Rise Of The Topwater ChatterBait®, Small Edition – Fishing Tackle Retailer

LADSON, South Carolina – Sometimes, you hear that. Every time you see it – and experience it – you can’t help but cringe. And if you keep your cool, you’ll get ready and hold on for dear life. However, no matter how many times the surface crashes and your temptation disappears, you simply can’t prepare yourself for the sudden surge of chaos, or the endorphins that follow. And you never get tired of it.

When you find a topwater lure that carves the surface hard and raises the hair of your neck on every cast, you’ll never forget it. You want more of what happens next. Z-Man’s new 4-inch HellraiZer™ recovery sparks a kind of exhilaration that becomes compulsive and addictive. ejaculate. crank. Watch the little slasher perform his captivating surface dance – chop chop chop chop. Its head was pointed skyward, and the lure moved desperately back and forth, like a poor, frightened animal – perhaps unfit for life in water – fully aware of what lay beneath. The tail blade strikes, shimmers, and churns the water. The sparse sound becomes hypnotic, only raising the decibel level and the drama that follows.

Two years ago, when ChatterBait® inventor Ron Davis unveiled his original HellraiZer cutting deck, anglers weren’t sure how to make it. You could call that an accurate description of some of the most groundbreaking lures out there, including ChatterBait. Sure, HellraiZer is different. Now, anglers can enhance their surface strikes, and add a smaller 4-inch version of this unrivaled topwater lure to their arsenal.


“I remember fishing early versions of the awesome surfacewater lure that Ron Davis created, and hope I can keep it to myself for a while,” laughs Z-Man ChatterBait Pro Bryan Thrift. Having fished the Z-Man HellraiZer for the past few seasons, I can tell you that this lure has the action and vibration every angler needs to experience. The HellraiZer sure has the familiar ChatterBait vibration, plus a sound and swimming action I’ve never seen in a topwater lure. The new 4″ should be a natural, and especially great for small mouths, fishing ponds, or anytime bass focus on smaller foragers.

“After designing the original ChatterBait, I kept coming back to my passion for topwater fishing for big, striped bass, and potential ways to bring the distinctive vibration to the topside of the ChatterBlade,” Davis recalls.

In response to questions about the bait’s mismatched appearance, Thrift likes to remind anglers that the package title on Davis’ original ChatterBait was a simple motto: Simply Designed for Fishing. Not hunters. “I think the same thinking applies to HellraIZer,” he adds.

ChatterBait.  Both HellraiZer sizes side by side.

Hellraiser Jr

A scaled-down version of the original 5-inch version, the new 4-inch HellraiZer is a self-walking deck that offers many ingenious elements. Each feature and component operates independently but in perfect symbiosis, producing a fluid, panicked escaping motion (and a catchy sound) that predatory fish interpret as weakness.

Remarkably smaller in size and stature – about as big as a fingerling prey fish – the 4-inch HellraiZer offers bass and other predators an easy resolution, inconspicuous, easy-to-grab meal in a compact prey fish silhouette. “It has big little mouth written all over it,” Thrift says. But the scaled-down HellraiZer is also ideal for fishing around schools of young herring and herring – or any time bass eat slightly smaller prey.

HellraiZer golden boy color

ChatterBait-like sound and animation

“I knew that if I could replicate the desired sound and motion of the ChatterBlade – and make that the driving force of the lure – we would have something that really caught the fish’s attention,” explains Davis, who casts lures exclusively of his own design.

From the beginning, Davis sought to create a very specific movement in surface waters. “We have worked for a long time to make the movements of the bait resemble something alive and frenzied, like a paralyzed fish or a fleeing creature. We have all seen how prey swims with these shallow, almost spinning, jerky movements from side to side – always propelled by a tail or kicked with hind legs. It is not A restrained mechanical movement for walking the dog, but a fast-paced, naturally panicky movement that you might mistake for an actual animal in distress. When you see it in the water, it feels like it’s alive.”

To achieve ChatterBait-like vibration and flash, Davis designed a precisely weighted tail blade to track the body of the bait and create the illusion of natural propulsion; to mimic the rambunctious tail and leg kicks of a prey animal in distress. The Davis Modified ChatterBlade® oscillates on a wire shaft attached directly to the body of the lure, driving the lure’s energetic action and proven vibration.

HellraiZer in action underwater photo

Runaway action is self-activating

Whereas a traditional Walking the Dog top lure requires training and a certain stop-and-go cadence to properly activate their back-and-forth motions, the HellraiZer only requires the angler to start swinging the moment the lure hits the water. Change the tempo as needed, going from a slow crawl to a quick slump on the surface.

To produce such a self-activating slicing action, Davis sculpted a distinctive body shape – thin, elongated, and finished with a split hole and ring strategically planted in the bait’s chin, away from its snout. Davis was not satisfied until he had achieved a precise side-to-side escape, which required him to place the bait line tie in an unconventional location.

Close up of HellraiZer back blade and weight

Exceptional bonding and durability

Featuring an attack-focused, feathered treble hook that tracks the blade on an elongated shaft, HellraiZer features high-ratio hooks. Call rates are raised even further thanks to the lure’s lower riding position. “When you retrieve the HellraiZer, it sits at an angle, heads up and out of the water, while the entire tail section extends well below the surface,” Thrift explains. “This makes it difficult for sea bass or other species to get it out of the water and miss.”

The combination of an attractive treble hook – which highlights the target of the strike – and a low bait design prompts fish to swallow and eat it. The hook is also free to swivel on its shaft, which prevents bass from unbuttoning on head shakes or skips.

Corey Schmidt with bass caught on HellraiZer

Anyone can walk this dog

Like buzzer baits, Thrift explains that HellraiZer retrieval begins with moving the bait immediately to the surface. From there, a simple straight retrieve—bar head pointed slightly downward—activates HellraiZer’s insane escape move.

“Direct, medium, and quick recovery work great,” Thrift suggests. Fish it the same way you do a ChatterBait. You can also slow it down and still maintain that crisp vibration and great wake-bait-like action. The blade makes a great ChatterBait sound, adding a visible bubble track that leads the bass straight to the feathery treble hook.

“Throw it over flooded lawns, sidewalks, and cliffs,” the thrift continues. The HellraiZer is an exceptional lure in late summer and fall, especially during blue herring runs. Surface bait than ever before, the HellraiZer sure looks like a live thing. That means it’s always a great choice, especially when anglers are casting traditional surface baits.”

Available in October, the new 4-inch (3/8-ounce) Z-Man HellraiZer shoots like a bullet and works at nearly any retrieve speed. Ten blade/body color combinations cover any water color or hunting condition, including Ghost Shad, Snow, and Mat Black for low-light conditions. MSRP $12.99. For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com.

Product image shows all colors made for HellraiZer

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: