The Basics: Bladed Jigs
Bladed jigs have risen to the spotlight over the past several years, and for good reason. When the Original Chatterbait was first released, I remember it being the ugliest, most stupid looking contraption I had ever seen on the tackle shelf. Yet, the spinnerbait, jig, crankbait conglomeration impressed the bass fishing world by catching fish (and lots of them). In the time between then and now many companies have put their own spin on the revolutionary lure and many anglers have found their effectiveness reason enough to spend their hard-earned money on.
The Perfect Search Bait
The reason the bladed jig has taken over the market is that it compiles the best aspects of other highly touted shallow water search baits into one extremely efficient bait. In early spring and fall, where I would normally have a spinnerbait tied on, the bladed jig has taken its place by offering the vibration and flash of a spinnerbait. Where I would normally prefer the erratic action of a square bill crankbait, the bladed jig can step up and fit that bill as well. It can entice bass out of heavy cover, come through grass and vegetation better than other lures, are well as produce reaction strikes from bass that are on more barren banks. It can be skipped around docks, under low hanging bushes, wormed through laydowns, and bounced off rocks. If you are covering water from 0-8’, there’s really nothing a bladed jig can’t do, and the case can be made that it is the perfect search tool in nearly every condition.
Let the Bait Do the Work
I have learned that the retrieve you use is usually the key to either catching them or not catching them. Typically, I’m going to start with a medium, somewhat steady, retrieve. A lot of times it is easy to ‘over fish’ this bait by either reeling to fast or pumping it a little too much. My most successful days with a bladed jig have come when I settled down, let the bait get to the bottom, and a steadily reeled the bait back to me while using very little rod tip movement.
The bladed jig is designed to impart a ton of action on its own, causing the skirt and the trailer to go wild under the water. There is usually no need to impart a lot of action to the bait yourself. Let the bait work for you!
Which Bladed Jig Do I Need?
This has been the big question lately! Luckily, I’ve put together a short comparison video of a few models on our YouTube channel. But, in short, there is no “better” bladed jig. They each serve their purpose and they each have a role to play in your tackle box. When the water is more stained or muddy, I tend to like the Jackhammer for a little more vibration. It hits hard! When I’m fishing clearer water or around a lot of vegetation, I prefer the Strike King Thunder Cricket’s more subtle vibrating action and ability to come through the grass. On more pressured water, I will tie on a Teckel Bladewaker! It has a wide wobble and offers the bass something slightly different than other bladed jigs on the market.
Like anything else, when it comes to trailers, I am a fan of keeping it simple. I am more likely than not going to have some type of small swimbait or twin tail grub. But, just as with the bladed jigs themselves, there are a ton of manufacturers now producing trailers specifically designed for bladed jigs. The best advice I can give is to try out some different chunks, craws, swimbaits, and grubs and find what you have confidence in!
Hopefully, these bare basics will help you understand a little more about fishing with bladed jigs! They are excellent tools that I feel every angler should have in their boat year-round. In the meantime, be sure to find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for regular content. Also, check out our online Tournament series that is kicking off this weekend! There is still time to register and I can guarantee that the prizes are going to be worth it!
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