Product Review

Plastics, Schmastics: Why we Fish With Matrix Shads

Speckled Trout caught on a Matrix Shad with jighead
This speckled trout fell for a Matrix Shad colored in Lemon Head. He wasn’t the only one that day!

Here at the Louisiana Fishing Blog we believe in Fishing Smarter. It’s a way of life for us when scouting the marshes of Louisiana. Part of Fishing Smarter is taking a hard look at our tackle. Having good fishing gear is important to us because we don’t want to spend time missing fish and fixing equipment. We can’t afford to deal with hooks that straighten out or plastics that fall apart quickly. Our stamp of approval does not come easily and we endorse only the best equipment. Now you understand this lets talk about our favorite plastic.


Look, plastics are plastics. But sometimes there is  a champion that stands out from the rest and that would be Dockside’s Matrix Shad. We buy Matrix Shads for two reasons:

  • They are made by hardcore inshore angler and Louisiana native, Chas Champagne
  • We have caught a metric ton of fish on them

With that said, we don’t think fish particularly care for name brands so much as they do presentation and action…which the Matrix Shad has!

As mentioned, the creator of this versatile soft-body lure is a hardcore angler who enjoys sight casting reds and jigging for trout. If you don’t know Chas Champagne, then know that he could catch speckled trout out of a block of concrete. He is that good. He knows what action fish prefer to see in order to get them to strike. He knows what a soft-body plastic has to look like and how it must perform to be the best fishing lure out there. Chas just knows. If you’re still not sure, then watch this underwater video of the Matrix Shad in action.

Matrix Shads are great tightlined using a Golden Eye jighead, also sold by Dockside, or under a cork like in an Inshore Rig. Of course, they also do great on a Double Rig, which enables you to catch trout two-at-a-time.

trout two at a time double rig speckled matrix shad colors
These trout fell for the Matrix Shad. Together. Like they are BFFs who are inseparable.

We got started on Matrix Shads in Lemon Head in 2011 when Loudafish of Rodnreel.com brought them out on a previous fishing trip. We were using Hybrid Flurries at the time but found Chas’s creation to have more action and withstand the abuse of a fast trout bite. We really liked how vibrant the colors are on Matrix Shads, they are not faded at all. Especially Lemon Head, since it is basically chartreuse and we all know that is a go-to color for speckled trout!

The best thing about them is that they are made right here in southeast Louisiana, and not Honduras, Haiti or China. Pair this with a Golden Eye jighead and you are throwing an all-Louisiana rig. The hooks on the Golden Eye jigheads are stronger and sharper. Ribs are built in that keep a strong hold of the Matrix Shad body. On a trip later that year we got into a pile of bullreds and caught them on these jigheads one after the other. The Golden Eye proved itself by not straightening out at all! Of course, the PowerPro braided line helped out, too.

We believe it is not only fishing skill and knowledge that help boat more trout and redfish, but the little things that contribute that extra 1%. We challenge you to swim a Matrix Shad and similar plastics side-by-side. There is an unmistakable action a Matrix Shad has that other plastics do not. It is this action that will aid you to catch more trout and reds. Combine all those small techniques and items, and you will find yourself putting 25% more fish in the boat. Makes sense, right? Because that is Fishing Smarter!

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