The Tungsten Flat Fry Jig, which hardcore hardwater angler/panfish expert and Northland Fishing Tackle pro staffer Joel Nelson beta-tested throughout the course of last winter. His diagnosis of the new design?
“Honestly, I was kind of unimpressed when I first saw the jig,” said Nelson. “It looked basic at first glance, but I soon discovered that it’s an entirely new take on panfish tungsten jigs.”
“Vertically, its profile is skinny, so it falls faster than typical tungsten panfish jigs, so you can fish it fast,” said Nelson. “However, the jig hook-shank is long, so you slide on whatever plastic or meat you want. Both factors combine so you can control the rate-of-fall better with the Flat Fry Jig than other tungsten panfish jigs. For example, if the bite is really finicky and calls for finesse, I’ll wad up a bunch of larvae on it — maybe even a plastic, too — and that allows me to slow down the speed and rate-of-fall.”
But Nelson says the same Tungsten Flat Fry design also allows him to hole-hop, or fish fast and aggressively in one spot, and adding a slender microplastic like an Impulse Bloodworm or Mini-Smelt streamlining the entire offering, making it a quick and ultra-responsive bait for triggering (and icing) lots of fish fast.
“Last winter I used Northland’s Bro’s Bloodworm tail quite a bit on the Tungsten Flat Fry when fish were active,” said Nelson. “The Bloodworm with its long, thin, slender tail really quivers. Personally, I cut off a bit of the bloodworm to shorten up the presentation for big ‘gills and crappies, but you can pretty much leave as-is for perch. Other times I’d use an Impulse Mini-Smelt and one spike. Both methods produced.”
In terms of Tungsten Flat Fry jig sizes, Nelson used the smaller of the two models — 1/28 ounce — for bluegills, opting for the slightly larger 1/16 ounce with No. 10 hook for crappies and perch.
“The nice thing about the 1/16th ounce Tungsten Flat Fry is the jig hook is the perfect size for crappies, no matter what you’re tipping it with. It’s not too small, not too large — and has a long hook-shank and ample hook-gap for solidly pinning papermouths to get them topside,” said Nelson.
Nelson was also impressed with how well both sizes show up on traditional flashers and forward-facing sonar in either down- or forward-looking modes.
“The Tungsten Flat Fly has a flat top to it — which is where the name comes from — and shows up extremely well on electronics,” said Nelson. “That’s definitely a plus. A lot of times, especially with flashers, it can be hard to get a small jig to show up in your transducer cone. This design eliminates that problem.”
Nelson’s Color Picks
“Purple Wonder worked awesome for me, as did Ladybug, and other new Super-Glo finishes,” said Nelson. “Super-Glo Red is also a must-have, and in the stained waters I fish a lot, the Super-Glo Sneeze pattern caught a lot of fish. But I always had Purple Wonder tied on everywhere I went last winter.”
The New Tungsten Flat Fry Jig
Northern Minnesota ice fishing guide Brian “Bro” Brosdahl also calls them “must-have” panfish tungsten ice fishing jigs for the upcoming hardwater season.
“I fished the Tungsten Flat Fry everywhere last year and caught bluegills, crappies, and perch, including some big ones in tough weather on heavily fished waters,” said Brosdahl. “I had some great success last winter combining the Tungsten Flat Fry Jig with the lifelike body of the Impulse Rigged Mayfly. An Impulse Rigged Mayfly package comes with two pre-rigged lead jigheads — still great for shallow water — but you also get three additional Impulse Mayfly bodies. For perch, an Impulse Mayfly and the Tungsten Flat Fry Jig caught a lot of fish for me.
“It’s pretty standard for ice anglers to dress a jig or spoon with a fathead or crappie minnow head, but I also like to pinch off the tail and use that instead — especially for big panfish. Sometimes that seals the deal.”
Bro’s Winning Super-Glo Patterns
Available in 11 different colors, ice anglers can choose from Glo Red, Glow Chartreuse, Gold (non-glow), Glo White, Fruit Fly (Glow), Tiger Beetle (Glow), Woodtick (Glow), Ladybug (Glow), Wonderbread (Glow), Purple Wonder (Glow), and Sneeze (Glow).
In terms of Tungsten Flat Fry colors, Brosdahl thinks ice anglers should pick out a selection and run through them on the ice, letting the fish reveal their preferences.
“Super-Glo Ladybug was a hit everywhere, with its orange/pink/chartreuse glow and black dots, from big bluegills to crappies and perch,” said Brosdahl. “I made sure to always have one tied one on a rod or two. Super-Glo Wonderbread caught lots of fish too, and Super-Glo Purple Wonder was a champ on ultra-clear waters.”
Magnified Sonar Returns
“Both the shape and density of the tungsten head show up better than any other jig head I’ve ever seen on sonar — and super large on my Mega Live,” said Brosdahl. “So, for anglers using forward-facing sonar, even in deep waters the tiniest 1/28-ounce Tungsten Flat Fry shows up giant on your screen.”
The Tungsten Flat Fry Jig hangs at a 90-degree angle to imitate minnows or young-of-the-year panfish — favorite forage of perch, bluegill, and crappies — a key presentation on pressured waters. Whether dressed with a microplastic, waxworms, or spikes, or a small live minnow or minnow-meat, the resulting combo is deadly.
- 90-degree hook bend
- Jig sits horizontally, mimicking minnows, live fry, and small forage
- Flat top and tungsten material density reflect sonar signal more effectively for ultimate sonar sight fishing
- Long hook shank perfect for soft plastics
- Made of tungsten, which is 30 percent more dense than lead — and falls faster, is more sensitive than lead, and environmentally friendly
- 11 colors available — 10 Super-Glo finishes
- Super-Glo paint finishes include: Glo Red, Glo Chartreuse, Glo White, Glo Fruit Fly, Glo Tiger Beetle, Glo Woodtick, Glo Ladybug, Glo Wonderbread, Glo Purple Wonder, and Glo Sneeze
- 1/28 ounce, No. 12 hook; 1/16 ounce, No. 10 hook
MSRP: $6.99/two per card