In Strike King Journal entry
#15, Shaw Grigsby talked about using Strike King's 3X
Question: Tell me a secret tactic
for using one of your Strike King baits.
Grigsby: The bait that I have just
totally fallen in love with this year is the Zulu, which is
Strike King's new 3X soft-plastic bait. It is very unique.
This bait resembles a soft-plastic jerkbait with a fishy-type
body. The way it floats and its durability are real impressive.
I fish it like a top-water bait.
The bait is made of this new material called Cyber Flexxx,
which is flexible and rubbery. You can just barely move the
bait, and it has a ton of action, because it so flexible it
looks like it's alive. So I've started throwing it as top-water
bait. I just throw it out, let it sit, and then twitch it
a few times like I do a Spitting King or a standard top-water
bait. But when the bass miss this soft bait, they come back
around and hit it again. If they eat it, they mistake it for
a live bait and swallow it. I can catch basically every bass
that hits this bait.
I rig the bait with a 3/0 High-Performance hook or I'll use
a 4/0 hook when I fish with heavy line. But the 3/0 hook is
the perfect size for using 12- to 14-pound-test line and letting
it float on the surface and twitching it every now and then.
I twitch it a few times and let it sit. Fish just think it
is a live shad.
Question: Do the fish hit the bait
when it stops, or do they hit it when you twitch it?
Grigsby: They hit it both ways. I
love the Zulu when the bass hit the Zulu sitting still. But
I've had them also hit it when I twitch it. I'll work the
bait a few times, allow it to sit on the surface, twitch it
a couple of times, let it sit again, twitch it a couple times,
and then I'll twitch it on in just like a regular bait. I'll
snap the bait. I work the bait like a top-water bait at first
and then change off to the jerkbait retrieve. I'll end up
catching a ton of bass on this bait.
Question: Do you use the Zulu for
Grigsby: I do a lot of saltwater
fishing, and again, these 3X soft plastics have stunned me
with their saltwater success. In fact, just recently, my friend
Billie Henderson and I fished the Zulu in salt water. Billie
throws the bait out there, hits the top of the water, and
starts telling me about this spot.
He says, "Now this point is really good. The redfish usually
hold on this point." And about that time, there's this big
explosion on his bait. The explosion happened before he moved
the bait. He caught about a 7-pound jack crevalle. Now anybody
who knows anything about salt water knows that you virtually
will never catch a jack crevalle on bait that is not moving.
You usually have to move a bait super fast while twitching
and jerking it to get a jack crevalle to hit. And this jack
hit that dead bait sitting on the surface, which tells me
that the jack thought it was a live shiner.
I've also had Spanish mackerel crush this bait. I've caught
trout, redfish, tarpon and literally everything that swims
in the ocean on this bait, and the bait doesn't tear up. Even
a mackerel can't tear up the bait. I have a feeling that the
3X soft-plastic line is literally going to take over every
bit of saltwater fishing in the sense of the soft-plastic
Question: How did you rig the Zulu
to fish it in saltwater, to catch all of these saltwater species?
Grigsby: I like to use a small, octopus-style
hook called a 7226 Eagle Claw. It has a real sharp needle
point and a very resistant coating called a Black Diamond
Finish. You can use this hook in salt water. It is tremendous.
If I rig it with a Zulu, and I'm not around anything that
I can get hung-up on, I'll just throw it out in the open water
to catch tarpon, trout and redfish.
If I throw it out in basically open water, I'll thread it
on and run the hook out the top of the bait with the eyes
up. If I plan to work it around grass, I thread the hook just
past the eyeballs, turn it back, punch it back in to the bait
and work the bait upside down with the hook held in the hook
pocket underneath the bait. So either way it makes it very,
very weedless, and you can throw it around in the grass and
the vegetation and anything like that to work it. But that
little 7226 Eagle Claw does a killer job with it.
Question: What color Zulu do you
like for saltwater fishing?
Grigsby: I love the pearl color.
I also like the watermelon or watermelon-red color. Both of
those are kind of shrimpy looking colors that also work very
well. I usually put a short leader of 25-pound fluorocarbon
on the pearl-colored fluorocarbon when fishing for redfish,
trout or snook. Now if when fishing for tarpon, I'll up that
to about 60-pound fluorocarbon because the fish are big and
bulky, and they tend to cut through the fluorocarbon.
In Strike King Journal entry
#23, Shaw Grigsby talked about using Strike King's 3X
Question: What did you learn at the
2002 ESPN Outdoor Games at Lake Placid?
Grigsby: I was practicing on a Friday,
the week before the Outdoor Games in Lake Placid, New York.
The water was clear and most anglers were flipping and pitching.
So I set up some tubes and some jigs on my rods and started
fishing like everyone else. While I was fishing, I said to
myself, You ought to try that Zulu, a soft-plastic jerkbait
made from the new 3X material that Strike King has just developed.
I'd tried this bait when fishing in New Hampshire, and the
small bass just attacked this bait unmercifully.
When we pulled up to the very first place I was going to
fish that day in the Outdoor Games, I began to fish the Zulu.
When the Zulu hit the water, I jerked it twice. About 15 smallmouth
tried to attack it at the same time. I caught one of the smallmouth,
unhooked it, and while I was trying to put the fish in the
livewell, my son picked up my rod with the Zulu tied on and
caught two more smallmouth before I could get him to give
me my rod back. I tied the Zulu to his rod, and we continued
to catch fish there. Then when we went to my next spot, the
first cast we made, we both had on smallmouth.
The smallmouth were eating those Zulus just as though they
were live shad minnows. When you twitch that Zulu, the entire
body ripples just like a live baitfish. And the smallmouth
will just crush that bait. But we didn't just catch smallmouth.
We caught quite a few largemouth using this lure. This was
one of the most phenomenal fishing days that I'd ever had
in my life. I knew that if I fished the Zulu in these two
spots, I could blow the competition away. But for some reason,
those surefire spots have a way of escaping me.
Just before the Outdoor Games tournament began, the tournament
director declared the two spots where I'd caught all my fish
off-limits. So my fall-back plan was to use the Denny Brauer
tube jig, and I won the tournament on the tube jig. However,
the knowledge that I gained from fishing the Zulu taught me
the kinds of areas to look for and how to fish for these bass
on this lake. The Zulu really saved the day for me.
Although the Zulu may look like many other soft-plastic jerkbaits,
it's really quite different because:
* it floats and doesn't sink like other soft-plastic jerkbaits,
* you can make the Zulu sink by fishing it on a jig head or
putting some lead on the hook,
* the flexibility of the bait is phenomenal. When you twitch
most soft-plastic baits, they usually dart either to the right
or to the left, but the Zulu ripples throughout its entire
body when you twitch it, causing the whole bait to look alive.
In Strike King Journal entry
#30, Shaw Grisby talked about using Strike King's 3X
Question: What is your number one
Grigsby: I like the Strike King 3X
Zulu. The Strike King 3X Zulu is the hottest bait I've ever
used in my life. I don't think I've ever seen another bait
I like more than a 3X Zulu. This bait has some really neat
First, it is made out of the Cyberflex. The whole body of
this bait wiggles when you move it. It has more than just
a little action in the tail. The whole bait from the tip of
the nose to the tail actually will wiggle. It has an undulation
to it. The bait is so flexible it vibrates down its whole
side. The belly of the bait and the top of the bait moves.
And it is made out of this material that is just so very lifelike.
This buoyant bait also floats. You can put a 4/0 or 5/0 hook
in the 3X Zulu, and it will float. If you put a heavy hook
in it and a suspend strip on the hook, the 3X Zulu will suspend,
so you can twitch it. You can twitch the soft-plastic jerkbait
on top, like a top-water bait. If you put weight on the 3X
Zulu, you can work it and have it suspend like a darting minnow
under the water. Then when you stop it, instead of it sinking
down to the bottom like all other soft-plastic jerkbaits,
it floats back to the top. This bait suspends like a lifelike
shad that has stopped in motion.
Fish go completely crazy over this bait. They'll hit it with
a lot of aggression. So you always get a good connection and
a good hook set on these bass. The 3X Zulu is just an amazing
Question: Where and when do you fish
the 3X Zulu?
Grigsby: I fish the 3X Zulu mainly
in clear-water situations because it is a very visual bait.
Again, the fish think it's a live bait. So I want 2-foot to
8-foot visibility. Even with 1-foot visibility, bass see a
lot better than we do. The 3X Zulu draws them from 10- to
20-feet away. The bait will draw them from deep water and
Like I've mentioned, you can throw the 3X Zulu on top, and
it works like a top-water bait. So you can twitch it and let
it sit. You even can twitch it hard, and it actually will
kind of spit and throw water. Even though other baits look
like it, no other baits perform like it.
In Strike King Journal entry
#36, Mike Wurm talked about using Strike King's 3X
Question: Can you give me another
bait you’ve been using?
Wurm: Strike King's new soft bait
line called 3X is a phenomenal product. The material is absolutely
amazing. Its buoyancy and durability are unbelievable. You
can take one of the 3X lures and actually catch numerous fish
before it has any hint of getting worn. It doesn’t tear.
Hooks go through it very easily, but when you pull on that
hook it does not create a tear. The hole the hook goes in
is all there is. It doesn't tear and make it larger. So the
baits are going to last longer.
The one I really like well is the Strike King 3X Zulu jerkbait.
It doesn't describe anything fishable you can think of, but
a Zulu is soft jerkbait. It has a jerkbait shad body, narrow
tail and a lot of action in the water. You can fish it weedless.
You can also add a little weight to it. However, for the buoyancy
of the Zulu you really may need to add some weight -- not
for casting but to get it to go underneath the water. Unless
you put a No. 50 or a No. 60 hook on it, it is going to float
more or less on top of the surface.
The Zulu has tremendous action. It’s extremely soft,
but the action is what really attracts the fish. The material
is so light and flexible it actually quivers when you move
it in the water. But the softness of it, the durability of
it, and the buoyancy of it are what really sell the Zulu.
Question: On what occasions do you
use the 3X Zulu?
Wurm: Anytime bass are chasing bait
fish is a great time to use a Zulu. You can throw it around
cover or you can throw it in open water. It will be a great
smallmouth lure in open water, without any weight, with a
big hook in it so you can cast it well. Then start working
it like a baitfish out in open water, and the bass will come
up and attack it. You can also work it across heavy vegetation,
even a solid mat. Work it across the top of that mat. When
you come to the edge or a hole, just kill it, and let it sit
there. If you have enough weight on it, it will slowly sink
into the hole. If you come to the edge of the mat and start
working it on the surface, then once again you have dynamite
Find Tips & Tactics for other Strike King Lures here!