I was doing some digging and came across this interesting Q&A in a past BassBlaster email. Jay got Berkley scentmaster Mark Sexton on the ringer and picked his brain about what makes MaxScent work. Full write-up here, few excerpts from their exchange below:
Q: What exactly is MaxScent, and how is it different from regular PowerBait and Gulp?
> “PowerBait is PVC plastic [like I believe all soft-plastics]. We learned how to flavor PVC plastic in the ’80s and it turned out to be really good. Gulp is a water-based material…literally dissolves in the water. If you leave it in long enough…it’s gone.
> “MaxScent is a type of PVC very similar to PowerBait, but it can accept some liquid [scent] and doesn’t dry out like Gulp. …[scent] put into MaxScent isn’t that different than PowerBait [but how MaxScent baits are made] puts it into the water so much faster…draws fish.
> “Remember those pieces of gum where you bite it and you get quick shot of liquid in your mouth? It’s like that…a way better tool.”
Q: Okay sounds like MaxScent is similar to PowerBait and similar to Gulp. So why is it so good – or better?
> “MaxScent allows attractants to come out of the bait way faster. We figured out a way to make the construction [of the MaxScent baits] different to make the flavorants come out of the bait faster.”
Q: What are the flavorants designed to do?
> “We’ve gone through 50,000 different chemicals and mixtures of all of them, and we’ve figured out what [fish are] actually attracted to.
> “Can they sense it – do they notice flavor in the water, if so do they find it positive, neutral, or negative. The first thing is smell. It has to attract them, and when they taste it that has to be positive. If it’s negative, you’re done – they spit it out and you don’t catch them.
> “Over the years we’ve plodded our way through…we’ve figured out what they like. It’s like grandma making the best cornbread on Earth – over the years she perfects it. That’s what we’ve done.”
Q: How does the scent disperse and what is the pattern?
> “It depends on water temperature, depth and salinity…how far the smell will go. If you have any current or moving water, that scent will travel a long way. …fish can smell better than any bird dog: If 2 molecules hit their nose 100 yards away, they go seeking. All they do is swim and eat.
> “We study all 5 senses, and smell is the first thing they rely on. Bass chasing a school of shad…they can smell them before they can feel or see them.
> “..fish secrete all sorts of stuff. Bass get used to associating that [scent] with food. Smells get the bass close to the bait – then it uses other senses to finish the deal. And we understand all of that.”
Yup, I’m gonna have to play around with MaxScent a lot more for those stubborn ‘eyes!
My “bonus” catches while bassin’ have been on Ned rigs with MaxScent Lil Generals (left) and then numerous times while dropshotting a MaxScent Flat Worm (right)…but they also have a more walleye-esque profile called the Flatnose Minnow (bottom) that I feel stupid for not snap-jigging in the weeds or dancing on a dropshot yet: