Fishing with the Legendary Luhr Jensen Big Game Woodchopper & Amazon Ripper
Total Score: 8.08 -
We head to the Amazon to test
a number of rods, reels and lures and bring along a legend, the Luhr Jensen Big
Game Woodchopper which is specifically designed to take on Peacock Bass. Is this
lure’s reputation as a Peacock Bass catching machine more fact or fiction? After
three plane and two boat rides deep into the rainforest it only took a few casts
to find out.
Jensen Big Game
The Big Game Woodchopper is a legend among anglers that fish in the Amazon and
is designed to entice species that feed on the surface to strike. The bait’s
design is rather simple, basically a torpedo shaped plug with a prop on the end
and armed with treble hooks. The Amazon Ripper is a slight modification of the
original Big Game Woodchopper and features a slightly more angular profile and
two props versus one. The Amazon Ripper is designed to be worked the same basic
way but emits a higher pitched sound and can be worked a little faster in the
water. There is another variant called the "Peacock Bass Special" which we also
fished and is a hybrid of both and features a smaller overall body profile than
the Big Game Woodchopper but is not as sleek as the Ripper yet has a dual prop
design. This lire is designed to be less physically demanding to fish than the
other two lures.
The Luhr Jensen Big Game
Woodchopper is a classically designed topwater plug
lures are available in an assortment of patterns, many of which are just as
brightly colored as the fish they are designed to target. There are also a
number of sizes to choose from and in the case of the Amazon Ripper there are
both two hook and three hook versions. Some of the finishes are simple and
straightforward like the orange bellied "Rocky" while others are very detailed
and look custom painted like the "Speckled Peacock."
The lure is constructed out of
Sugar Pine wood and labeled underneath
World Tests: I’ve
caught Stripers on the White/Red head Big Game Woodchopper in the past but have never reviewed
the bait simply because the test wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the
Amazon. Last week I finally got the chance and was able to put both the Big Game
Woodchopper to the test against some Peacock Bass deep in the Amazon Rainforest.
The original Big Game Woodchopper
features a single prop on the back
The full sized Big Game Woodchopper weighs 2.4oz. while the largest Amazon Ripper
(612 size) only weighs 2.2oz.,
both lures are extremely easy to cast, just bring a reel that has plenty of
capacity both for those extra long casts and just in case you hook into a big
fish. Casting distance is a no brainer and casting accuracy is also very good
with these baits.
The Amazon Ripper is a more
streamlined take on the original
Though far from finesse
fishing an accurate cast down a narrow cut with overhanging
foliage or pinpoint drops in between downed trees or flooded mangroves will
definitely reward you with more fish. Both the BGW (Big Game Woodchopper) and AR
(Amazon Ripper) sail through the air predictably but casting is the easy part...
The Amazon Ripper in "Parrot"
the lure is in the water it is time to go to work. Some will argue that there
are multiple ways to fish these lures using a variety of retrieve speeds. At
home on the California Delta I’ve used everything from a quick rip to a jerk
jerk followed by a pause to get Stripers to bite. In the Amazon the guides have
only one speed and that is MAXIMUM SPEED. Think pulling as hard as you can and
then tack on another 20%. When you do this the lure stops just churning and
spitting water and puts out a very audible “choooomph-choooomph” sound that the
guides say call to the fish. It works. The minute I started kicking it into
overdrive the strike frequency and ferocity quadrupled.
A closer look at the Amazon
Ripper's dual bade design which allows it to stir up more water on slower
Peacock Bass here like to chase bait and you can see and hear them waking up
behind baitfish chasing them clear out of the water. The large baitfish actually
resemble the cigar shaped Woodchopper as they flee outside the water, sometimes
travelling five to eight feet in an effort not to get eaten.
The Speckled Peacock pattern
showcases the Luhr Jensen quality paint finishes
the similar to the distance your BGW will travel if you’re ripping hard enough.
The guides have a saying here that if your arms and shoulders are not burning
your simply not working the lure hard and fast enough. They couldn’t be more
right, though you will sweat more than a serious cardio workout you will be
rewarded with some of the most intense topwater strikes possible. I’ve never
quite seen anything like a 15 plus pound Peacock absolutely crush one of the big
Zander and JIP work out those arm
and shoulder muscles fishing the "Chopper"
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