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Lure Review

Culprit's Tassel Lizard taunts Bass with its skirted tail

Date: 4/26/04
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Culprit
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.25

Introduction: Fishing plastics is among the most effective ways to target bass on the spawn, but with so many on the market it often takes a little something extra to entice the big ones to commit. Lizards have been slamming largemouth bass throughout the season, and we examine the Tassel Lizard to see how well it tempts bass to strike.


Culprit Tassel Lizard Specifications

Material Flavor enhanced soft plastic
Length 6"
Number per pack 8
Colors/Patterns 7 available
Package Re-sealable Bag
MSRP $3.79

About Culprit: Classic Fishing Products, Inc. makes and sells a freshwater line of plastics under the brand name Culprit. Since 1979 they have specialized in producing soft plastic lures in their privately held company located in South County Lake, Florida. They also retain other popular brands such as Zeal - a dropshot lure, Culprit Crappie Baits - for panfish, and RipTide - soft plastics for saltwater species.


Introducing the multi-tentacle Culprit Tassel Lizard


Impressions: It seems like today's bass fishing plastics all come with a  increasing number of tentacles. The Culprit Tassel Lizard has multiple limbs for enhanced attractiveness, but still resembles a traditional lizard. The Lizards come in 6 or 8 inches and all sizes sport a Tassel tail and legs used to create a new level of commotion underwater. While the soft plastics are still in liquid form, a concentrated fish oil formula is added for the ultimate fish attraction, then molded and finally topped with liquid saline.

Real World Tests: When fishing before and during the spawn period, lizards are among one of my favorite lures to toss at points with a good depth change and at the edges of weed patches. The Tassel Lizard came in handy at this time of the year and we were eager to see exactly how it performed on aggressive largemouth bass protecting their young.


Most strikes from small aggressive males happen near the head of the Tassel Lizard, but the tail portion is critical in luring a bass to commit


Casting: The Tassel Lizard can be tossed with or without the addition of a weight. While tossing weightless it is best to use lighter lines which allow the plastic to move and fall naturally. While using 8 lb test Trilene XL on a spinning rig, it was effortless casting the 6 inch Culprit Lizard.  But fishing this lure weightless results in a much shorter cast and is best reserved for flipping and pitching around structure and cover targeting bass around their hideouts. The Tassel Lizard was easiest to cast rigged Carolina or Texas style. With a 1/8 once bullet sinker you are able to cast and position the lure with precision.


Rigged weedless and weightless, it's great for flipping and pitching in open weed pockets for hidden largemouth bass


Retrieve: I'm sure this has been burned into many people's minds already, lure presentation is probably the most important factor in getting a fish to strike. You can be chucking a lure all day right in front of the fish's face, but if you're not doing it right, the fish will just ignore your efforts. When using the Culprit Tassel Lizard, one can fish it in many different ways, but remember, this soft plastic is more buoyant than the traditional plastics.  Thus when used weightless, it falls much slower and can be effective at staying in the strike zone for extended periods. When fished with a weight, the tail floats slightly upwards teasing the fish to strike at it. When crawled back on the bottom, the tail and limbs produce plenty of action thanks to the wavy skirted tail on the soft plastic. The kicking action of the Tassel tail can also be effective as you swim it slowly back. When I fished around weed patches, swimming the Lizard produced as many strikes as it did when dragged on the bottom.


Another effective method in producing fish using the Tassel Lizard is a method called Dead-sticking. After you've made your cast, allow the lure to sit without any action or retrieve. I gave this a try many times and produced fish after fish. Why? Because the skirted Tassel tail did all the work for me. As the plastic Lizard sat motionless, underwater currents cause the lure come to live as the tail moves in tiny natural gestures, getting bass to commit to what they thought was unsuspecting prey.


This female bass slammed the plastic  as I was dead-sticking over a grass bed that was away from the shoreline as she moved closer to the spawning grounds


Durability: The more limbs and tentacles a lure has, the more prone they are to losing appendages, especially if they are thin. But how does the Culprit Tassel Lizard hold up against aggressive male bass fending off predators that come near their nest? I constantly pounded the shoreline grass beds with the Tassel Lizard to see how many grabs it would last until I noticed something breaking off. The Tassels took punishment with only decent marks. If the fish does not engulf the lure and grabs onto a limb, after about 5 fish I noticed a few tentacles break off, but the Lizard is still affective after that because there are other Tassels to tease the fish. The majority of the field tests showed that the bass usually strike at the head or mid-body most often which brought me to conclude that one Tassel Lizard should hold up to more then 5 fish in terms of durability.

Culprit Tassel Lizard Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Overall decent construction for a soft plastic, but the more tentacles it has, the more likely it'll break off 8
Performance Performs better than the standard lizards I've used before.  Effective when dragging on the bottom or dead-sticking, the Tassel tail is effective for aggressive bass 8.5
Price These lizards cost more than traditional types but competitive with the new styles of lizards.  If bought in bulk, the price is very good 8
Features Features on the Tassel Lizard is what sets it apart from the others.  Its unique patented Tassel tail and limbs, buoyancy, and impregnated scents all add up to great actions and performance 8
Design (Ergonomics) The design kept the form of a lizard, but enhanced with features that makes it effective when targeting bass, especially around the spawn period 8.5
Application An awesome presentation for largemouth bass when they are aggressive.  Can be fished in cold and hot seasons either dragging it on the bottom, pitching and flipping, or swimming it 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Enticing Tassels L Price might be high, depends on where you buy them from and in what quantity
J Effective design L Tassels have a higher chance of breaking off then traditional appendages
J Great during the spawn periods  

Conclusion: Today soft plastics aren't as simple as they were in the past, as they come in all sizes, shapes, and scented with various types of attractants. Culprit, a company that purely concentrates on producing soft plastics for fishing, has developed a more attractive and effective lizard that sports loads of tentacles. The Tassel Lizard still resembles a lizard in profile, but features skirted appendages for enhanced action when fished at the bottom, flipped or pitched, or even when swimming. The buoyant body allows the slow fall, and the tail floats up at an angle flirting with fish when retrieved at the bottom.  When taunting bass around the spawn period or throughout the year, the Culprit Tassel Tail's unique action might just be what you need to persuade that lunker to chomp down on your rig.









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