Due to a highly successful overseas marketing and distribution partnership that began in 2008 with industry leader Lucky Craft, interest in developing a signature offering together commenced. After a specific concept was agreed upon, ideas, plans, questions and concerns started and went back and forth for over six months.

The objective was to take the notable design features of the popular Lucky Craft Wander series and fuse them with the best attributes of Optimums revolutionary Double Diamond series.  With the first prototypes ready in Spring 2010 the initial design samples were thoroughly fished throughout the Summer and Fall.

After minimal fine-tuning the baits fantastic potential was clearly visible and Optimum engineers input the compiled data on a specialized CAD program incorporating Lucky Craft’s artistic body configuration and detailed scale pattern. In addition to maintaining the action, one of our greatest achievements was that we were able to successfully reproduce both the intricate scale etching as well as the finely detailed facial characteristics of the Wander.

Opti-Shad  Victory Tail

Combining the radical concepts and active ingredients of two top industry trendsetters has resulted in an artificial that bears the very best qualities and features that both companies have to offer.

This unprecedented and historical collaboration is sure to go down as a hallmark in sport fishing as the final results have not only far exceeded our own expectations, but also the expectations of the professional anglers that have been extensively fishing the new “Opti Shad” and “Victory Tail” aka the Mad Scientist Series.



Opti Shad

While the unbridled action and intense vibration of the Optimum Double Diamond is often required there are frequently just as many situations where a more natural and subtle presentation is also extremely beneficial.

The lipless Wander was intentionally chosen because of its amazing horizontal fluttering action and unique rolling action, which in turn produces dramatic intermittent side flashes. Interweaving the action and esthetics of a proven hard bait with the performance and versatility of a proven soft bait has produced a lure that encompasses virtually every aspect of a real baitfish.

What separates the innovative Opti Shad from other soft swim baits is a minor expansion located in the middle of the lure. Unlike traditional shad tail style artificials the deepest part of the Opti Shad body is also the widest part of its body. This key formula ensures superior hydrodynamic performance in a multitude of applications as well as fluctuating retrieval speeds.
As water flows past the lures sides the slight center bulge encourages an attractive body roll and at the same time water is directed down the tapered back to the tail causing a rhythmic kicking motion even when retrieved extra slowly. United, these naturalized actions perfectly capture the frantic and irregular behavior of a baitfish in distress.

The Opti Shad is offered in 2 or 4-inch sizes and the deeper profile of both versions is ideal for duplicating wide bodied forage such as all species of pan fish and bass fry as well as herring, shad, shiners, alewife, and ciscos in fresh water or fluke, butterfish, spot, pin fish, peanut bunker, white perch, croakers and baby bluefish in salt water.


Victory Tail

The completely versatile Victory Tail utilizes the same technologically advanced design principles, but possesses an elongated minnow style body and tapered forked tail section. This streamlined swimmer has an incredibly realistic slithering action that is perfectly suited for literally unlimited applications in both fresh and salt water.

Again, like the Opti Shad, Optimum’s trade mark extra sensitive tail design functions in unison with the body for unrestricted fluid motion. This translates into the body and tail moving simultaneously emulating the exact characteristics of a live baitfish.

In addition to being a fresh water anglers dream come true, the Victory Tail will also prove an invaluable asset for salt water anglers as a “go to” teaser for striped bass as well as other sought after marine predators. Simply rig the Victory Tail on a standard weightless or weighted J hook and tie 12 to 16 inches ahead of any sub-surface swimming plug and hold on as this presentation accounts for countless fish particularly stripers year after year.

The Victory Tail is offered in 3 or 5-inch sizes and both versions are superb for matching narrow bodied forage such as minnows, creek chubs, dace, eels, suckers and shiners in fresh water or anchovies, sardines, killies, spearing, rain fish, pipe fish, baby weak fish and especially sand eels in salt water.

With their noticeably slimmer bodies and long slender tails all four models and sizes of the Mad Scientist lures are in a class of their own in that they do not share the typical thicker, bulkier bodies of the soft swim baits and jerk baits saturated within today’s market place. We are confident that one will agree that this dynamic joint effort has rendered some of the most remarkable and life-like designs ever created.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy qualities of this exclusive line is that while a finesse bait; each model was specially developed to be fished using lighter class tackle by any angler regardless of lure fishing experience. Whether using a constant slow crawl retrieve or an intermittent twitch/ pause method the subtle and ever present action is integrated within the lures design so there really isn’t a technique that won’t produce.

Target Species/ Rigging Suggestions/ Color Selection

Target species for both the Opti Shad and Victory Tail include all varieties of bass and trout as well as pan fish, walleye, pickerel, pike and musky in fresh water or fluke, halibut, bay bass, calico bass, striped bass, red fish, weak fish, speckled sea trout and grey trout in saltwater.

Effective rigging options include: offset hook (weightless or weighted),  light jig heads (1/16 to 3/8 ounce) ,  Carolina rig,  Texas rig,  Neko rig (head inserted nail weight),  split shot, spinner bait trailer,  chatter bait trailer,  metal jig/spoon trailer and of course Alabama rig/umbrella rig trailers.

Umbrella Rigs

Double Victory Rig

Offset Hook

Jig Head

The Mad Scientist Series will be available in the top universal color patterns and distributed by Lucky Craft USA in their packaging.  Optimum Bait Co will offer the series in 8 natural fish catching colors in the Optimum bags. #500 Shad, #505 Sunfish, #510 Pearl white, #532 Green pumpkin/chartreuse tail, #551 Golden shiner, #557 Ghost shad, #559 Jackson trout and #561 Ghost rider.


 Color Selection

Shad Ghost Rider Jackson Trout
Ghost Shad Golden Shiner Green Pumpkin Chart
Pearl White Sunfish


This extraordinary series is poised to become a staple with both fresh and salt water anglers around the globe.