If you’ve never fished a Berkley PowerBait Ripple Shad, it’s hard to appreciate the fish attracting combination of swimming action, water displacement and vibration this sweet softbait offers. And let’s not forget—it’s stoked with Berkley’s scientifically-proven cocktail of scents and flavorings that make fish hold on longer once they bite.
I’ve used Ripple Shads for a variety of species, in a wide range of situations. Since they come in five size options from 2 to 5 inches in length, they’re perfect for everything from slab crappies to bigger fish at the top of the food chain.
One of the bait’s best features is its distinctive boot tail, which yields plenty of good vibrations and really churns through the water. The ribbed body aids in water displacement, too, which can be especially important under low-vis conditions. Other nice touches include 3-D red eyes and a wide palette of color choices including Firetiger, New penny and Smelt.No discussion of Ripple Shad features is complete without delving deeper into its PowerBait heritage. Tracing back to the release of the PowerWorm and PowerGrub in 1989, this family of softbaits incorporates alluring natural attractants into soft, pliable PVC-based bodies.
“Bass hang on longer once you get them to bite,” says Arkansas bass pro Scott Suggs, who owes a string of top finishes to PowerBait products, including a million-dollar victory at the FLW Forrest Wood Cup. “They’re one of my go-to baits for largemouths in heavily pressured lakes and whenever the bass are just pecking and poking the bait,” he says.
Pike And Muskies
Ripple Shads are equally deadly on a variety of other species. Esox legend and North American Fisherman friend Pete Maina, for example, favors a 5-inch Ripple Shad on a heavy-duty, ½- to 1-ounce jighead for muskies and big northern pike. While you might think beefier baits such as an 8-inch PowerBait Grub would be better for such super-sized quarry, Maina explains that smaller, “middle of the road” softbaits are equally deadly, and more apt to yield bonus catches of trophy-class bass and walleyes.
Maina says you can throw Ripple Shads and jigs anytime, but they’re particularly deadly when pike and muskies turn up their noses as faster moving presentations. He likes probing potential cover and structure with a variety of jig strokes, ranging from classic sweep-and-drop maneuvers to slow and steady swimming.
Walleyes crush Ripple Shads, too. Rigged on a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce Berkley Gulp! Heads! Minnow Jigghead, they excel for pitching to weedlines, and work well with heavier heads for plying flowing-water hotspots like wing dams and jetties. “For me, the keys to success are rigging it perfectly straight on the jig hook, and working it a little more aggressively than other artificial baits to maximize its vibrations,” notes walleye legend Keith Kavajecz.
Bottom line? PowerBait Ripple Shads are extremely versatile, worthy of space in the tackle box and consideration on virtually any fishing trip.