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    The single most innovative soft plastic to ever hit the market, the Zerek Flat Shad is the true reflection of the company's innovative approach to lures.

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The Flat Shad - It's Conception to Release

By Wilson Fishing

Designing a lure from scratch is not as simple as it sounds. How do you transform a concept in your mind into an effective lure for catching fish?

I've asked the same question many times and I think it's a skill to be able to do that. I certainly do not have the technical knowledge, even though I may have a heap of interesting ideas.

The Zerek Flat Shad is a lure that, upon its release, made a huge impact on fishing circles. This lure was the brainchild of the Wilson Fishing team, headed up by Kord Luckus, and, with the help of Zerek Innovation's technology, a lure that catches just about everything was developed. It was so unique that the Zerek Flat Shad was actually granted a world-wide Innovation Patent to protect the unique design from copy-cats. This design has now been sold around the world being responsible for all sorts of amazing captures.

Concept wise, the design team wanted a lure that could be cast almost anywhere and not snag, yet have an action that appealed to a wide variety of fish - barra being the main target. To be snagless and weedless a lure needs to have the hook hidden inside the plastic and this presents a hook-up problem. So here was the first problem to be solved.

Aussie fishing conditions are tough on tackle. There are big nasty things with teeth that puncture and cut and the Flat Shad had to be able to withstand these fish. Present problem two.

Lastly the lure's action had to be appealing. It's hard to get a tough material that has a good action simply because most lures that resist damage are harder in the body, reducing the action. The lure had to have a great action on the weedless hook, but the team also wanted the option to rig this lure with a standard jig head - because Aussie anglers are far more comfortable with a jig head rigged plastic at this stage. So problem 3 and 4 centred on action.

Solving the Problems

There was some quite ingenious lateral thinking that went into designing the Flat Shad. The concept of making a lure snagless and weedless is simple. Many lure makers have done this successfully, but the idea of enhancing the hook-up potential was the real issue.

To solve this problem the side slits were thought of and put into place. It took a few attempts to get them just right, but these side slits are an integral part of making these lures what they are.

What the side slits actually do is allow the lure's body to collapse incredibly easily - in any direction. Think about that for a minute. It no longer mattered which direction the fish attacked the lure, the body collapsed and exposed the hook point. The beauty of this system also included the benefit that when being retrieved, the lure did not collapse and maintained its original body profile. This was an ingenious development that is at the heart of the Flat Shad.

Problem two revolved around durability and with the available materials, there was little choice but to go for TPE. TPE is a thermo-plastic that is incredibly stretchy and durable. It can stretch huge amounts and is almost impossible to tear by stretching. In the field this meant that regardless of the toothy critter being chased, the plastic held up to the punishment very well. Yes mackerel, tailor and wahoo can make a mess of TPE, but jacks, flathead, barra, cod and Murray cod barely even scuff the lure up!

By its nature TPE is quite flexible and this allowed the side slits to operate even better. The tough yet soft TPE collapses so easily away from the hook point that the hook-up potential was increased again.

The last piece of the puzzle was getting the right action. This is always a controversial topic as what is right for one, is not right for another, but a few essentials were noted and addressed. The team wanted a slight body roll and a strong tail beat. The big boot tail on the Flat Shads gave the tail its distinctively strong action and the use of a weighted worm hook gave the body a slight roll. The action was irresistible to barra and continues to be to this day.

What was a great surprise though was that when the Flat Shad was rigged on a jig head, the body roll component went off the charts. It exceeded all expectations and turned this lure into a super deadly open water lure where casting into structure was not high on the agenda. A slow roll with a jig head rigged Flat Shad produced stunning results!

With the lure's design all sorted, it was a matter of choosing the colour range and eventually the team at Wilson settled on 7 colours. These colours included naturals and attractors and gave anglers a lot of choice when it comes to choosing the right Flat Shad.

Initially released at the 2014 AFTA Trade Show on the Gold Coast, the Flat Shad was available in 5", 7" and 9" models and the retailers climbed all over this innovative lure. It was a just reward for the time spent in development and the hard work by both teams.

By the time the 2015 AFTA Trade Show came around, two smaller Flat Shads had been added to the range - the 3.5" and the 4.5". These two additions bought the range to 5 sizes and allowed everything from trout through to GT to be targeted with the Flat Shad.

What a brilliant concept for a lure and a development that saw a kernel of an idea in Kord's head develop into one of the most unique, versatile and productive lures on the market.

Perhaps the best part is that anglers are now taking to the Flat Shad with a passion. They are altering the weights, adding stinger hooks, tweaking hook points and dipping tails in different colours. All of this innovation simply makes the Flat Shad all that more versatile and a lure that anyone can use to catch their fish.

But innovation rarely stands still and as anglers sought ways to rig this lure for their home turf, one recurring theme popped up - weight. So it was with much design, modification and change that Zerek released the Flat Shad Pro, a range of Flat Shads made from slightly softer TPE that allowed the weedless worm hook weight to be reduced across all the released models.

Five new colours were released in the Flat Shad Pro range and the new Flat Shads were released in 3.5", 4.5", 5' and 7" - the most popular models.

Check out some of the images of these lures and dream about how you can make a Flat Shad work for you.


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