The banjo minnow has been around for several years. I purchased my first banjo minnow kit back in college, when it first came out and didn’t come with the current color patterns, jointed bodies, sinking hooks for wacky rigs and detachable eyes. The basic design and concept remains the same, though.
The kit consists of several soft plastic minnows in a few different sizes and color patterns, and comes with screws, hooks, plastic and metal eyes, weighted hooks, and O-rings. Instead of feeding a hook through the body, like a swimbait, you instead twist the screw into the top of the bait’s head and loop the hook point through a small hole at the screw’s tip.
The O-rings fasten around the hook bend on either side of the screw loop to keep the hook from coming free. This design attempts to keep the point of contact between line and bait near the head, which allows the bait to possess erratic action throughout the whole of its length, and not just half.
The Banjo Minnow excels at imitating a minnow in a variety of ways, and can be fished using several methods. The current kit includes weighted hooks for wacky rigs, but using the minnow like a fluke works wonders, as well. Versatility is really where the Banjo Minnow shines. I will also admit that the very first time I tied one on, I caught a keeper bass on the first cast, which has never really happened before.
My only complaints with the Banjo Minnow are that the larger sizes aren’t very practical for bass fishing, which limits most of us to the smallest length. The problem with this is that the small minnow is too light to cast far, which can be frustrating. The larger minnows work well on more aggressive predator species, but the soft plastic body won’t last long.
You can purchase the latest Banjo minnow kit at Bass Pro Shops, or visit the Banjo Minnow website directly for other options. At BPS, the kit runs $20 and comes with the latest jointed minnow designs and colors, detachable plastic and metal eyes, weedless hooks, weighted hooks, weedguards, and a DVD. Is it worth $20? Not in my opinion, as there are other products that work the same and you won’t have to buy the large minnows to use them.
Products advertised on TV infomercials can be tricky. While the design of the Banjo Minnow does work, the practical sizes are too light to cast effectively and once they’re gone, you’re left with 7-inch minnows that only pike will bite. If a buddy of mine hadn’t decided to split the cost and the contents of the kit, I most likely wouldn’t have bought it. However, since the kit has been flying off shelves over the years, I’ll leave you to decide on your own whether or not the Banjo Minnow is worth checking out.