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Product Reviews: Jerkbaits, Ripbaits

By Russ Bassdozer

Bassdozer's Topwater Minnow
Floating Minnow. 5". 1/2 oz.

Before there were ripbaits or even jerkbaits, there were floating minnows. Long since forgotten, the modern day reincarnation of the floating minnow you see here is used on top of the water, not below the surface. These surface swimmers catch a lot of fish. Best of all, bass almost never see this forgotten bait type any more. For more information, click here to re-learn how much fun it is to surface fish with the Bassdozer Floating Minnow.

Daiwa TD Minnow Jerkbait
TD Minnow. 3-3/4" (excluding lip). 5/16 oz. Suspending. Depth: 3 feet.

This is a lighter model jerkbait. If you need something sweet for 6-8 lb test, it's ideal for that. It's a shallow runner and doesn't swim more than a few feet below the surface.

Daiwa's T.D. Minnow had already become a reputable high-end jerkbait in the United States - and renowned for a lot of good catches - even before other Japanese hard bait companies had started to pursue a market share in the U.S.A. Even as numerous competing Japanese jerkbaits have come on to the U.S.A. market in recent years, the Daiwa T.D. Minnow still remains one of the top fish-catchers in its class. Particularly on light tackle, it casts well and fishes superbly. If you've never experienced light tackle jerkbait fishing with the Daiwa T.D. Minnow, I'd suggest you might want to try.

Lucky Craft Jerkbaits
Lucky Craft offers no less than 24 jerkbaits to North American anglers.

I've written an exhaustive twenty page product review on Lucky Craft lures including topwaters, jerkbaits, lipped crankbaits and lipless rattlebaits. Click here to read My Lucky-est Choices.

For more info on how to use jerkbaits in general, and Lucky Craft's Pointer, Bevy Shad and Staysee in particular, check out my article, Jerkbaits for Late Fall Flats. Also check the interview I did on Ripbaits as Taught by Gary Dobyns, who's also know as Mister Rippin'. And when you're done with those articles, don't forget to get A Little Extra Jerkbait Gravy.

Megabass Ito Vision 110 Jerkbait
Megabass Ito Vision 110. 4-3/8" (excluding lip). 1/2 oz. Suspending. Depth: 3 feet.

The 110 is the Yuki Ito produced jerkbait famous in Japan. It has a tight wobbling action created by its flat sides and concave bottom. High density tungsten alloy weights inside the body cavity provide an exceptionally effective weight transfer system, giving the bait an unsurpassed action that fish can resist. This internal weight system also shifts to the rear of the bait during the cast to make for smooth, long and accurate casts. The 110 comes with 3 Katsuage outbarb treble hooks. This jerkbait is famous in Japan, and rare to find in North America.

Smithwick Rogue Jerkbaits
Smithwick Rogues in assorted models and colors as shown. Body length: 4-1/2" to 6" (excluding lips).

Smithwick Rogues are probably the most well-known of all brands and models of jerkbaits.

SPRO Minnow 45 Jerkbait
SPRO Minnow 45. Body length: 4-1/2". Weight: 5/8 ounce. Gamakatsu EWG Trebles. Depth: 2-4 feet.

There are many great and legendary jerkbait brands on the market. As anglers, we are faced with an overwhelming choice of sizes and models, and manufacturers are constantly coming out with new jerkbaits. In fact, way too many to even think of trying them all. How's an angler to choose which jerkbaits work best? That's where independent product reviews and unsolicited testimonials like this one can help you. Trust me when I say, "Throw the SPRO Minnow."

The SPRO Minnow 45 is one jerkbait that always works for me. It is a rare gem among my favorite jerkbaits.

It is designed to be a relatively shallow swimmer, no more than 2-4 feet. At 4-1/2 inches and 5/8 ounce, it has an aerodynamic shape and it is heavy enough to cast easily and far, even in a stiff headwind. It has stout #2 trebles and can handle larger fish. Best of all, it darts and wiggles alternately left, right, left, right sharper and crisper than many other jerkbaits. This crisp darting action is a beautiful thing.

As if that was not enough, when you pause it (which is when you get bit), it has a built-in body-roll that the SPRO Minnow continues to make for a moment while it sit motionless even after you the angler have stopped it. It does this body-roll all by itself. That self-actuated body-roll just slays me - and it gets a lot of bass for me too.

That is why I say, "Throw the SPRO Minnow." Try it. I think you will agree it is one great jerkbait.

Zenith Z-Wave M (Medium) Jerkbait
Z Wave M. 3-1/2" (excluding lip) . 3/8 oz. Suspending. Depth: 6 feet.

This lure is designed and manufactured by Zenith Lures in Japan. It is currently being introduced in the USA by Specialty Tackle - but still rare to find in the United States. This is a high-end jerkbait with good action and fish-attraction. Well worth adding to your bag of jerkbaits.

Zenith Z-Wave D (Deep) Jerkbait
Z Wave D. 3-1/2" (excluding lip). 4/10 oz. Suspending. Depth: 9-12 feet.

This lure is designed and manufactured by Zenith Lures in Japan. It is currently being introduced in the USA by Specialty Tackle - but still rare to find. This is a high-end jerkbait with good action and fish-attraction. Well worth adding to your bag of jerkbaits.

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