Words & Images: Sam Leys
Curly tail grubs have been popular among lure fisherman for decades and are undoubtedly one of the most effective plastic shapes ever. While there are many brands and models with a similar design, each has its own nuances that set them apart from each other and these small factors separate the effective models from those that end up in the bargain bin. As an angler who has always appreciated this style of lure, I was stoked to have the opportunity to fish with the relatively new Berkley PowerBait 2.5-inch Power Grub.
Aesthetics & Features
The Power Grub is available in eight uniquely different colours, and the ever-reliable PowerBait scent means you have a strong point of difference. The colour range refreshingly relies on effective colours for Australian conditions, rather than an overwhelming range of colours that leaves many lures on the tackle store shelf. Although the PowerBait formula is a key feature of this lure, for me the real standout feature is its action. The super-thin curly tail swims extremely well at very slow speeds, even when rigged on jig heads as light as 1/40th of an ounce. Additionally, the ribbed profile is an understated feature that creates turbulence underwater, alerting predatory fish. It is also worth noting that Power Grubs are placed in a plastic clam shell tray, ensuring each grub tail is straight and swims perfectly straight out of the packet.
On the Water
The Power Grub is distinctly heavier than other similar-sized grub-style lures on the market, which allows you to keep your jig heads small and provide a more finessed presentation. The heavier nature of the plastic allows for longer casts and enables the lure to be skipped across the surface with ease, allowing you to skip cast into those hard-to-reach places, such as under jetties and overhanging branches.
The first scenario I found myself fishing the Power Grub was for bream that were schooled up in 4 to 6 metres. When targeting these schooled-up fish in deeper water, I’ve been using 1/12th jig head. The heavier weight ensures I can punch a long cast up ahead of the school of fish then work the plastic slowly through the school. Once the lure has hit the bottom, I let the lure sit on the bottom before winding up the slack in the line and lifting the rod tip approximately 10cm.
Contrastingly, the second scenario I found myself using this soft plastic was casting into snags. I would fish the Power Grub on a much lighter jig head, varying between 1/16th in water deeper than 2 metres and 1/24th weight in shallower water. Because the lure sinks significantly slower with a lighter jig head, fish will often hit the lure as the soft plastic is sinking.
In both scenarios the Power Grub provided excellent results thanks to its great action at varying retrieve speeds and effective colours. The water clarity determined which coloured grub I used; when fishing in clear water I opted to use Bloodworm, which is a natural translucent colour suited to clear conditions. In contrast, I had great success in dirtier water using the Houdini colour. This really came into its own on a recent trip to the Gippsland Lakes when I was fishing in shallow, dirty water. The UV-enhanced dark green colour stood out in the discoloured water and produced some cracking bream up to 45cm. The darker green top and light green belly is a unique colour that I believe should be a staple in every bream fisherman’s arsenal. Since the initial review I bought another 10 packets of the Power Grub in Houdini so I highly recommend it.
The Power Grub possess excellent durability, and while there are other soft plastic grubs with more resilience, the PowerBait 2.5-inch Power Grub is still a tough and durable soft plastic. Although durability can be looked on as an important factor when buying soft plastics, I am a firm believer that action and effectiveness are far more crucial. The Power Grub still stands up as a soft plastic lure that is not only tough and durable, but possess outstanding fish-catching capabilities. If you’re inclined to think of the Power Grub as just another curly tailed grub, I’d encourage you to think otherwise. You may just find a new favourite lure, as I have.