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Lure Review

The Yozuri Mag-Minnows, magnets for gamefish?

Date: 7/15/02
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Yo-Zuri
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41

Introduction: Magnetic attraction in fishing lures? That is exactly what Yo-Zuri has done with their Mag-Minnow line of lures. These lures use magnetic weights for increased casting and side to side action. We take a look at the technology behind this lure and see if they really do provide benefits to anglers.

Yozuri Mag Minnow Specifications

Material Plastic, magnetic bearings
Weight 7/8 oz
Length 5 1/4"
Type Floating
Colors/Patterns 8 Available
Diving Depth 3-5'
MSRP $15.00ea

Impressions: Yo-Zuri make a lot of premium product from their extensive line of lures to their growing assortment of Hybrid fishing lines. The Mag Minnows are the latest lures designed by Yo-Zuri and make use of a magnetic bearing system. The Mag Minnows come in five styles, standard (which is large), Jr. (smaller version), darter, vibe, and popper. For this review we take a look at the standard Mag Minnow and the similar Jr. version.

At first look these lures look very similar to other jerk-style lures on the market. But when you take a look at the transparent body of the Ghost Mag Minnow you see a unique magnetic bearing system that stretches from the mid to the tail section of the lure. These 3 bearings are what give the Mag Minnows their outstanding casting ability and unique wagging action.


The Mag Minnow "Ghost" pattern allows you to fully see the magnet system


The Magnets: The Mag Minnows internal chamber houses one magnet and  two steel bearings. When you make a cast, both magnet and balls roll to the tail of the lure, thus loading it for long, smooth, straight casts. Once the lure splashes down and you start to retrieve, the magnet and balls shift and the tail wags smoothly back and forth. Because the balls (weights) come to rest in the lure's mid-section during the retrieve the center of the lure becomes anchored, thus while retrieving at varying speeds the lures still have a nice even motion.

Mag Minnow Jr. meet your daddy (Both with the sardine pattern)

Tests: The Mag minnows are prefect for a fishing technique called "ripping," in which the lure (ripbait) is retrieved very quickly. As the lure is burned across the water it can be jerked to produce even more erratic movements. While this technique does work well for largemouth it is extremely well suited for fast swimming species like Striped Bass. To test the Yo-Zuri Mag Minnows we went fishing for Stripers in O'Neil Forebay, which is a holding cell for the California Aqueduct. The reason so many stripers reside in this reservoir is because the water is constantly being replenished from pumps from the Delta.

For the tests I used:

Complete Rig for fishing the Yozuri Mag-Minnows

Rod Kistler KMT66MH (6'6)
Reel Shimano Calcutta 250
Line 12lb Trilene Big Game

Casting: Casting the original Mag-Minnows is quite entertaining. With a strong heavy rod the original can sail through the air for extremely long distances before splashdown. Mag Minnow Jr's can be catapulted nearly as far with medium rated tackle. There is no doubt that the Yo-Zuri magnetic weighting system works. Not only do the magnets provide extra weighting to cast long, but the lures cast very straight as well.

The Mag Minnows feature detailed design patterns that attract fish from all angles

Retrieving: Once these lures are cast over the target the zone retrieving capability heavily depends on your rod. Mag Minnow Jr's are easy to retrieve due to their longer less angled lip, that protrudes from the front of the lure. They can be jerked violently to produce extremely erratic movement that seem to drive Stripers wild. The standard Mag Minnow on the other hand feels like a rock being pulled back to the boat with the much more angled lip extending beneath the head of the lure. I highly recommend a heavy rated rod for this lure and some 12-14lb line to handle the stress. If you plan on fishing both sized lures with a single rod make sure you pick a medium-heavy rod with a lot of backbone. Ripping the large Mag-Minnow aggressively can quickly tire you out. The thing we noticed is the harder you rip these lures the more fish you catch.

Fishing the large Mag Minnows requires a rod with a lot of backbone muscle
(A Calcutta helps muscle in large fish)


Setting: While ripping for Stripers we often found fish tightly schooled in less then 10ft of water. When retrieving we encountered chasers that would rise to within 2 ft of the surface and strike the lure violently. The larger fish would sometime hook up and shake the lure, while the smaller fish would become set as we ripped the lure. The violent action of ripping normally will allow you to set the fish at the same time you feel the strike. Right after this if you feel resistance then your Nag-Minnow is hooked up. When fishing for Stripers because the size and power of the fish can vary so greatly it is always a good idea to keep your drag at a low setting to allow the fish the run with the lure rather then having your drag clamp down and end up losing the fish as well as your 15.00 dollar lure to a snapped line.


Ripping hard does a real number on your tackle, here Zander pulls the entire rod up to jerk the Minnow in a erratic swim pattern

Durability: The actual body of the Mag Minnow can take a real beating. Stripers, rocks, weeds, all did little to scratch the coated bodies of these lures. The biggest scratches came from contact with the treble hooks themselves. The holographic eyes on these lures will sometimes fall off after many hours of fishing and contact with aggressive fish. The stainless steel split rings are strong and resist corrosion well. The only area of real complaint was the hooks themselves. The treble hooks are strong enough to use in saltwater applications but are not always sharp enough to drive into larger fish. In addition the Mag Minnow Jr's hooks bend easily under pressure. Stripers are notoriously strong fish, and the large ones can actually shake the Mag Minnow Jr's by straightening out the hooks as they turn and dive!

A smaller striper falls prey to the Mag Minnow Jr.


The Details: These lures work. The magnetic system allows anglers to cast farther and the swimming motion of the lure is well balanced. When combined with a fast retrieve and jerks these lures can swim very erratically, attracting Stripers from afar. On our first time out JIP and I landed over 25 fish in a span of only 2 hours! The Mag Minnow Jr's definitely hooked up more fish, but more quality fish were caught with the larger original Mag Minnows, we could also fight these strong fish with more confidence with the much larger and stronger hooks. We often had to bend our Jr. hooks back into straight position after they were mangled by the larger fish. To prevent this from happening I recommend changing out the hooks to either Gamakatsu EWG's or Owner Stingers for piercing capability, or Eagle Claw Laser Sharp Gold for raw strength.



Yozuri Mag-Minnow Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good construction and quality of lure body, would like to see more durable and sharper hooks. 8.5
Performance Works well for largemouth in warm water and excellent for ripping for Stripers 9
Price A premium price to pay for a lure. Hate losing these to snags and hard fighting fish. 7
Features The Mag Minnows employ some of the latest technology in lure design...and the features work well. 9
Design (Ergonomics) Great design and a wide range of colors to mimic different fish 9
Application Good for multiple applications. Due to diving depth and action seem to work best in shallower areas and in clear water applications. 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good body construction L Pricey
J Magnetic system L Hook sharpness & durability
J Great performance  
J Good for salt and freshwater  

Conclusion: Yo-Zuri Mag-Minnows are effective for both saltwater and freshwater applications. Ripping these lures for Stripers works just as well in open water like the California Delta as it does for reservoir stripers. These lures are perfect for this application with their reliable casting and retrieving action. While the hooks will suit most applications it isn't a bad idea to swap them out based on the species you pursue. At a price of 15.00 for the Mag-Minnows and 12.00 for the Mag-Minnow Jr. these are not cheap lures. While other cheaper rip-baits may also work well, anglers who want the unique magnetic system will have to pay for it. Our fishing success with these baits proved to us that the magnetic attraction works for fish, and not just anglers.

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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