Words & Images: Max Williams
Adusta is a relatively new Japanese lure company (established in 2017) that produces high-quality, original and equally effective lures. Only a small percentage of Australian anglers know of the company and its products, meaning the majority of anglers are missing out.
Being fortunate enough to have crossed paths with Adusta lures previously, I was thrilled when the Adusta Zacrawl Surface Crank landed in my lap for review. Coming in at a short and stout 90mm and weighing a punchy 35g, this surface wakebait could quite easily be found in a host of anglers’ tackle boxes across the country. With intricate and detailed engraved scales and a head design based on a Murray cod, the Adusta Zacrawl SC’s features are incredibly lifelike.
Coming in an effective range of colours, including Black Cicada and Murray Cod, the range of Adusta Zacrawl SCs are well suited to Australian species. Being afforded access to the latter of these colours, you could only guess which Aussie native I intended to target. As I’m based in Victoria, I decided to venture out to the clearwater streams of our North East to chase the iconic Murray cod from my Hobie kayak. A species with a savage reputation in an environment none too forgiving, the Adusta Zacrawl was certainly going be put through its paces.
Despite the Adusta Zacrawl’s short stature, make no mistake – it is nothing short of a big fish-attracting lure. An array of design features account for this with none more prominent than the unique, deep knocking internal bearing. Between the raging fast-flowing water and cockatoos screeching overheard, I could still hear the Zacrawl SC clacking along the surface from over twenty metres away. One can only imagine how much this would agitate and excite our green-backed natives as it passes overhead. To complement its big fish-drawing ability, the team at Adusta have ensured this compact wakebait is built tough. An aluminium bib design enables it to withstand even the heaviest-hitting slabs of river cod. Furthermore, this sturdy bib design offers forgiveness to anglers of all casting abilities as they cast in and around heavy timber and structure.
A feature unique to the Zacrawl is its feathered rear treble. Offering an abundance of extra tail-dancing action and a rat-like wiggle, an evident river rat imitation was easily made. Personally, I cut the hooks out of the feathers and opted to place the now split-ringed feathers on the rear tow point. This gave the Zacrawl a wider sweeping surface action while allowing me to upgrade to my usual 3x strong hooks I use when targeting cod. Adusta has also coupled this seductive tail action with the addition of a rear prop blade. This not only provided a distinct metallic noise but also made it a suitable addition to the fast water I fished.
The Adusta Zacrawl offers anglers a variety of retrieval methods and actions that can be easily imparted to deliver the famous hand-trembling strike that Murray cod are notorious for. On the retrieve, I found the Zacrawl to have a tight-packed wiggle that shimmered from side to, with the depth to which it did this dependent on my retrieval speed. I was therefore able to use the Zacrawl as either a surface wakebait or a subsurface crankbait, both being equally deadly methods on a river.
On a slow wind, coupled with a rod tip elevated to roughly 75°, the Zacrawl would gently wiggle along the surface of the water emitting a very subtle yet natural bow wave. This closely mimicked a river rat, to the point where even my fishing partner one morning pointed towards the Zacrawl, mistaking it for a real rat! I found this surface presentation particularly effective during periods of low light such as dawn and dusk, where surface activity is high and predators lurking beneath are actively searching to strike the top part of the water column for an easy furry meal. On the flip side, in a more sunlit environment during the day, when Murray cod tend to stay closer to their shaded haunts, I leaned on the subsurface crank bait aspect of the Zacrawl. To achieve this, I would start my retrieve with a sweep of the rod tip before keeping it pointed at the water. This caused the bib to catch more water and naturally dive deeper under the surface to roughly a foot, and from here I maintained a steady retrieval speed to stay at that depth. I found this technique particularly successful in intercepting Murray cod that were eager to feed but not eager enough to rise to the surface and commit to a lure. This made for some exciting fishing as, more often than not, I was able to see a subsurface dark silhouette stalk the Zacrawl before deciding to annihilate it.
The team at Adusta hasn’t missed a beat in creating a tough, versatile and unique lure suited to a host of Australian species. Sturdy design features such as a strong metal bib and compact body mixed with unique features such as a feathered tail and engraved scale design present a wakebait that is a lot different from its counterparts on your local tackle store shelf. With a retail value of only $39.99 I will happily be filling my own cod box full of these easy-to-use wakebaits.