jackall: chop cut
Every year in the fall I find myself drooling over the latest, greatest, and sometimes weirdest topwater baits I can find. This year as many companies introduced a buffet of new products at I-Cast 2018 built around topwater fishing. I had already laid my eyes on a Jackall Chop Cut via their Japan YouTube Channel, so seeing it in person at I-Cast was basically dangling a steak in front of a dog only to take it away every time he tries to bite it. I begged to take one home and try immediately but it was to no avail. Jackal wouldn't leave anglers thirsty long as they were ready to ship to retailers less than a month from I-Cast.
When you first lay your eyes on the Jackall Chop Cut you can tell it is not your grandpa's prop bait. The oversized front prop stands out like a sore thumb. A pear shaped body dangles two razor sharp trebles hooks on the bottom with the front hook having a unique feather. The front hook is also paired with a swivel into the body allowing for 360 degree rotation. This concept in theory gives bass less leverage to throw the bait when you're in the middle of a fight. At the nose of the bait there is a stainless steel swivel paired with about a one inch extension,. The best way to describe this piece is a extended snap swivel where the ends are welded shut. On the end is a ball bearing swivel to which you tie your line direct to. The combination of this swivel and extention helps with two things. One, it eliminated line twist. Two, it keeps slack line from becoming entangled within the prop.
Chopping up the water
The Chop Cut is more of a hybrid buzz-bait compared to many of the newer "plopping" style baits that seem to be flooding the market. Even with all the metal parts to this bait, you wont get the hi-pitch squeal or racket you might be expecting. The Chop Cut is noisy, but I was somewhat disappointed it wasn't any louder. Now, that isn't a BAD thing, but if you're looking for a super loud or aggressive bait, the Chop Cut isnt . It certainly has a buzz sound, but its different than a buzz bait it really is a unique chopping sound. However, what it does do well is move a ton of water. As the bait "chops" up the surface it leave a large and wide V in the water behind it, something that is very common among wake baits and double buzz baits. With the prop being so big it really displaces a lot of water. It certainly has a buzz sound, but its different than a buzz bait it really is a unique chopping sound.
When I first took the Chop Cut out of the package one of my immediate thoughts was, "Man, this is gonna suck to cast if it's windy."
I was pleasantly surprised at how accurately I was able to cast the chop cut even in the wind. I made several roll casts at shallow targets and was able to put it in pretty tight windows. Now is this topwater bait a long distance bomber? No, it is not, but you can get decent to good casting distance over even in the wind. Because of the total weight of the bait is right at 3/4oz, its heavy enough to cut through the wind, Another cool part of casting the Chop Cut is it always goes tail first so when it's in mid flight air pushes across the body making the prop spin. Speaking of casting, one great feature of the Chop Cut is due to its' buoyancy, once it hits the water it is ready to start chopping. I would even go as far to stay that you an get the Chop Cut moving faster than you can a traditional plopper style bait.
As far as retrieve goes, I kept it very simple for the most part but I did mix it up some. I've got to be completely honest. This bait is not a "burner", The chop cut tends to torpedo down into the water once you get over a medium-fast retrieve. It's also not a crawler. If you reel too slow you wont get much water displacement or noise. You are kind of stuck with a medium to medium-fast retrieve. On the plus side, its great using a stop-n-go retrieve. Every time you stop it the big front prop-like blade keeps spinning. If you try to work it like a traditional Devil's Horse with quick snaps of the rod it moves straight forward and creates a large commotion without blowing out sideways or the line tangling across the bait. Personally, this is something I like doing when I'm casting to targets such as stumps, bushes, or even the corners of boat docks. Being able to let the bait sit completely still and twitch it after a steady retrieve to the target can create some bone jarring explosions.
TWENTY DOLLAR CHOPPER
The Jackall Chop Cut is $22.99 MSRP and can be found at several online websites. I have a sneaky feeling that a whopping 2.00 of that is in the packaging. Jackall is known for having some crazy packaging, and if you're a retailer reading this article it will definitely catch the eyes of customers.. I've paid well over $20.00 for topwater baits so the price doesn't concern me too much. I'm not going to put the Chop Cut in the must have category, but if you're a topwater nut like myself, you should bite the bullet and try it out. There is no doubt it will catch fish,, but I would avoid fishing it around grassy lakes or submerged vegetation. If your home lake or river has seen every Spook, ShowerBlow, or Whopper Plopper known to man , the Chop Cut is worth a slot t in your tackle box.
If you’re looking to purchase ask your local shop or check out the many online Jackall Retailers