October 11th, 2014
I remember when Cliff Pace won the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake and this jerkbait was one of the baits he used to catch his winning bag. Ever since then the Jackall Squad Minnow has been in demand by anglers across North America. Our team wanted to do a review on the Squad Minnow because spring is around the corner and so is jerkbait season, so lets get to it!
Right out of the packaging the Squad Minnow gives the impression of high quality and great engineering. The body feels solid and the hooks are sticky sharp.
I especially liked the oval line tie. That is a detail that lets you know this jerkbait was thought out from an engineering standpoint. Oval line ties are something that I like because round line ties tend to spin when I’m trying to tie a bait on.
- 3-ft dive depth
- Oval line tie
- 15 available colors
- Dart and stop & go action
- comes in four sizes: 80mm, 95mm, 110mm and 128mm
- weight transfer system
- $14.99 to $15.99 USD depending on size chosen
The Jackall Squad Minnow looks amazing. I would say that the paint finishes and overall manufacturing quality is up there with other premium hardbaits such as Yo-Zuri and Luckycraft.
When we were on the water the Squad Minnow’s weight transfer system really helped the bait during casting, so that is definitely a pro for this bait. It was also consistent right out of the packaging with no need for fine tuning. More about this in the “On The Water” section of this review.
The fit and finish on the Jackall Squad Minnow is quite good but mold lines are still visible. It’s evident that during the production process, there is an effort made to clean the mold lines up. They are still visible on the underside of the Squad minnow and the bill. I don’t think this affects the bait’s function, it is a visual flaw in my opinion.
The price of the Squad Minnow could be considered a con. At $15.99 USD this jerkbait is in the upper range for hardbaits. Let’s face it, if a northern pike stole one of these it would put me in a bad funk, so that will always be a concern when one of these is in the water. Anglers need to evaluate if the features the Squad Minnow offers are worth the money. There are other manufacturers such as IMA that make great jerkbaits at a lower pricepoint.
Color selection is decent, but leaves some room for improvement. The Squad Minnow has many colors that will meet most conditions an angler will run into, but lacks some key colors clear water anglers will be looking for. Jackall offers some holographic finishes as well (2 to be exact, HL Clown and HL Aurora Black), but not nearly as many holographic options as other manufacturers do.
I feel like Jackall is missing key color patterns for the US market such as perch, bluegill and perhaps baby bass. I don’t think JDM colors such as ayu and pearl ayu are really of interest to north american anglers, although I’m sure they have been used successfully to catch fish.
On The Water
Our team tested the Squad Minnow using spinning gear. We threw it with a 7-ft MH/F rod and braided line. The feature that was most impressive about the Squad Minnow was the casting distance we were able to achieve. We were able to throw the 95SP model extremely far. This is probably due to the weight transfer system that the Squad Minnow has. It really turned the lure into a missile!
Fishing the Squad Minnow was relatively easy and we found that proper cadence was key, which is typical for all jerkbaits. The Squad Minnow has an erratic darting action that darts fairly far from side to side. You have to give the bait slack so it can reach its maximum travel distance when it is darting. One of the things we noticed is that there is a tendency to jerk the Squad Minnow too fast, preventing the bait from doing its job. With the Squad Minnow you have to give it just a little extra time to glide further.
As far as suspending goes, the Squad Minnow suspended slightly nose down and has a decent hang time. It will slowly rise to the surface if left long enough. We think that this is because we tested it with braided line. If you are using fluorocarbon, the Squad Minnow will probably suspend indefinitely, slightly nose down.
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci