Best New Blade Baits For Bass Fishing

Shaye Baker | February 28, 2022

Over the past year, three new bladed baits have really piqued my interest and reminded me of the importance blades have played since the beginning of the artificial lure era. Old lures like the Snagless Sally and JitterBug have either incorporated a spinning blade or featured what amounts to a fixed blade as a bill for decades now. Even the little Beetle Spins that many of us used coming up to trick bass, bream, bluegill and basically anything that swims used blades, at least in part, to get the job done. 

And then there are the countless spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, vibrating jigs, spoons and other such lures that have incorporated some sort of blade over the last century. Whatever the case, there’s been some little shiny piece of metal being reeled through the water nearly non-stop ever since the first angler realized the effectiveness of a blade at mimicking a baitfish. Thanks to that first angler, whoever he was, we have seen innovation in this art form time and time again. 

Today, we’re going to look at three of the latest of those innovations. One has put a whole new spin on the idea of using blades, pun intended. Another has merged two of the most effective baits of all time into one, the squarebill and the vibrating jig. And the last has taken one of those most effective lures, the ChatterBait, and packed it into a smaller package, making the whole genre of vibrating jigs that much more effective and versatile. 

So let’s take a look now at how the CAT3 Tackle Bladed Teaser, the 13 Fishing JabberJaw and the Z-Man ChatterBait MiniMax have changed the game and ushered in a whole new era of bladed baits. 

CAT3 Tackle Bladed Teaser

When I first saw the CAT3 Tackle Bladed Teaser, I must admit that I was less than impressed. It seemed a bit gimmicky. Now to truly confess my transgressions and set the scene for the revelation that was soon to come, I had a very similar experience when I was first introduced to the Alabama Rig by none other than its creator Andy Poss. My teammate and I were fishing a collegiate tournament on Pickwick, and Poss was practically giving the first umbrella rigs away to people in the parking lot, unable to convince them of what he had discovered. I turned my nose up at his contraption. After all, it did look like a bent-back clothes hanger, and I couldn’t see how a fish would ever bite it.

The CAT3 Bladed Teaser doesn’t have a hook. It is meant to complement a bait. You put it on the line above your bait, where the whole teaser spins as you reel it, and the blades turn independently, as well.

But then a few months later, I watched first-hand as Paul Elias turned the bass fishing world upside down using this very same unorthodox close-hanger contraption to demolish records for fall fishing on Lake Guntersville. And overnight, Alabama Rigs were worth hundreds of dollars and professional fishermen were literally trying to make their own out of egg beaters. It was perhaps the most chaotic and mind-blowing era of fishing ever. 

Now, I don’t say all this to say that the CAT3 Tackle Bladed Teaser will be equally earth shattering. But, I do believe my preconceived prejudice of this bladed teaser was misplaced, just the same as it was with the first umbrella rig. I was actually introduced to this new product by its creator as well, Ben Adrien, as he was participating in a live-streamed head-to-head bass fishing competition I was hosting. He had this teaser rigged out in front of a deep-diving crankbait, and I thought to myself, “good luck with that.” Then he preceded to get a couple big bites and fill out his limit with a few small fish. Suddenly, I was a lot less skeptical. He offered to send me a couple, and I put them to the test. 

The CAT3 Bladed Teaser, here rigged with a swimbait, can be paired with any lure.

Before we talk about how that went, I first want to layout the general purpose of the CAT3 Bladed Teaser. It doesn’t actually have a hook at all. Instead, it is meant to complement a bait that you already have confidence in. You put it on the line above your bait, where the whole teaser spins as you reel it and the blades turn independently as well. And the options here are seemingly endless. This teaser can be used with a single swimbait, spinnerbait, vibrating jig, lipless crankbait, deep-diving crankbait, squarebill, and the list goes on. Each Bladed Teaser comes with six bobber stoppers. And you can use the bobber stoppers to lock the teaser in place a certain distance from your bait by putting one above the teaser and another below. 

I used the Bladed Teaser in front of a single swimbait on my first outing with it and had an almost instantaneous change in production. Using the swimbait alone, I had only one or two bites in about an hour. But after adding the Bladed Teaser out in front of the exact same swimbait, I caught seven or eight in little to no time. This was enough to convince me there was something to it and encouraged me to try the Bladed Teaser with other lures. 

13 Fishing Tackle Jabber Jaw

The second recent innovative use of a blade in bass fishing comes by way of the 13 Fishing Jabber Jaw. I’m a sucker for a good squarebill. It’s been one of my favorite baits since I first started fishing for bass. My affinity for square-lipped cranks is comparable only to a handful of other baits, a vibrating jig being one of those. So when I first saw the Jabber Jaw and realized what 13 Fishing had done, I had to see it for myself. At the time they were first announced, they weren’t readily available. So all I could do was look at more pics and search for videos of the bait online. And it was when I first heard the bait underwater in a video, that I was really sold out on this new concept. Without further delay, let me explain to you what is so unique about this bait.

13 Fishing Tackle Jabber Jaw

The concept of using metal to form the lip of a squarebill is far from ground breaking. And at first glance, that’s really all the Jabber Jaw looks like, a squarebill with a metal lip. So what’s the big deal? Well, that lip you see, it isn’t fixed. Instead it is allowed to rock side to side, similar to what you see out of a vibrating jig. And 13 Fishing incorporated little metal plates into the cheeks of the Jabber Jaw to create a hammering noise as the bladed bill rocks left to right. This gives the Jabber Jaw an unparalleled sound signature underwater. 

It’s kind of like a squarebill and kind of like a vibrating jig, but has truly created a lane of its own. One really cool aspect of this combination is that it gives you a bait to use around wood that has a sound similar to a vibrating jig, with the snag resistance of a squarebill. I love throwing a vibrating jig, and do so a lot. But even as much as I throw one and as careful as I am when trying to worm it through cover, the rocking action of a vibrating just simply makes it a hazardous lure to try to retrieve through wood. If you’re throwing it where the fish are, you’re going to get hung, regularly. That’s just part of it. 

But the Jabber Jaw has the innate characteristics of a squarebill that help it work through cover and hang up far less. As the bill dives downward, the hooks are elevated behind the bait, and you can reel it through just about any kind of woody cover with a much lower chance of hanging up than you’d have with a vibrating jig.

The Z-Man ChatterBait MiniMax 

Now this last one is my favorite of all the new bladed baits I’ve seen in recent years. Seemingly insignificant really, the slight changes Z-Man made to one of the greatest baits of all time has really opened up a whole new world to this type of lure in my personal opinion. But again, I love throwing a vibrating jig. So this one might not be as impressive to you at first glance as it is to me. But if you take some time to try it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what this little nugget is capable of. 

For starters, Z-Man created a downsized ChatterBait with the new MiniMax. But in reality, they had already done that with the ChatterBait Mini years ago. But the Mini left hardcore anglers wanting a little something sturdier, although it was and still is a great bait for pond, creek or shore fisherman looking to get a lot of bites, as long as those bites aren’t from big fish. But the MiniMax is light years ahead of the ChatterBait Mini when it comes to the components used to create the two. 

The MiniMax has a much beefier hook. That’s really the primary area in which it sets itself apart from the ChatterBait Mini. It also comes in a wider variety of sizes and colors, but all have a smaller blade than the original ChatterBait. The combination of strong components with an undersized blade is really what puts the new MiniMax in a league of its own. The combo makes it strong enough to haul in big ones, whether fun fishing from shore or tournament fishing from a bass boat, while also creating a vibration that  is more subtle and ‘finessier’ than the other ChatterBaits on the market. 

This more subtle action is really what I love most about the new MiniMax. In particular, it has given me a vibrating jig that I am now more comfortable fishing in really cold water. In the past, a vibrating jig was just a little too aggressive for me to fish in water below 50 degrees. In those situations, I’d often swap over to a squarebill, which has a duller and slower sound signature than a traditional vibrating jig. But the ChatterBait MiniMax puts off a vibration closer to a squarebill than any other vibrating jig I’ve found so far, and that led to it being a bait I’ve leaned on a few times this past winter when a vibrating jig wouldn’t have normally made its way into the water. 

So there you have it, three cool new uses of bladed baits in bass fishing. 

The CAT3 Tackle Bladed Teaser, 13 Fishing Jabber Jaw and Z-Man ChatterBait MiniMax have no doubt already started the wheels of other lure manufacturers to turning. And so continues the race to see what’s the next big thing. 

But one thing’s for certain, every handful of the hottest new baits out there will surely hold at least a blade or two based on what we’ve seen over the years. 

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.