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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 

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