElaZtech® soft baits, among the most sought after baits in freshwater and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest growing lure brands in the world.