I'm not 100% on when the suspending Optimum came out. The bait is 8" long and it's a fat boy. It kind of reminds of a tadpole the way it's shaped. A lot of fat in the head and then a very tapering and thin tail. The stock hook is pretty poor, but is not attached to the bait when you get it, almost as if they are suggesting you replace it.
You know this bait isn't the flashiest prettiest thing, but it does swim with a pretty good looking action through the water. The plastic is very rubbery, the head is really fat and lumbering and it just sort of throbs and pulses it's way along. You can definitely fish this lure SLOW and close to the surface. Think blob blob blob blob blob. It kinda says eat me when I look at it. It just looks slow and stupid and easy to catch.
The colors aren't very exciting to look at either, but when you put them in the water they look pretty right on for planter trout colors. I've always felt like the pasty Optimum colors really do look good in the water, even if they don't look great on the shelf.
Overall, if you're looking for a slow creeping type surface bait, this bait isn't a bad choice. It probably fishes slower than just about any other bait in this genre.
For a bait that is pretty decent in the water, the packaging of the lure really makes you shake your head. The bait is so soft that when it's in the clamshell, the rubber tail can get kinked and bent funny. The baits also come out of the package with this greasy goo all over them. It's probably some kind of lubricant to get them out of the molds, but it's just not pleasant to deal with. If you put this bait in with your other baits, it will 'slime' them pretty bad. Overall the quality control on the baits leaves something to be desired.
I would expect to get only a few fish per bait on this one. It has the type of plastic that tears easily, and a somewhat odd wire harness through the bait. It may be possible to stick a tube through this bait and pro-rig it. I haven't cut mine apart to check it out, but it would be worth a try. A bigger fish hooked on that wire harness would probably rip the bait pretty good. The stock hook is pretty poor and should be replaced with gammie, owner, or something sharp.