With its large, prismatic eyes, wide array of color patterns, and realistic head design, the SPRO Prime Bucktail represented the first of the “elevated” bucktail jigs when it hit the market some 20 years ago. As with any good bucktail jig, it caught a variety of fish in a variety of locations.
I first tried it in smaller sizes for weakfish in the back bays of southern New Jersey, using the ½- to 1-ounce jigs in the “blue shad” and “bunker” colors that are still available today. I used it in the Cape Cod Canal, where its large head-to-bucktail-hair ratio allowed it to sink quickly and stay deep in the fast currents. Its best application seemed to be bouncing the bottom of the reefs, wrecks, and channels for fluke.
The one place the SPRO Prime Bucktail failed to fish well was the surf. The jig sank too quickly for most surf locations, and the placement of the line tie was better suited for bouncing bottom than swimming over structure. And, the thin-wire hook, while super sharp and perfectly suited for fluke and weakfish, occasionally opened under the strain of a large striped bass.
The lure designers at SPRO took all of this into consideration when developing the SPRO Power Bucktail Jig.
Built around a heavy-duty Gamakatsu O’Shaughnessy hook, the Power Bucktail Jig maintains the 3D surface contours, eyes, and realistic finish of the original Prime Bucktail. It’s tied with much more hair, however, providing a slower sink rate, which makes it easy to glide over sand and rocks. The head shape and eyelet placement are ideal for casting and retrieving, helping to keep the bait horizontal throughout the retrieve. The eyelet is also large enough to easily accommodate the clips that most surfcasters use to attach a lure to the leader.
When it was first released in 2019, the Power Bucktail was available in the favorite surfcasting sizes of 1, 1½, 2, and 3 ounces, and staple colors, white and chartreuse. SPRO has since added to the Power Bucktail line with the Power Bucktail HD in 6 and 8 ounces. Though geared for large, southern bottom-dwellers like snapper and grouper, boat fishermen may find it useful for big stripers in deep rips.
SPRO also added to the color options for the Power Bucktail with the “Zebra Glow” series. These feature fish-attracting, striped glow patterns, and special glowing tentacles in the skirts. They further expand the line of striper favorite colors, with pink and black joining white and chartreuse.
New for 2021 is the SPRO Power Bucktail Custom. The lure was primarily designed for cobia using a combination of bucktail hair, vinyl strands, and long hackle feathers to bolster its profile and enhance the action. However, it looks like many of the custom-tied striped bass bucktails that incorporate hackle feathers instead of trailers.