IMA Flit 120 Jerkbait

IMA Flit 120 Jerkbait

IMA Flit 120 Jerkbait

by January 12, 2016

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We have investigated this bait before and even interviewed one of its designers. For this article we are going to do an unbiased and unfiltered review of the Flit 120 and let our readers know what we think!

Before we start delving into our opinion of the Flit, you may be interested in some of the designer’s comments. You can read them HERE in a previous interview we conducted with Michael Murphy: Fisheries Biologist, Michael Murphy – FLW Pro Angler, and Lure Designer.

I have been casting jerkbaits for northern pike in the spring as part of my repertoire ever since I can remember. When my passion branched into bass, this technique followed me there and it is part of my cold water tactics. I have fished many jerk bait brands and have found most of them to be disappointments. They’re either inconsistent, poorly made, or just too expensive for the average angler.

This is where the Flit 120 becomes a jerkbait that wins in all these categories, and I’ll tell you why I am willing to make this bold statement…

Flit 120 closeup

Cute, isn’t it? The Flit 120 has many traits that are visible from its JDM inspired design.

IMA Flit Jerkbait Features

The IMA Flit is built with as many high quality features as the most expensive baits you can find. The Flit was designed in conjunction with biologists and anglers, inputting their design ideas to come up with this jerkbait.

-3 Hooks: This design helps increase catch ratio when fish are in a reactive mood and not willing to aggressively feed; an asset in colder water early and late in the year and in post frontal situations. Yes, this isn’t unique, but the hooks are Owner #6 hooks- not the cheap stuff!

-High Pitch (small bb’s):  The IMA Flit resembles baitfish in the Herring family (flat sided, as opposed to a round sided smelt), which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, to imitate sound in colder water conditions and in post frontal situations.

-Triangular Internal Chamber system:  This unique system maximizes sound by ricocheting bb’s at constant angles.  With this design, it allows for a controlled sound among all jerkbaits that come out of production, allows the jerkbait to be consistent in sound, and keeps the bb’s from getting stuck in crevices.  This design emits a controlled sound and maximizes consistency, maximizing it’s realistic and unique sound.

-6 to 8-ft dive depth:  A commonly fished depth; within visible sight, of suspending baitfish and predatory fish aimed to catch in colder months and post frontal situations.

-Flat sided, wider back: The IMA Flit resembles baitfish in the Herring family.  If taken a cross section of, both will appear triangular in shape, as oppose to oval in shape, more resembling of a smelt or minnow, which is less commonly fed on by Bass.

-Forward pointed, skinnier bill:  This lure has its action built into it’s design.  Many competitors make a lure and adjust the bill width and size to give the lure its action.  This will only create more resistance wearing the user out much quicker.  The bill angle, length and width is designed for strictly the depth, where the body is designed for the action by resembling the shape of Herring, which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, and giving a similar cadence, resulting in a much user friendly, less tiring lure.

-Flash:  With how the sides of the jerk bait are designed, they reflect light slightly downward, naturally the direction from which a strike will most likely come from, as oppose to outward and in any which direction like most competitors.

Flit120rearview

We tried to give you a look at the triangular body shape in this shot…notice the hump shape of the body as well? this is intended to mimic many of the shad type baitfish and make the bait look more natural.

 

All these features listed translate into one thing: a better jerk bait that has the capability to catch fish!

Pros

The one trait that a good jerk bait will have is predictability and consistency. When you throw a hardbait you’re throwing it because you want it to have a specific action or dive a specific depth. For cold water, suspending is key and the IMA Flit 120 is as consistent as they get. No more fooling around with suspend dots, or having to swap out hooks trying to change your bait’s weight profile! The IMA Flit will suspend horizontally indefinitely if needed. I have thrown many jerk bait brands and the one thing that I have found is that few are rarely consistent right out of the package and the Flit is one of them.

In my early years I would choose more economic jerkbaits but have to spend time on the water testing them and adjusting them to get the desired cadence. When I think of all the time I wasted doing this instead of  catching fish, I shudder. The Flit is consistent out of the box without wasted time tuning or testing.

Recently IMA has taken steps to begin domestic production on the Flit. This has reduced the price from $17.49 to $9.99 USD on some colors. I think that this is a step in the right direction and IMA has responded to the feedback that anglers have given them. Some models of the Flit are still very expensive, but IMA may take steps to remedy that in the near future to make their products more accessible to anglers of all budgets.

Cons

Durability is important to me. I have always predominantly fished in northern latitudes where running into northern pike or musky is a distinct possibility. This is also one of the arguments for not throwing a jerk bait that you don’t want to have beat up by a hungry northern, or worse yet loose altogether. However, the IMA Flit is priced for anglers who may loose a jerk bait during fishing. With some colors costing $17.49 the Flit is priced out of most anglers’ ranges, but now IMA is offering some models of the Flit 120 for a competitive $9.99 USD.

Finish quality on the Flit is a concern when it comes to running into unwanted species. The Flit does not do well when facing species such as walleye (pickerel), northern pike, musky or anything with teeth. The finish just can’t handle the abuse and a single fish can cause havoc on this jerkbait. I have had the hooks bent badly out of shape due to 30″ northerns with an attitude. Anglers should be weary of throwing their Flits in certain lakes, or be prepared to bring extra hooks!

The Flit doesn't do well with teeth. Note the two missing hooks on the top Flit. These were removed after having been bent badly by an unwanted visitor.

The Flit doesn’t do well with teeth. Note the two missing hooks on the top Flit. These were removed after having been bent badly by an unwanted visitor.

The IMA Flit’s finish will also fall victim to its own hooks if allowed to freely move around when you have them stored in your tacklebox. After owning many of these jerkbaits for several years, I have learned that storing them with the hooks tied up (with elastic bands) is the best option. This method keeps the finish safe and also makes selecting the bait you want easier and safer.

Flit120 best storage solution

Use elastic bands to store your Flits. This will help make them safer and also preserve the finish.

On The Water

The Flit performs well as I mentioned above. It is consistent and the hang time between pauses can last almost infinitely. The IMA Flit proved to be extremely erratic, more so than most other jerkbaits I have fished and I feel like this helped entice strikes. The Flit excels when fished with flourocarbon that is in the 8 to 12-lb range. Any heavier and the action is muted significantly. I found that throwing this bait is a lot of fun and I was able to enjoy working the bait around cover. The predictability of the dive depth made this a great bait for weedlines and rockpiles and the long suspending characteristic of the Flit makes it deadly on days where a slower cadence is needed. I use a 6’8″ medium power jerkbait rod with a fast tip. I have tried an extra fast tip, but the Flit doesn’t seem to need that much motivation to dart erratically. This is a pro on a long day of jerk bait fishing and your wrist will thank you.

$10 may sound like still a lot to some anglers. When you consider the level of performance you are going to get as well as fact that you can avoid the aggravation of trying to get your bait to suspend its well worth it. For bass applications the Flit 120 is the cat’s meow!

Tight Lines!

Review Summary

Details about this item
Price
4out of 5
Finish Quality
3.5out of 5
Manufacturing Quality
4.5out of 5
Color Selection
4out of 5
Fishability
4out of 5
Design/ Innovation
4.5out of 5
Overall

The Flit is an amazing buy at its new pricepoint and earns a solid mark in this area. It is high quality, well designed & consistent. The Flit lacks the finish/ hook quality to withstand unwanted toothy species, which hurts the lure's overall score. Color availability also hurts the Flits score. The Flit 120 is a capable jerkbait that bass anglers should take a look at.

4.08

Good
4.08 out of 5

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