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Lure Review

 

Underrated Over Performer, the Jackall Rhythm Wave (continued)

 

Operation: The first thing that I'll say about the Jackall Rhythm Wave is that it immediately looks and feels familiar. It doesn't break the mold from many other existing solid paddletails in that the main body features an exaggerated profile, is ribbed to create additional vibration when retrieved, and is finished with a recognizable round boot-style tail.

 


Pretty quickly the Rhythm Wave proved to be an effective fish catcher

 

One of the things that I like most about solid bodied paddletails, including the Rhythm Wave, is that they can be rigged so many different ways. The most standard rig utilizes a jighead with the hook exposed, but baits can also be rigged weedless, fished on standard un-weighted hooks, pinned on underspins, used as part of an a-rig, or paired with other baits as a trailer, like spinnerbaits and vibrating swim jigs.

 


The unique dense plastic, taper of the body, understated ribs, and thin tail design all add up to a bait that swims with subtle tail kicking and rocking motion

 

Once in the water the Jackall Rhythm Wave's subtle design profile yields some very noticeable characteristics, including a rocking motion and understated tail kick that effectively displaces water, but is more subtle than the hard kicking action on many other paddletials. At first I wasn't sure about the consistency of the plastic but found that the tail taper is thin enough that the action is not only consistent but seems to match the cadence of the lure's rocking action. I'm not sure if this was intentional by Jackall but the overall combined action helps bring the bait to life in a very genuine way.

 

(Update 11/7/19 - Jackall confirmed that this combination of the kick and rock in cadence was the goal of the bait's original design and the key inspiration to why it was named the Rhythm Wave, as the lure moves in rhythm.)

 


The bait really comes to life in the water and that rocking motion makes the bait seem very lifelike, even when the tail doesn't kick as hard as competing baits

 

The Rhythm Wave looks more natural in the water than many competing baits, and depending on what style of rigging, I found it really effective when fished throughout the water column, and even at different speeds. In general, the warmer the water the faster I could retrieve the bait and still draw followers and strikes. There were some days that the bait delivered non-stop action, and while many of the fish were dinks, I was able to catch quality fish once I was able to work my way through the aggressive males.

 


Like other paddletails one of the best things about this bait is how easy it is to fish with just about any light setup

 

My favorite rigs with the Rhythm Wave ultimately turned out to be fishing it with a standard jighead, followed by pairing it with a Warbait underspin, and finally utilizing it as a trailer on swim jigs and chatterbaits. This is a great bait to add to just about any lure in an effort to better match the hatch. I found the most useful sizes to be the 2.8" and 3.8" sizes, but having the larger options helped extend the bait's effectiveness in deeper water, and when I knew there were larger sunfish or trout in the water.

 

The number one question I get about this bait is whether or not it is better than the Keitech Fat Impact? In clear water, and when the colors matched local forage closely, the Rhythm Wave delivered more strikes, but on most occasions the performance was extremely close. There are more color options in the Keitech arsenal, and in situations when fish want something more aggressive, like in stained water, the Keitech's more aggressive tail thump helped push it over the edge. Together these baits are a deadly subtle-to-aggressive one two punch.

 


Fished on light line and a spinning rod the smaller sizes were popular among sunfish as well

 

Price and Applications: The Jackall Rhythm Wave is one of the best paddletails that I have ever fished, and by the end of our tests it had truly earned a spot as one of my confidence baits. The combination of that subtle tail kick and rocking action works at just about any speed, and when it comes to durability this bait lasts longer than just about any other paddletail, including the Keitech offerings. The only durability issue I had was when I encountered thick schools of big bluegill or shellcrackers that would chew the tails clean off. The $4.99-$5.99 price per pack is reasonable, especially when you consider the quality packaging, and quality of the baits themselves.

 

The Jackall Rhythm Wave is a must buy for paddletail fans, and is effective at targeting so many more species beyond just bass. The only thing that the series needs is more color and pattern options. Many of the existing patterns are effective bluegill and shad imitators, but where are the red, chartreuse, junebug, pink options?

 

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 Rhythm Wave Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Jackall doesn't mess around when it comes to quality, and both their hard and soft bait offerings exhibit excellent construction and attention to detail. The Rhythm Wave paddletails are no different 8.5
Performance This is a fish catcher plain and simple. The Jackall Rhythm Wave was able to hold up against some of the top producing baits, including the Keitech Swing Impact, and that is saying a lot! The bait is also a great trailer because of how durable it is, and the subtle tail action seems to add extra effectiveness to just a bout every bait I paired it with 9.5
Price Similarly priced to the competition and because they hold up so well one pack can last a really long time 8.5
Features Though the bait looks very similar to other solid bodied paddletails it delivers a unique subtle tail kick and rocking combination that is absolutely deadly. As far as refinement goes this bait matches up with other premium offerings 8
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to rig, easy to fish, and easy to build confidence with. Some may call this bait a dink catcher but it is capable of catching big fish, and even if it is a dinkapolooza, who doesn't crave action sometimes? 8.5
Application Good for more than just largemouth and smallmouth bass. This bait is good for targeting stripers, and sunfish love it too (sometimes too much). The only thing that the series really needs is more color options. Keitech has literally 5X as many options to pick from to match the hatch 8

Total Score

8.50

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
+ Delivers a really quality action that is subtle and yet deadly effective - There are already a lot of very good options out there
+ Easy to fish and good by itself or as a trailer - Doesn't out-perform proven baits like the Keitech hands down, but there are areas where it can shine
+ Great packaging that protects each bait - Need more color options
+ Excellent quality and consistency  
+ Reasonable price  
+ Very good durability (unless you run into a pack of aggressive sunfish)  

 

Conclusion: The Jackall Rhythm Wave is a really good bait, and one that is completely underrated, and mostly because there are already a number of old-guard options that have also proven to be very effective. With so many great options already on the market why then would anglers even consider giving the Jackall option a try? Even I found it difficult to put down some of my favorite paddletails to give the Rhythm Wave a proper shot, but once I did what I found was a very effective, and worthy, addition to my paddletail arsenal.

 

What Jackall has managed to accomplish with the Rhythm Wave is create a bait that immediately feels familiar and is easy to fish, and yet delivers a subtle combination of wobble and tail kicking action that really appeals to fish.

 


I'm glad that I finally gave the Rhythm Wave a try. This bait is incredibly effective and delivers both action and quality fish, and holds up well over time

 

Not only is the Jackall Rhythm Wave an effective bait fished with a jighead alone, but it also added effectiveness to just about any bait that I paired it with. If you are new to paddletails, or small swimbaits in general, the Jackall Rhythm Wave is a great choice that will inspire confidence quickly. If you are a seasoned paddletail practitioner I still think the Rhythm Wave is worth a toss, if the offered patterns match your local baitfish. Based on how effective and durable these baits have been in the span of the last two seasons they have now made it into my preferred "go to" paddletails. With so many available competing options the Jackall Rhythm Wave has been underutilized and underrated by many anglers, but this bait is such a quality fish catcher that it is certainly not underappreciated by those that have given it a chance, and is now a worthy recipient of our Editor's Choice Award. Time to shine Rhythm Wave!

 

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