Today we’ll be reviewing a product that has been around quite a while—the Zoom Fluke. I imagine a particular bait came to mind when you read the name of this bait but I’m curious if you’re mistaken (like I was for years) and like countless other anglers are when they hear the word “Fluke”.
Many of us actually associate the wrong bait with that name.
In this review, we’ll clear up any confusion between these two baits and talk a little about the experiences I’ve had fishing a Fluke over the last 15 years or so. We’ll also look at a few different ways to rig the bait and hopefully peek your interest in trying this bait out for yourself.
Fluke vs. Salty Super Fluke
The bait I’ve always referred to as a Fluke is the actually the Zoom Salty Super Fluke. The Salty Super Fluke is the bait most anglers think of when they hear the term “Fluke” and the bait that set the standard for a whole genre of soft-plastic fishing lures. Nowadays, regardless of the manufacturer of any given soft-plastic jerkbait, people typically refer to it as a Fluke, much like many anglers call all vibrating jigs ChatterBaits.
But the Original Zoom Fluke is a good bit different than its larger cousin, the Salty Super Fluke. The Salty Super Fluke is thicker, with a split in the belly and is 5 1/4 inches long. The original Zoom Fluke is only 4 inches long, has a narrower profile and doesn’t have the split in the belly. These traits make these two baits distinctly different.
For instance, I love to fish a Salty Super Fluke rigged weightless and weedless like a floating worm during the spawn. You can do this with a Fluke, but you’ll need spinning gear and it’s not as effective in my opinion. But there are just as many or more things the Fluke can do that the Salty Super Fluke can’t.
My favorite use of a Fluke
I love to throw a Fluke on a 1/4-ounce Scrounger head. A Scrounger, for those who don’t know, is a jighead with a rubbery bill that rocks back and forth as it’s reeled in on a steady retrieve. It kind of has a finesse ChatterBait vibe to it. It has a lot of action but intentionally not near as much as a vibrating jig or spinnerbait does. But it takes the right soft plastic to get the most out of a Scrounger. That’s where a Fluke is perfect.
A Fluke is narrow, not too long and doesn’t have much action on its own. This is key when looking for a bait to fish on a Scrounger. If you go with something like a little paddle tail swimbait instead, the action of the Scrounger head actually fights the action of the paddle tail and you don’t end up with a very effective presentation. Instead, the Fluke rigged on a scrounger has a nice top-to-bottom flash and sends a shivering quiver down the spine of the bait all the way to the tail that dances with a constant twitch and flick as the bait is reeled.
This is one of those fun baits to review because I’ve had a ton of time with it. I’ve fished with the original Fluke now for at least 15 years and caught lots of fish with it. One particular trip comes to mind when dad and I were fishing a tournament on Lake Guntersville. We found some pretty good schooling fish in a pocket but were unable to get them to pay any attention to a topwater, lipless crankbait or variety of other lures we threw at them.
After fishing for them for an hour or so with no luck whatsoever, we began to get pretty frustrated. I don’t remember which of us came up with the idea, but we decided to try a Scrounger rigged with a Fluke on them and proceeded to catch several of the schoolers with our bag topping out around 15 pounds. We were pretty pumped up, having figured out something to trick these particularly picky bass. That is, until, we got back to weigh-in for our first tournament ever on Lake Guntersville and realized 15 pounds was good enough for about 60th place… Irregardless, the Fluke works well on a Scrounger in high-pressure situations.
Other ways to rig it
Though the Scrounger has always been my go-to way to rig a Zoom Fluke, I played with it a bit for this review to see if I could come up with some other good uses for it. I believe rigging it weightless and weedless like I mentioned doing with the Salty Super Fluke earlier could work well in very particular situations. I wouldn’t want to cover a lot of water with it rigged this way like I would a Salty Super Fluke but if you’re around a concentration of particularly finicky fish, this might be a technique that can draw you a strike.
This is also a good bait to nose hook on a drop shot or one you could even rig on a Damiki rig. Using these two techniques, the Zoom Fluke gives you a bait that you can use to target fish vertically in deeper water. Or you can rig this bait as a trailer on a spinnerbait, vibrating jig or buzzbait. The Scrounger is reason enough to try a pack of these though. The Fluke is truly a perfect bait for that presentation. You can fish it similarly to a single swimbait rigged on a jighead but it gives you an entirely different action to target the same fish with.
Though there may be some confusion as to what a Zoom Fluke really is at times, the original is a handy little nugget of soft plastic to have around. Its tall and thin shad-like profile combined with the forked tail all wrapped up in a 4-inch package makes this a great shad imitator. Available in 13 color choices, you’ll have a hard time not finding something that will work for your given set of conditions.
The Original Zoom Fluke is available at the following retailers: