Rare Lipless Crankbait – Berkley Powerbait Power Rattle
Right now on Ebay
Own a piece of fishing history by picking up one of these rare Powerbait Power Rattles by Berkley. I remember when these hybrid lipless crankbaits first came out in the 90s. Berkley's line of Powerbait worms were killing it for us out on Lake St. Clair at the Grosse Pointe Shores Park Pier. I remember before the zebra muscles came in and changed the clarity of water in the lake, anglers could actually go out on the Shores pier and have no problem getting 50 smallmouth bass in a day. Now don't get me wrong, we still have years like that out on the boat when the smallmouth fishing is on fire, but I don't think the smallmouth fishing is like how it was from the hayday years when there was less fishing pressure, less invasive species like gobies/zebra muscles, and even less musky, lol, especially when you're talking about smallmouth numbers fishing from the shoreline.
The lake has changed a lot since then, hell now you can catch musky from the shoreline, but one thing that hasn't changed, is how well Berkley's line of Powerbait's soft plastics work on the smallmouth bass through all three soft water seasons on Lake St. Clair. Sure there's so many soft plastic brands to choose from nowadays and Powerbait is kind of a thing of a past, really not that popular as it used to be. Now anglers are using Senkos, Ned Rigs, Drop Shot Rigs, and Tubes. But I remember when Berkley's line of soft plastic baits first hit the market back in the 90s, I just thought it was so incredible how well they worked compared to the typical hard plastic baits and even livebait like minnows/ worms themselves. And of course when you find a bait that can be used over and over again, without having to put it back on the hook and not get your hands messy, and works just as successful if not better than live bait, well that's when you know you've struck gold. I don't think a lot of live bait fishermen factor in how you can basically cover more ground and save more time using a scented soft plastic, versus live bait, which is always a slow process of casting, rigging, and all the rest of the crap involved with live bait. To each of their own, however way you like to fish, more power to you, I've been out there when the only thing working is livebait, but majority of time something like Powerbait scented Grubs, Garlic scented Chompers Tubes, or Strike King Coffee scented Craws always tends to work for me most of the time.
We would just use a 1/4 oz jig head with a 7 inch worm, sometimes bite about an 1/2 inch or so for better hook sets, and the lake st. clair smallmouth bass would go crazy over it. Again it was not uncommon to pickup 50 smallmouth bass from the at a pier like Grosse Pointe Shores Park back in the 90s. I thought it couldn't get any better than this, that's until Berkley came out with this new innovative lipless crankbait called the Power Rattle. First I was blown away of how Berkley was able to combine both a soft plastic body with a hard body, which was completely unheard of back in the day. And second it was even cooler of encorporating Berkley's much popular powerbait scent with a hard bait, let alone a rat-l-trap like lipless crankbait which was unheard of. And thirdly what's even cooler was the innovative colors, different sizes, and how easy it was to replace a tail in case a smallie ripped it off. And believe you me, even though that tail was securely tight on the Power Rattle, the bronzebacks out on Lake St. Clair found a way to rip'em completely off due to how hard they hit these baits.
Honestly, I don't think they worked that well on largemouth bass, but I cold be wrong. I remember a YouTuber commenting on a video I did about the Power Rattle saying it didn't catch much bass for him. However, I posted about the Power Rattle years ago on my old site sportsmanshabitat.com and one angler said he did have a lot of luck with them for pike, walleye, and lake trout. But always remember this anglers, just because a fishing lure works at one lake, doesn't mean it will work well at another. Each ecosystem and habit is different and knowing how much different smallmouth bass are to largemouth bass, how they like colder deeper water compared to largemouth bass that lurk mainly in warm water shallows, this could be specifically why a deep water lipless crankbait like the Power Rattle may work better on smallies than largies.
I just know that I've had a lot of success with them in the past on Lake St. Clair! It just urkes me that Berkley discontinued this lure, but I guess that's just how it goes. Like I hinted to above, just because the Power Rattle worked really well for me on smallmouth at Lake St. Clair, doesn't mean they're going to work just as well on bass in the other states, which remind you was the primary species of bass that was sought after in North America back in the 90s, I guess you could say largemouth are still the most popular species of bass to this day, even though Kim Stricker and Kevin VanDam have brought much more publicity to northern lakes like St. Clair and others like Erie, Mille Lacs, and Champlain. Back in the day, smallmouth bass tournament fishing was unheard of on bassmasters. So what I'm getting at is, if the Power Rattle was primarily a successful smallmouth bass lure versus largemouth, well I could see why it never became a hot seller and eventually became discontinued. Anyways, just a guess...
What's interesting is, year's later in early 2000 Berkley would rebrand this similar design and bring it back under their Frenzy line of baits, I guess that didn't sell either because they would eventually cancel that model too. Here's a small writeup on FishingWorld.com that claimed Gary Klein contributed to the design of the Power Rattl'r, interesting considering the same design was made a decade before that, lol. Honestly I think a lot of these fishing companies just develop baits and slap professional bass fishermen's names on them to sell them. I'm sure at times, pros do help develop baits like Kevin VanDam who has a whole line of unique hard baits at Strike King like the 10XD and 8.0, which he probably helped think up, but I don't think Klein contributed anything to this hybrid lipless crankbait design when Berkley had something similar a decade ago....
Anyways, either one you like, the Frenzy or Power Rattle, I think it would be cool to have at least a couple of these before they completely disappear from the marketplace, including ebay. There's a small online fishing shop named Anglers Vibes out of Singapore that is selling these for basically nothing on eBay, they also include free shipping. They have quite a few of them left, as the shop has been selling these Power Rattle's since last year, however they used to carry the 1/2 ounce version in stock, now they only carry the 1/4 ounce and 1/8 ounce. So obviously time is running out, if you're a vintage fishing lure collector, this would be a great lure to add to your collection, he actually has these Power Rattles in the original packaging, which makes it even a greater opportunity. I think I'm going to purchase a few more, this lure has a lot of sentimental value to me and brings back a lot of great fishing memories fishing with my brother Jay and Da Greek Yooper.
Speaking of memories, I wonder if this lure had anything to do with inspiring the Swedish artist Dan Lestander with the Headbanger Tail? lol Considering how the HeAdBaNgEr features both a hard plastic body and soft plastic tail in back. Two completely different design and category of lures, however, they're similar in the hybrid aspect. Last year I actually tried attaching a Powerbait Grub to the corkscrew in back of my 4.5" Headbanger Shad and it proved to work pretty good at Kent Lake, anyways I'll have to make a separate post about that.
And believe it or not, I didn't know this until I started doing some research of this lure on the internet, Berkley also came out with a few other models in this similar hybrid design called the Power Popper, Power Crank, Power Chub, and the Power Walker. Which I suspect are even rarer to find, boy I'd love to get my hands on that Power Crank! I bet that bad boy would just crush the smallies out on Lake St. Clair in the summer!!!
Also be aware that fishing store from Singapore also is selling a boat load of replacement Powerbait Power Rattle Tails just in case a few smallies snatch them off of your crankbait, so be sure to stock up! This may be the last time you have access to this many replacement tails and crankbaits in the original packaging.