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Lure Review

Are You Ready For Some Football!! ... Jigs? (continued)

Rodstrainer: This next jig is the product of a small company based in Campbell, California. Owner Dink Mendez is a well respected, local, pro-angler offering perhaps the most popular jig product made in this part of the country. Interestingly enough, despite their wide popularity out West, Rodstrainer jigs are not often discussed in other parts country perhaps due to their limited distribution network. Fortunately for us here at TackleTour, all we needed to locate these popular jigs was to walk into some of our local shops. So let's take a closer look at this popular jig.


A staple out west, introducing Rodstrainer jigs.


Rodstrainer Football Jig Specifications

Type Football Jig
Depth Any
The Skirt Fine Rubber
Weight 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 ounce
Colors/Patterns 6+
Hook Matzuo Light Wire
Additional Features Hand Tied Skirt
MSRP $2.49

The Skirt: The Rodstrainer Football Jig features a hand tied, fine, round rubber skirt very similar to the Bass Patrol product. The difference here is where the Bass Patrol jig is pre-trimmed, the Rodstrainer product comes with a much longer skirt allowing the angler to trim as needed or leave it stock for a bulkier, big fish catching profile.


This simple, no-nonsense jig could very well be #1 out West.


Hook: The hook on the Rodstrainer football jig is by Matzuo and the very definition of light wire. We recommend fishing this jig on no more than twelve or fourteen pound test to minimize the risk of straightening the hook on a good fish. Otherwise, this is a very sharp hook that's easy to set upon and the nice, large gap equates to fewer lost fish.


The Matzuo hook is the very definition of light wire.


Line Tie: The line tie for the Rodstrainer football jig is a standard ninety degrees from the hook shank and is located right on top of the jighead facilitating hopping retrieves along hard bottom environments. Nothing fancy here. The bait's weedguard extends out from the head just below the line tie and is at a length most anglers will probably want to trim. We fished it untrimmed with no issues.


The Rodstrainer Football Head jig features a 90d line tie...


Durability: We ran into no durability issues with this product. The skirts have held up very well over several months of use and the light wire hooks have maintained their hook point. The lead heads show dents and dings before any paint begins to chip off even after a few careless but purposeful tosses up against the concrete rip rap of the California Delta.


 ... and a hand tied skirt.


Availability: The only downside to this product? Availability is rather scarce if you're not local to Northern California. We recommend contacting either Walton's Pond, Hi's Tackle Box, Coyote Bait and Tackle, Fisherman's Warehouse, or The Hook Line and Sinker (all searchable online) if you're interested in this product to see if they carry it in their store shelves and are willing to ship it to you.


 The bulk of this bait right out of the package is impressive.


Ratings (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Rodstrainer Football Jig Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Hand tied quality 8
Performance Pretty basic looking jig but they work well and the light wire hooks hold up 8
Price Very good for a hand tied jig 8
Features Nice, true light wire hook and full skirt 8
Design (Ergonomics) Good, basic, no nonsense football headed jig 7
Application A very good deep water jig 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Hand tied quality L Might be difficult to find
J True light wire hook for light line fishing L No online preview of color choices available
J Nice, full skirt  

 Zander's very first fish on a Rodstrainer Jig


Effectiveness: To say the Rodstrainer jigs are a favorite among Western Anglers would be an understatement. One pro-angler we spoke to pretty much said they have a strangle hold on the jig market out West, and another mentioned they are the standard against which all other jigs are measured on the Western Circuit. We experienced nothing to refute these claims. In fact, these have now become Zander's jig of choice after being introduced to the product by Dean McDaniel during the media event at Lake Pardee earlier this year.


Next Section: We finish it up with Skinny Bear









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