Jackall Diving Chubby 38 – small deep crankbait review

Jackall is amongst the fastest growing tackle companies from Japan, one of which have made it to the US market. They always seem to amaze us with radical design, and last but not least the newly established collaboration with Shimano.

Jackall has all lures listed as bass lures. Of course that Japanese fisherman are known for their finesse tactics, but a crank so small will more likely get used in a trout, chub or even perch fisherman’s tackle box.

As you might already know, or know not, there are probably a handful of small crank-baits that get to the diving depth of this one. I know only a few, at least a few that I like: Jackall Diving Chubby of course, Lucky Craft Deep Cra-Pea, HMKL Crank 33 DR (This is the smallest of the lot). These are the ones I know of. If you know of any other small deep divers, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll make sure it gets reviewed.

Jackall Diving Chubby 38 – Lure Specifications
Manufacturer Jackall
Lure type Crankbait
Length 38mm
Weight 4.3 gr
Colors/Patterns 11 presented on the Jackall website
Buoyancy Floating
MSRP ¥ 1.418 ( 17.5$ )

Packing: Not the most impressive packing we’ve seen so far, but it’s enough to make it stand out on the shelf, especially with that BIG FAT Chubby logo. It’ll keep the lure safe during transport, even though it might get some treble scratches, as they are not secured. You know what they say: “It first needs to catch the fisherman in order to catch the fish”.

Sturdy enough packaging for transoceanic flight :)

Sturdy enough packaging for transoceanic flight :)

You have to love that BIG CHUBBY LOGO

You have to love that BIG CHUBBY LOGO

Finish: Most of Jackall lures are plastic, with a highly intricate inner and outer design. Diving Chubby are equipped with ultra-realistic 3D eyes, and they even added scales to the lure’s body. They feature very lifelike patterns both natural and stand out of the crowd patterns.
Jackall even went the extra mile to design the Chubby’s gills, which are carved like. They feature both hi gloss coat finish and matt finish on their lures.

The finish holds up pretty well for a Japanese lure (the finish is not the JDM lure’s strength), and after fishing them for a season they look amazingly good.

3 must have collors. The MAT Chartreuse is blinding.

3 must have collors. The MAT Chartreuse is blinding.

Terminals: Jackall chose a non-traditional way of placing the treble attachment rings. Use oval split rings, these are normally 50% more powerful than the same material round split ring.
Trebles seem to be Owner Stinger, definitely not cutting corners, not even on the smallest of lures.

As Owner accustomed us to… trebles are needle sharp, and will not straighten out easily. This is all I need in my trebles. What I had trouble getting used to was the color of the trebles. I actually hate silver trebles. I sometimes have the impression they scare fish away, and go the extra mile and change them. I guess they are salt water proof trebles, by the looks of it, probably with the growing popularity amongst bream fishermen in Australia.

Better view of the trebles

Better view of the trebles

I almost forgot to mention they feature Tungsten weights, and a long cast system. For this size it’s quite impressive of the amount of features they managed to squeeze in.

The split ring is a detail not to be forgotten... Oval rings offer up to 50% more power than traditional rings. Don't really know how much that would count when fishing with lines up to 8lb

The split ring is a detail not to be forgotten... Oval rings offer up to 50% more power than traditional rings. Don't really know how much that would count when fishing with lines up to 8lb

Casting&diving depth: Our casting tests put them in front of their class, straight A’s all the way. You can easily cast them on a bait-casting equipment if ever needed. I’d like to mention that if you throw them down wind you’ll be amazed how far they will go. The Tungsten weight and the long cast system make it worth the price, especially when fishing clear bodies of water, and it helps keep the trebles of the line while casting. You’ll make it run every cast.

They dive up to 2.3-2.7m on a cast, and much deeper on a long troll.

The bill is thick enough to pass the test of time, and long enough to keep it deep

The bill is thick enough to pass the test of time, and long enough to keep it deep

Out of the box performance: I have 4 of these lures, and all of them swim true. You’d be amazed of how i’ve got the first one:).

It’s actually a funny story: Was fishing on a nearby lake with Razvan for perch. He got hung up on something, and after a harder pull it got unsnaged. 2 seconds later he was fighting a fish. The fish wasn’t hooked on his lure, but on another, the one he unsnagged . You couldn’t even tell the lure’s color, that’s how covered in algae it was. And upon all of these it had a very thick wire leader attached to it (on a lake with no pike).  I didn’t say anything:D… but when I saw the split rings were oval I instantly knew it was a JDM. Of course I didn’t tell Razvan, until he offered me the lure…  which looked awful. He thought it was some unworthy crankbait, considering it almost didn’t have hooks on it and was all covered with greenish-black algae.

This is the lure Razvan caught. It takes a lot of time to scrape the finish of a Jackall Diving Chubby

This is the lure Razvan caught. It takes a lot of time to scrape the finish of a Jackall Diving Chubby

After cleaning it up, and searching for it for a good couple of hours in the Internet I finally found what it was. One year later when I started catching good sized chub and trout with it of course I had to order some more.

They all perform perfect right out of the box, no twitching needed for them to run true.

Application: I’ve mainly used them for chub, perch and trout. Had success on all of them species. Especially when they hung deep. This is my deepest diving small crankbait so far. I’m still on the lookout for deeper small stuff (if you know of any deeper don’t be shy on leaving us a comment).
As you’ve seen it has a nice aggressive, but tight wobble on both vertical and horizontal axis. It delivers a lot of flash, and the tungsten weight along with glass rattles incorporated make a lot of noise, calling fish from a distance.


Action: As you can see from our video it has an appealing action. I can vouch for it’s fish catching abilities, and have caught some really large chub over the last year.

Jackall Diving Chubby 38 – Ratings (?/10)
Design Inside out it’s amazing how much they could do with this bait: carved gills, carved scales. I couldn’t have asked anything else from this bait, considering it’s features, except if they could make a sinking version out of it 9.5
Features It has all the features of a mature high quality plastic crankbait. Tough shell, long cast system, both glass and tungsten rattles, and are equiped with the highest grade terminal components out there, such as trebles and hook links. You will hardly ever miss any fish with them, and they cast and run true no matter what. You can easily cast them into the wind at a decent casting distance. The trebles don’t tangle with the line, or amongst themselves so you’ll be able to fish it really efficient. I would love to get them in either suspending or sinking version, or even both. 8.5
Application / Performance Most of the time on clear bodies of lakes fish hung deep, and the larger ones even deeper. Originally designed as a finesse bass bait i believe it’s more suited for trout, chub, perch, and other small predatory fish. It casts like a bullet, and will get you some good sized fish. Just be patient 9
Price If you don’t live in Japan you would probably get them somewhere at 15-16$ with shipping costs included. For a consumable crankbait it’s a high price, especially for it’s size. If compared to other JDM lures at the same size and quality of components I would come to the conclusion it’s not an expensive lure, but compared to the rest of the world it’s pretty expensive, but considering all the features and quality components, i’d pay the amount, as only the trebles would cost me 1-2$, more or less. 7.5
Overall Final Grade 8.63

Conclusions: All the possible and impossible features a crankbait could have in a really small package. Good attractive action and design, long cast system, good trebles that don’t cross paths, and deep diving at this small size. Could you ask more from a small deep diving crakbait? I certainly couldn’t …. except… MAKE IT DIVE DEEPER ( a sinking version would suffice :D – hope Jackall hear my prairs). I give the Thumbs up to Jackall on this one, as it’s one of my all time favorites.

About Andrei

Professional angler, rodbuilder, lurebuilder, if it's about fishing you name it, he does it. He hates "relaxing", and takes each day as a challange. Whenever he's got a spare moment he's either fishing, cycling, hiking or training his ass at the gym. He's fishing for more than 20 years now. Strictly on artifficial baits from the age of 7, he's always on the look out for the newest stuff and techniques out there.
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  1. Marius
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Where you can find these little cranks?

  2. Adrian
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marius,
    Yes, we got them online. Ebay would be another option though.

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    The best brand in my tackle box so far. It’s bream season in Vietnam right now. And Diving Chubby from Jackell always scores the game.

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