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Lure Review

Give fish a mouthful with the MegaBait Chubby Shad

Date: 9/4/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Pace Products/MegaBait
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.33

Introduction: It's not just a fad, swimbaits have been proven effective for landing both fresh and saltwater lunkers.The Chubby Shad is the newest swimbait on the block, and is designed with the same high quality we have grown to expect from MegaBait.


MegaBait Chubby Shad Specifications

Type Swimbait
Material Lead jig head and plastic body
Head Colors 7 available
Head Weights 1/4 - 1.5oz
Body Colors 14 available
Body Weights 2.5 - 6 inches
Features Concave head, hologram foil finish, rigging cavity
MSRP $3.19 - 4.09 (Package price: 1 jig head and 2 bodies)
$4.09 - 5.09 (Jig head: 2 per pack)
$2.99 (3" or 4" bodies: 5 per pack)

Impressions: As the name suggests the MegaBait Chubby Shad is a mouthful for any fish. The Chubby swimbait is quite stout at the midsection. Unlike other traditional swimbaits that have a fairly flat side, the Chubby Shad's body is rounded bearing a much more realistic profile from all angles. Multiple patterns are available to attract different species of fish in varying conditions.


The MegaBait Chubby Shad has a stout profile and an attractive jig head design


While analyzing the jig head you can tell these are not your standard round or triangular shaped lead heads. The Chubby has a concave head that is also textured and layered with reflective film giving it plenty of contrast and shine. Also it uses "point of light prism" 3-D laser eyes for a extremely lifelike appeal. The molded head goes further up the shank of the sharp VMC hook with an arrow design that prevents the shad body from sliding off.


Complete Rig for Chubby Shad Tests

Rod Quantum Tour Edition PT
Reel Daiwa TD-X 100HSD
Line 12 lb Sufix Tritanium Plus

Real World Tests: Swimbaits are extremely versatile lures and can be used in a wide range of fishing conditions. We tossed the MegaBait Chubby Shad in both fresh and saltwater for tests on multiple species.


Rigging the Chubby: The very first thing to keep in mind is to rig the Chubby Shad body straight. Putting the body onto the jig head straight will ensure the swimbait to run naturally and achieve the optimum actions it was designed for. The benefit of using a Chubby plastic body is that it's designed with a small rigging cavity to help you place the hook in the exact right position every time.


The jig head design goes further up the hook with "barbs" to prevent the plastic body from coming off.  Also notice the rigging cavity on the two smaller pictures.  The hook begins to penetrate the body [left] and comes out through the back [right]


Casting: Like other jigs the MegaBait Chubby casts exceptionally well. The lead head and plastic body give the lure a advantageous weight that allows anglers to catapult the lure with little effort. Choosing the right rod for any swimbait is crucial. You don't want to "underrodded" as proper positioning will become arduous. For the 1/2 ounce Chubby I prefer a high-abrasive resistant line such as the Tritanium Plus and a medium-heavy fast action rod paired with a fast reel.


Retrieving: A swimbait should run naturally to be totally effective. If it begins to spin or swim unrealistically your number of strikes will usually decrease. The Chubby has a nice flow to it when retrieved. This is the direct result of good jig head design, angled body, and a fine tail. The jig head's concave molding at the bottom allows the swimbait to run straight and gives it a fluid flow when it swims upwards or while diving.  The concave design of the jig head is similar to having skegs or fins on a watercraft. Having them allows the watercraft to track straighter on the water.  The same theory applies to the Chubby and is readily apparent as we examine the way it glides through crystal clear water.


When rigged straight, the Chubby always runs upright and straight.  Also notice the rectangular shaped tail that creates a fluttering action enticing fish to strike


Having a well balanced design of the head, body, and tail is also important. The Chubby is well manufactured and balanced to a point where we always found the swimbait to run upright and straight. This prevents the hook from snagging while you retrieve the Chubby over structure. Having a lure that runs naturally also allows you to work your techniques the right way each and every time.


Speaking of techniques for the MegaBait Chubby Shad, there are many ways to work them. But here's one thing that anyone can do. Cast and retrieve slowly at the depth the fish are holding. I say this because the Chubby already gives off a tempting appearance and the tail's fluttering action is irresistible to suspending fish. Aside from just slowly retrieving the swimbait, you can also add pauses to allow the lure to dive where you find most of your strikes, or simply lift your rod tip quickly and then crank your reel mimicking a fleeing fish. Because the Chubby Shad can be used to target many species of fish anglers will need to do some experimenting to discern which retrieve works best for your particular location.


This swimbait will catch multiple species of fish including largemouth bass


Durability: From rock fish, to striper, to largemouth bass, the Chubby illustrated good results in its durability and the overall ruggedness, and when compared to traditional swimbaits is above average. For the less toothy fish like the largemouth bass where the fish usually engulf the entire lure every time, the MegaBait Chubby lasted well over two dozen fish, big and small.


Striper fishing was a different story and it really gave the Chubby a good run through. The large striped bass will take the entire lure with one gulp while the smaller ones tend to hit the bait either from the side or just grab onto the wiggling tail. You'll find that the 17" and smaller stripers will damage the plastic tail the most, and throughout our test the 3" body rigged on a 1/2oz jig head landed 15 stripers and endured over 30 yanks on the tail before it finally broke.


Fishing for rock cod and other more toothy critters really put a beating on the Chubby. Catching rock cod and at times a ling just mangled the soft lure body. The Chubby tail portion withstood the attacks of about 8 fish, depending on how the fish grabbed it. But it faired just as well as other brands when subjected to the larger ocean faring quarry.


Striper tested, TackleTour approved!  After 30 strikes from big and small striped bass, the Chubby finally lost it's tail...that's a good run!


To protect and prolong the proper rubbery feel of the Chubby MegaBait applies an oil that keeps them nice and soft until they are ready to be rigged. We experimented by keeping the swimbait in the package and in the tackle box. Either left in the tackle bag or even out in the sun for a few hours during fishing, the Chubby never showed any signs of drying up or hardening.


The lead jig is painted with a reflective layer. Since it's painted they do tend to scratch and chip after rubbing against rough surfaces for an extended amount of time. The jig heads are made well with good paint and the wear and tear we found on these is typical of a swimbait.


The use of VMC hooks for the MegaBait Chubby was a good choice.  These hooks are very sharp and will easily penetrate the maw of any fish. They are well-built and will not bend out of shape even after many big fish. When fishing in saltwater these hooks also did well and didn't corrode. Like any other saltwater gear, be sure to rinse the Chubby at the end of the day.


A concave head design allows the Chubby to swim straight and dive with a smooth consistent action.


Final Notes: Most swimbaits of this type use a single hook located near the center coming out through the fish's back for good reasons. But like other similar lures, we found the Chubby suffers from hook-up percentages. As smaller fish attack the bait they tend to miss the hook, often only grabbing on to the tail portion of the lure. To maximize the chances of hooking the fish, we found that by adding a trailer hook we were able to land a higher fraction of fish.

MegaBait Chubby Shad Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Made well with quality materials, precise jig head and body moldings, and an above the average durability 8
Performance A fish killer at all depths, the Chubby's actions and look is all that's needed to catch fish 9.5
Price Depends how you buy the Chubby, the price varies from high to just right 7
Features A few features that make the swimbait better such as the helpful rigging cavity 8
Design (Ergonomics) A good design of the concave head and beefy body that gives the Chubby its appeal 8.5
Application A versatile lure that catches many species of fish in different depths, water conditions, and much more 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Versatile L Pricier than some swimbaits
J Realistic attractiveness  
J Ease of use  
J Can be fished in fresh and saltwater  

Conclusion: The MegaBait Chubby Shad isn't just another swimbait.  It's a Japanese designed lure that offers a attractive new shape and reliable action. The Chubby produces a juicy meal to game fish with it's meaty stomach that's rounded to appeal to bigger fish. Aside from an attractive jig head and "Chubby" body, the swimbait's hard-kicking tail enticing aggressive fish to strike hard, as we experienced during striper fishing.  The MegaBait Chubby is well designed, performs superb, and can be used for multiple species of fish in both fresh and saltwater conditions. If you haven't used a swimbait before, give the Chubby Shad a shot, this is a worthy lure that's straightforward to use and will bring your confidence level up with each landed fish.


Discount Offer!!!  ExtremeLures.com is giving registered TackleTour members a 10% discount on the MegaBait Chubby Shad swimbait.  Click here for detailed information on how to take advantage of this offer.  If you're not registered, click here to register first.  It's FREE!









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