Yamamoto Kickin Zako Review

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The original Yamamoto Zako on the back of a Jack Hammer Chatterbait has been a deadly combination, and now Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits has expanded the line to include a new Kickin Zako. There is definitely a divide among anglers fishing chatterbaits on whether you should use baits with a straight tail or a bait with a paddle tail. It seems anglers either choose one or the other. On the one hand a chatterbait vibrates the trailer with its wobble, so some would ask why you need a tail to kick. I like to have options with everything in fishing, so I’ll choose both now after fishing the Yamamoto Kickin Zako a while.

Kickin Zako good option for skirted jigs

A good many anglers use multiple trailers on swim jigs, casting jigs, flipping jigs and vibrating jigs. So having a couple different Zakos now makes good sense. I have really gotten to like a swimbait as a trailer on swim jigs and the Yamamoto Kickin Zako is a perfect compliment to a swim jig. 

I also prefer the Kickin Zako on ChatterBaits that I take the skirt off of, which I often do when I’m fishing around docks or when I want a more streamlined profile for fishing deep as has been the case lately. 

Good design on back and hinges

The Kickin Zako has the same great head design, ribbed sides, grooved back and wedge sections that neck down to the tail. Except this time instead of a forked tail you have a paddle tail. 

Love the Zako on a swim jig

The Kickin Zako swims really nice. It has a wobble and a shimmy. But it looks really nice in the water, especially on a swim jig. I’ve been using it a lot on the back of an Advantage Swim Jig. A good looking combination that looks alive and fishes really well through cover. 

Perfect Shad combo

I’ve also paired the Kickin Zako with a Z-Man Evergreen Chatterbait Jack Hammer. You can pair it with a shad or bluegill pattern and really mimic baitfish and small bluegills really well. And the Zakos have such good colors, they match the hatch with the detailing in the Jack Hammers.

Good option with crazy water fluctuations

A Chatterbait is actually a really good option when the fish haven’t quite got up there shallow enough for your shallow cranks or there is a lot of debris entering the lake with all the high water we’ve had around the country. You can spend every cast unfouling treble hooks on your crankbait where the Chatterbait/Kickin Zako combination comes through the debris relatively unscathed.

The Kickin Zako comes 5 to a pack. I recommend keeping them in their packaging. While these swimbaits are very durable I found fishing them, they are a little more susceptible to get deformed because of the wedges and the tail if you try to throw them in a tackle box. 

But surprisingly they don’t tear up as easily. So while they can get bent they seem to hold up very well with such a delicate design.

You can find them at Tackle Warehouse.