Bladed jigs (chatter baits) have quickly become a popular lure in tournaments, and rightfully so – they are versatile, imitate multiple forage species, and attract bass. This week I was able to use the 3/8 oz. “Swagger Jig” from Buddha Bait Company
DESIGN: The Swagger, on first appearance, looks like a typical bladed jig, until you peel back the skirt and notice two atypical features: a 6/0 black nickel hook and a solid bait keeper. With a stream lined pyramid style head design and quality skirting, this jig has all the looks of a solid fish catcher, and is available in 3/8 and ½ ounce sizes. The head also was equipped with large inlaid eyes, which gave the jig a more “fishy” appearance. The model we tested had a skirt that had longer strands along the shank, leaving a skirt “trailer” coming off the back of the bait. We used a StankX Bait Company “Flukez” (www.stankxbaitco.com) trailer during the testing to evaluate the movement of the bait and the quality of the bait keeper.
PERFORMANCE: The Swagger Jig delivered as advertised: a solid bladed jig with consistent vibration and excellent feel coming through the water. The swaggers movement was very unique, as the body of the lure produced both a side to side and up and down motion as it went through the water. The Swagger jig came though hard cover very well, and hydrilla was easily shaken from the bait upon retrieval. The StankX Bait Company Flukez trailer was easily held in place by the bait keeper, and undulated well with the bait. During the evaluation, the line tie never wrapped around the blade as it can with other bladed jigs, so every retrieve produced immediate vibration.
FISHABILITY: The Swagger Jig was very controllable, as the vibration was easily detectable yet not overwhelming. Managing depth was also easy to control. The swagger was fished on a Denali Rosewood Mark Tyler Signature MH rod with 17 lb. Sunline Shooter FC line and a Daiwa Tatula 6.3:1 Reel. Distance control and cast ability were a breeze. Strikes came usually within the first 3 seconds of the retrieve, and the 6/0 hook never lost a fish during the evaluation. We never had to replace the StankX trailer, and it barely moved during testing, so the bait keeper proved to be quality.
OVERALL: This bait was very impressive – solid action, feel, and fish holding power, and they obviously liked it! With a variety of color options (blade and body), we feel the Swagger Jig will become the staple bladed jig for a lot of anglers. With a solid lineup of swim jigs, flipping jigs, buzzbaits, spinner baits, and bladed jigs, the Buddha Bait Company has a qulaity product with some unique designs that would compliment any anglers selection. Go to www.buddhabaitco.com for more details and to view their enitre line up.
By Chris Murphy