Review: Yamamoto Zako - Major League Fishing

Review: Yamamoto Zako

It’s a dynamite vibrating jig trailer
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September 8, 2017 • Jody White • Archives

Brett Hite is probably the world’s premier vibrating jig angler, so it’s no surprise that he had a hand in making one of the better trailers for a vibrating jig. The Yamamoto Zako is a sweet little trailer that excels at its primary application.  


A proven formula

Ringing in at 4 inches long, the Zako is thick up front and pretty slim toward the tail. It’s built like a Lake Fork Tackle Live Magic Shad, but instead of the dolphin tail it has a fish tail. The Zako sports a segmented semi-swimbait design, which has been proven over the years to work on a vibrating jig trailer by the Magic Shad as well at the Strike King Blade Minnow. Like other similar baits, the Zako doesn’t have a ton of movement on its own, but it comes alive on the back of a vibrating jig.

The Zako really works as a trailer because of its durability and size. It fits well on a few different baits, and it has plenty of meat at the head to hold a hook. Yamamoto plastics are generally pretty delicate and get beat up relatively easily by fish, but the Zako is more durable. I’ve lost maybe one or two tails to fish, and the plastic isn’t Senko plastic – it’s a more standard, non-salted blend that’s fairly durable. It’s hard for me to specifically say why it’s better than the competition, but I really do think it is. Between being just the right size and shape and having a vertical tail, the whole package just works.


Versatile profile

I’ve fished the Zako in a few colors for bass keying on shad, bluegills and perch, and I think the profile works fine for all those situations. It’s not as slim as the Blade Minnow, and it really looks like a perch or shad, but I think the fish buy it just fine as a sunfish. It’s also pretty good fished solo without a skirt on a vibrating jig. It has enough bulk that it isn’t over-powered by the blade, and it still sticks out pretty well in the water. Because it’s a tick heavier and has less drag than some other trailers, it does fish a little deeper. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s worth being aware of.


Limit your expectations

The most common complaint about this bait is that it lacks action when it’s not on a vibrating jig. I’ve caught fish with it as a swim jig trailer, but it really doesn’t add a ton to the package without a blade involved. Yamamoto says it can be flipped or swum solo, but I honestly haven’t put it into action for that yet. I think the application outside of a trailer that has the most potential is as a bed-fishing bait. For that you don’t necessarily need a ton of action. 



Company: Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits  

Product: Zako

Colors: 15

Price: $6.49 for a 6 pack