The Zoom Centipede has been around a really long time but it’s a great little bass fishing bait we’ve never reviewed here, so today is the day. I really like when we find an older bait like this that has been overlooked for several years. It’s fun to go back in time to my younger days and reminisce on fishing some of these baits as a boy.
Any bait like this that has stood the test of time has done so on merit; a bad bait doesn’t survive for 20 or 30 years without catching them. Today, we’re going to look at what made this bait popular in its heyday and also show why it’s a great bait that still catches fish today.
At first glance
When you first take a look at the Zoom Centipede, it’s pretty easy to throw it into a very popular bait genre known to most as soft-plastic stick baits. This bait came along before there were really any, or to the best of my knowledge, many other baits like it. It’s kind of one of those short, nothing-looking baits that just absolutely gets you a bite when you need one.
I remember growing up with this bait as one of my first go-to’s for getting a bite. Though my dad didn’t like to fish the old ball-and-chain much himself, he’d rig up a Carolina rig with the Zoom Centipede and hand it to me, knowing it was a great way for a young or otherwise inexperienced angler to get a bite. I’d cast it out, drag it along and catch fish. That’s the beauty of this bait still to this day, some 25 years later. It’s still a great bite getter for an angler of any skill level.
Not a one-trick pony
Just as you see with other soft-plastic stick baits, the Zoom Centipede is very versatile. At 4 inches long, this is a great bait for Carolina rigs, shaky heads, Ned rigs, Neko rigs, wacky rigs, drop shots, free rigs, split-shot rigs and the list goes on. But this bait definitely stands out from the others that I’d loosely lump into its genre.
The overall design of this lure is a good bit different from many others. It has a flat bottom and large ribs running the entire length of the worm. It’s also a little taller than it is wide, where most other soft-plastic stick baits are more cylindrical. This design definitely creates a nice little shimmying action as the bait falls through the water column.
Price point and colors
The color selection is sometimes limited depending on where you shop for this bait, but in typical Zoom fashion it is available in a wide variety of colors if you shop around a bit. With its smaller profile and wide range of color choices, you can use the Zoom Centipede to mimic a whole lot of things. So whether you’re targeting bass around bluegill, shellcracker, perch, goby, shad, shiners, crawfish or a wide variety of other forage, there’s likely a color of the Centipede that will help you match the hatch.
Perhaps the biggest thing this bait has going for it is the price point. It’s about half the price of most other popular soft-plastic stick baits. For around five bucks (again depending on where you shop) you can get 20 of these worms. This is a big deal since most of the presentations you’d likely be using this bait with tend to be those where there’s a lot of collateral damage. For instance with wacky rigs, drop shots and Carolina rigs, it’s easy to go through several baits in a hurry. Being able to get nearly two dozen to last you for several trips without having to break out a 10 dollar bill helps.
A little more on the action and final thoughts
This is a bait that doesn’t simply shimmy and fall but glides sometimes as well; it really depends on how you rig it. You can rig the Centipede with a weighted wacky rig hook and it will fall and shimmy pretty much in a vertically straight line. But if you rig this bait weightless or even with a tail weight, the bait will glide on more of a horizontal fall. This is a result primarily of the bait’s flat bottom and tall body. The gliding aspect of this bait is what also makes it so deadly on a Carolina rig, as it trails off side to side on the retrieve.
Overall, the Zoom Centipede is an easy bait to recommend to an angler of any skill level simply because it gets bit. If you’ve never caught a bass before, you can rig up the Zoom Centipede and catch one. If you’re a seasoned pro needing to get one more bite on a tough fishery to cash a check, you can rig one of these up and get bit.
It’s as close as a bait comes to an automatic bite compared to any I’ve ever fished with. At 4 inches in length, it’s a bite-sized little morsel both big ones and little ones like. It’s a very versatile bait with a variety of actions and colors. At roughly 25 cents per bait, it’s one you don’t mind burning through several of when you get on a good bite.