UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Chickamauga

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Review: Berkley Snap Jig

Review: Berkley Snap Jig
Berkley Snap Jig

The Berkley Snap Jig is an odd-looking piece of terminal tackle, but based on a few days of fishing with it, I think it’s going to earn a place in a lot of tackle boxes.

A fin under the jighead causes the Snap Jig to glide on the fall, and it seems like a good addition to the ice-jig genre, which is gaining ground as an open-water lure category for bass fishing.

 

Rapala Jigging Rap

Good genes

The Snap Jig appears to be a spinoff of the popular Rapala Jigging Rap and Snap Rap, which I mention not to knock Berkley for going the copycat route, but for background on why folks would get excited about a bait that looks more like ice fishing fodder than bass food. Jigging Raps have been producing consistently for bass anglers for years now, mostly for deeper winter smallmouths up north, but out West and in other parts of the country as well. The Jigging Rap is a phenomenal little bait for fishing vertically anywhere in the water column, but some have applied it in more horizontal situations as well.

If it even comes close to the success of Rapala’s offerings, the Snap Jig will be a winner, and I think that because it’s a little more approachable it probably can.

 

Nicely built

Running you $5.99 for a pack of two, the Snap Jig seems like it’s priced about right for what it is. The Snap Jig comes in three sizes: 3/16, 1/4 and 3/8 ounce.

It’s made with a 1/0 Berkley Fusion19 hook, which seems high quality, but I wouldn’t mind having a smaller option for using even smaller soft plastics, though that’s probably not totally necessary for most bass applications. There’s a hook hanger incorporated underneath the wing, and it’d be a good place to attach a small blade or a stinger hook. I think a little blade on the 3/8-ounce model might make for a really interesting presentation, and I can see scenarios where a stinger would be clutch, though every bass I had bite it pretty much choked it.

Tackle Warehouse only sells three shad-looking colors, but Berkley makes quite a few others, so if black or green pumpkin is your pleasure you can get it.

 

Berkley Snap Jig

The action

I rigged a Gambler Shakey Shad on it for testing, and I think that a Fluke- or minnow-style bait is going to be the way to go with the Snap Jig. The idea of a swimbait sashaying through the water is tempting, but I suspect that all but the tiniest tail would really deaden the action the jig provides.

A big part of the success of snap-style baits when fishing vertically and ice fishing is the way they fall. After you pop the bait up, it spirals down in a wider glide than any darter head could ever produce. Especially with the wide-gliding Snap Rap, you can sometimes jerk the bait up and feel it hit bottom again feet away from where it lifted off. The Snap Jig produces that action, but I think its strength is going to be fishing along the bottom or up in the water column with casting techniques, where it might be a little more suited to the task than a modified Jigging Rap.

When folks fish a Jigging Rap horizontally they typically cut off the nose hook and often remove the bottom hook as well so it doesn’t hang up as much. You don’t need to do that with the Snap Jig. You can stick a little Fluke on it and pop it along right out of the package without a second thought. Coming through the water, it has a pretty cool snapping/gliding action, and though you might be able to replicate it to an extent with a weightless or lightly weighted Fluke, it’s not a typical action for a small, weighted plastic.

 

Berkley Snap Jig

Catching fish

The first time I fished the Snap Jig I broke off a bite on literally the first cast and then didn’t get another the rest of the afternoon (they really wanted a swimbait that day). I saw better success with the Snap Jig on subsequent trips, but I never really fished it fast or horizontally for more than experimental purposes.

My best success with it was fishing it basically vertically on some underwater pilings in 12 to 20 feet of water for winter smallmouths. When they bit it they choked it, and they usually grabbed it pretty hard, which is nice in 39-degree water.

I’m curious to apply it in east Tennessee or on Dale Hollow as a Damiki rig alternative, and I’ll definitely have one tied on for some more experimenting this Christmas at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut.

 

The verdict

I haven’t spent months on the water with the Snap Jig, and I haven’t had any sort of technique epiphany with it, but if you’re interested after reading this I think you should get a few to try. You won’t be disappointed with the construction, and I think there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a way to catch some bass with it. Overall, I would say it is perfectly satisfying and something I’m going to continue to experiment with.

 

Details

Company: Berkley

Product: Berkley Snap Jig

Colors: 8

Weights: 3/16, 1/4 and 3/8 ounce

Price: $5.99 for a two-pack

Tags: jody-white  tech-tackle-reviews 

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division promises much better fishing than the first. Moving north from a cold front-plagued Florida swing, the field will visit Lake Chickamauga for the middle event of the season. The tournament, which is presented by T-H Marine, should feature excellent fishing, as the east Tennessee reservoir pretty much always kicks out giants. READ MORE »

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a re-design of the Speed Spool, and it’s a very affordable casting reel that works quite well. It hit the market in the fall of 2018, and though it doesn’t visually stand out and it’s lacking in nonessential bells and whistles, the reel is more than capable of getting the job done for under $100. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Fishing his third year on the FLW Tour, Aaron Britt is off to his best start yet, sitting at 26th in the points and fresh off a top 10 at Toho. As is the case for many of his peers, Britt has never fished Lake Seminole, the site of the third stop of the FLW Tour presented by Costa. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Seminole

Get to Know Lake Seminole

The site of the third stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is Lake Seminole, a bass fishing gem sprawled through the pines and swamps of north Florida and south Georgia. Anglers will take off out of Bainbridge, Ga., in this tournament, which is presented by Costa, and should enjoy some really phenomenal fishing. READ MORE »

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

Stop No. 3 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes place at Lake Seminole and is presented by Costa. Though Seminole is a historic lake that is well-trafficked by the Costa FLW Series, the Tour hasn’t been here since 1996. It’s relatively unfamiliar for many pros, and Andrew Upshaw is one of them. In his eighth year on Tour, Upshaw has qualified for the FLW Cup in back-to-back years, and he’s off to a great start in 2019, sitting at 15th in the points through the first two events. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

Lake Seminole was created after the completion of the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam back in 1952. It backed up the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers and created more than 37,000 acres of prime bass habitat. The Flint River and Spring Creek sections of the lake are entirely in Georgia, but the Chattahoochee arm runs along the border between Florida and Georgia. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Toho

AOY Update: Lake Toho

 With the first two events of the 2019 FLW Tour season in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Angler of the Year race is shaping up. At Sam Rayburn and Lake Toho the pros were tested with very different conditions, and the standings include anglers different specialties and skill sets than at this time last year, when the Tour’s first two events were both held in Florida. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

A Look at Lake Toho

A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Toho Preview

2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Fishing deep-diving crankbait, dragging Carolina rigs and working finesse baits such as drop-shots were the keys to success at the FLW Tour opener at Sam Rayburn. Here are the bass-fishing baits that the top pros used. READ MORE »

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Day one of practice for the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn started this morning. We hung around takeoff to see friends we haven't seen in months and to get the season underway.  READ MORE »

High Water will Factor at Rayburn

High Water will Factor at Rayburn

Typical winter fishing on Sam Rayburn would call for a lot of lipless crankbaits, Carolina rigs and a focus on offshore structure and submerged grass. However, for the FLW Tour opener January 10-13 a lot of that may be out the window – or at least a lot different than many of the Rayburn sticks in the field are used to. Sam Rayburn has risen steadily since December 10th, and as of January 3, the lake is at 171.43 feet, which is 7 feet over full pool of 164.4 feet. READ MORE »

2019 Rookie Rundown

2019 Rookie Rundown

No matter how you get to the FLW Tour, you’re only a rookie once. This year, 34 pros are taking their talents on Tour for the first time. READ MORE »