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Berkley introduced Maxscent technology in 2017, and followed that with introduction of the Flat Worm at the 2018 ICAST. But it was in 2020 that this bait propelled angler wins tournament after tournament- particularly those in smallmouth waters. So, let's look at the technology.

Creating baits that more closely mimic the action, feel, and taste of the real deal has long been a goal of companies that make and impregnate soft plastics. and the researchers in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Berkley's headquarters, have led the way with innovations like PowerBait and Gulp!. Berkley’s1989 release of PowerBait was viewed as a breakthrough in flavor delivery, and it soon found its way into products mimicking forage of all shapes and sizes.

The technology is based on fish biology. A fish takes in water through a pair of nostrils and over its olfactory organs. Using taste buds throughout their mouth area and even on their gills, the brain filters through the smells, noting concentrations of those emanating from the different types of bait in the water and disregarding those that aren't food. Bass can sense very low odor concentrations and are able to track them to the source. PowerBait incorporates amino acids that easily bind to the small/taste receptors to mimic scents bass view as attractive.

Gulp!, a water-based polymer rather than an oil-based material, was the next evolution. This allows scents released from Gulp! baits to be detected at a further distance. When bass bite them, the flavors trigger an immediate ingestion response.

MaxScent is the latest generation of Berkley’s scented baits that combine the best of Powerbait and Gulp! into baits that have better action, more flexibility, last longer "on the shelf" and are easier to package- all in the coldest and hottest conditions. It was a five year process to get this right. The baits created showed a 45% percent greater catch rate than PowerBait.

Berkley introduced Maxsent in eight shapes in 2017, and added more in 2018, including the Flat Worm, and additional versions of the General Stickworm. The Flat Worm’s entire "body" section- typically shaped to facilitate a life-like retrieve- is flat. and the head and tail are also flat. The dorsal or back is not flat and is convex and partially ribbed with 23 ribs. This shape makes it easy to use as a drop-shot bait or used "ned-style" on a mushroom-

style hook. Berkley went so far as to optimize the surface "shiny-ness", creating more natural "matte finish" colors.

As for action, the baits are not buoyant, falling naturally without hook or weight, fairly rapidly in a glide nose first with its tail wagging in a "come hither" wiggle. MaxScent baits don’t dry out like Gulp! but have a similar texture and are damp in the pack. This means you can leave one on the deck as long as you like while it remains ready for use. What was clearly demonstrated by the many 2020 Elite, MLF and FLW wins, is that smallmouth love them! Check out and give them a try.


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