|Dressing the Bladed Jig|
Beyond honing his lure size, tackle and retrieve speed, Browning has been a longtime advocate of matching bladed jig trailer to the conditions, rather than simply choosing one favorite for every situation.
“I run a three-way rotation of durable ElaZtech® trailers: a RaZor ShadZ™, DieZel MinnowZ™ or GOAT™, one for each of my three ChatterBait rods,” he notes. “Seems like, when bass show a preference for one specific trailer, it’s a 10 to 1 scenario—it’s that critical. The trailer is what gives your ChatterBait its actual profile—the body shape and action bass see first. So, while the blade drives the car—gives it its distinctive sound and vibration— the trailer adds a lifelike silhouette, while augmenting the action of the lure. Its bulk also dictates the ChatterBait’s running depth.”
Browning believes the RaZor ShadZ runs the deepest, allowing the lure to penetrate deeper cover or maneuver along edges. “Its relatively thin profile and subtle, forked tail also impart a less aggressive action with less water resistance; reminds me of throwing a flat-sided crankbait.
“The 4-inch DieZel MinnowZ fishes more like a small squarebill, providing medium running depth and a more aggressive tail-thumping action,” he says. “Finally, for working around extra shallow cover, grass and laydowns, the 3-3/4-inch GOAT excels, almost zeroing out my snag ratio. Rig the GOAT flat and it prevents the lure from turning over, protecting the hooks and acting like a weedguard. This combo is exceptional in spring around ditches or depressions in grass.
“Really, the biggest mistake you can make with a ChatterBait is putting it down,” Browning chuckles. “Keep it in the water as often as possible, because you’ll have days they bite it like nothing else, and eventually, you could have one of those all-timer type outings where you load the livewell with 5, 6 and 7 pound hawgs.”