ICAST 2012: Mad Scientist

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Mad Scientist

The Mad Scientist brand blends the best attributes of Lucky Craft hardbaits with the best of Optimum swimbaits. There are 2 styles of baits in multiple sizes. The Opti-Shad is a shad tail style bait and the Victory Tail is a soft jerkbait.

New Bass Tackle for 2013 from Mad Scientist

At the annual ICAST trade show to be held in Orlando, Florida in July 2012, vendors in the sportfishing tackle industry unveil all the new tackle they’re planning for 2013.

New! Mad Scientist Brand Combines Expertise of Optimum and Lucky Craft

A collaborative soft plastic effort has brought two industry leaders together to produce two deadly new designs.

Optimum Bait Company and Lucky Craft, two global leaders in fishing lure innovation, have combined their talents and creativity to introduce two new soft plastic lures – the Opti Shad and the Victory Tail.

“This lure concept has been in development for two years,” said Optimum President Matt Paino. “We are extremely satisfied with what we’ve created. The keen detail that you expect from Lucky Craft lures has been embodied in the design profile and we’ve really created the ultimate finesse swimbait on the market.”

The Opti Shad combines the intense vibration of the Optimum Double Diamond’s tail with the “wandering fall” of Lucky Craft’s Wander hard bait. It’s available in both 2- and 4-inch sizes. Unlike other lures in its genre, the deepest part of its body is also the widest part of its body. The bulge creates a distinctive body roll and frantic kicking motion, even at ultra-slow speeds. It’s not quite as violent as the Double Diamond, but still has a distinctive tail kick.

Mad Scientist

With 2" & 4" Opti-Shads and 3" & 5" Victory Tails, there's a model suited for most any small to mid-size gamefish species and a color sure to match every hatch. "Some of the hand-poured Lucky Craft colors are magnificent; we couldn't get this fine detail with injection-molding," says Paino.

“I consider it to be the premier finesse swimbait on the market,” said Elite Series pro Bill Lowen. While it’s small in size and perfect for pressured fish, it’s also a big bass magnet. California guide Randy Pringle caught a 15-pound California Delta largemouth on the Opti Shad earlier this year.

Elite Series pro Fred Roumbanis said that the Opti Shad is deadly fished by itself, either rigged weedless or on a jighead. In fact, it’s so easy to fish that his young son Jackson has already used a darter-head Opti Shad to land a 6-pounder of his own. It also shines as a trailer on the back of a spinnerbait, swim jig or vibrating jig.

“It’s so long and slender with that wide paddle tail,” Roumbanis remarked. “It really shakes and quivers a lot more than other swimbaits like it.”

The Victory Tail possesses the same technologically advanced design principles as the Opti Shad. It features an elongated minnow style body, but instead of the paddle tail it has a forked tail section. It is available in both 3- and 5-inch sizes and, like the Opti Shad, can be fished with a variety of techniques, including dropshotting, weightless, Carolina rigged, Texas rigged, Neko rigged and the splitshot rig.

“It’s extremely versatile,” said South Carolina pro Michael Murphy. “It’ll be deadly on a dropshot rig on the Great Lakes, but I’m sure closer to home on Lake Murray I’ll be able to really burn it on a double fluke rig.”

Murphy extolled the body design as the perfect marriage of form and function: “They went above and beyond when they designed this one,” he said. “It has a distinct action, but it also has the best hook-up ratio of any lure in its class. You simply don’t miss fish with this one.”

Both lures are available in 10 ultra-realistic color patterns. Optimum Bait Company will distribute these two new designs in the United States. Lucky Craft will sell them through their Mad Scientist brand in all markets outside of North America. Look for additional projects combining these two partners’ expertise in the future.

Mad Scientist

The Making of a Mad Science Experiment

“The goal for the Opti-Shad was twofold. First, to reproduce the subtle action and body roll of the Lucky Craft Wander. We did that by adding a little bulge in the center so that both the deepest part of the bait and the widest part of the bait are the same location, which affects how the body rolls. With most other swimbaits, the widest portion of the bait is typically near the head – and the tail will have good action, but the body won’t really roll. Second, our Optimum Double Diamond tail design works in conjunction with the body of the bait for a complete action. This means both the body and tail are moving together in coordination mimicking the exact swimming motion of a baitfish. This in turn maximizes vibration, calling predator fish from greater distances than traditional swimbait tails,” says Matt Paino.

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