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Terminal Tackle


Twist and Shout : The Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead
 

Date: 8/20/06
Tackle type: Terminal Tackle
Manufacturer: Reaction Innovations
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.25

Introduction: Jighead or shakey head fishing has really become a popular technique of late for fishing finesse style plastics. While many attribute this technique as originating in the south by those bassers in pursuit of the aggressive spotted bass, tackle companies all around have capitalized on the popularity of this technique. One such company out West is Reaction Innovations. Today, we present to you, their solution to an issue many bass anglers run into when trying to extend this technique to largemouth. That is, how do you rig a shakey head weedless?
 

Introducing the Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead
 

Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead Specifications

Material Lead
Sizes (in ounces) 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8
Hook Gamakatsu
MSRP $3.80 (3 pack)


Impressions: The standard shakey head jigheads have round, ball shaped heads and the standard baitkeeper barb along the shank of the hook. To rig, one simply threads the plastic worm onto the shank of the hook much the same way you might attach a trailer to a spinnerbait or buzzbait. This works fine when fishing rockpiles or other open water type structure for spots and smallmouth, but when extending this technique into weedy areas in search of largemouth, the exposed hook presents a bit of a hangup - literally. More and more terminal tackle companies are now offering solutions for this dilemma employing designs that allow plastics to be rigged on their jigheads weedless. One such product is Reaction Innovations Screwed-Up Jighead, a jighead with a screw-like baitkeeper designed to hold your plastic bait very securely and at an angle to where you can bury the hookpoint into your bait for a totally weedless presentation.

 

Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jigheads come 3 Per Pack

 

The Field Tests: We purchased a few packs of these jigheads for a planned excursion to Folsom Lake, California, a lake known for its triple crown population of bass - largemouth, smallies, and spots. I took along my Megabass F3-610DGS and Daiwa Certate 2000 spooled with 6 pound test Original P-line.

 

Test rig for Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead Field Tests

Rod Megabass F3-610DGS Aaron Martens Limited
Reel Daiwa Certate 2000
Line 6 lb. P-Line Original


Rigging: The difference with the Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead is with the baitkeeper system. It is a spiral wound wire intended to hold your plastic bait in place by screwing the head of this plastic onto the baitkeeper. The good news is this system is very secure even with some of the softer plastic baits out there like the Yamamoto Senko and Magic Worm finesse worms. It is really, surprisingly secure. The slight bad news is that at least initially, this system is not the fastest or easiest to use. You need to really press the head of the bait into the baitkeeper, and at the same time, turn it in a clockwise direction to get things started. Once you grow accustomed to the implementation, it becomes easier, but still, not quite as fast as other systems we've used.

To use the baitkeeper, simply screw your bait onto the spiral wound wire

 

It can be a bit difficult to get started sometimes, but the baitkeeper really holds plastic baits securely

 

Effectiveness: We were able to catch fish fine with this jighead, so it wasn't until we made some underwater observations that we could tell this jighead, perhaps because of the baitkeeper system, does not do a good job of standing the bait up off the bottom unless one of two things is happening: 1) you keep constant tension on the line (which most do with this technique anyway; or 2) the plastic bait you are using has a natural tendency to float. On slack line, the rig simply lies on the bottom, and with a slight pull on the line, it will either skip along the bottom or, if caught on a small rock or other irregularity on the bottom, slowly turn so that the hook, and your bait, rises up off the bottom. Granted, we made no head to head comparisons of other, more aggressive jighead designs, so we're simply reporting here, what we found to be the case with the RI Screwed Up Jighead.

 

Voila, the hook keeper of this jighead is secure enough to hold a Senko even by the small end

 

The Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead shown here with a 5" Yamamoto Senko mounted the "proper" way

 

Weedlessness: The round shape of the RI Screwed Up Jighead's head is very conducive to working in and around rocky areas. It is not full proof, by any means, but it does a very good job of rolling over rocks. Add to it, the versatility of Texas rigging your plastics and it seems near perfect! We'd love to see some heavier weighted options for pitching and flipping in real weedy environments like the California Delta!

 

An underwater shot of our rigged jighead and Senko
 

The RI Screwed Up Jighead relies on tension on the line, or a buoyant plastic bait for the stand-up position most coveted for this technique

 

Design: Reaction Innovations did a really good job of thinking this product through. Simple tweaks like turning the tie eye at a 90 degree angle to help provide a different point of leverage when putting tension on the line and getting the bait to stand up off the bottom. The hook keeper, of course, is amazingly secure. But one thing we found a bit odd, was the absence of a bait keeper barb along the shank of the hook in case someone wanted to fish the jighead in a more traditional manner. Of course, if that's the case, perhaps the best solution is to simply use a different jighead, but it's always nice to have the option.

 

After a day of fishing including casts up onto rocks and dragging along the bottom, our RI Screwed Up jighead showed surprisingly little damage

 

The screw-on baitkeeper can get bent out of shape after a few lost plastics but is easily bent back.

 

The RI Screwed Up jigheads come with quality, Gamakatsu hooks

 

Durability: Reaction Innovations employs a powder coated finish on their Screwed Up Jigheads for superb durability in finish. After a day of hard use, our jighead showed no signs of losing its finish and only had a few, very small dimples to show for the abuse. The hook keeper might be the actual weak link. Depending on the size and bulk of the plastic you use, it can easily be bent out of alignment as the worm flails about during the battle with a feisty bass. Though it is easily bent back into shape, we have to wonder if it might eventually just snap off. If this happens, without a baitkeeper barb along the shank of the hook, the jighead will be rendered useless. Again, not something that we experienced, but something to keep in mind nonetheless.

 

Ratings:

Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well made with quality hooks 9
Performance Does almost everything you'd expect jighead/shakey head to do - if you fish them weedless 8.5
Price At roughly $1.25 per jighead, we'd sure like to see a bulk purchase option 7
Features Powder coated head, Gamakatsu hook, secure bait keeper 9
Design (Ergonomics) There's not really much you can do with a jighead, but Reaction Innovations offers some subtle refinements that really work well - save a baitkeeper on the hook's shank 8
Application Set up as a weedless jighead only with no provisions for holding the bait onto the jighead with an exposed hook 8

Total Score

8.25

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Durable, powder coat finish L A little price with no bulk purchase option (for now anyway)
J Very sharp, Gamakatsu Hooks L Can only be fished weedless
J Super secure baitkeeper system L Limited sizes - we'd like to see some 1/2 oz and up options as well

 

This feisty spot was caught on a Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead while using a six inch finesse worm

 

Conclusion: If there is one way to make a finesse fishing outing feel a bit like powerfishing on light line, it's by tying on a jighead and working your bait along the bottom. Perhaps that's partly why this technique is so popular around the country. The other part would be, because it works! Throw in a jighead that is durable, gives you the option of rigging weedless, and is built with a high quality hook and you have a real winner! The Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead is a really good performing jighead. Sure it's a little pricey and yes, it would be nice to have a bulk purchase option along with a baitkeeper barb along the hook shank, but if you're looking for a durable finish, super sharp hooks, and a secure method to hold your bait so you don't run through a few dozen bags of plastics on each trip, you owe it to yourself to check out the Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Jighead.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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