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Lure Review

Junk Food for a Quality Limit: JSJ's Snack Sized Trout

Date: 5/06/09
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: JSJ Bait Company
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.08 - EDITORS CHOICE!


Introduction: In bass fishing, there exists an unofficial distinction between trophy hunters and tournament minded anglers. Up until now, the two did not necessarily co-exist. But with the growing popularity of the West Coast phenomenon known as swimbaits, more and more tournament anglers are adding these big baits to their repertoire. One such product, by JSJ Baits, was designed with the tournament angler in mind. Introducing our official review of the JSJ Snack Size Trout.


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JSJ Baits Snack Size Trout Specifications

Type BigBait
Depth Any
Class Floater (F) & Sinker (S)
Size (Weight) 7 inches : F = 2.1 oz : S = 2.4 oz
Colors/Patterns Original 3-piece, 7 colors : 3-joint Special Edition, 3 colors
MSRP $80 (original)/$85 (3-joint)


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Impressions: Translating that Big Bait = Big Fish mentality into a product a tournament angler can rely upon to not only catch his usual limit of bass, but increase that big bite potential was goal of Josh St. John, owner of JSJ Baits. The result, after more than a year long development cycle, was his three piece Snack Size Trout, a seven inch, two to three ounce bait designed to be fished fast and erratic enticing aggressive fish into striking.


The original, 3-piece Snack Size Trout by JSJ Baits.


The Field Tests: Similar to the trend shown in our other recent big bait reviews, the Snack Size Trout is light by big bait standards. As such, it can be thrown on a variety of sticks not necessarily designated for big bait duty making it all the more appealing to those who don't already have a rod and reel combo dedicated for big baits. Of course, such is not the case here.


Complete Test Rigs for JSJ Baits Snack Size Trout Field Tests

Rod Evergreen International TJMC-74XXX Balista
Reel Shimano Conquest 101DC
Line 55lb Daiwa Samurai Braid

Casting: For most of my time with this bait, I chose to use my Evergreen International TMJC-74XXX Balista paired with a Shimano Conquest 101DC spooled with 55lb Daiwa Samurai Braid. The light tip of the Balista is what swayed me to this choice.

In Q3 of 2008, JSJ Baits released a Special Edition, 3-joint version of their Snack Size Trout.


There are really no mysteries here with a bait between two to three ounces, casting is straight forward and not cumbersome at all. The multi-piece nature of the bait does not affect casting accuracy or distance much if at all and with the Balista/Conquest 101DC combo in particular, the bait really sails on each cast.


The Special Edition, 3-joint version features an extra joint right at the back of the bait giving the tail the freedom to move from side to side facilitating a more natural swimming motion.

In Q3 of 2008, JSJ released a 3-jointed version of the Snack Size Trout which we took with us on our trip to DreamLake Alabama. On that trip I fished the 3-joint on a Shimano Crucial Swimbait stick paired with a Curado E 300. Casting with this combo was equally effective.

 Each bait is individually numbered and catalogued by JSJ Baits.

Action: Big bait aficionados that are accustomed to other 7 inch, three piece baits will be a little lost, at first, with the Snack Size Trout. The natural inclination is to work this bait on a steady retrieve, but that's not really what was behind this bait's design. Josh St. John developed this bait to be fished on an erratic retrieve with lots of twitches, pauses, partial turns of the handle, and so on. Retrieved in this manner, and the Snack Size Trout darts and dashes from side to side, turns around, and back again giving the appearance of a baitfish in disarray.

The Original Snack Size Trout in the water.

The 3-joint, or 4-piece version was designed to be fished on that traditional steady retrieve, but it will also dart and dash from side to side if retrieved with an erratic cadence - just not as wildly as the 3-piece. This is the bait most big bait throwers will feel more comfortable and at home with.

Each Snack Size Trout is packaged with a spare tail.

Of important note is the fact JSJ Baits recommends tying to the bait directly for maximum effectiveness. I fish the majority of my hard baits on large snaps to facilitate switching between baits, and noticed the action is different when using a snap versus tying direct, but I managed to catch fish both ways so I'm not certain the fish really care.

A look at the very slim rear section of the Snack Size Trout.


Rate of Descent: JSJ terms their sinker as a "moderate" sink bait, and its rate of decent at just under one foot per second would reinforce that claim. As a bonus, for those that care, the sinking versions of these baits sat upright for us on the bottom, so they can probably be an effective bed fishing tool as well.

A look at the head section.

Next Section: Components, Durability & Conclusion









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