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Lure Review



Berkley’s Latest Finesse Worm Doesn’t Fall Flat


Date: 4/6/23
Tackle Type: Lures
Manufacturer: Berkley
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction: Berkley’s PowerBait MaxScent lineup of lures spans everything from large creatures and trailers to finesse baits. Designed for finesse applications Berkley’s MaxScent Flat Worms are deadly effective across a wide range of conditions, and is even designed to perform when the bite is especially tough and fish are suspended or finicky.


Berkley Powerbait MaxScent Flat Worm Specifications

Type Worm
Material Soft Plastic
Colors/Patterns 14
Sizes 3.6", 4.25"
Scent/Plastic Treatment PowerBait MaxScent
# per package 3.6" (8 per pack)
4.25" (10 per pack)
Resealable Bag? Yes
MSRP per pack $8.99


Impressions: The PowerBait formula is a heavily guarded secret within the walls of Berkley’s Spirit Lake R&D and facility. To protect the formula baits are still manufactured in this primary facility, including those in the MaxScent line.


Berkeley's Powerbait MaxScent Flat Worm is designed for finesse fishing and features a flat bottom and tapered tail design


PowerBait plastic lures are all made of PVC plastic and infused with this attractant and over the last decade the company has expanded their attractant-infused line and introduced Gulp! lures which are water-based and offered excellent scent dispersion and more fluid lifelike motion. The only issue with the Gulp! lures were they needed to be kept in sealed containers or they would dry out. This wasn’t an issue for anglers that were using Gulp! in a similar fashion to live bait, like fishing the lures as a replacement to worms, eggs, or minnows, but when utilized more like an artificial lure Gulp! proved difficult to manage for bass anglers. The lures were more difficult to store and would also dry out too quickly on the decks of boats when rigged up.


The Flat Worms come in a re-sealable plastic bag that keeps the Powerbait scent locked in


The Berkley engineers worked on creating an option that could potentially be the best of both worlds, and the result was MaxScent.


Like Powerbait plastics MaxScent lures are made of PVC but are more porous and able to accept some liquid scent, and yet will not dry out like Gulp! lures. This allows the MaxScent lures to not only absorb liquid scent but also enables them to disperse the attractant quicker. 


Berkley’s Powerbait MaxScent Flat Worm is designed to mimic everything from a small worm to juvenile baitfish. The Flat Worm has a ribbed texture that is designed to increase movement in the water, but also aid in both holding and distributing more attractant. There are two Flat Worm sizes, a 3.6” and 4.25”, and both are available in a wide range of opaque colors. There are both solid patterns with different types of flake as well as two tone options that have lighter bellies. Like other PowerBait MaxScent lures the Flat Worms come in an easy to reseal package, and are still the easiest way to transport and keep the worms in good condition.


Rigged and ready to target smallmouth on Lake Champlain


Real World Tests: I have been fishing the Berkley Flat Worms for two seasons now and have targeted largemouth and smallmouth bass from coast to coast including largemouth throughout Florida, the California Delta, and smallmouth at Lake Champlain. I primarily use spinning gear when fishing the Berkley Flat worms but they can be thrown with a BFS setup.


Smallmouth absolutely love this worm and using it for sight fishing is a blast


Ease of Rigging: The Berkley Flat Worms are extremely easy to rig and there are two primary ways that I like to fish this bait. Nose hooked on a drop shot rig is by far my favorite method, and what I found myself doing 90% of the time. A second way to fish it is to thread it on a small jighead, or as a trailer on a micro jig. It is even possible to recycle damaged lures by cutting off small parts of the head and using them as a finesse shaky head or NED rig.


The Flat Worms are great for targeting suspended fish in deeper water


Like other MaxScent based plastics the Flat Worms feel like something of a cross between a plastic and re-hydrated organic bait and I found that it threads onto hooks easily, but will also tear if the hook or jig is pulled quickly in the opposite direction of the bait.


Berkley's Field Test Coordinator Brad Rutherford and Pro Angler Adrian Avena targeting smallmouth on Lake Champlain with Flat Worms


Ease of Actuation: Prior to fishing the Berkley Flat Worm one of my go-to drop shot baits has always been the Jackall Cross Tail Shad. The Flat Worm is similar in that it is a generic enough profile that it is able to mimic a variety of prey, and the small size is absolutely deadly when there is fry in the water.


It didn't take long to realize how much these smallmouth loved the Flat Worms

The Flat Worms are extremely easy to bring to life, and drop shotting them is an excellent way to target fish both holding tight on the bottom or when they are suspended. A simple twitch of the rod is all it takes to get this worm to quiver and wiggle enticingly, and large motions will get the Flat Worms to dart like a feeding or fleeing baitfish.


Pro Angler Adrian Avena battles an angry Lake Champlain smallmouth


Quality of Movement: The smallest movements impart big action on the Flat Worms and the ribbed body coupled with the tapered tail section make it really easy to bring this worm to life. I constantly had to remind myself to do less with the rod as it really didn’t take much to impart a lot of movement to these baits.


With minimal weight, like on a drop shot rig, the Berkley Flat Worms don’t just fall flat, they will glide slightly nose down so that any twitch of the head brings the tail to life, and it is very easy to mimic both a shaking worm or feeding fry pattern.


I found it very easy to bring the Flat Worm to life. Even small twitches are enough to get the bait to wiggle and draw strikes

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