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Lure Review

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

Skinny Bear: Another established but seldom discussed bait company out of Southern California, Skinny Bear offers a hand made football jig with a mix of high quality materials. Their goal is to produce a top quality product at an affordable price. So just how well does their Elite Football Jig stack up? Let's take a look.


Introducing Skinny Bear's Elite Football Jig.


Skinny Bear Elite Football Jig Specifications

Type Football Jig
Depth Any
The Skirt Living Rubber & Fine Rubber
Weight 1/4 - 1 ounce
Colors/Patterns 15
Hook Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap
Additional Features Hand Tied Skirt
MSRP $3.45

The Skirt: The Elite Football Jig from Skinny Bear is marketed as featuring a skirt composed of three different materials: Living Rubber, fine round rubber, and silicone. The skirts are supposed to be hand tied with double wraps of wire. Viewed on their website, it is clear, many of their skirt color combinations are indeed made up of these three materials, but the one color we selected for testing, brown and purple, only features two of the three materials - the silicone component is missing from this color combination. What's more, ours were hand tied with black thread, not wire. Not a huge deal either way, but just a note there will be some inconsistencies depending on the color you choose.


This jig features both fine round and Living Rubber.


Hook: All Elite Series football jigs from Skinny Bear feature Gamakatsu EWG hooks. While traditionally somewhat of a finesse jig, Skinny Bear makes sure their interpretation of the football headed jig is built solid for big, healthy limits of fish. The hook is shielded with a fine, twenty-four strand weed guard that's fishable right out of the package without trimming.


Gamakatsu hooks are a welcome implementation.


Line Tie: The line tie of this jig is at about a forty-five degree angle from the hook shaft same as the Dandy Baits and Bass Stalker jig providing leeway for the head to stop at an uneven surface and have the hook and trailer pivot up and wave around when tension is applied to the line. This, again, is great when dragging the jig along a hard bottom as opposed to retrieving it on a hop.


 Skinny Bear's football jig features a 45d line tie...


Durability: We're actually happy that our jigs are hand tied with thread and not secured with wire that can rust and break off. Our jigs have held up well to both fishing conditions and intentional pitches into rocks and dock pilings. This jig is built to take some abuse.


 ... and of course, a hand tied skirt.


Availability: Skinny Bear products are readily available at online retailers such as Tackle Warehouse. For a more detailed look at their intricate color combinations, we encourage you to visit their website. There you will find some nice, high resolution images of their different color combinations.


 This is another jig with a big profile in the water.


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):

Skinny Bear Elite Football Jig Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well made jig 8
Performance Very good hookup ratio 8
Price A little on the high side 6.5
Features Intricate skirts, solid, name brand hook 8
Design (Ergonomics) Overall a solid, but basic design 7
Application Very good in sparse cover or down deep 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 Quality tie L A little on the pricey side
J Gammy Hooks
J Intricate Skirt Materials (depending on the color scheme)  
J Nice, large profile  


Effectiveness: We've not had as much time with this product as some of the others in this article, but we see no reason why this quality jig would not produce fish. It is a quality product that provides a nice, bulky profile in the water to entice and/or irritate big fish.


Football season is year 'round with bass anglers!


Conclusion: As you can see, very little separates jig from another - a hook here, a skirt there, hand tied or not. It's hard to expect more from a jig. Yet even these small, physical characteristics can play a big part in an angler's confidence in their bait. Football season is a year 'round event in bass fishing and each player in the jig market has their own unique take on the game. For the staff here at TackleTour, we've settled on our favorites from this pile of product and winning out in this roundup are Rodstrainer and River2Sea. Put a better hook on the Bass Patrol product and look out, and, of course, never turn your back on a bear - especially a Skinny one. If deep jigging is your game and you haven't already tried one, get yourself a football jig and start running up the score!










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