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Lure Review

Jackallís Gantarel Effectively Mimics Bluegill and Panfish (continued)

Design, Price, and Applications: I like almost everything about this bait, but the one thing that I could probably do without are the feathered hooks. If anything the feathers do keep the hooks tracking below the bait and help minimize hook rash, but I could still do without them. While I think the striped bass like them I am not sure if they add any effectiveness to the lure when targeting largemouth.

In the water the Gantarel comes to life and swims convincingly

While the dressed hooks look great when they are dry they donít look like a whole lot once wet, and remind me more of some grass stuck on the bottom of the hook more than anything else. Usually when I have any vegetation on my swimbaits the first thing I do is clean them off before the next cast.

Not just Bluegills, the Gantarel comes in patterns like Gizzard Shad

To test the baitís effectiveness without the feathered hooks I fished two days back to back on the same body of water with the same bait, the first day right out of the box, and the second day with the same hooks but with the feathers cut off. The results were almost inconclusive, I caught five fish with the feathered hooks and four with the undressed hooks. So much for my theory, but at the end of the day the use of feathered hooks on the Gantarel pretty much just boils down to your personal preference.

The one thing I could do without are the feathered trebles

The Gantarel is more feature rich than most bluegill swimbaits and while they may not have that custom handmade look and feel but they do have some advanced features that you simply donít see with custom resin baits, including some very realistic foil and transparent patterns, a swiveling line tie to reduce line twists, that clever second line tie under the chin to modify sink depths and vertical presentations, and finally an eye molded right into the tail for an optional trailer hook.

The Gantarel is effective at drawing fish out from structure

The Gantarel retails for $39.99, a surprisingly reasonable price for a quality hard bodied swimbait, and is significantly cheaper than many other custom bluegill imitating swimbaits. While there are some other massed produced bluegill swimbaits on the market that are cheaper there are none that offer the same breadth of features as the Jackall Gantarel at this price point.

Stripers and White Bass will eagerly chomp down the Gantarel as well

While this bait is clearly designed to target largemouth bass it proved to be effective wherever predatory fish have sunfish, and especially bluegill, on the menu. We found that Smallmouth were crazy enough to take on the Gantarel, and Stripers absolutely mash on these baits when the water is reasonably clear and you work the bait aggressively and quickly.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Gantarel

Bait to Bait Consistency (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Realism (1-5)
Available Sizes (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


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):

Jackall Gantarel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Jackall Gantarel is a well built bait with excellent consistency both in finish and swimming action 9.3
Performance Very good performance in any water where bass or other predatory fish prey on bluegill or other similarly sized panfish 8.8
Price $39.99 is a reasonable price for this bait. It is more affordable than custom made resin baits but more expensive than some other mass produced bluegill imitators, yet when you consider all the features the Gantarel stands apart 8.5
Features Lots of features including the quality finishes, 3D fins, extra hook hanger in the tail, swiveling hooks, and the flexibility of a second line tie under the chin 9.0
Design (Ergonomics) Comes in only one size but there's 12 colors and rattling and non-rattling versions available 8.3
Application Though designed for largemouth bass the Gantarel is also effective for other species. The ability to fish the bait both with a standard retrieve or with a dropper gives this bait greater application flexibility than other bluegill swimbaits 9.0

Total Score

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

+ Beautiful finishes and consistency from bait to bait - Doesn't have that same exclusive custom bait feel as some other competing bluegill swimbaits
+ Chock full of features - Feathered hooks, love them or leave them (Yes, I'm being picky and it is easy enough to cut them off or switch hooks depending on personal preference)
+ Good variety of patterns to choose from and the 3D fins are a nice touch that add to the realism  
+ Easy to fish and able to be fished a variety of different ways  
+ Reasonable price  

Conclusion: The Jackall Gantarel is a quality bait, one that is designed with subtle yet useful features, and built to stand up to big bass. This is one swimbait that definitely falls into the category of being easy to fish, and doesnít require an overly powerful rod to cast and work effectively. It can be utilized in a wide range of conditions thanks to the different line tie options, and I really enjoyed fishing the bait and seeing just how effective it was from Texas all the way back to California.

A Largemouth in Texas succumbs to the Gantarel

Swimbaits should be fun to fish, and the Gantarel gives anglers a weapon that can be used to target everything from mid-sized fish to lunkers. Because of the baitís 6 inch length it draws strikes from fish of all sizes, so you donít have to get it the big bait mindset of fishing all day for that one elusive bite. Of course I wouldnít count this bait out for catching big fish either, and when we were in Texas we caught numerous fish up to ten pounds on the Gantarel. With a good blend of features, quality finishes, proven performance, and a reasonable price, the Gantarel is a deserving recipient of our ďEditorís ChoiceĒ Award.

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