ChatterBaits are effective topwater bass fishing lures that can be fished in many different ways. These baits are often fished with soft plastic trailers, which can drastically change the action and overall presentation of the lure.
Many types of soft plastics work well as ChatterBait trailers. The most popular varieties include soft plastic swimbaits, grubs, and crawfish.
Switching up the trailer you use will change your lure's presentation size, movement, vibrations, and overall effectiveness. Some trailers will create erratic action for warm water fishing. In contrast, others will help tighten up movements for cold water fishing.
The diversity of ChatterBait trailers leaves many anglers confused about which styles and brands best fit their needs. This guide will walk you through the best ChatterBait trailers and when to use each type.
Lures Reviewed (clickable)
1. Strike King KVD Blade Minnow
4.5 Stars | 81 Angler Reviews
The Strike King Blade Minnow is the best shad-style ChatterBait trailer for clear waters. Its forked tail gives the bait a tighter swimming action, and the jointed tail allows for realistic movement.
This shad-style trailer serves the primary purpose of enticing fish to strike. Your ChatterBait will vibrate and reflect light, drawing in fish from afar. The realistic colors on this bait help convince fish to bite an otherwise artificial-looking presentation.
While this bait was explicitly designed to be used on the Strike King Rage Blade, you can pair it with any ChatterBait.
Strike King KVD's Blade Minnow is a slim trailer while having enough volume to get the attention of bigger fish.
2. Gary Yamamoto Zako Trailer
4.6 Stars | 500+ Angler Reviews
The Gary Yamamoto Zako trailer also has a forked tail and a segmented body. The trailer has a thicker tail, allowing it to displace more water. It's also a bulkier shad-style trailer than most anglers are used to.
This bait performs well in most conditions; however, it can save the day when you're fishing in murky waters. A larger presentation can help attract fish when there's minimal water clarity.
When targeting a body of water where the bass are feeding on bluegill, the Gary Yamamoto Zako is a fantastic trailer to use. Its profile and color pattern closely imitate bluegill and other species of panfish.
The girth of this trailer also makes it much easier to skip ChatterBaits. Additionally, Its heavier weight will keep your bait swimming deeper in the water column.
While the tight action of the Yamamoto Zako was explicitly designed for vibrating jigs, this bait works well on all larger ChatterBaits.
3. Razor Shadz ChatterBait Trailer
4.5 Stars | <50 Angler Reviews
The Z-Man Razor Shadz also has a forked tail and segmented body, but it's the only shad-style trailer on this list made from elastic. The elastic material will provide a more erratic swimming action and help you imitate a wounded baitfish.
Bass love the Razor Shadz, especially in the blue and green color pattern shown in the image above. We found this trailer has the ideal weight to be paired with Z-Man's Project Z ChatterBait.
In general, using this trailer is an excellent way to add size to your presentation and make your ChatterBait better at skipping.
4. Strike King Caffeine Shad
4.6 Stars | 69 Angler Reviews
The Strike King Caffeine Shad has gained popularity as more and more anglers learn how effective it is. With a length of five inches, this is a longer trailer than the others we've reviewed. The Caffeine Shad has a typical fluke-style design, which is also classified as a soft plastic jerkbait.
Strike King infuses this bait with a coffee scent. This may seem strange, but the smell is irresistible to bass and helps mask foreign odors from your hands.
The lure manufacturer knows what they're doing when it comes to bait design. Strike King's lures have been used to rank among the top 10 in fishing tournaments more than any other lure brand.
While we love this ChatterBait trailer, it requires a minor modification to give it the best performance. We recommend cutting off the first 1/2 inch of this trailer to avoid short-strikes since it has a long tail.
It's also worth mentioning that you'll catch the most fish if this bait is used with a longer skirt.
5. Strike King Rage Swimmer
4.6 Stars | 735 Angler Reviews
The Strike King Rage Swimmer is the first minnow-style paddle tail bait on this list. This lure is just as popular as Strike King's caffeine shad and is an excellent addition to your ChatterBait.
The ridged design increases vibrations and water displacement, which helps draw strikes in all conditions. With this said, this bait is ideal in murky waters or when the fish are having trouble tracking down your presentation.
The best way to rig Rage Swimmer is upside down, so the paddle tail faces the surface. If you prefer to keep your trailers upright, another option is to fork the tail by cutting it down the middle.
If you don't modify this bait at all, there's a good chance that the turbulence caused by the ChatterBait will limit your performance. Paddle tail trailers won't swim as well in turbulent waters.
All things aside, the Strike King Rage Swimmer is one of the most popular trailers for a reason, and it's because it catches enormous bass.
6. Diezel MinnowZ ChatterBait Trailer
4.7 Stars | 264 Angler Reviews
This Minnow Style Paddle Tail Trailer is made of elastic, giving it more mobility. You'll see the best performance from the Diezel MinnowZ in warmer waters or when bass are biting with reaction strikes.
Other benefits of the Diezel MinnowZ include its integrated dorsal fin and molded-in hook slot. These features protect your hook, making your ChatterBait more weedless. The hook protection also allows for easy hooksets.
7. Yamamoto Swimsenko Trailer
4.6 Stars | 329 Angler Reviews
There are many different Yamamoto Swimsenkos, but the 4" model is best for a ChatterBait trailer. If you choose a larger size, you'll likely want to trim down the front to avoid short strikes.
This bait is offered in the same original Senko Worm colors, which are proven to be highly effective. Some of our favorites include green pumpkin, June bug, and watermelon.
This trailer's action is much wider than any other bait on this list, which means it does a great job getting larger fish's attention. You'll have the best luck fishing this trailer around aggressive fish or by triggering reaction strikes in shallow waters.
8. Keitech Easy Shiner Trailer
4.7 Stars | <50 Angler Reviews
The Keitech Easy Shiner naturally has tighter action than other Keitech swimbaits. Tighter action is better for colder waters or when bass aren't fully committing to strikes.
This ChatterBait trailer has great light reflection due to its incorporated flake. The Easy Shiner's soft material makes it feel more realistic and keeps fish from spitting out your presentation after striking.
The Easy Shiner is designed for one-time use. Taking it off, the ChatterBait keeper will frequently rip the nose, but this isn't a huge deal for most anglers. It's a much better tradeoff than having your trailers repeatedly fall off while you're fishing them.
9. Strike King Rage Menace Grub
4.7 Stars | 389 Angler Reviews
This Strike King Rage Menace Grub has a narrower profile and a tighter kicking action than most crawdad trailers. Standard craw baits are usually smaller and best used for finesse fishing. The bait has large flange-style claws to give you the best thumping and swimming action possible.
The Rage Menace Grub can be rigged in two ways, making it a multi-purpose trailer. Rigging it vertically will give you a completely different action than horizontally.
A vertical presentation with the claws facing forward will best mimic the appearance of a wounded baitfish. Suppose you're going for a crawfish imitation. In that case, you'll get the best results rigging this bait horizontally with the claws facing up.
10. Z-Man Turbo Crawz Trailer
4.4 Stars | 83 Angler Reviews
The second crawdad-style trailer on this list is the Z-Man Turbo Crawz. This smaller craw trailer is best used in colder waters when bass become lazy and intimidated by larger prey.
Thinner appendages on the Turbo Crawz allow for more flapping action in the water. It doesn't take much to get this trailer moving; even when retrieved at slow speeds, you'll see plenty of action.
This erratic action makes the Z-Man Turbo Crawz effective in warmer water conditions when paired with a faster retrieval speed. As we know, fish are more aggressive in warmer waters and can respond well to this trailer, as long as they're feeding on larger bait.