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Lure Review


Sometimes Smaller Really is Better: The Gantarel Jr. Swimbait (continued)

 

Design & Ergonomics: The Gantarel Jr. is the easiest of the three baits to fish and yet it doesnít require anglers to make any feature sacrifices. You can still attach a drop weight on the chin or a trailer hook on the tail (though I never found this necessary), and you can fish the Gantarel Jr. on just about any non-finesse rod. I preferred fishing the bait on braided line but in a pinch you can easily fish the bait on 12lb. and above monofilament, just double check those knots.

 

The Gantarel Jr. features the same details that made the original so popular


Durability on the Gantarel Jr. is excellent, and over extended use I found that the only areas showing wear was the sides of the bait from treble hook scratches and loss of feathers on the dressed hooks. Both of which did not reduce the effectiveness of the baits to any measurable extent. There are a lot of good colors to pick from and the matte finishes and new RT patterns are stunning. Interestingly the two patterns that performed the best for me were not the flashy finishes but rather the much more muted RT Spawn Gill and RT Carp patterns, but like all baits trying to match the hatch in your local body of water is key.

 


A frog rod can easily handle the Gantarel Jr. swimbaits


Price & Applications: The Gantarel Jr. is marketed as being just as lethal as its big brother, just in a smaller size, but I found it was not only more fishable, but more effective almost across the board.

 

While the standard Gantarel and Gigantarel acted as natural culling mechanisms fishing a Gantarel Jr. doesnít necessarily equate to catching small fish, and during the field tests the three largest bass I caught with these lures over the last three months, two sixes and an eight, were all caught on the Gantarel Jr. bait.

 


The Gigantarel delivered quality fish but much fewer strikes than the Gantarel Jr.


In terms of price the Gantarel Jr. is also the most affordable Gantarels at $31.99 each, eight dollars less than the standard, and eighteen dollars less than the Gigantarel. There are a few competing options out there but none that offer the same level of features and finishes that the Jackall lineup boasts. The most serious competition comes from the Lucky Craft Real Gill which is really aggressively priced at $19.99 each. We are in the process of testing that bait now but thus far the Jackall Gantarel Jr. has continued to deliver the best cast to catch ratio of any 5Ē class S-Pattern bluegill swimbait we have tested to date.

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Jackall Gantarel Jr. Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Like the original the Jackall Gantarel Jr. is a well built bait with excellent consistency both in finish and swimming action 9.3
Performance The Gantarel Jr. really surprised me delivering both consistent strikes and quality fish. Even though the bait appeals to a wider range of fish this is by no means a swimbait for small fish and it actually caught some of the biggest fish on multiple trips. The performance was consistently on par or better than the original 9
Price More affordable than the original and yet does not require anglers to make any sacrifices 8.8
Features Plenty of features including the quality finishes, 3D fins, extra hook hanger in the tail, swiveling hooks, and the flexibility of a second line tie under the chin 9.0
Design (Ergonomics) We wanted more sizes and Jackall gave us two more. The Gantarel Jr. is easy to fish and you can cast it all day long without breaking a sweat 9
Application The Gantarel Jr. can be used for everything that the original can be utilized for and even a bit more as it can be fished on lighter tackle and in clear water where fish are looking for a bait this is a little more subtle. The Jackall Jr. represents easy prey and can be used in any body of water where sunfish reside 9.0

Total Score

9.01
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Finishes are top notch and there are now even more new matte and RT finishes to select from - Still doesn't have that custom and exclusive feel like some of the competing handmade swimbaits, but on the plus side it is a lot more affordable
+ More features than other bluegill baits and the smaller size does not mean making sacrifices - Feathers to come off the hooks after viscous strikes, but the lures still perform
+ The smaller size is easy to fish with most casting outfits  
+ Though smaller the Gantarel Jr. delivers quality fish  
+ A reasonable price that is lower than the original  

 

Conclusion: Sometimes a smaller version of the same bait is just that, smaller. In the case of the Gantarel Jr. I found a bait that was not only less intimidating to fish but also incredibly effective in any body of water where sunfish are on the menu. Bass love to chase this bait and because of the smaller profile they are not only more likely to give chase but commit to the lure.

 


The Gantarel Jr. produced not only quality fish but often boated the largest fish on many trips

 

While the Gigantarel is a fun bait to fish it is somewhat like committing to swinging for the fences, strikes are much fewer and far between, and it didnít guarantee that I caught the biggest fish either. In contrast I felt like I had a legitimate chance to catch a quality fish each and every cast I made with the Gantarel Jr., and it was responsible for boating some of the biggest fish I caught on multiple trips.

 


The Gantarel Jr. may be small but it is mighty


I need to spend more time fishing the Gigantarel before I can really determine how the biggest bait in the family rates but my mind is already been made up on the smallest. The Gantarel Jr. is a winner and has quickly become my favorite of the three. The Gantarel Jr. is a flat out fish catching machine, a worthy recipient (2 times for this family if youíre counting the original) of our Editorís Choice Award, and proves that sometimes smaller can really be better.

 

Looking for the Jackall Gantarel Jr? Try Tackle Warehouse

 

 

 

 

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