When hometown hero Jason Christie led the recent Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake, Okla. for two straight days, he generated a huge buzz among anglers about how he was catching bass in very tough fishing conditions. Key to his rig was the new YUM Pulse™ swimbait.
Though Christie used the Pulse as a spinnerbait trailer, it wasn't designed for that purpose. YUM was intent on creating a swimbait with great swimming action and durability. But once Christie got some in his hands just three weeks before the Classic, he knew he had a winner on his hands.
"That bait is the best," he said. "It swims really good at a slow speed – that tail really kicks. And when you burn it, it still kicks – it doesn't blow out and tracks great."
Chad Warner, YUM brand manager, explained how the Pulse came to be.
"Our president, Robert Schoenvogel, said, 'We need a swimbait.' So I said, 'Okay we'll design one!"
Himself a tournament angler, Warner wanted the swimbait "to have a swimming action comparable to the best swimbaits on the market, plus a rolling action which they don't have – because that creates flash and flash triggers strikes."
The Pulse has that rolling flash and the key to creating it is the nine ribs on each side of the bait.
"They not only achieve that rolling action, but also increase bulk without adding plastic that would get in the way of hooksets," Warner said.
The ribs have several more benefits:
- They displace more water than a non-ribbed bait and thus fish can sense the Pulse better with their lateral lines.
- That water displacement also can cause bubbles, which also attract bass.
- Because of how the ribs are angled, they cause downward pressure and prevent the Pulse from rising too much in the water column when retrieved.
Additional properties Warner wanted to see in the Pulse were a hard tail-thump action regardless of retrieve speed – something Christie mentioned he achieved with his slow Classic presentation – and durability.
"YUM prides itself on making great baits fishermen can afford, so it was important to make sure the Pulse could last for more than just one fish," Warner said. He noted that so many soft-plastic swimbaits now are "one and done" baits, but not the Pulse. Christie reported "zero" Pulse baits replaced during the Classic due to fish strikes.
"The Pulse is a great bait," Warner said. "It's designed for a swimbait head or a weighted belly hook, but with everything it does it's just a great bait whenever you can use it."
At the Classic, "everything just fell into place" for Christie to use it as a spinnerbait trailer.
"The water color was right, the water temperature was right and the presentation he was using fit this bait perfectly,” Warner said. “It wasn't that we designed this swimbait for this Classic as a spinnerbait trailer. It's just a great bait and Jason recognized that."