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Lure Review

Taking Some Time with a Jr. Clone by Skinny Bear Baits (continued)

Dive Time: Like the original, the Jr. Deep gets right to work when you crank your reel over diving down to maximum running depth. While it's swimming, there's a very subtle kick you can feel through the rod, but that's not what I was trying to see. Literally, once the bait came into view near the boat, the real question was, how the bait behaves once you stop your retrieve.

And it performs the same too

The real reason the Junior D gained such acclaim back in the day was its ability to coax bites in the cold, cool, structure-less deep water reservoirs of California. It didn't do this by just bouncing off rocks and swimming with a knocking noise from the large, single bearing in its plastic cavity.

The secret behind the Junior D was, when you stop your retrieve, it stopped and suspended just like a jerkbait. That tail comes up, head points down, and the Junior D does its best impression of a Vision OneTen.

Right down to the head down position in suspend mode

So when the Jr. Deep came into view next to the boat about eight feet or so down, that's what I wanted to see. I stopped my retrieve and BAM, the bait paused and sat there. I tried this a couple more times to leave an impression in my mind, then switched to the original and everything felt and looked the same.

The Jr. Deep is available in 10 colors

Design/Ergonomics: What doesn't appear to be the same are the selection of ten colors. None really matched what I had in my dusty collection of baits, but all of the available colors of the Jr. Deep are pretty standard fare for today's cranks. The stock #6 hooks hold up well but are also easily replaced should you have a preference for something name brand.

Retail price is $10.79

Price & Application: Perhaps the best news about the Jr. Deep? It's available right now, today, at this moment, at TackleWarehouse and retails for a mere $10.79. No auction site waits, no escalated costs. There will be those who will scoff at the idea of a copy, claiming there's no way it could be as effective, and hence valuable, as the original, and only time will tell that story, but I know I'm convinced.

The only difference I can discern is the label on the belly of the original


Skinny Bear Jr. Deep Crankbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Indistinguishable from the original 9
Performance Casts like a charm, but the real secret is on that pause 9
Price An affordable version of a classic, secret bait 8
Features Internal bearing balance system, good hooks, small, compact body 7
Design (Ergonomics) Colors are standard fare and not as exotic as the original 7
Application A good cranking option for cold water bass 8

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:


+ Super easy bait to cast given its size - Colors aren't as fun and exotic as the original
+ Gets right to work when you start cranking  
+ Suspends like a jerkbait  

If you were trying to keep this one a secret, the lure's out of the box now

Conclusion: To be honest, when I wrote the review for the original, Junior D back in 2005, I can't recall if I knew about the suspending characteristics of the bait at the time I wrote the article or if it's something I discovered later, while I continued to fish the bait. What I do know is once it went out of production and supplies ran scarce, the legend grew. The Jr. Deep from Skinny Bear has been available for a couple of years now, and I'm unsure as to whether the word on this bait was out, but we kind of took care of that now. I'm not normally a fan of copies, but when the original goes out of production and is no longer available, all bets are kind of off. If you're a fan of Junior, and have been pining for his return, take a dive into this bait. You may just find yourself back in the deep end.


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