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Lure Review

 

 

Catch Outdoors's Take On the Ubiquitous Bladed Jig

 

Date: 11/19/20
Tackle Type: Lures
Manufacturer: Catch Outdoors
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction:
Catch Outdoors out of North Carolina has a penchant for taking classic bait designs and tweaking them into something special like they did with their Zero Gravity Jig. Leveraging the technology they used to develop that bait and combining it with one of the hottest bait trends going, bladed jigs, they've come up with another bait product they hope "catches" on. Here's our look at their relatively new, Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake bladed jig.

 

Catch Outdoors Airquake Bladed Jig Specifications

Type Bladed Jig
Skirt Material Silicone
Weight 1/2 oz
Colors/Patterns 9
Hook 5/0 Black Nickel
Additional Features Hybrid ZeroGravity Head, EZ Compression Skirt
MSRP $9.49


Introducing the Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake bladed jig by Catch Outdoors

Impressions: Kelly Barefoot, founder and owner of Catch Outdoors not only has a penchant for tweaking classic bait designs as mentioned above, but he also is on a hot streak for creating excessively long product names that don't break down into useful acronyms. Case in point, the Zero Gravity Hybrid Airdrop Underspin or ZGHAU for short. The subject of today's review, the Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake follows in this tradition, but we're going to refer to it simply as the Airquake.

 


The Airquake features a head made of both zinch and lead

 

Bladed, or perhaps more often referred to, vibrating jigs where the blade is directly attached to the jig's line tie are a patented product by ZMan Baits. Naturally, there's a lot of detail that goes into their patented product, but one way smaller bait companies have been circumnavigating that patent is by finding ways to tweak the design. Catch Outdoors accomplishes this with a unique shape to the bait's blade and attaching that blade via a split ring. Additionally, the bait itself combines that Catch Outdoor’s proprietary Zero Gravity head composition with a touch of lead for a more traditional sink rate - hence the term “hybrid” in the bait’s name.


The unique blade is attached to the jighead via a splitring

Real World Tests: Catch Outdoors's Airquake has been part of my testing arsenal for over a year now so it's seen action on a variety of rods and reels and I've fished at the end of both braid, straight fluorocarbon, and fluorocarbon tied as a leader to the end of some braid. I've used both paddletail swimbaits and one of my favorites, Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver or Strike King's Rage Bug as trailers.


The skirt is held in place by a compression band that also flares the skirt out

 

Whatever trailer you choose to tip this bait with it behaves best on a slow to medium speed retrieve. Word from the manufacturer is this bait was not designed to be burned.

 

My tip is to fish it sort of like you would a Colorado blade spinnerbait - does anyone fish those anymore? Think slow, irregular thumping action then hold on. One thing I love about bladed jigs, including the Airquake, is that ninety percent of the time, the hits are vicious. The other ten percent of my hits, the fish have been swimming with the bait back to the boat.


Bend the blade back and the bait dives a little deeper

A little tweak you can perform with the Airquake, to get more running depth is to bend the blade back a little bit. This causes the bait to dive a little more and really, gives you a degree greater feel for the bait as it comes through the water because the resistance changes.

 

Careful though, as with any metal, if you bend the blade back and forth too much, it will likely snap because it's made with a very thin metal.


Sometimes that little adjustment is what you need to get them to strike!

Otherwise, durability of this bait is pretty good. The head design really helps protect the intricate finish and the skirts, while nothing really special, seem to hold up well. That stock, no name black nickel hook stays sharp through continued use.

 

Overall the performance was similar other bladed jigs. The Airquake doesn't thump as hard as some competing offerings, like the Evergreen Jackhammer for example, but fished at slower to medium retrieve it does draw strikes.


The black nickel hook is not from a name brand, but holds up well nonetheless

Design & Ergonomics: The Airquake is available in four colors each with a matching painted head. The skirts for this bait are what Catch Outdoors described as a "full compression skirt." Near as I can tell, they are referring to a specially shaped band that not only holds the skirt in place but fans it out so it flares and gives the bait a fuller overall profile than if the skirt were simply banded or tied to the jighead.


Catch Outdoors's Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake Bladed Jig retails for $9.49 per bait

Price & Applications: Catch Outdoors's Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake Bladed Jig retails for $9.49 per bait. Fish it wherever you'd normally throw a bladed jig, spinnerbait, or swimming jig but especially around grass. I'm not sure what it is about bladed jigs versus other blade baits, but grass seems to be the best key for baits like this.

Ratings:

Catch Outdoors Airquake Bladed Jig Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well constructed bait with excellent finishes 8.5
Performance Casts and swims well and you can customize how deep it runs by bending the blade to suit your needs 8.5
Price Very reasonably price compared to the competition 7.5
Features Hybrid head, customizable blade, sharp, 5/0 hook, 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Somewhat limited color palette 7
Application Very effective search tool in grassy areas 8

Total Score

7.83
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:

Plus

Minus
+ Nice finishes in the head - Only one size
+ Unique blade design - Best fished at medium speeds and doesn't thump quite as hard as some competing blades
+ Skirt design flares naturally giving the bait a larger profile  

  


If you're looking for a bladed jig that's a little more different than usual, the Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake Bladed Jig is worthy of a cast or three

 

Conclusion: Mimicking the swimming pattern of the bait type itself, the popularity of bladed or vibrating jigs has seen its ups and downs. We are currently riding the wave of an up-tick. Naturally each manufacturer has their own take and Catch Outdoors manages to infuse their own Zero Gravity tech along with a different blade design into theirs, not to mention that compression skirt strategy that pre-flares the skirt for a larger bait profile. No, this bait is not revolutionary, but if you're looking for a bladed jig that's a little more different than usual, the Zero Gravity Hybrid Airquake Bladed Jig is a reasonably priced option.

 

Looking for Catch Outdoors Airquake Bladed Jigs?

Try TackleWarehouse


 

   

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