Northeast Bass Fishing Forums

General Fishing => The Hawg Forum => Topic started by: Eric-Maine on April 11, 2018, 05:58:28 PM

Title: Jack Hammer
Post by: Eric-Maine on April 11, 2018, 05:58:28 PM
$15 for a chatterbait have to admit I bought some. Do I need an INTERVENTION? They were on sale. Lol

I made one prototype for fishing letdowns and bushes....flat eye arkie with fiber guard. Went through the wood and caught some nice ones......before I did lose it. Glad it wasn't 15 bucks!

Made an order when I got home on Sunday with my order today. Will have a few dozen next trip out.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Brazzy on April 12, 2018, 08:31:05 AM
Yep.. I have a bunch of them.. I have to be honest though, the regular chatterbait is $4 at walmart.. I do like the Jackhammers but are they $12-$15 better? I dont know.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Mitz on April 12, 2018, 09:51:45 AM
I couldn't get myself to keep buying them so I started making them.

There is nothing better than catching 5lbrs on your own baits! Plus when you tie one on take a cast then hear that mid flight line snap, watching your bait sail across the pond and the next zip code it doesn't hurt as much because it only cost me about $2...  (giggle)

Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Curt - RI on April 12, 2018, 10:01:02 AM
What is the big draw with the Jackhammer that's supposed to make them worth $15 - $20?

I've been making my own bladed jigs for a few years now and they catch a ton of bass for pennies on the dollar compared to the retail stuff.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Joe P on April 12, 2018, 10:08:54 AM
Gerald Swindel was hyping these up and now there all the rage!

They look good but 15 is hard to part with when the cheaper ones work good..
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Brazzy on April 12, 2018, 10:17:12 AM
Well the draw overall of the chatterbait vs home made is the blade connecting directly to the jig vs using a split ring on the home made versions. The blade clacking and making that "chatter" sound is the biggest difference. So I completely understand buying it vs making it. However, he regular one is $4.. the jackhammer is $16.. and really the differences are very minor. Really the jackhammer is made with higher quality components, but does that warrant the hiked up price. Either way.. I bought a bunch.. so we shall see. Swindle was funny during the classic talking about not being sponsored and having to pay $17 like all y'all.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Curt - RI on April 12, 2018, 10:25:45 AM
Well the draw overall of the chatterbait vs home made is the blade connecting directly to the jig vs using a split ring on the home made versions.

Right. The patent that ZMan holds on the chatterbait is all about the direct connection of the blade to the jig. But I've gotta tell you that using a split ring is actually better in many ways.

When the bait is made with a split ring, it gives the jig more freedom of movement. This actually allows the blade and head to make contact during the retrieve, creating more noise than it could ever possibly make without the split ring.

Check out these two pics showing how much contact is made and the resulting missing paint on the head of the lure!

( (

( (

When I first started making them it was still possible to buy the heads that allowed the blade to connect directly. When those heads went away, I was frustrated. But as I spent time fishing with the new ones I had made, with the split ring, I found out how much better they are with the split ring!
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: metz12 on April 12, 2018, 04:50:55 PM
I have never migrated away from the $5 and under Zman Chatterbaits myself. Honestly I don't see the advantage of the high end expensive chatterbaits when I know I will throw them into another timezone when they snap off like @Mitz said, or when I go fishing for the elusive Tree Trout. I have been looking into making my own bladed jigs now for a while, but I havent yet pulled the trigger. I really have been hesitant now, due to this video by Tactical Bassin on youtube. (

These guys have some great tips, but from what Matt Allen said, is that he shies away from any chatterbait that has the dual split ring. Now I have @Curt - RI saying the split rings are a good thing  ??? I am not saying that these guys I have never met before and fish all the way across the country are right by any means. Because if curt says that split rings are better, I will put in a LPO order right now and make some to test out for myself. Well, here I am starting to ramble. Anyways, hopefully this adds a bit more confusion to the thread.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Curt - RI on April 12, 2018, 08:24:39 PM
@metz12 I was also hesitant, as I said, when I was no longer able to buy the parts to make them with no split ring. But just one day on the water with a "split ring bait" made a believer out of me.

Trust me when I tell you that if you make your own with a split ring, you'll never buy another ZMan bait again.  :nope:
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Brazzy on July 12, 2018, 09:17:48 AM
So all spring I have been tinkering around with a combination of the original chatterbait, some locally made BSJ's and the jackhammer. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to the original chatterbait and locally made BSJ's in terms of performance they are about the same. The BSJ has a wider wobble but when you cast them they both sometimes get a little twisted and done always run right away. Sometimes (not always) you gotta give them a twitch to get them to start vibrating. I have found that the original chatterbait skips a lot better than a BSJ with a split ring. However, the line connection on the original chatterbait is suspect to say the least while most home made BSJ's use decent quality snaps.

So now I lead to the Jackhammer. Always runs as soon as you turn the handle, it skips a little better than the original chatterbait (likely because of the weight), and the connections are not a concern. The wire double keeper eliminates my need to put a dab of glue to hold the trailer. Does it justify the price tag? Eh. I plan on having a bunch on my boat, but do I feel that everyone needs a box full of these? No. Having 1 or 2 in your favorite color wouldnt hurt if you arent breaking the bank to get them.

As for trailers. I have been experimenting with a few different trailers. Mark Zona during a seminar stated that paddle trail swimbaits on a chatterbait "suck". Thats a bit strong as people have had a ton of success with those. However, I will say there are much better options. People are adapting and starting to rig paddle tails upside down or cutting the tail off. I think these options are better. The first is the cheapest, easiest and most versatile for other applications, and that is the zoom fluke. Super cheap, very effective, and odds are you already have some. Reacts well to the action of the head and doesnt work against the bait.  The second is the Yamamoto Zako. A little pricier, and really serves one purpose as a chatterbait trailer. However, it allows for good side to side swimming acting and reacts ok to pulses, stop/go, and stroking/ripping. The best trailer IMO and its not even close is a bit more rare. It is a segmented swimbait with a tail that is horizontal. Originally from Japan it is a Imakatsu Javallon. In the fall I bought this mold and have been pouring my own and now Lake Fork Lures is now carrying these as the "Live Magic Shad". In terms of action, these things are money. They follow the lure remarkable well and will really react well to a pulse or twitch as the bait will react like a segmented swimbait with the body following the head. The one down side to these are that the plastic joining the segments is very thin and smaller fish tend to tear them in half quite a bit. So you go through a lot of these. However, they are a clear #1 in my opinion. I've felt this way for a while and spent a good portion of yesterday experimenting with different chatterbaits and different trailers. Just talking what the "best" combination is I feel its the jackhammer with the Javallon / Live Magic Shad / BHB Swimming Shad.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Joe P on July 12, 2018, 09:57:08 AM
I love Zona but i don't agree with that statement. 

One of my favorite chatterbaits trailers is the BPS speed shad. I also love the lake fork boot tail swim bait.
Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Brazzy on July 12, 2018, 10:20:19 AM
Its hard to argue with due to the amount of success people have had with paddle tails. I think a lot of that has to do with he fact that when this bait burst onto the scene its what we all used as a trailer. Fast forward and people are now putting together videos that show how the paddle/boot tails work against the chatterbait rather than with it, and that its mostly been the profile and not the action that has triggered strikes. More and more people are coming out with videos about rigging the paddle tail upside down or cutting the paddle off to not make it work against the chatterbait. Meanwhile companies are making plastics specifically for this purpose (magic shad, hammer shad, zako, etc). Zona's words were strong and I thought he was nuts. Having tried the other options (he recommended a zako) I understand what he means. The difference in the action is on a whole other level.

Title: Re: Jack Hammer
Post by: Curt - RI on July 12, 2018, 11:07:21 AM
@Brazzy Great info. Thanks for sharing!

I currently use boot tail soft swimbaits as a trailer. But I have also used Zoom Super Flukes in the past. In light of your info, I might go back to the flukes and see if I notice a difference.  :yes: