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Lure Review


Getting Back to Basics With a Quality Tie, Cooch's Wadda Jig by TnT Baits
 

The Skirt: The Wadda Jig features a sixty-strand, living rubber skirt that is hand tied to the jig head and cut extra-long out of the bag. This extra-long skirt is provided for two reasons: 1) Cooch actually prefers a larger profile to his jigs believing this larger size attracts better quality fish; 2) having a skirt that is too long is better than one that is too short because you can always cut a long skirt down to suit our needs, but you cannot make a short skirt longer.

 

The Wadda Jig at rest on the bottom - note the incredible flare of the skirt

The actual tying of the skirt is where the real differences between a custom and mass produced factory jig lies. Most quality jigs have two layers of skirt material tied to the jighead. With a custom tie, these layers are placed in such a way as to maximize the skirt material's flare under the water. In addition, both layers are bound extra tight and secure further benefiting the flare and guarding against premature deterioration of the skirt itself. As our underwater shots show, the skirt of the Wadda Jig certainly does have quite a flare to it.

Another look at the Wadda Jig's lively skirt underneath the water

 

Trailers & Rattles: This is where the consumer customization begins. The TnT Cooch Wadda Jig comes with no rattles nor does it come with the plastic collar for attaching them separately. It is part of the keep it simple plan. Integrated rattles always seem to get in the way and the plastic rattle collars can be added, aftermarket, by anyone who feels this feature is an advantage in their jig fishing.

 

Some of the early batches of these jigheads were not baked at the proper temperature resulting in a less than normal durability of the powder coated finish. This has since been corrected.

Something else of note with this jig is the lack of a bait keeper at the back end of the jighead underneath the skirt. This is intentional, as Troyce believes a trailer that has a tendency to slip feels more natural to a bass who often bite the legs off a crawdad before ingesting them whole. Of course, if you typically spear your trailers instead of threading them on, the lack of a bait keeper is hardly a problem. Though not a huge issue with me, I personally like the option of a keeper.

A look at the meticulous wrapping effort by Troyce Taylor on these jigs

  

Durability: Other than the afore mentioned wear showing on a couple of jig heads, the baits I used held up just fine. Living rubber does have the reputation of melting if left out in the hot summer sun too long, so care should probably be taken to avoid these situations, and while I experienced no immediate issues leaving trailers on my jigs in storage, this is not something I'd recommend with jigs in general, living rubber or not. The Mustad Ultra Point hooks are quality and durable hooks and none of the skirts on any of my Wadda jigs fell apart thanks to the careful hand tied craftsmanship.

 

None other than Andy "Cooch" Cuccia with a Delta hawg caught on his own Wadda Jig

Effectiveness: The TnT Cooch Wadda Jig was designed with the California Delta in mind. The Delta is a body of water influenced by tidal movement and as such, almost always has some current flowing through its miles and miles of waterways. This current provides movement in the water that helps to enhance the appearance of the living rubber skirt making it pulse and breathe as it if were, well, alive. If fishing a traditional lake or reservoir, Troyce recommends contacting him for other skirt options that he prefers when fishing these types of waters. For the record, I caught fish in some of our local reservoirs with this jig just fine.

Keeping it simple, the Wadda Jig is only available in two skirt color options, black or brown. Cooch's approach? Black for stained water, brown for clearer water situations and use the trailer to add whatever extra color you want in your presentation. In this case, a blue V&M Mud Bug.


Application: I found the Wadda Jig equally effective dragged and hopped along the rip rap shores of the Delta as well as fished in, around, and along the edges of the many weedbeds found in this waterway. I can't say that for me, it was any more affective than other jigs I've used, but oddly enough, the quality of my quarry seemed to increase. Perhaps this was time of year, some other circumstance, the Wadda Jig's wide profile in the water, or a combination of all of the above. Whatever the case may be, I look forward to continuing my experience with this jig in an effort to find out.

 

One of our own solid bass caught on the Wadda Jig

 

Availability: At the time of this writing, TnT Baits was getting set to launch their website where these and other jigs will be available for purchase direct. Following the launch of their website, they will begin distribution of the jigs in stores. By the time this article makes it to publishing, both scenarios could be in full swing. If not, just keep checking this url for the official launch of their site and product expected before Christmas of 2006.

 

Ratings:

TnT Wadda Jig Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Carefully crafted and painted by Troyce himself 9
Performance A good, solid jig 8.5
Price Attractively and competitively priced 8.5
Features Quality hook, lively skirt material, hand tied quality, but no bait keeper or rattle option come with the jig 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) The Arkie jighead is very versatile and the powder coated finish is well executed 9
Application Just about as versatile a jig as you will find 9

Total Score

8.58

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Hand tied quality L No bait keeper
J Powder coated head L If you want rattles, you have to add them via an aftermarket collar yourself
J Sharp and durable, Mustad Ultra Point hook  
J Nice, full skirt  

 

Getting back to basics with the Wadda Jig

 

Conclusion: If ever there were a deceivingly simple looking bait, it was the jig. In truth, jig fishing is not that simple and the decisions of skirt length, colors, trailer options, head design, etc., can be downright frustrating for those not in tune with the bite. How refreshing then, to come across a product that vows to keep it simple while still providing for some custom tweaks here and there if you so choose. There is nothing really innovative nor unique about these baits, but the quality of the tie and precision in craftsmanship. Until you handle a hand tied jig, it's easy to take these factors for granted. Once you tie one on, fish it, and experience how easy it can be to fish these baits, you'll be saying to yourself, boy, "what a jig". Thanks Cooch and Troyce, for yet another option to customizing my arsenal.

 

                                     


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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