Today we’re going to be discussing a product that I have extensive experience with. Quite often when writing a product review, I’m simply using the product to test it; that’s kind of the nature of the beast with what we do. A lot of the older products have been reviewed already by one of our writers, so as soon as we can get our hands on a new product, we’ll use it until we feel we have a good grasp of its capabilities and then write a review.
But every now and then, we’ll find an old classic that has, up to that point, eluded us. I feel confident in my assessment with every review I write, but I especially like writing a review about a product that I’ve had the advantage of using for years. Case in point today, the Zoom Split Tail Trailer, a bait I first used a couple decades or more ago. I have an intimate knowledge of this bait with a lot of first-hand experience fishing it over the years. We’ll talk a little about that experience as well as some of the characteristics that I believe make this bait a timeless classic. Let’s get to it.
When it comes to trailers, the Zoom Split Tail Trailer is extremely versatile. It doesn’t really look like much on its own. But when you put it on the back of a buzzbait, you realize that it’s the perfect size and profile to mask the hook without adding a bunch of bulk. You can easily see what “too much of a good thing” looks like if you put a big and bulky trailer on a buzzbait.
The versatility is evident too when you slip it on the back of a spinnerbait. Now the same bait that simply masked a buzzbait hook starts to pulse and kick with every pump of your rod tip on the back of a spinnerbait. It works especially well when fishing a spinnerbait with a trailer hook, not hanging up on the extra hook as much as some other trailers do.
And again, slip a Split Tail Trailer on the back of a ChatterBait and you’ll see it really come alive. The aggressive vibration of a bladed jig works its way back to the trailer and sends it in every direction imaginable. The overall profile stays pretty tight but within that little space there’s a whole lot of action. And with this trailer being straight and thin, you don’t experience a lot of hanging and grabbing of grass and other cover like you see with a craw-style trailer for instance.
Zoom offers this bait in 6 colors, which ins’t a wide range numbers wise but is still a versatile selection that suits most needs. With Chartreuse Pearl and Chartreuse Glitter, you get a solid bright color and a translucent bright color with a little flash. These work well in particularly muddy situations. The bright colors are also good at times when fishing for smallmouth and spotted bass even in clear water, especially with a good bit of wind.
Then there are a couple more natural looking colors in the Blue Glimmer and Silver Rainbow that work really well in clear water, high visibility situations. The White and Pearl White are more for stained and muddy water. Pearl White is my personal favorite, doing a good job of imitating the color of shad and even bream in particularly muddy water where the baitfish tend to pale out.
I would like to see this bait offered in green pumpkin as well, primarily to use with a ChatterBait. I think this bait is mainly designed for shad imitation, which is the reason for the colors Zoom does offer. But knowing what a white one looks like on the back of a shad-colored ChatterBait, I’d really like to have a green pumpkin one to use when imitating bluegill with a darker colored vibrating jig.
Material and price
The best I can tell, Zoom uses their “normal” material to make this bait. Zoom now makes some baits with super-soft materials like their Z3 series of baits. But most Zoom soft plastics are made out of a fairly tough material that is still soft enough to put out a good bit of action. The toughness of this bait helps it lock in and stay on the bait keeper of whatever bait you’re using it with. And it keeps the two tails from being snatched off or torn each time a fish short strikes the bait or a piece of cover snags it.
Keeping it simple in terms of the materials and the process used to make this bait, Zoom also keeps the price down. A 20-pack of these trailers is only $4.29. Since this is a bait that you can use quite often but not necessarily a bait you’ll use every trip, a pack of the Zoom Split Tail Trailers will last you awhile. In addition, if you already have a trailer on a bait at the end of a trip, that same trailer will likely still be fine by the next time you get to hit the water.
Personal experiences and conclusion
As I stated at the onset, I’ve used this bait a lot over the years. There are several trailers out there now similar to the Zoom Split Tail, some of which I like a lot. But Zoom was one of the first to offer this style of soft plastic and their version has been around as long as I can remember. Rigged on the back of a double Colorado spinnerbait, I’ve caught hundreds of fish on this lure and dozens over 4 pounds. That combination was one of my favorites for years.
Because of the introduction to my personal arsenal of big willow leaf spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits, I’ve moved away from using that spinnerbait combo in recent years. But I’d still feel just as confident today rigging one up with a Zoom Split Tail Trailer to head out in search of a big bite. However, the versatility of this bait prevents it from being limited to only a spinnerbait. It’s equally effective on the back of a buzzbait and ChatterBait as well.
Made out of a durable but also flexible material, the compromise results in a good dose of action and longevity. And with color choices that give you a complementary trailer for almost everything you could want to do with it, this is an old classic that I’d recommend giving a shot if you haven’t already. The Zoom Twin Tail Trailer is a part of a lot of fond memories for me, it can be for you as well.
The Zoom Split Tail Trailer is available at the following retailers: