10 Best Jerkbait Lures [2021 Update]

Jerkbait are a popular lure type throughout North America. They can be used to dozens of different fish species, but are particularly popular for bass, trout, and walleye.

Jerkbait lures give you a different option for attracting fish when other techniques aren’t working. I personally think that all anglers should carry a few different sizes and colors of jerkbait with them as a lure variation whenever possible.

I have put together this article to help you skip through all the marketing and make wise purchasing decisions. There are plenty of things to consider such as the shape, size, color, and movement – but all of this comes down to what type of fish species you are targeting.

Let’s go!

Quick Summary – Best Jerkbait

Preview
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Perch, Size- 4)
Strike King KVD Shallow Square Bill 1.5 / Natural Bream (HCKVDS1.5SH-663)
Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Floating Lure, Prism Ghost Shad, 4-Inch
Features
3-8 ft Depth. Reflective Underside. Dip and Dive Action.
Lifelike Patterns. Cast Further. Unique Underwater Action.
3.5 in Length. Suspends at Depth. Black Nickel Treble Hooks.
Prime Status
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-
Product
Preview
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Perch, Size- 4)
Features
3-8 ft Depth. Reflective Underside. Dip and Dive Action.
Price
Prime Status
-
More Info
Best Overall
Product
Preview
Strike King KVD Shallow Square Bill 1.5 / Natural Bream (HCKVDS1.5SH-663)
Features
Lifelike Patterns. Cast Further. Unique Underwater Action.
Price
Prime Status
-
More Info
Product
Preview
Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Floating Lure, Prism Ghost Shad, 4-Inch
Features
3.5 in Length. Suspends at Depth. Black Nickel Treble Hooks.
Price
Prime Status
More Info

Jerkbait Lure Buying Guide

What is a Jerkbait?

A jerkbait is a hard body lure normally with treble hooks that is used in a stop/go retrieve motion. This motion attracts fish during the movement and then gives opportunity for lazy fish to strike during the stop.

They often resemble bait fish that are behaving in an injured or unusual way that is very interesting for nearby fish.

Jerkbaits also take up more water depth as they are retrieved and can be used to identify where the fish are hiding or hunting.

Jerkbaits have grown in popularity over the last decade and have developed into thousands of different shapes, colors, depths, and motions. Getting some high quality jerkbaits in your tackle box gives you an advantage in putting an enticing bait in front of a hungry fish.

When to use a Jerkbait?

Jerkbaits are often used when fishing for bass in cold water. This imitates the behavior of injured bait fish who have stopped moving in a constant motion.

Giving a trophy bass a highly visible and obviously injured bait is a meal they won’t ignore.

Jerkbaits can also be used in clear water where their motion is visible – they don’t produce the constant rattling of spinnerbaits that are easily found.

Jerkbait for Trout

Jerkbaits are also very succesful for trout. Throwing one into an eddy in a clear water pond near some structure is bound to gain the interest of a local trout.

The fast retrieve of a jerkbait can sometimes scare skittish trout, so there are a few different techniques you can try for trout.

  1. Reduce the speed of your retrieve so the lure is slow enough to attract the interest of a big trout without scaring them. You can even retrieve a jerkbait in a constant motion more like a crankbait.
  2. Cast your jerkbait downstream in a fast flowing river. Instead of jerking on the retrieve you can do the reverse – hold the lure steady, then release some line, hold it steady, release more line, etc.

Jerkbait vs Crankbait

Jerkbaits and crankbaits are very similar in that they are both hard body lures with a nose bib and normally treble hooks. The difference comes in the way they attract fish and the way they are used.

Crankbaits produce an attractive movement or shake in their body as they are retrieved. This means they should be retrieved in a constant motion to give them as much time making this motion as possible.

Jerkbaits move more like a shrimp in a stop/go motion. This mimicks local baitfish and bugs and moves up and down through the water column giving you the ability to cover more ground.

They also spend time motionless which gives lazy fish ample opportunity to take a bite.

Jerkbaits and crankbaits are two sides of the same coin – they can be used together for many similar fish species. When one starts getting strikes then you can focus on them for the rest of your days fishing.

Color Variations

I am a big fan over carrying multiple color variations of the same lure. Fish can be hiding at different depths, be tempted by different movements and colors – you want to be able to change out identical lures with different colors to determine what is the missing ingredient.

Most popular jerkbaits come in 9-12 common colors – and you can look at these to see which colors you are interested in.

There are a few philosophies which boil down to mimicking the local food source as closely as possible with browns and silvers or contrast against local food sources as much as possible with brightly colored lures.

Target Depths

A key consideration is the target depth. Jerkbaits can get to their target depth using a short nose bib. This pulls the lure down as you begin to retrieve it. The amount of line your retrieve then determines how deep the lure goes.

You can also keep your rod tip down to pull the lure deeper into the water due to the direction of the line.

Different fish species live and hunt at different depths. This is also different in the four seasons. For example, bass are caught at different depths in winter compared to summer.

Having a good understanding of your target fish species depth for this season is an easy way of selecting jerkbaits that can achieve that depth and will catch you more fish.

Jerkbait Video

Not everyone learns from reading text, so have a look at this video by Scott Martin explaining jerkbait fishing 101:

10 Best Jerkbaits

The marketplace is constantly changing as new and improved jerkbaits are released onto the market. We have put together this list of the most pouplar jerkbaits available this month.

Have a look through this list and our buyer’s guide below to see if there is one that would suit your fishing style.

1. Strike King KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook

ON SALE $1.29 OFFBestseller No. 1
KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook,Chartreuse Sexy Shad, 0.05
157 Reviews
KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook,Chartreuse Sexy Shad, 0.05
  • Weight transfer system
  • 3D eyes
  • Premium black nickel hooks

Strike King’s famous KVD line of lures is known for their uncanny ability to catch fish when other baits simply can’t measure up. The Strike King KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook is widely considered to be the best jerkbait lure on the market as it offers exceptional action underwater, as well as striking resemblance to actual bait fish like bream and other species. 

This lure is known for having incredibly lifelike color patterns and design elements that stand out to the eye of largemouth bass and other species of fish. The Strike King KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook is made with a specialized weight transfer system that allows anglers to cast the bait farther than most jerkbait models of similar size and weight. 

The body is designed by Strike King’s lure experts to deliver the characteristic wiggle and flashing motions that a wounded or struggling bait fish typically displays. This lure’s unique underwater action is made to entice bass on an instinctual level that appeals to their predatory nature. If used in the proper manner, the Strike King KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook will usually produce strikes when the bait is stationary, leaving the angler to feel the weight of the fish upon their next ‘jerk’ of the rod tip. 

2. Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10

Bestseller No. 1
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Silver , Size- 4)
1,030 Reviews
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Silver , Size- 4)
  • The adrenaline-pumping X-rap slashbait has Xtreme attitude with its hard-cutting, aggressive darting...
  • Running depth: 3-8 feet
  • Weighs .4375 Oz

Rapala is a brand name in the fishing industry that established its own reputation for exceptional lures nearly a century ago. Now, the lure company continues to produce some of the most dynamic options in the world with their Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 being no exception. This lure is made to dip and dive through the water in a way that catches the eye of nearby fish and provokes reactionary strikes when used in the right way. 

The X-Rap is known as one of the hardest-cutting jerkbaits on the market and many anglers tend to develop their own unique styles of use that each have their own strengths when it comes to appealing to the predatory nature of bass. This lure is designed to run at a depth of about 3 to 8 feet below the surface, which is typically where pre-spawn bass are cruising near points and other areas of lakes looking to ambush potential prey. 

The lure’s coloration and reflective underside help to further emphasize the flashing sensation that is so commonly associated with what causes bass to strike at a properly-used jerkbait. 

3. Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure

Bestseller No. 1
Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure, Prism Shad, 3-1/2-Inch
24 Reviews
Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure, Prism Shad, 3-1/2-Inch
  • Suspending Action
  • Max diver depth: 4 ft
  • Universal Minnow Shape

One of the smaller, yet more agile jerkbaits on the market today is the popular Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure. This lure is just 3.5 inches in length, but is still quite capable of producing strikes from large, mature bass that anglers might typically not expect to expend the energy needed to chase down a smaller-sized minnow such as this. 

This jerkbait’s color pattern and profile come in six distinct color combinations that are aimed at mimicking a much more vast variation of bait fish species using subtle color changes and reflective qualities. The Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure is made to be a special type of jerkbait that will ‘suspend’ at a certain depth when an angler stops or pauses their retrieve. This is sometimes highly effective since bass expect bait fish to remain at a certain depth as they dart along in open water instead of floating upward in the same way some jerkbaits do when paused. 

The small, sloping lip helps to give the Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure its unique ability to maintain a specific depth while being retrieved. The smaller black nickel treble hooks are made to help allow this lure to dart and dive in a way that appears natural as it relates to most types of bait fish. 

4. PROBEROS Minnow Bass Fishing Lures – Jerkbait Sinking Lure Set

Bestseller No. 1
PROBEROS Minnow Bass Fishing Lures - Jerkbait Sinking Lure Set Hard Baits Crankbait for Trout...
156 Reviews
PROBEROS Minnow Bass Fishing Lures - Jerkbait Sinking Lure Set Hard Baits Crankbait for Trout...
  • Minnow Fishing Lures - Widely targeting at predator fishes such as catfish, perch, bass, redfish,...
  • Simulated body - 3D Life like eyes with Fish-attracting laser printed body provides excellent...
  • Rings and hooks - With double flat strong rings and #2 high carbon steel treble hooks offers...

Sometimes it can be tough to decide on a specific color pattern or lure appearance when it comes to jerkbaits. There are so many different types of minnows and small bait fish that these lures are designed to appear similar to that it takes a truly seasoned angler to understand what color combination to use at certain times of the year or locations. The PROBEROS Minnow Bass Fishing Lures – Jerkbait Sinking Lure Set presents anglers with six of the most commonly-used jerkbait color patterns for an affordable price compared to most premium-quality jerkbait options. 

These jerkbaits are a bit larger than some on our list as they come in at 4.7 inches in length. The hooks and rings are specially designed to allow the bait to create a subtle vibration as it runs through the water. This often triggers the instincts of certain types of predatory fish, including bass, and will provoke a strike as the fish seem to sense that the minnow is in distress. 

5. Strike King KVD Jerkbait 2 Hook

Bestseller No. 1
Strike King KVD Jerkbait 200 2 Hook/Chrome Gold Black, 0.0408
235 Reviews
Strike King KVD Jerkbait 200 2 Hook/Chrome Gold Black, 0.0408
  • Weight transfer system
  • 3D eyes
  • Premium black nickel hooks

Our list of the best jerkbait lures wouldn’t quite be complete without mentioning the Strike King KVD Jerkbait 2 Hook. This is one of the most popular versions of the legendary KVD Series lures as it closely mimics bait fish that are just the right size for hungry bass to be attracted to. Featuring the Strike King Lure Company’s weight transfer system, anglers will have the ability to cast this lure out well past what other baits of similar size and weight will allow. 

The Strike King KVD Jerkbait 2 Hook is made to dive down to a medium depth of about 4 to 7 feet in most cases and will target suspended bass that sometimes come up from the depths to investigate the unique action of this lure. 

When used correctly, the Strike King KVD Jerkbait 2 Hook will wiggle and slightly roll to either side as it quickly darts through the water in the same way a wounded, struggling bait fish might do as they are desperately trying to make it to the safety of the shoreline or other points of cover. 

6. 6th Sense Provoke 106X Jerkbait

Bestseller No. 1

Anglers are quickly beginning to take notice of the 6th Sense Lure Company as this brand has been establishing a reputation among professional and amateur anglers alike for its incredibly lifelike reactions. The 6th Sense Provoke 106X Jerkbait is a worthy addition to our list of the best jerkbaits, but some beginner and novice anglers might shy away from this option as it is slightly more expensive than some of our other options. 

This 4.2-inch shad-like lure is made to give off a unique action that very closely mimicks that of a fleeing bait fish through open water or around cover. Many times, anglers will quickly work this lure along a stretch of water before pausing it for a few seconds. During this pause, most predatory fish like bass will take the opportunity to strike the lure and try to make an easy meal out of an unsuspecting minnow species. 

This lure has a more slow, deliberate roll than that of a Rapala. However, it is highly effective in the hands of anglers who are patient enough to let the bait pause for a few seconds every so often to allow fish to take interest in striking at it. 

7. Megabass Vision 110

Bestseller No. 1
Megabass Vision 110
110 Reviews
Megabass Vision 110
  • blackfriday18, coupon, crankbaits, holidaysale19, jerkbait, prop65

In recent years, Megabass has become a household name among dedicated anglers who regularly fish various tournament trails across the country. The Megabass Vision 110 is arguably the best jerkbait currently available on the market, but most beginners and novice anglers will likely look elsewhere as this one is a bit more expensive than others. 

The added cost is worth it to many of the world’s top anglers as they typically use this jerkbait in either the +1 or +2 version to target fish suspended at a certain depth. No other jerkbait has the ability to maintain a specific level of depth as it is retrieved through the water like the Megabass Vision 110. 

Whether you prefer to quickly work the lure through areas near structure to entice fish to come out for a closer look, or use a more slow and methodical retrieve through open water across points, the Megabass Vision 110 is a lure that will deliver more strikes than most other types of jerkbaits in the fishing industry. The lure’s Advanced tungsten Multi-Way Moving Balance System works to help anglers cast this bait out to considerable distances using quality baitcasting setups, as well as allowing them to retrieve it in a number of different styles that works best for their own fishing methods. 

8. Rapala Husky Jerk 14

Bestseller No. 1
Rapala Husky Jerk 14 Fishing lure, 5.5-Inch, Yellow Perch
  • Suspending/Neutral Buoyancy
  • Long-Casting
  • Loud Rattles

A list of the best jerkbait lures wouldn’t be complete without the classic options like Rapala’s Husky Jerk 14 jerkbait. This large-sized lure was introduced many years ago as a means to target bigger fish that are typically not going to expend the energy needed to chase after small bait fish—no matter how effective you might believe your retrieve to be. 

Designed to be a suspending jerkbait, the Rapala Husky Jerk 14 is perfect for anglers who prefer a larger bait that makes more noise and flashing as it makes its way through the water. Rapala designed this lure to offer a greater amount of rattling while running on a more straightforward course than other, smaller jerkbaits that tend to dart to the left and right with relative ease. 

Anglers have used this lure for years to target shallow bass with either a steady retrieve or a sporadic method of reeling the lure in, which both produce a considerable amount of strikes once an angler has mastered the art of using the Rapala Husky Jerk 14. 

9. OROOTL Minnow Fishing Lures Crankbait Set

ON SALE $1.00 OFFBestseller No. 1
Shallow Crankbaits Fishing Lures Set - 7pcs Plastic Minnow Lures with Sharp Treble Hooks and...
  • QUANTITY: 7pcs crankbaits hard fishing lures kit.
  • DURABLE: The shallow crankbait features tough construction and sharp hook for explosive results, all...
  • LIFELIKE: With 3D simulation eye, detailed fish skin texture, beautiful feather tail and bright...

There’s nothing wrong with setting out to learn a new type of lure using a less expensive version of the bait. The OROOTL Minnow Fishing Lures Crankbait Set is an ideal option for beginner anglers who have rarely experimented with a jerkbait as this set features several different options of varying colors, shapes and sizes that work perfectly as a ‘testing kit’ for the angler who is looking to learn how to use a jerkbait. 

Like most other types of jerkbait lures, the OROOTL Minnow Fishing Lures Crankbait Set comes in colors and patterns that are typically more effective at certain locations during specific times of the year. The high level of gloss on each minnow helps to further enhance the lure’s flashing effect underwater that is so often recognized as the most effective means of attracting bass and other types of game fish species. 

Despite being priced at a lower rate than other jerkbaits, these lures will run quite well when used in the right manner. The outer body of each lure is made with hardened ABS material that helps the bait to maintain its shape and color pattern, even after being attacked by hungry fish. 

10. Bomber Lures Long A Slender Minnow Jerkbait

Bestseller No. 1
Bomber Long A Slender Minnow jerkbait (3.5in 3/8oz chrm/blk bk/org bly)
2 Reviews

There are some classic names and designs that have lasted for decades in the fishing industry. Few have lasted as long or been as effective as the Bomber Lures Long A Slender Minnow Jerkbait. This lure has been a mainstay of tournament anglers for many years as it can be reliably used to produce strikes when bass and other fish are on the prowl for unsuspecting bait fish. 

Bomber make their Long A Slender Minnow Jerkbait to function best when retrieved with a slight series of twitching motions followed by a short pause. By repeating this sequence, fish will usually time their strike and attack when the bait takes a short pause. This lure has been used to target everything from walleye to salmon and many other kinds of fish, including largemouth bass. 

These lures can be purchased in either 6.5 or 7-inch long versions that are both intended to target larger predatory fish that commonly thrive by feeding on various forms of minnows and bait fish. Like most other jerkbaits, many anglers have developed their own unique style of retrieving the Bomber Lures Long A Slender Minnow Jerkbait that seems to work in whatever situation they use it in. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We get plenty of questions about how to use and how to select different lures for different fish species, so let’s dive into the most common jerkbait questions.

Where do you cast a jerkbait?

This depends on the species of fish you are targeting. Most of the time you will want to cast your jerkbait further past your prime fishing area and retrieve your lure in a stop/go jerking motion.

What line do you use for a jerkbait?

Most anglers prefer using a fluorocarbon leader for a jerkbait as this is almost invisible underwater to wary fish and will increase your likelihood and getting a strike.

How do you retrieve a jerkbait?

As the name implies, you should retrieve the lure in a jerking motion – let the jerkbait sink 2-3 feet down, then retrieve 2-3 feet of line and repeat. This will cause the lure to jerk up and down through your target depth and attract nearby hungry fish.

What is the best jerkbait color?

I am a big fan over carrying multiple color variations of the same lure. Fish can be hiding at different depths, be tempted by different movements and colors – you want to be able to change out identical lures with different colors to determine what is the missing ingredient.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our jerkbait article – I hope you have enjoyed it. New lures are being introduced to the market every month – but not all of them will be big winners. Use your new knowledge to assess every lure you see and whether it will help you catch more fish.

There are plenty of other resources online if you are still looking for more info before making a buying decision.

If you are an experienced jerkbait angler or just have some more questions that need answers, then please leave a comment below. I love to interact with our readers and help to share their wisdom and knowledge.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.