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Lure Review

Simplifying the art of the jig : CritterBait Tackle Company's Swim Jig


Date: 7/29/05
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: CritterBait Tackle Co.
Reviewer: Cal


Total Score: 8.67 + INNOVATION AWARD

Introduction: One of the most basic and effective lures for targeting black bass during any time of the year is the jig. But with the overabundance of jig choices out there, how does an angler decide which jig to choose, let alone when to actually fish it? Here at TackleTour, one of the traits we look for in any product is something that separates it from the pack. Critterbait Tackle Company out of Olathe, Kansas offers several products with their very own, patented, CritterKeeper rigging system - a system that is both unique and quite effective. We take a look at one of their products with this unique rigging system, the Critterbait Swim Jig. 

Critterbait Swim Jig Specifications

Material Lead
Diving Depth Any
Weight 3 available from 3/8 - 5/8 ounce
Colors / Patterns Approximately 12 Colors
Colors Tested Black/Blue/Purple, Silver Flash
Hook Mustad Wide-Bend
Additional Features CritterKeeper System, also available with rattles
MSRP $2.99

Impressions: For all its simplicity and versatility, the jig is also one of the most confusing baits for the novice fisherman to understand. Let's take, for instance, the standard, fibrous weed guard which is quite simply composed of several strands of very stiff plastic fibers. To trim or not to trim is one question; fan out or not is another; if you fan, how does that affect the trim? Should I trim perpendicular to the jig or along it's length? Then, for the trailer, is it more effective to thread my plastic bait along the length of the hook, or should I just hook it in the nose? Can I fish it without a trailer? The list of questions goes on and we haven't even tied the bait to the end of our line yet!


The CritterBait Tackle Company Swim Jig

Enter CritterBait Tackle Company with their patented CritterKeeper system that combines the functionality of a trailer with need for a degree of protection from snags. This system is as simple as they come and consists of a j-bend wire piece extending in line with the hook point from the head of the jig. To take advantage of the system, all one has to do is insert the head of a plastic bait into the j-bend wire, then Texas rig the back end of the plastic bait just like a regular hook. Simple and effective. So how does this system perform out on the water?

Rigging with CritterBait's CritterKeeper system is as easy as 1, 2, 3

The Field Tests: For our tests, we acquired a couple of the CritterBait Swim Jigs in the half ounce size with the intent of throwing them on our new, favorite jig rod, the Megabass F6-69X Super Destroyer III. We wanted a jig large enough to pitch significant distances and swim down at a depth of about eight to twelve feet easily.


Complete test rig for Critterbait Swim Jig Field Tests

Rod Megabass F6-69X SuperDestroyer III
Reel Daiwa TD-Ito 103HL
Line 14lb, Berkley Fireline

We paired our Super Destroyer III with the TD-Ito 103HL still spooled with the same 14lb Berkley Fireline from our tests earlier this year. Superlines are great for fishing with jigs as they transmit every breath, look, and stare any hungry or curious bass may send your way.

The CritterKeeper rigging system by Critterbait Tackle Company


Rigging: As billed, the CritterKeeper rigging system is a simple and effective method for attaching trailers to the CritterBait jigs and jig heads. We tried a variety of different trailers and only ran into a moment of hesitation when attaching pork trailers or plastic baits with the same configuration as a pork chunk. In the case of these baits, if the same weedless protection is desired, after hooking the pork trailer, simply take a worn plastic worm, thread it through the bait keeper, Texas rig it, then tear off the excess. The only care that needs to be taken is to be sure and use a worm thin enough so as not to bunch up with the pork or pork-like trailer during hookset. Just the same, with the ease by which traditional plastics are attached, we fished our swim jigs with craw imitators that were easily rigged with the CritterKeeper system.


The living rubber skirt of our CritterBait Swim Jig in action

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