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Lure Review

Never Judge a Book by its Cover, the unassuming Jackall Crosstail Shad (continued)


Casting: My preferred rigging for fishing the Crosstail is to use a light fluorocarbon line, when I say light I mean 5-6lb. line for lakes with good clarity and 4lb. for lakes with excellent clarity. I rarely use 8lb. line for drop shotting because it is more visible but primarily because it doesnít handle nearly as well as lighter lines when it comes to casting. I also prefer fluorocarbon lines because I find they transmit strikes much better than traditional monofilament.


A simple lob cast and we are in business


Casting this bait is as simple as casting any other drop shot rig and like most finesse fishing applications casting is more about precision than distance. Most anglers will either cast towards structure and work a drop shot rig in an area where the fish might be holding or rely on their electronics and drop down to work in and around schooling bait or target suspended fish.


Rig the Crosstail in the head


Retrieving: The right way to rig this bait is to nose hook the lure on a small drop shot hook. I personally prefer a Gamakatsu size 1 dropshot/splitshot hook or Owner Mosquito hooks. The right drop shot weight depends on your line type and application but most of the time a 3/16oz. or 1/4oz. is enough to get the job done. How much space you want to leave on the tag end between the hook and the weight really depends on where the fish are positioned, most of the time I leave about a foot to eighteen inches to get the bait positioned above the lake bottom.  


Using electronics to target suspended fish


Though the Crosstail may not look like much it is absolute magic underwater. The different colors give the lure incredible sheen underwater and the bait seems to transition under different lighting. Simply impart a little action on the tip of the rod and this lure absolutely comes alive, pull up a few inches and drop your rod tip and the bait will dart up and down in a lifelike swimming action.


A closer look at the Superpin-Tail shad, it certainly looks a lot more lifelike


What I found most interesting about the Crosstail was that even when the bait is not moved the lure still suspends and vibrates. The bait features just the right amount of salt and is able to suspend while the current catches the tail and causes the bait to quiver ever so slightly like a hovering baitfish. What fish exactly see we can only guess, but fish devour the Crosstail lures like candy, they simply canít resist this bait and will readily charge and commit to what I believe they view is an easy kill.


The same rigging through the head


The Crosstail is good in a variety of depths and as long as you can target the right area where fish are holding they will readily strike this lure in both shallow and deep water. I also found this an excellent lure for targeting both largemouth and smallmouth and during field testing I even caught the occasional Crappie or oversized bluegill with the Crosstail Shad.


The Crosstail Purple Winnie outside of the water...

Next Section: A look at the Crosstail Shad underwater









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