Legitimate jerkbait gurus get really in-depth with their setups and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I hope to be at that level soon but for now, I’m trying to learn more about locations, situations and scenarios more than the gear. I don’t want overcomplicate things and overwhelm my brain. I’m bad about overthinking things, so I’ve decided to keep my gear as simple as possible.
I like to use a 7-foot, medium-action casting rod for my summer jerkbait fishing. In my mind, long casts are the name of the game. You’ll often find a bunch of big bass roaming the shallows and due to the lack of rain this time of year, the water is especially clear, so I want a wimpier rod that allows for longer casts so I can keep my boat and any unwanted noise or shadows away from the fish. For the line, I really like using 12-pound fluorocarbon. I think 15-pound fluorocarbon would be okay as well if you’re fishing around especially thick cover but 12-pound seems to be the sweet spot for me.
In regards to the actual jerkbait I’ve been throwing, I’m fairly partial to the Hardcore Minnow Flat SP. I’m sure many other jerkbaits are up to the task but I’ve developed a tremendous amount of confidence in this particular lure. It has an outstanding weight-transfer system that allows for jaw-dropping casting distance which helps you stay back from those finicky clear-water bass and its action is wild, even with very small twitches of the rod. It also seems to be very responsive to “high-sticking”, which is when you jerk your rod tip upwards instead of downwards. This can be especially useful when targeting really shallow cover.
I really hope my mistakes can help you with this. For years, I never even thought of jerkbait unless it was freezing cold outside. Don’t be like me. Keep a shallow-diving, suspending jerkbait rigged at all times, especially in the summer. These things are like bass candy and no matter what brand or model you choose to throw, I honestly believe it’s going to open up an entirely new world of summer bass fishing for you.