Introducing 22nd Century's Nezzuma Rat V-Cut
Impressions & Craftsmanship: Having already written an article, but not an actual review, on the original Nezzuma Rat over a decade ago, I was debating the merits of putting my, limited #8 of 10 bait through the review paces. I was pleased to discover the Nezzuma is actually available at TackleWarehouse and was contemplating purchasing a more standard color for the Rat Rumble when I saw this new-to-me V-Cut, so I ordered one of these instead.
The Nezzuma has an almost signature look
When it arrived, I was actually surprised by the bait's length. Measuring a full thirteen inches (13") from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail, the Nezzuma V-Cut is a big rat. The use of two different style joints (flat plus rounded at the front and that v-cut at the back) gives this bait a very eccentric appeal. Otherwise, detailing at the head and inclusion of a circuit board diving lip are all identical to the original, two-piece Nezzuma as is the use of swivels at the hook hangars.
This rear, v-cut joint is what intrigued me
Ready to Rumble: Tipping our scales at four point eight ounces (4.8oz), I knew I needed a very stout stick with which to fish this bait. Those duties fell up on my Gan Craft Dead Sword Shaku One (rated to 12oz) and my Kistler KLX7107XXH (rated to 9oz). I paired these sticks with my 2016 Shimano Antares DC (5.6:1 retrieve ratio) and my 2021 Conquest 201HG (6.5:1 retrieve ratio) respectively.
The circuit board lip is also a signature of the Nezzuma rat
For line, I've continued to rely upon my strategy of using hollow braid (in this case Seaguar's Threadlock in 50lb) as my mainline and a top shot of a high quality leader material (usually either Seaguar's 30lb Gold Label FC or Sunline's 30lb Saltimate nylon leader). I've also come to rely upon VMC's Crankbait Snap (size #3) to connect bait and line. The snap allows me to tie a more reliable palomar knot, and the rounded end of this snap behaves just like a split ring allowing for greater freedom of movement when compared to tying direct to the bait's line tie.
the Nezzuma V-Cut
settles in just under the surface with the top of its eyes, its ears and a
little bit of its back above the water line
Dexterity: The Nezzuma Rat V-Cut lands in the water with the expected commotion of bait that weighs just under five ounces. Once in the water, it settles in just under the surface with the top of its eyes, its ears and a little bit of its back above the water line. Everything else is submerged. When you begin your retrieve, it snakes ever so enticingly back to your location with a prominent tail wag creating a good amount of disturbance.
Every bite might not be huge, but they're all exciting
Speed your retrieve or give a quick snap of your rod tip to get that nose down and you can crank the V-Cut maybe a foot or so under the water. With a slow cadence, the bait will also do a lazy side to side walk, but I had the most confidence with this bait on a slow, steady retrieve. Granted, I also tend to be a little lazy when fishing a rat bait of this size, so a slow, steady retrieve is just easy.
Swiveling hook hangars are a signature of 22nd Century Baits