Becoming proficient with bladed jigs can make a huge difference in your bass fishing success. You can skip them underneath docks, roll them over stumps, tick the top of submerged vegetation—anything, really—and expect to elicit some bone-jarring strikes throughout the course of the day. Over the past several years, these lures have been responsible for countless tournament wins across the country.
I’ve been looking forward to the release of the new Strike King Naked Rage Blade for quite some time and have recently had an opportunity to test it on my home waters. I think it’s going to be a very productive lure for those who fish in clear water fisheries.
Here’s what I found most interesting about it. Clear blade and no skirt Unique weight placement Practical components
Clear blade for a more subtle presentation
If you take a look at most bladed jigs, you’ll notice a bright, shiny blade on them. While these blades offer excellent flash in dingy water or lowlight conditions, they can be a bit overpowering in areas with ultra-clear water.
The Strike King Naked Rage Blade features a clear blade that was specifically designed to excel in clear water situations. Think about it— bass can see a long way in clear water, so they don’t really need all of that extra flash to locate your lure. If anything, too much flash can spook them before they even think about eating it.
This bladed jig has a very subtle and natural profile as it swims through the water. It comes pre-rigged with a Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Blade Minnow and truthfully, it’s a beautiful combination. It still emits a lot of vibration throughout the retrieve, causing the Blade Minnow’s to shimmy even at very slow retrieve speeds.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been having a lot of bass follow my soft jerkbait without eating it. The water is ridiculously clear in some areas of my home lake, so I decided to give the Naked Rage Blade a shot. While I still had some followers, I was able to catch some of the finicky bass. They’d dart out from shallow ambush points and swim several feet to choke on it.
I’ve been very pleased with the durability of the clear blade as well. A lot of the metal blades will lose shape after a few errant casts, resulting in a poor swimming action and loss of vibration. I’ve noticed, however, that these blades actually flex when they come into contact with cover. There have been no signs of cracking, chipping or splitting after weeks of heavy use.
You’ll also notice that the Naked Rage Blade is skirtless. I think this is an excellent idea because, as we all know, the more natural your presentation is in clear water, the more bites you’ll be able to get. A skirtless profile, along with the clear blade creates an incredibly realistic profile in the water.
Unique weight placement
The Naked Rage Blade’s weight is located on the bottom of the blade which has been beneficial for two primary reasons throughout my testing— it deflects off cover well and skips like a pebble underneath cover.
As I mentioned earlier, I love to slow-roll bladed jigs over stumps and laydowns and the football-shaped weight drastically reduces hang-ups in areas laden with heavy cover. The weight is the first component to come into contact with the cover, which allows the rest of the jig to “roll” over obstructions, protecting your hook and line tie.
The weight placement is also advantageous for anglers who like to skip bladed jigs underneath docks and overhangs. The smooth, rounded weight slides across the water’s surface very easily and very rarely will the blade “catch” on the water and cause a commotion. As a result, I’ve been able to make some pretty slick casts into the darkest parts of docks with the Naked Rage Blade.
Because the weight is located on the bottom of the blade, you’ll need to alter your weight selection process. This jig likes to rise throughout the retrieve, so I’ve noticed the 3/8-ounce model performs more like a 1/4-ounce bladed jig. Likewise, the 1/2-ounce model behaves similar to a true 3/8-ounce jig. So if you’re fishing shallow cover, I suggest getting one size larger than you’d usually purchase.
I’d really like to see some 3/4 and 1-ounce versions of the Naked Rage Blade as well because I think it’d be a killer lure for offshore fishing.
Practical components make for a good experience
My two biggest qualms with most bladed jigs center around the hook and the keeper. Rarely have I been able to find one with exactly what I’m looking for.
I’ll be honest, though— I’m very pleased with both of those features on the Naked Rage Blade. It comes with a custom Gamakatsu hook that’s incredibly sharp and maintains its sharpness for a long time. It also has a fairly aggressive bend to it, which will allow you to use thicker soft plastic swimbaits if you choose to do so.
The keeper also holds your trailer in place excellently. I’ve done a lot of hardcore skipping with this jig and caught a lot of fish with it and I’ve only had to adjust my trailer a few times. It keeps the nose of the bait firmly in-place.
If you frequent clear water fisheries, consider giving the Strike King Naked Rage Blade a try. It’s been a pleasure to fish with and I think you’ll agree. As long as you take note of my recommendations for weight selection, you’ll be impressed with it.