Musings of a Lure Craftsman

ChatterBait® creator Ron Davis riffs on his new topwater concept, the Z-Man® HellraiZer

It all seems like a no brainer now. Why wouldn’t you cast the lure that’s become perhaps the greatest big bass catcher of the last two decades?

But twenty years ago, when inventor Ron Davis put the first ChatterBait® Bladed Jigs in anglers’ hands, it must have taken some serious gumption to stick to his guns, to unabashedly convince anglers to just give the lure an honest try—and to learn something important, something he knew in his gut to be the truth.  

Inventors and artists of every stripe know all too well the angst of the big reveal: What if the public hates it? Rejects it? But when the engineering and endless on-water testing works, when everything comes together—as Davis always knew it would—anglers benefit beyond their dreams. Just ask Bryan Thrift, who won consecutive FLW bass events in 2005 and ‘06, lipping giant bass with an Original ChatterBait at classic bass lakes Eufaula and Okeechobee. 

Proof that Davis and his Z-Man collaborators were once again on the right path arrived in synch with the 2022 ICAST New Product Showcase and the unveiling of their newest mind-bending creation. Taking a page from the book of the Original ChatterBait, the HellraiZer Tail Blade surface lure was met with equal parts admiration and uncertainty—exactly the sort of reception you’d expect from a lure with so many . . . eccentricities. 

Of course, the HellraiZer, which slinks across the surface with an extraordinary sound, vibration and action, did not win any ICAST awards. In case you’re keeping score, neither did the Original ChatterBait Bladed Jig nor the preeminent ChatterBait JackHammer to follow. 

To learn about the lures that began with a simple idea and those fist casts into the unknonwn, check out Ron Davis’ on-the-water rap session.

About Z-Man Fishing Products: A dynamic Charleston, South Carolina based company, Z-Man Fishing Products has melded leading edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been among the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits and other lures. Creator of the Original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovators of 10X Tough ElaZtech softbaits, fast becoming the most coveted baits in fresh- and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest-growing lure brands worldwide. 

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