Reflections of a lure craftsman

ChatterBait® creator Ron Davis talks about his new surface concept, the Z-Man® HellraiZer™

It all seems like a no-brainer now. Why not cast the lure that has become perhaps the best big bass catcher of the last two decades?

But twenty years ago, when inventor Ron Davis laid the first ChatterBait® Blade Jigs in the hands of the fishermen, it must have taken a great deal of common sense to stick to his guns, to shamelessly convince the fishermen to just give the lure an honest try, and to learn something important, something he knew deep down was the TRUE.

Inventors and artists of all stripes know all too well the anguish of the big reveal: What if the public hates it? he rejects it? But when engineering and endless on-water testing work, when everything clicks together, as Davis always knew it would, anglers benefit beyond their dreams. Just ask Bryan Thrift, who won back-to-back FLW bass events in 2005 and 2006, playing a giant bass with a original chatterbait in the classic lower lakes Eufaula and Okeechobee.

Proof that Davis and his Z-Man collaborators were once again on the right track came in sync with the 2022 ICAST New Product Showcase and the unveiling of their latest mind-blowing creation. Taking a page from Original ChatterBait’s book, the HellraiZer™ Tail Blade Topwater Lure it was received with equal parts admiration and uncertainty, exactly the kind of reception you’d expect from a lure with so many. . . eccentricities.

Gliding across the surface with amazing sound, vibration and action, HellraiZer of course didn’t win any ICAST awards. In case you’re keeping score, neither the Original ChatterBait Bladed Jig nor the preeminent ChatterBait JackHammer™ followed suit.

For the lures that started with a simple idea and those early launches into the unknown, check out Ron Davis rap session in the water.

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, quickly becoming the most sought after baits in freshwater and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest growing lure brands in the world.