Not sure exactly when the Monster Jack came out, sometime in 2003 most likely. This bait was designed in Japan and I believe produced there also. This is a real wood bait, something you don't see a lot of in Japanese lures. It's 7" long and quite light for it's size. The hooks are very nice, they look like 1/0 Gamakatsu 2x strongs, although I'm not 100% on that. Definitely no need to replace them. This is a surface or slightly subsurface bait. It runs at a similar depth as an AC Plug or MS Slammer does.
When I got my bait in the mail, I thought hmm this is a nice box they have it in but does it really catch fish? After tossing the box, I took it out to the lake to check it out. The first thing I noticed in the water is that these baits have a really nice sound while fishing them on top, and they throw a nice wake for their size. The wood is so light that it just has tons of action. I guess I'm a sucker for lures with a lot of action! When you're cranking this guy back to the boat it's tugging on your rod and just calling out tak-tak-tak-tak-tak-tak. I left the audio on the video so you can hear it, it's pretty killer. The bait fishes well at fast and slow speeds, and my lure ran true out of the box.
Color selection is worth mentioning on the Monster Jack. They have some very nice subtle colors. I picked up the Gold Ayu because I liked it as a bluegill imitator. The Mike Long Bass color is sweet, and I like the look of the Silver Ayu as a general baitfish/minnow imitator.
With it's waking and noise making capabilities, the Monster Jack is a good bet for night fishing. The smaller size means you'll put more 2 and 3lbers in the boat too. As a tournament bait, I think this bait will really excel because even 13" keepers could easily get caught on it. If I was fishing Clear Lake, I'd want to be throwing this bait for sure because it covers getting a limit and at the same time offers you a decent shot at something bigger.
There's two things to talk about in the cons department. The first one is the tail setup. It's attached with toothpicks and just seems kind of loose to me. The toothpick thing is cool from the perspective of replacing the tail, but I'd rather have the tail stuck in with 3 or 4 nails. Spare tails don't seem to be super available in the US, but bassworldwest does have them if you lose yours.
The other thing is the paint. The paint looks good and appears to be quite thick. I haven't noticed much if any chipping or scratching on the paint. But there are a few cracks developing on my bait, and I have heard a few other stories about paint cracking and peeling. I left the paint alone for a few trips so I could review the lure, but I'm just going to put some aristocrat over it so it stays good. Again, it's not that the paint is chipping or getting nicked up because it's too thin of a layer, it's just developing some cracking because the bottom layer isn't bonding well to the wood. All lure mfgrs are constantly improving their baits, so I'll revisit this part of the review if I hear the paint is changing. Painting large wood baits is a big challenge for all lure makers.
The Monster Jack typically goes for 60 bucks. Not an unreasonable price for what you get. It should boat a lot of fish for you.