Matrix 3X Shad

Two is good, but three is even better for this soft plastic swimbait

Fishermen aren’t seeing double when they look at the newest offering from Matrix Shad.

They’re seeing triple at the sight of a Matrix 3X Shad soft plastic boot-tail swimbait on a lead head being fished anywhere along the Gulf Coast. The artificial lure manufacturing company introduced them in October 2022.

Chas Champagne, 40, co-owner along with Steve Wicks, both of Slidell, La., is proud of the newest product in the lineup of soft plastics dating back to the company’s origin in 2010. The tri-color laminating process recently made waves in an industry that gave saltwater fishermen the double-laminated soft plastic in the 1990s.

“Thirty years ago they started shooting double lamination. Well, now you can do three colors,” Champagne said a few months ago.

Matrix 3X Shad’s new tri-color combinations are Matrix 3X Shad Lime Light, Matrix 3X Shad Pink Cosmo and Matrix 3X Shad Purple Patagonia.

“They all look really nice in the water,” he said.

Popularity on the rise

The Matrix 3X Shad’s popularity is on the rise. Champagne gives all the credit to Shane Johnson of New Iberia, La., a charter boat captain who owns Acadian Outdoor Charters LLC.

“Shane Johnson’s the one who pushed that,” Champagne said. “He’s been wanting us to do that for years. We decided to do it, knowing he’d be able to help getting the word out. Shane’s got a pretty good following.”

As for the choice of triple laminated colors, he said, “I let Shane pick them. Shane’s more technical than I am as far as colors.”

Champagne believes the Matrix Shad’s swimming action is the most appealing feature, but realizes many, many other anglers, like Johnson,  swear by colors.

“I’m 100 percent convinced. I’ve been fishing on too many occasions where people right beside me won’t be catching fish and I will, and vice versa,” Johnson said soon after a morning guide trip in late June.

Of course, he said, color’s importance diminishes during a “full-blown feeding frenzy, but sometimes to get them going it takes a certain color to trigger them.”

Natural images

Johnson based his three-color laminate choices on the real thing — speckled trout, pogies and shad.

“I always gravitate to natural images,” he said.

The Matrix 3X Shad Pink Cosmo, he confided, totally “wrecked ‘em” on speckled trout fishing trips last year.

“The colors are great,” Johnson said. “They catch fish.”

The Purple Patagonia’s best tri-color feature is the lower half that looks white but has sparkles in it that look like a pogey. The Pink Cosmo resembles the side of a speckled trout with a pinkish hue and a golden tone down the side.

Another charter boat captain also has been singing praises of the other new tri-color soft plastic over the past few months. Vince Theriot, who runs Coastal Guide Service, favors the Matrix 3X Shad Lime Light. Theriot has been catching more and more speckled trout and redfish on it in southwest Louisiana.

Will Matrix 3X Shad colors be expanded?

“It just depends on how good it sells,” Champagne said. “Colors capture the eyes of the anglers who haven’t been part of Matrix Shad for years. It also gives people another option of colors. But the problem with making new fishing lures (or color combos), one of the old colors is going to suffer.”

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About Don Shoopman 141 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to Louisiana in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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