|Jig Size||Cost||Hook Brand||Hook Size||Keeper Type||Eye/Line Tie Orientation||Head Colors||Head Paint Type||Collar Type||No. of Skirt Strands||Skirt Colors|
|1 oz||$2.79||Mustad Ultrapoint||5/0||lead barb||vertical||CAMO, Black||Powder||rubber||55, (58 – Falcon Craw)||8|
|1/2 oz||$2.79||Mustad Ultrapoint||4/0||lead barb||vertical||CAMO, Green Pumpkin, Black||Powder||rubber||55, (58 – Falcon Craw)||8|
|3/8 oz||$2.79||Mustad Ultrapoint||4/0||lead barb||vertical||CAMO, Green Pumpkin, Black||Powder||rubber||55, (58 – Falcon Craw)||8|
|1/4 oz finesse||$2.49||Mustad Ultrapoint||3/0||wire hook keeper||horizontal||Green Pumpkin, Black||Custom||o-ring||55, (58 – Falcon Craw)||8|
|3/16 oz finesse||$2.49||Mustad Ultrapoint||3/0||wire hook keeper||horizontal||Green Pumpkin, Black||Custom||o-ring||55, (58 – Falcon Craw)||8|
The BNF zone. Heavy Cover. Visions of dinner plate size lily pads and lush carpet-like grassmats stretch as far as they mind can imagine. Thickets of tules, reeds and slop thicker than Casey Rybecks bouillabaisse (had to insert a little Steven Seagal reference here!) dance in your mind’s eye. But the BNF zone isnt just the nastiest of the nasty aquatic plants.
Wood: a BNF nightmare you think! Evil branches like withered witches limbs snag and tangle. Bark abrades and cuts through line like a cheesegrater on steroids. Most anglers take a few halfhearted casts at submerged wood with small streamlined baits, catch nothing but snags and are more than happy to slink away with their tail between their legs to easier pickings, and the ginormous bass that reside in the V’s, X’s, Y’s and hidey holes in the labyrinth of submerged branches are left undisturbed.
The BNF angler, however would dissect that wood like a surgeon, using every lure and technique at his disposal to present his lure to those untouched bass. One particular lure that excels in this very situation is the Moaner Hooks’ The Predator Jig. This lure was designed, tested and retested for over a year by Moaner before being offered for sale and to put it mildly is a stand up style jig taken to a whole different level.
The Predator Jig’s 8 colors each boast 55 strands of silicone per skirt (58 for the Falcon Craw color), with a rattle ready collar The Predator Jig skirt has just the right amount of bulk and shape, and can be easily trimmed and fine tuned for whatever presentation the bass prefer. Mix in your option of three powder painted jighead colors; Black, CAMO, and Green Pumpkin, you can cover a wide variety of situations.
The Predator Jig head has a unique stand up style design, and the regular and finesse versions each have elements particular to their applications. The regular 3/8 oz., 1/2 oz., and 1 oz. The Predator Jigs have a vertical line tie due to it’s all-purpose application (though BNF recognizes it’s inherent benefits in wood cover with it’s semi recessed line tie) . Due to it’s propensity to snag in heavier structure, the horizontal line tie was passed over in favor of a partially recessed vertical line tie on the regular sizes. The brushguard is soft enough to compress well on hooksets, still stiff enough to prevent most hook snags, and long enough to make length adjustments to your preference.
The 3/16 oz. and 1/4 oz. models of The Predator Finesse Jig are extremely downsized compared to regular jig sizes and tuned for use with light line tests. The finesse versions are designed with the cross eye/horizontal line tie. The knots remain stationary, ensuring the lessened energy of the light line hookset is transferred as efficiently as possible into the hook point and the fish. The bait keeper is a wire hook instead of the jighead barb that comes on the regular sizes and that would be impractical on the tiny finesse jighead.
So, thus far we’ve seen that Moaner Hooks have designed a stand up style jig that is finely tuned and executed for use in their intended applications, be it pitching or flipping 1 oz-ers into heavy wooded cover or light lining those finicky or pressured fish with a 3/16 oz finesse jig, and that well designed jigs don’t have to break the bank. Let’s just put it out there, plain and simple: $2.79 for a top quality 1 oz. jig is crazy!!! It makes it a lot easier psychologically to present these jigs to bass in the worst types of cover and not having to worry about the cost factor when you snag up (which you will if you’re fishing in the BNF zone).
Here’s a couple of examples of bass caught in heavy and wooded cover on The Predator Jig:
There will be a full season’s testing of Moaner Hooks’ The Predator Jig to come, with updates to this preview/review as I learn more about this jig and it’s qualities. However, I can do some preliminary ratings from my experiences so far.
Ratings (out of 10)
A stand up style jig that imitates crayfish natural defensive postures, with each size tuned and tweaked for optimal presentation and function and that excels in wood? Two big bass chewed thumbs up in my books!
The quality of the components are excellent from hook to skirt. I would prefer a hand tied skirt instead of a band however, as my experiences with jigs in the past are that the the rubber collar bands weaken (and react with the silicone in the skirt) and skirts are lost or pulled off in heavy cover situations, and a hand tied skirt would eliminate this.
I haven’t fished these long enough to determine their full durability. However, aside from my skirt attachment hangup described above, I’ve fished these jigs in wood, weeds, rock and the powder paint on the jighead itself has come through with less than the usual wear and tear and chipping.
The action is hard to determine as I’ve only fished it in deeper stained water and so have been unable to really study it in detail. However, the 55 strand silicone skirt flares nicely, and the jig stands up without falling over even on fairly uneven terrain, maintaining it’s defensive posture imitation.
I love the Pecado Color, and the realism of the other craw colors. The colors cover the basic range very well, however I’d like to see more options, with perhaps some paler early spring craw colors, and maybe a Potomac/Okeechobee blue/green pumpkin combination, and a shad type color. I can only imagine a shad type color with a similar colored small swimbait like a Keitech Swing Impact or soft jerkbait as a trailer nosing around on the bottom with the tail of the bait twitching around. Bass’d kill it!!
You absolutely cannot beat the value that you get in this quality jig for the price of $2.79 and $2.49 for the finesse version. An absolute steal!
Heavy Slop: maybe
It’d have to be the 1 oz version punched through. It did seem to collect more than it’s fair share of algae snot, but then again, it’s head is not designed for slop.
Grass Mats: maybe
same as above, if punched.
Heavy pads around wood and or rock would be optimal
Weeds: yes depending on type
Depending on the type of weeds, I’d throw it with out hesitation, unless theres some really clingy snotlike stuff.
Reeds: to be determined
I haven’t thrown it around reeds as of yet, so, to be determined
Wood: Hell Yeah!
It’s crazy, but you’d think a stand up style jig wouldn’t work in wood, but somehow the head gets down and dirty in the limbs and branches and works it’s magic.
Stay tuned for updates on the Moaner Hooks’ The Predator Jig through the next fishing season.
In the meantime you can purchase The Predator Jig and all of the Moaner Hooks’ products at their secure website:
Moaner Hooks’ The Predator Jig was tested using the following tackle:
Jackall Poison Heritage Delta Spec 7’3″ rod
Quantum EXO SPT casting reel
Yozuri Hybrid Clear 15lb, 20lb test
Hometown Baits custom pour Craw, Damiki Air Craw, Roboworm Kickin’ Craw, Uncle Josh Meat Beaver
Here’s a little promo video I found for Moaner Hooks on Youtube. It’s a year old, and The Predator Jig is a fairly recent addition to the Moaner lineup, so it’s no featured, but I figured I’d share the video anyways.