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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Strike King Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad Review

Caffeine Shad

Zoom Super Fluke
Recently, I have been chasing schools of fish that are actively feeding on or near the surface of the water. I believe the most efficient way to catch these fish is with a soft plastic jerkbait. It's also a heck of a lot of fun! Normally, I rig the shad imitation on a weighted 4/0 hook, cast in the middle or just beyond the target school, and retrieve it in a fast jerk-pause-jerk-pause motion. This has been the most consistent and efficient way to catch these fish for me under any conditions.

There are many different manufacturers of these baits with different names for them, but they are generally referred to as "flukes". Technically, the Fluke is produced by Zoom. They have different versions such as the Super Fluke, Super Fluke, Jr., Tiny Fluke, and a few others. Some other makes and models of these type lures are Yum's Houdini Shad, Lunker City Slug-Go, Netbait Super Twitch, Strike King Zulu, and the Strike King Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad. These are only a few of what is offered on the market.

Lately, I have been using the Strike King Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad. This lure works a little differently than my normal choice, which is the Zoom Super Fluke. In Strike King's interactive, online catalogue they describe the Perfect Plastic line as follows:

Strike King's Perfect Plastics are the softest, saltiest plastic lures ever produced and feature Strike King's exclusive coffee scent (patent pending). These baits contain the world's best blend of soft plastic ingredients! This allows use of large amounts of salt yet keep the bait soft, pliable and fishable. Coffee adds to the appeal as it masks human scents and oils and causes added bites and longer hold times which increase your hook-up chances.
I will also mention that Perfect Plastics are endorsed by Kevin VanDam and his picture is featured above the image in the catalogue.

When I first saw this product and read the packaging, which says the same thing, I thought to myself, "Those are some pretty bold statements!" So, I decided to find out for myself. I bought one pack of Pearl colored Caffeine Shads and rigged one in place of my Zoom Super Fluke.

Right away, I was impressed. The lures are much softer than the Fluke. The tail is bulbous instead of split. I like this feature because as the lure falls it shakes similar to a senko-type bait. It is also heavier, which provided two more advantages over the Zoom Super Fluke. First, it casts farther to reach schools of fish farther from the boat. And second, it sinks faster allowing for much easier, deeper retrieves.

The only thing I disliked was the lure's durability. I could catch several fish on it before replacing it, but not as many as the Zoom Super Fluke. This is because of the lure's softness, but I would rather replace a few more lures than sacrifice it's pliability.

The reason I chose the Pearl color was because I like to color the top of them either chartreuse, blue, black, or purple. I can change the Pearl into whatever I want it to be.

I highly recommend the Strike King Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many lures today are hyped by advertising campaigns and this one is no exception. However, it is one of the few that delivers as promised. The Zoom flukes will continue to have a place in my arsenal, but I can easily picture them being gradually replaced.