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Lure Review

Snack Time Anyone? JSJ's Snack Size Gill


Date: 8/18/11
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: JSJ Bait Company
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Two years ago we introduced you JSJ Baits and their brand new Snack Sized Trout, a product that scored well in the company's first TackleTour review earning Editor's Choice Award honors. JSJ followed up their success shortly thereafter with the introduction of a new bait patterned after the sunfish family. We've been fishing this bait on and off since late in 2009 and finally, here now is our review on this Snack Sized Trout's cousin, the Snack Sized Gill.


Introducing JSJ Bait Company's Snack Size Gill.


JSJ Bait Company Snack Size Gill Specifications

Type BigBait
Depth Any
Class Sinking
Size (weight) 6.5" (2.5oz)
R.O.F. ~1 ft per second
Colors/Patterns 4 (light bluegill, dark bluegill, tilapia, crappie)
Hooks 2 1/0 Owner ST-41s
MSRP $80


Impressions: The Snack Sized Gill is a bait slightly larger and a little bit heavier than the Mattlures Hardgill yet also very detailed. It is a four sectioned bait measuring roughly six and a half inches and weighing two and half ounces. The bait come stock with two 1/0 Owner ST-41 treble hooks.


This particular bait was painted by Jeremy Anderson of Black Dog Bait Company.


Our test bait is the result of a collaboration between JSJ Baits and Black Dog Bait Company back in 2009 when the two companies traded baits and painting schemes in a cross promotion for the International Sportsman's Exposition. So this particular bait was built by Josh St. John, but painted by Jeremy Anderson of Black Dog Bait Company.

It was a little tough to get the courage to actually fish this bait, but I finally managed to do it.

Field Tests: I tied this bait to the end of my e21 21 Carrot Gold Stix 21CRG781H-F-SBC and Shimano Conquest 101DC combo spooled with a hollow braid plus fluorocarbon top shot. At only 2.5 ounces, the JSJ Snack Sized Gill can be thrown on just about any extra-heavy power rated casting stick.

This is a three jointed bait with a really nice swimming action.

Action: The Snack Sized Gill swims in a very realistic s-pattern especially at slow speeds. There is a degree of top to bottom wobble to the point where it looks as if the bait is laboring to swim. This occurs at a certain speed kind of between slow and medium. At a slow pace, there's not enough drag in the water to create this wobble, and at medium speeds and faster, the bait is moving too fast to be bothered with wobbling.

Of course, detailing is superb.

As with most multi-jointed hard baits, the SS Gill can be made to do tricks in the water the most consistent of which is a ninety degree change of direction where the bait juts up, then sideways, flashing its side in the process. This occurs on a sudden jerk of the rod tip.

And so are the stock hooks... Owner ST-41s here.

Make this same motion and feed the bait a lot of slack and you can get it to turn around, sometimes flipping upside down and rotating all the way back around to upright in the process. This of course, introduces the potential for fouling your bait as the hooks swing freely to catch the slack line, so exercise this move with caution.

Lifelike eyes give this bait "life".

Rate of Fall: We counted down this bait in about eight feet of water to just about ten seconds. Its fall rate is just under a foot per second and it descends with a parallel to the bottom attitude.

Remember, these baits are individually hand made by Josh St. John... If you've wanted one, buy it when you see it because it's difficult to say when supplies will be replenished.

Availability: JSJ's Snack Sized Gill has been on the market for a few years now and is readily available through your traditional big bait retail outlets – assuming they are an authorized JSJ Baits retailer of course. At the time of this writing, TackleWarehouse had several in stock. Keep in mind that these are individually crafted and painted baits, so availability is not always a constant. If you've been thinking about purchasing one and see one or a few up for sale, it's best to act quickly as you never really know how soon stock will be replenished once it is depleted.


JSJ Bait Company Snack Size Gill Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solidly crafted and constructed bait 8
Performance Really nice swimming action 8
Price Pretty average to very good for a hand made bait 7
Features Stock with solid hooks 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) This bait, in particular is very nice as it was a produced in collaboration with Black Dog Bait Company 9
Application Anytime you think the bass are going to hit a good sized gill bait, don't be afraid to chuck the Snack Size Gill 7.5

Total Score

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:


+ Beautifully crafted bait - Gotta have the confidence to throw something "big"
+ Good swimming action - More variety in stock colors would be nice
+ Quality hooks right out of the package  



It's no secret that I prefer hardbodied swimbaits to their softbodied counterparts - I like the idea of fishing and actually catching something with a piece of art.


Conclusion: It's no secret that my preference when it comes to big baits, is with the hardbodied variety. They are not as easy to fish, nor are they as productive (on average) as the soft bodied variety, but the durability and artistry involved with these individually hand made and hand painted baits in particular, is what draws me to them. To think you can actually catch fish on them, well, that's really just a bonus!


Looking for the JSJ Snack Sized Gill? Try Tackle Warehouse









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