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Lure Review


A lethal new weapon in the hunt for hard hitting Stripers, the SPRO Prime Bucktail Jig
 

Date: 5/1/02
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: SPRO
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.75


Introduction: SPRO advances the design of a traditional bucktail with details that include a truly realistic head, new action, colors, and ultra-sharp Gamakatsu hooks. A new design that is good news for anglers, bad news for Stripers.
 

SPRO Prime Bucktail Jig Specifications

Type Re-designed bucktail jig
Depth variable depending on style
Weights 1/4, 3/8/, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/2, 2, 3 oz.
Colors/Patterns white, green shad, chartreuse, blue shad. magic bus, bunker, pink, dark shad
Hooks Gamakatsu
MSRP $2.99-$3.79 (depends on size)


Impressions: SPRO uses some of the best materials in its unique creations, and the attention to detail continues to be a major reason SPRO continues to catch the attention of fish and anglers alike. Some of you who fish for Stripers have no doubt used a traditional white bucktail jig. The SPRO Prime Bucktail is the most detailed and realistic bucktail jig I have ever seen, right out of the box. When I first received the latest jigs from SPRO I noticed the addition of new colors and patterns with a head that was so lifelike you could actually make out the look of "fear" on the face of the jig. SPRO claims that this lure is hard to fish wrong and can be used to entice a range of saltwater fish including cobia, snook, dolphin, or stripers. Since finding stripers in Northern California would be the easiest I headed right out to see just how well this new lure would work.
 

The Prime Bucktail Jig has the most realistic looking head we have ever seen on a bucktail, you can almost see the look of fear on this mimic of a fleeing baitfish.


The Construction:
Once further examined in the field it began to dawn on me that the Prime Bucktail Jig is quite unlike any other bucktail I have ever fished with. The realism captured by the lure is a direct result of a new head design and proper placement of two large holographic eyes set in wells in front of a realistic looking gill mold. We spent most of our time testing the "green shad" pattern which is quite characteristic of the rest of the line. This lure's unique color does an excellent job paralleling a real baitfish from all angles. From the top the lures profile is dark, from the side it has a shiny strip of hairs that resembles the profile of a baitfish, and the bottom displays a white belly. The lure always swims with the right orientation because SPRO designed the Prime Bucktail to be tied on at the top, not in the front like other bucktail jigs. During our test we discovered that this unique placement allows for some more flexible fishing as well. To top it al off SPRO uses ultra sharp and strong Gamakatsu hooks.


Tests:
To test the action and durability of this lure I headed out for 3 days of fishing at O'Neil Forebay which is a holding reservoir below Lake San Luis. This lake is famous for producing the California record for the largest Striped Bass at 67lbs 8oz back in 1992. There was plenty of Striper action to be had here.

 

The profile of the Prime Bucktail before being thrown is much larger, notice the colored profile from all angles thanks to the matching colors on the head and bucktail skirt

 

The Cast: The Prime Bucktail casts like a bullet when coupled with a medium action 6'6" rod. A perfect rod for this lure would be a medium or medium heavy rod with a quick tip. I was able to cast a good distance and quite accurately. If you want to cast further you can  add more weight, and can even attract even more attention to the lure with a single tail trailer grub. We recommend a small opaque white single tail grub for consistency. The Prime Bucktail easily holds the trailer in place, and now you have an even longer and larger lure that will attract larger fish and can be cast farther to cover more area.
 

Once wet the bucktail takes on a aerodynamic profile that resembles a fleeing baitfish, notice all the colors are still oriented in the correct positions


The Retrieve: By attaching the line to the lure on the top rather then the head creates a more realistic action as the lure pivots on a upper axis rather then being simply pulled forward. The most unique action of all is that this allows the lure a unique swimming pattern which is unlike other bucktails that often fall at an angle or hang straight down. This allows anglers to work new areas and depths upon retrieve. For example when an angler has located a school he can directly lower the jig and work the jig below the boat. Because of perfect weight balancing and the head design the lure doesn't hang and instead can be jigged with the body remaining parallel to the bottom....like a real baitfish.

 

During field tests Stripers would violently strike the Prime Bucktail, with the addition of a white trailer we were able to use this versatile lure to target even larger stripers

 

The versatility and action: When it comes down to it a bucktail jig can be your best friend for targeting Stripers and the SPRO Prime Bucktail provides new versatility to bucktail fishing. During our tests we  retrieved, jigged, and trolled the Prime Bucktail with success. The unique action of this lure brought on some intense striper action, and when coupled with a white trailer only becomes more effective.

 

I found that this lure worked best when jerked while retrieving at high speed....and I mean fast! the faster and more erratic the movement of the rod, the more strikes I got. While I may have looked like I was doing some sick dance on top of my bass boat the final laugh was mine as the Prime Bucktail jig continued to produce strike after strike and plenty of hard hitting stripers fell prey to the sharp Gamakatsu hooks. During testing the largest fish we landed was 3.5lbs, not large by striper standards but still an incredibly powerful fish for its size. I have had stripers this size do a real number on hooks as their raw power is enough to straighten out lesser hooks. The Gamakatsu hooks on the Prime Minnows took a ton of strikes and provided hooksets with no damage to show for it.  

   

Ratings:

SPRO Prime Bucktail Jig Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good construction, and good choice of high quality Gamakatsu hooks 9
Performance The Prime Bucktail performs well thanks to its super realistic design and new movement, a worthy evolution form the traditional bucktail 8.5
Price A slightly more expensive price then traditional bucktail jigs, but worth every penny if you consider the materials, design, and flexibility of this lure 8
Features Feature rich as far as bucktails go...SPRO does a good job incorporating a new head design and seamlessly matching new skirts. 9
Design (Ergonomics) A unique design that produces a lot of action from Stripers. The design of attaching the lure on top rather then the front is unique. 9
Application The ability to vertically jig and retrieve the Prime Bucktail while keeping the lure parallel to the bottom creates more flexibility in lure presentation. This lure will work well for many applications and species. 9

Total Score

8.75


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great new design L slightly more expensive then traditional bucktails
J Gamakatsu hooks!  
J Unique jigging action  
J Flexible and versatile  
J Ability to hold a trailer well  


Conclusion: The SPRO Prime Bucktail Jig is a very flexible lure that can be fished in many more methods then traditional designs, and does well at producing a lot of action from Stripers that can't help but investigate the unique action and lifelike appearance of this detailed new lure. The combination of color patterns and a ultra realistic head are a winning one. Most striking about the Prime Bucktail is its ability to remain parallel to the bottom in the water so it can be fished more realistically while jigged or retrieved at slower speeds. SPRO has designed another winning lure thanks to excellent choice of materials and detail in design. Definitely a must check out for anglers who enjoy tackling hard hitting Stripers.


Until next time....Tight Lines!


 

 

 

 

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