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Smungung

Zman original chatterbait

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I'm reading that the Zman original chatterbaits are poor quality. I'm thinking of returning them and getting better ones. What has your experience been with the Zman chatterbaits?

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I never liked them personally. They catch fish, sure. I found the hooks to be rather poor quality and the blade rusted extremely quick for me. 

I just started spending the extra guap on Picasso Shockblade chatterbaits. They have way better detail, better skirt, way better hook and head. Worth the extra money to me. 

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Agreed the original Zman is ok.  Nothing special but it’s affordable and widely available. It does the job just fine but there are certainly better baits out there. The higher end Zmans are better but 2 or 3x the cost. The Custom is the best value. It’s about $6 and much better

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I had one where the hook rusted (very minor surface rust) after leaving a trailer on it in my tackle box. In fairness the trailer was super salty. I take my trailers off now, never had a problem. I prefer the project Z or customs because the blade starts up a little faster, but I still have and use the originals.

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The originals have worked well for me but as others said if you leave a trailer on it will speed up the start of rust. I've got one with a semi-rusty hook, about half the skirt, and barely any paint left on the head but it's still catching fish.

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I used to use the original and did good with them. Now I prefer the "fogy" from site sponsor seibert outdoors. Under 4 bucks I believe and high quality components. And option for a wire tied skirt. 

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The poor quality of the originals was one of the main reasons I started making my own. Got tired of the dull hooks, everything rusting, and skirts falling down every time a fish bit and missed. 

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Agree with all posted above about Zman original, especially on rusted and skirt falling down, even Zman Freedom got this problem from time to time.

But I still use original mostly when I know I'm gonna loose it in couple casts. Mostly I upgraded to either Elite or Custom Series and also use Fogy as well. I also found some of Fogy got a problem where the split ring is a little too big and made the head not moving freely.

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I only use the original don’t like any other brand I don’t like the project z either. I think it’s a confidence thing. They do rust so you just have to dry and store them with a rust inhibitor, sharpen the hooks if you have to I admit though that I haven’t thrown a chatter bait as much as I used to but I still have a box of them in good condition. Don’t leave the trailers on them and they won’t rust as quickly.

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I give them credit for bringing the bladed jig to mainstream.  However, after trying nearly a dozen different kinds, there was not a single different brand that I liked less than the Zman Original

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They catch fish just fine. The hooks aren't the best and the skirts don't last long though. I now use only the Elite version. No problems so far. 

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I use all of the Zman brands and just haven't found all the problems others have found.  I do usually use the project Z, Elites, or customs, but really find the originals and elites to stay down better in the water column.   Have not ponied up the $$$$ for the Jackhammer though.   Toooooo many pike and hang ups for that.  

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I don't have an issue with the Original Chatterbait but lately I've been mostly using the Z-Man Custom Chatterbait from Tackle Warehouse.  They work great.

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Better alternatives:

 

Rage Blade (Rage Tail)

Fogy (Siebert Outdoors)

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I had two of the original ones where the hooks rusted while they were still in the package. They were in my garage with about 1k other hooks that didn't rust so?

 

Working on making some like the original Phenix ones.

 

Allen

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Are trailers necessary for chatterbaits?

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2 minutes ago, Smungung said:

Are trailers necessary for chatterbaits?

No, not at all.   But, you can change the action, profile, weight, etc. by using different trailers with the same lure.   Plus it's fun to experiment with them, and when you find the combo the fish like that day, hang on!!

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Yep, they are of poor quality. Even the bucktail jig version is poor. A few hits from a striper and the skirt starts falling apart. I ended up putting a small fluke on it. Works great.

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I use the customs and have no complaints.  I like them better than the originals and to be honest those are the only two types I've ever used. 

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On 8/22/2018 at 6:07 AM, Burrows said:

I only use the original don’t like any other brand I don’t like the project z either. I think it’s a confidence thing. They do rust so you just have to dry and store them with a rust inhibitor, sharpen the hooks if you have to I admit though that I haven’t thrown a chatter bait as much as I used to but I still have a box of them in good condition. Don’t leave the trailers on them and they won’t rust as quickly.

  I am in the exact same boat as you.  You do have to watch him but I haven’t been satisfied with any of the other 6-8 or so brands Ive tried, including the higher end z mans. 

 

I’ve had epic days with only the originals and have some that are five years old. Maybe it’s confidence like you said, But for under five bucks you can’t really complain about them.  Dont put them up wet. Dont leave super salty trailers on them. I often use twin tail Yamamoto Grubs and know it’s a must to remove them from any hook. And the hooks arent these thin wire, modern needle point chemically sharpened deals like on cranks. They take to sharpening pretty well, if needed. 

 

 That said I only use the models with the actual snap on them I don’t like the wire tired closed loop that they use sometimes.

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The original chatter bait has several well documented issues, but I find I get bit on it better than most others, and a couple of mods and practices eliminate any problems with that. 

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I've got the original and caught a massive bowfin my first trip out with it. Rigged a 3" green pumpkin paddle-tail upside-down (per Matt Allen) as a trailer and it shimmy's great. Tried a pitboss on the back and it's equally erratic.

 

Worst quality skirt I've ever seen, and I've managed to scrape all the paint off the bottom of the jighead, but I do that with all of my jigs regardless of brand.

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On 8/21/2018 at 11:04 PM, Brew City Bass said:

I never liked them personally. They catch fish, sure. I found the hooks to be rather poor quality and the blade rusted extremely quick for me. 

I just started spending the extra guap on Picasso Shockblade chatterbaits. They have way better detail, better skirt, way better hook and head. Worth the extra money to me. 

I had a look at them and almost pulled the trigger on some but I'd seen old reviews, more than one, that said they didn't vibrate or, if they did, that they had to pull hard and reel fast to get them to start. How many Picasso chatterbaits Have you used? Have you seen anything like this?

On 8/22/2018 at 10:15 AM, roadwarrior said:

Better alternatives:

 

Rage Blade (Rage Tail)

Fogy (Siebert Outdoors)

I am starting to think I agree. My first chatterbaits were the Rage Blades and that wad my introduction. I didn't have to be particularly careful about how our where I fished them to not snag, and they were getting a lot of action. The only next name I learned was Z-Man. I tried several and preferred the option of and capability of the customs compared to the other Z-Man chatterbaits...

 

But that said, the Rage Blades just seem to do better for me and with less worry about hanging up or snagging.  

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2 hours ago, Fishingintheweeds said:

I had a look at them and almost pulled the trigger on some but I'd seen old reviews, more than one, that said they didn't vibrate or, if they did, that they had to pull hard and reel fast to get them to start. How many Picasso chatterbaits Have you used? Have you seen anything like this?

I am starting to think I agree. My first chatterbaits were the Rage Blades and that wad my introduction. I didn't have to be particularly careful about how our where I fished them to not snag, and they were getting a lot of action. The only next name I learned was Z-Man. I tried several and preferred the option of and capability of the customs compared to the other Z-Man chatterbaits...

 

But that said, the Rage Blades just seem to do better for me and with less worry about hanging up or snagging.  

I've owned closer to 10-12 of them. All of them are the "newer" ones with Aaron Martens on the box.

For me, they start to chatter as soon as I reel. I will say this though, they don't vibrate as hard as some of the other chatterbaits on the market. This can be good or bad depending what you want. I don't like a chatterbait that will shake my teeth out, so I find these to be pretty great for my purposes. I've never had a problem catching fish on them. I literally just got back from the lake 5 minutes ago and that's all I threw tonight. Caught 15 fish on it in 3 hours, biggest one was 4lbs. 

I like to use a trailer with these. I use keitechs or whatever paddle tail is on sale at Dicks. 

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