By Tyler Mohr
Recently, in the past week or so I have had the privilege to fish and review a relatively new up and coming company with a revolutionary new approach to jig fishing. LTD (Living The Dream) Baits makes 100% lead free jigs for all your bass fishing needs. The jigs are currently being made out of Bismuth, a metal that 86% as dense as lead and shares many similar properties but it’s toxicity is much lower than that of lead making it a much safer alternative metal. Deron Nicholas, owner of the company says that he created LTD Baits after the ban on lead fishing products in Massachusetts in 2012. Nicholas was quoted saying he “wanted to make a quality lead free alternative because there wasn’t very many lead free baits here and the one’s that were here didn’t have the quality that, as a regular tournament fisherman, I required.” Deron had been making lead jigs before the ban, and then came up with the idea of bismuth jigs as a comparable quality alternative when the ban was put into place.
For this review I tested LTD’s standard flipping and casting jig but it is worth mentioning that the company also makes football jigs, shakey heads, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits. The standard jig currently comes in 1/4 oz, 3/8 oz, and 1/2 oz sizes with the other products coming in at other varying sizes. Along with a range of sizes, LTD Baits has 15 standard colors but will gladly do custom orders for an extremely modest fee with discounts on large quantity orders.
At first glance, everything about these jigs screams quality. A double powder coated head resists chipping even after hours of abuse flipping it through trees, rocks, and pulling fish out of cover. The weed guard, which on many jigs is often too long and stiff meaning it has be trimmed by the angler or he risks losing fish; is durable yet flexible providing ample hook protection while still having enough give to allow the hook to penetrate the mouth of a biting fish. A hand tied 60-count silicon skirt garnishes the jig giving it a full, voluptuous appearance both in and out of the water. Rounding out the jig is a strong, ready to fish Gamakatsu heavy-duty hook that won’t budge, bend, or break when the big one is on the line. Jigs run anywhere from $4.09-4.39 per jig which is a fair price considering the high quality components and the fact that bismuth costs nearly seven times more per pound to buy than lead does.
My testing grounds were the waters of the mighty Mississippi River, where lures can take a beating. I fished the jig a variety of ways. Pitching laydown wood, flipping bridge pilings, casting along riprap, and putting the jig through the typical abuse of a long day on the water. I must say the jig held up exceptionally well. No paint chipping on the head, minimal skirt tearing, and the hook and weed guard both did their jobs as they were supposed too.
LTD Baits is revolutionizing the world of Lead-Free jigs, with an affordable high quality jig made for the everyday angler and seasoned tournament vet alike. Price savvy with a touch of style a strong first impression is backed up by superior performance and should make LTD a well-known name in years to come. This reviewer hopes to see more innovation to come in the future, maybe a swim jig, finesse jig, and more color options just to name a few examples. I encourage you to check them out online at http://ltdbaits.com/