Z-Man has done it again. With the help of a true hammer in pro angler Bryan Thrift, Z-Man has reinvented the wheel yet another time and somehow created something truly new from a bait that most of us thought could no longer be improved upon. Introducing the Z-Man Big Blade ChatterBait.
Let’s see what it’s all about.
The “big” part
Allow me to make one of the more obvious statements in the history of statements: This thing has a big blade on it. The blade on a vibrating jig knocks back and forth as it’s reeled through the water, creating a lot of noise and sending a violent shiver through the skirted jighead that trails behind it.
This aggressive vibrating action is what makes baits like a ChatterBait so effective. Well if a blade of a certain size is good, why wouldn’t a bigger blade be even better? Thus the Big Blade ChatterBait was born.
What’s it good for?
As is the case with most of Z-Man’s vibrating jig offerings, they are specifically designed for certain conditions. So the Big Blade isn’t intended to replace all your other ChatterBaits and vibrating jigs. Instead, it’s designed for a particular set of circumstances or situations.
The situations when the Big Blade shines brighter than other vibrating jigs are times when a bass needs abundant help to locate a bait. Take cold and muddy water for example; since the water is cold, the cold-blooded bass are lethargic, or slow to move and react. And because the water is muddy, the bass have to rely on their lateral lines detecting vibration to find a bait.
So cold and muddy water is the perfect set of circumstances to use a slow moving, hard knocking bait like the Big Blade. Night fishing in the summer is another great example of a situation when bass need all the help they can get to hunt in low visibility.
Big, but not too big
Though the Big Blade has a bigger than average blade, a slightly bigger build than most vibrating jigs and a drastically bigger sound signature, it’s still not too big. A 2-pound bass can still inhale the whole bait. So, even though this is a lure designed to evoke big bites, it’s not so big that you can’t catch numbers with it as well.
Second only to the blade, the other most notable characteristic that is larger than normal is the hook. Z-Man went with a heavy-duty 6/0 Mustad UltraPoint hook. There’s very little that swims in fresh water that this hook couldn’t subdue, if anything. On a personal note, I’ll actually fish a trailer hook on a vibrating jig a lot of the time. And that is unnecessary with this bait thanks to the large hook.
Z-Man offers the Big Blade ChatterBait in 9 different color combinations. There’s a black/blue candy with a dark blade for night fishing and a bluegill pattern for mayfly hatches and bream beds. They have translucent shad patterns for situations when the water is starting to clear up and hard chartreuse and whites with painted blades for muddy water.
You have to have a green pumpkin flavor with any ChatterBait, so there’s the green pumpkin candy color for fishing through submerged vegetation. And you can’t forget the latest color vibrating jig to be become an instant classic… red. Adding in a fire craw color that sports a bright-red skirt and painted orange blade and a slightly darker hot craw with a dark metallic blade, there’s some color in the Big Blade for every set of conditions.
The Big Blade comes in three sizes: 1/2-, 5/8- and 3/4-ounce. I must admit, I went a little too light with the ones I ordered. I love to throw a double Colorado spinnerbait in cold and muddy water. And to be able to slow roll it, I usually go with a 1/2-ounce. So, when ordering the Big Blade, I went with a 1/2-ounce as well.
The only problem is that you have to really, really crawl the 1/2-ounce version to keep the bait down. If you speed it up at all, it looses traction and comes to the surface. So I would only recommend the 1/2-ounce in the absolute coldest and shallowest conditions, like a 1- to 2-foot deep grass flat on Lake Guntersville in February. Otherwise, you’ll be able to fish much more effectively with the 5/8- or 3/4-ounce version, even as shallow as 2 to 5 feet of water.
As an avid fan of ChatterBaits, I was pretty excited to see them introduce the Big Blade. After spending just a little time with it on the water, a half-dozen specific situations came to mind in which I know I can catch fish on this bait throughout the year.
With its big blade and massive hook, this ChatterBait is capable of not only triggering giant strikes but of getting them to the boat as well. Priced at $11.99, this isn’t a bait you’ll need dozens of, but instead only a couple. With just two or three of these lures, the Z-Man Big Blade ChatterBait is capable of filling a niche need in every angler’s arsenal.