I recently received some of the Victory Tails from Matt Paino at Optimum Baits and have been fishing them the last few weeks of the fall.
The Victory Tail comes in 3-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, 7-inch and 8-inch sizes. It comes in 17 different hand poured colors and have a uniquely designed and weighted tail and body that work in conjunction to give this jerkbait a unique natural action.
Here are a few of the features I liked the most:
- Good weight
- Colors right
- Very natural action
- Stays rigged nicely
- Right size for everyone
Weight you can throw
Typically when I fish a soft jerkbait, I fish it weightless on an EWG hook, although I will sometimes rig it with a stir straw and a treble hook in a line-through capacity. So I’m often limited to throwing soft jerkbaits on spinning takle because the bait just doesn’t have enough weight to cast on baitcasting tackle.
I found the Victory Tail was dense enough to fish on 12-pound fluoro on my baitcasting rod and reel and I was able to not only make long casts, but also present the bait to targets accurately because of the added weight. Now I was throwing the 8-inch versions around isolated cover trying to get a big bite. So with the 3-inch variety, you probably will be limited to a jighead and/or spinning tackle to fish it.
Good looking baits
The hand-poured colors of these baits stood out. They have very nice detailing, colors and even eyes to round out the whole package. The eyes stayed attached through several fish, which is always a bonus. My favorite colors were the Shad color and the Ghost Rider and Sexy Shad colors.
The tail falls limp but has weight which is something I see missing from other soft jerkbaits. The tail has enough weight to give it some whip appeal in the water and give it a nice natural balance and fall.
Working it and killing it
The bait darts well, pauses when you kill it for a second or two before starting a slow descent until it’s out of site. Then when you hit with another twitch it darts and ducks around like a baitfish struggling to get swimming.
I caught several fish this fall that rolled up on a topwater and missed it, that bit this jerkbait when I cast it back in on the spot and just let it fall and then twitched it one time. It’s a great follow up bait because they weight gives you some accuracy on casting and it looks very natural in the water.
Rigs easily and stays
I rigged the baits before I tied them on my line. So I tex-posed a 5/0 EWG hook and then tied it on with a uni knot. Darting, ducking, diving and just fast reeling it in to make another cast, the bait stayed on the hook well without tearing at the nose of the bait. I was able to catch several bass on a single bait without it tearing up. And the bait seems to keep it’s shape and form nicely on the hooks. The plastic seems a little more dense so that probably helps it maintain its form while fishing and catching bass.
I like having several size and color options in jerkbaits. Because then you can do things like fish them vertically on jigheads, or cast them on fish head spins or fish them on EWG hooks weightless and target cover. The fact that they come 3-8 inches gives you a bait that will work in a lot of different water clarities, depths and presentations.
The Victory Tail’s retail for $4.99 a pack. They are hand-poured baits made to look and act very natural in the water. You can see more of the colors or purchase some at tacklewarehouse.com or at other retailers that carry Optimum Baits.