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Lure Review

An innovative enhancement to soft jerkbaits, the Buttoneye Jerk

Date: 5/20/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Cotee Bait Co.
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 7.67

Introduction: Jerkbaits are popular lures when it comes to freshwater sportfishing, especially here in the Western U.S. Cotee designs an innovative new system to enhance plastic jerkbaits called the Buttoneye Jerk. weedless bait.


Buttoneye Jerk Weedless Bait Kit Specifications

Type Soft plastic Jerk bait
Length 5.5 inches
Kit includes 7 different color scented plastics, 2 buttoneyes, and 1 Mustad Megabite worm hook
MSRP $8.20 per kit

About Cotee: Founded in 1983, Cotee Bait Co. is headed by President and founder Steve Marusak. As an angler and design engineer, Steve concentrates on bringing the fishing community innovative products through research and manufacturing.


Impressions: The Cotee Buttoneye minnows profiles are similar to other suspending plastic jerkbaits out there, but with the added benefits of Cotee's "button" eye design. The scented plastics have a slit on the bottom and two holes on each side near the front of the jerkbait. The plastic minnows come in attractive colors for varying conditions. The Buttoneye rattling frame is the most innovative portion of the entire minnow assembly. The frame has two raised eyes on each side and snaps directly onto any offset/J-bend worm hook. Inside of the frame is a sound chamber that contains one bb to produce a subtle sound in the water, as well as add some weight.


The Buttoneye Jerk baits come in multiple effective colors


The Buttoneye kit comes with 7 scented plastic minnows in various proven colors, two buttoneyes - one red and one yellow, and a sharp Mustad Megabite worm hook.  When rigged together, the Buttoneye becomes a weedless suspending jerkbait.


Complete Rig for Buttoneye Jerk Tests

Rod Quantum Tour Edition PT (PTS664F)
Reel TICA Libra SA2500
Line 6 lb. Sufix DNA


Real World Tests: As water temperatures begin to reach optimum levels bass move up from the depths to shallow water to hunt and spawn. During this period jerkbaits, especially soft jerkbaits, can be very effective.  As the fish are more active and suspended getting your lure to the right zone will ensure better chances of catching more bass.  We set out to test the Cotee Buttoneye Jerk weedless bait on those roaming bass.


How to rig: The Buttoneye was designed to be rigged in seconds.  There's no fussing around and it's so simple you will be fishing in a few quick steps. To rig the Buttoneye jerkbait, simply tie your favorite knot onto a J-bend/offset hook, snap on the Buttoneye, insert the Buttoneye and hook into the slit of the plastic jerkbait, and finally place the hook through the plastic for weedless applications.  That's all!


The Buttoneye frame snapped securely onto the J-bend hook


Fishing around heavy structure: When fishing around heavy vegetation or structure, the one thing you need to be concerned about is getting snagged. That's where the Cotee Buttoneye can come in handy. Rigged weedless and without any additional weight, make your cast into or near the edge of the vegetation. Once the Buttoneye lands start twitching it, with short pauses between each pull, and continue to repeat the procedure all the way in. If fishing right in the vegetation use a continuous twitch. If fishing on the edge or open pockets you can let the bait sink to your desired depth and let it suspend, then twitch again. The movement right after the sudden pause will usually entice fish to strike.


Fishing around light structure: If the vegetable or structure isn't too heavy, weight can be added. How much weight will determine how fast you want the Buttoneye to drop. You can use a split shot for a slow descend, and at the same time jerk the lure to give the minnow some life. Heavier weight can be added to get the lure down to the bottom quicker. Once it reaches the bottom start twitching the Buttoneye Jerk.  This mimics a baitfish feeding off the bottom and is very attractive to bass, so be ready to set the hook. You need to be extra careful because sometimes it is difficult to react quickly to strikes as your line is already transmitting vibration from knocking on and around the lake floor.


The Buttoneye fits nicely into the slit of the soft plastic jerkbait.  It will prevent any slipping that you would experience when threading it the traditional way


Fishing in deeper waters: Fishing in deeper waters will require the use of heavier weight to get the Buttoneye soft jerkbait into the strike zone.  Even though the other techniques mentioned above still apply, we wanted to test the lure in even deeper applications. At this point you can rig the Cotee weedless jerkbait a few different ways - Texas rig, Carolina rig, or Texas rig with the weight pegged at the nose of the minnow. We found the lure effective at deeper depths, but it definitely is best suited closer to the surface where it can be worked more aggressively.


Durability: The Cotee Buttoneye jerkbait consists of the soft plastic body and the "button" eye design. The durability of the soft jerkbait is in actuality very good, and didn't rip or tear even when pulled from snags. or stretched by hand. The real durability test came when the jerkbait was inhaled by bass after bass, and still remained in top form.


The Buttoneye, the actual eye frame that buttons into the soft plastic, is not as durable unfortunately. One of the frames broke the first time I was snapping it onto the hook that came with the kit. The point of weakness, after more analysis, is where the Buttoneye frame is joined.  When trying to snap the Buttoneye onto the hook the force broke this section in half. This could have been 1 out of 100, but that cannot be determined at the moment because the test kit we had only contained 2 units. I will obtain more eyes and conduct more tests and update this section in the future.


When rigged the Buttoneye Jerk is great for working through structure


The Design: This soft bait has many benefits in that it gives a more real life-like action when twitched or jerked in the water, features a pre-scented body that is designed to entice fish to hold on longer for a better hook set, and the buttoned down jerkbait will not slip off your hook like any other traditional hooking style would. The button design is easy to use, quick to install, and will hold your jerkbait in place no matter how hard your jerk this bait.

Cotee Buttoneye Jerk Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The soft jerkbait is very durable, but the buttoneye frame is weak(look for an update in the future) 6
Performance Great actions when twitched and jerked at all levels of water.  Rigged weedless and can be fished around heavy structure without snagging every time 8
Price The suggested retail price is high, but we have found retailers selling them for much less 7
Features The "button" eye feature will ensure your bait will not slip off your hook.  The scented bodies make the bass hold onto the bait longer 8
Design (Ergonomics) An innovative design that's easy to use and effective 8
Application Can be fished around structure and at different depths.  Very flexible bait 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Easy to rig L Fragile button eye frame
J Effective and innovative design  
J Flexibility  

Conclusion: With Summer just around the corner, the bass are becoming more aggressive and it's time for some spawn time fun in the sun. Soft jerkbaits are very effective at this time of the year where the bass are often suspended and will go out of their way to aggressively strike. This innovative design by Cotee brings anglers the actions of a soft plastic jerkbait along with additional new benefits. The Buttoneye Jerk weedless bait is easy to rig, the plastic is buttoned down to ensure it will not slip off your hook, scented minnow bodies, a rattling chamber all are welcome features. Combine these enhancements with a very flexible fishing experience in terms of the depth and technique you can employ and you have a lure that is worth looking at. The only major down side to our test unit was that one of the eye frames from the kit broke. We will be sure to take a higher sample of the Buttoneyes to provide a more accurate review shortly, but aside from that the Cotee Buttoneye one very innovative and effective lure.









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