Once a fish strikes the lure the
hidden hook instantly pops up as a result of pressure on the line
Mechanically the lures design is quite ingenious, but the real question is
how well does it actually work? During the tests we fished the lure in and out
of weedy areas with a steady retrieve. The Colorado style blade tail helps give
the lure some flash and action, but for the most part the lure comes straight
back with little side to side movement. We found that a slow to medium retrieve
was best, as a fast retrieve would cause the lure to rotate strangely when
swimming. It is also possible to pause during retrieves to mimic an injured
baitfish. Strikes feel like "thumps" followed by the fish actually setting
themselves. With the lockJaw a hookset is possible, but not really necessary.
When retrieving the lure the fish that commit to the bait will find themselves
instantly set when the hook point is exposed. If you want an even quicker
hookset or want to really expose the hook high then braided line is the way to
go, as the line has no stretch and can instantly transmit any tug on the rod.
The bottom line is that the lure works. While some
anglers may think that the design is gimmicky, the fact is that it is effective
where other hardbaits simply cannot go. The profile is small enough to penetrate
the thickest structure, and because there are no exposed hooks of any kind it
really is difficult to snag this lure. When run through thick weed the blade can
pick up some vegetation, but cleaning the lure is quick and easy. During our
tests most fish were hooked in and around the lip area, making it easy to remove
the lure safely. The one flaw of the lure is that because there are no exposed
hooks at the rear of the lure, smaller fish as well as fish that short strike
are not as likely to stick.
A bass hooked on the lip of the
Green-Orange pattern LockJaw
Durability: The finish on these lures is quite good and while the paint can
be scratched when bouncing off rocks, the overall finish remained in excellent
shape over the course of our tests. The LockJaw makes use of a quality bearing
which facilitates smooth rotation of the blade tail. This was a good choice
considering a cheaper wire swivel would be much easier to jam when running
through vegetation. Then there is the hook mechanism. While the wire spring will
certainly come into contact with plenty of structure during retrieves it is very
unlikely that anything can bend the wire in such a way that the mechanism will
fail. Overall the LockJaw is well designed, and equally well constructed.
hook is easy to avoid when lipping the fish, yet another reason why this
lure is so "kid friendly"
Applications: Besides being able to catch fish during retrieves through
nasty structure we found another effective way to fish the
lure.....vertically. The LockJaw can be fished over rocky humps or even
submerged trees just like a spoon, but with the added confidence to really get
into the structure below your finder because there is no treble hook to snag.
This also means that you can take your time to jig the bottom without
trepidation. When fishing the lure vertically we grew partial to using braided
line since strikes were better translated when fishing deep.
Another major benefit of the LockJaw is that it is
the most child friendly lure we have tested to date. Nothing ruins a child's
fishing experience more that getting stuck with a razor sharp treble hook. On
the LockJaw once the hook is locked into the spring mechanism it stays hidden
until a fish strikes. This makes it possible to teach kids how to fish a lure
without fear of snagging up every cast, or hurting themselves.
were hooked right around the lip
Price & Availability: The lockjaw is a new
product, and may be difficult to find in your local store. Each lure retails for
$6.95, and are also sold in packs of 3 (one in each design) for $17.95. The
easiest place to get your hands on the lure is direct from the manufacturers own
site. Currently three patterns are available, but we would love to
see the lure offered in additional shapes and profiles. The key feature of this
lure is the hidden hook design, as well as the ability to target fish holding in
the even the thickest structure. Now that the design is done we imagine it is
feasible that LockJaw will expand the hidden hook into new branded products, or
possibly even license the patented feature to other manufacturers. But for the
time being the only way to fish the patented design is with one of the three