An entirely new category of bass lures was created when the original Chatterbait was born. The category is bladed jigs, or bladed swim jigs, or vibrating jigs. But whatever you call them, they all stemmed from this new style bait that was released by Z-Man back in 2006.
A bladed jig is basically a bass jig equipped with a metal blade that is attached to the eyelet of the hook. The line then ties to a clip that is attached to the blade. The blade works similarly to the way the lip on a crankbait works, by causing the bait to wobble from side to side as it’s retrieved.
Over the years, more and more lure companies have made their own bladed jigs to compete with the Chatterbait. A good example is the Rage Blade by Strike King, it’s different but the same idea. On this page we will dive in to some of the more popular bladed jigs and how to fish them.
Top Rated Bladed Jigs
It wasn’t long after the Chatterbait hit the market that other lure companies began to replicate it. The demand for the Chatterbait’s action was way too big for other companies to not want to get a piece of the pie. The only problem for those companies is that Z-Man holds three patents on the design. So the only thing other lure makers could do was try to work around them.
The patents have to do with the way the blade connects to the eyelet of the hook, so some lure designers added split rings between the connection to make it different. The modification worked and still works, but there is definitely a difference in the action. Some lure manufacturers stuck with that design and others went back to the drawing board.
Let’s have a look at some of the best bladed jigs to come about since the Chatterbait.
Of course we still need to include the Chatterbait. It is still the original, and king of the bladed baits. Since the original chatterbait was born, new versions have been created in different sizes and levels of quality. They are now made from as small as one eighth of an ounce ranging up to ounce and a quarter.
There are also models with increased quality and slight design tweaks. Things like the brand of the hook, the metallic finish on the blade, and the details on the head. The most souped up Chatterbait is the Jackhammer.
The rage blade was actually created by the same guy who invented the Chatterbait. His name is Ron Davis, and after selling all the rights to the Chatterbait to Z-Man, worked with Strike King to create the Rage Blade. What makes the Rage Blade unique is that unlike on other bladed jigs, the weight is a part of the blade instead of the hook.
The new design is supposed to make this bait more weedless and increase your hook up ratio. Some anglers complained about missing too many fish on the Chatterbait but others don’t seem to think so at all. The one thing that is for sure, is this design allows the bait to have a nice vertical drop as it sinks.
Booyah Bait Company has finally joined the bladed jig battle with their brand new bait called the Melee Jig. It has an interesting new design that is made to keep it down in the water column, since bladed jigs tend to want to swim upward.
This bladed jig hasn’t been out long enough to have any feedback on it. Once we’ve been able to fish it some will update this section.
Bladed Jig Fishing
Bladed jigs are fished the same way you would fish a swim jig. In fact, they are often referred to as bladed swim jigs. They are kind of like a mixture of a swim jig, a crankbait, and a spinnerbait all in one bait. And like those three lures, bladed jigs are power fishing lures.
What it also has in common with those lures is the action is automatically created as it’s retrieved by the resistance of the water. As it travels through the water, the blade at the head of the bait deflects the water causing it to wobble from side to side.
The best way to fish a bladed jig is either in a straight retrieve or in an up and down jigging style retrieve. This is when you make the bait swim up in the water column, and then let it flutter down. Let it sink for a few seconds before making it swim up again. You want to repeat this motion continuously during the retrieve to create the action of a struggling baitfish.
Bladed jig are fairly weedless, so you want to work them in and around cover. Swimming a bladed jig through grass is probably the best way to fish a bladed jig. But it is also affecting around cover like timber, docks, and rocks. Try to deflect the bait off objects like those and you are sure to trigger a reaction strike.
Bladed Jig Trailers
You always fish a bladed jig with a soft plastic jig trailer. In addition to the head-wobbling action at the front of the bait, the trailer puts out action at the back of the bait. The type of action you get depends on the style trailer you use.
The two main types of trailers used for bladed jigs are either craw trailers or a paddle tail trailers. A craw trailer is going to give you a vertical claw kicking action, while the paddle tail trailer will be a side to side swimbait action. Yamamoto bait company actually created a special trailer just for bladed jigs called a Zako.
A lot of anglers compare bladed jig fishing to spinnerbait fishing. Some even say the bladed jig has replaced the spinnerbait. They both work great under the same conditions but the biggest difference is the bladed jig gives off less flash. So some anglers go from a spinnerbait to a bladed jig for a more subtle presentation.