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Swimbait Review

 


The Myth Lives and Has Transformed : 22nd Century's Nezzuma V-Cut

 

Date: 9/12/22
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: 22nd Century Baits
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Introduction:
Well, you know we couldn't go a full season reviewing rat baits without dubbing one our R.O.U.S. - Rat Of Unusual Size. 22nd Century is one of the original big bait companies and their Triple Trout swimbait remains one of our all time favorites. The Nezzuma rat is lesser known in popular circles, but those immersed in the game are well aware. Nezzuma and I met circa 2008 or 2009 leading to this article

about the bait's origins and pending resurgence. Naturally, as part of the Rat Rumble, I poked around to see if the bait was still being sold. What I discovered is not only is Scott Whitmer still producing the bait, there are countless sizes now available and one very interesting variant. Here's a look at one of those variants, the Nezzuma Rat V-Cut.

 

22nd Century Nezzuma Rat V-Cut Specifications

Type Waking or Crankdown
Length 13"
Weight 4.8oz (135 grams)
Depth 0-3ft
Material Resin
No. Pieces 3
Joint Style 1st Joint = flat : 2nd Joint = V
Bill Angle 80
Colors 2
Hooks 2x 2/0
MSRP $159.99

 

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.


Once in the water, 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

Next Section: Nezzuma drawing power...

 

   

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