Taken from the BBC boards--post was made by a representative of Zman:
someone just gave me a heads up about this thread, and I wanted to provide a little bit of first-hand information on the new ChatterBait Jack Hammer that will be released at the Bassmaster Classic in a few weeks. We have been planning this launch for quite some time now and have been in touch with Brett Hite about working with him on a premium bladed jig built to his specs for even longer. Brett is truly a bladed jig guru, not to mention a great guy, so we're really excited to be working with him.
Evergreen is a Japanese company, and like several other Japanese companies (MegaBass, Lucky Craft, etc.), they specialize in super premium, high end baits. The Jack Hammer is no different; the detail, components, and construction are truly second to none. This bait was completely spec'ed out by Brett, right down to the color schemes, skirt patterns, blade colors, center of gravity, hook size and length, and more. Of course, the bait very obviously falls under our US patents and trademarks, so Evergreen initiated this project without any expectation that they would be able to sell these baits in the US. Unlike other companies we've come across, Evergreen was very upfront about this and did not intend to go after the US market without Z-Man on board.
Knowing that this bait would have a higher retail price point than any of our other offerings, we debated (just momentarily!) on whether to make this product available to the US market via Z-Man. The conclusion that we reached was that we would rather make it available and let consumers decide whether it was worth the price tag. I know that I personally pay at least that much for Lucky Craft, MegaBass, and Evergreen hard baits; a couple of folks have commented that a bladed jig is just a jig, a blade, and a skirt, but a hard bait is just a piece of plastic and a couple of hooks! If high-end Japanese hard baits aren't for you, then this bait may not be either, though we certainly feel like this bait has a place in our line-up based on initial feedback and demand from tournament anglers. The good news is that if you don't want to spring for the Jack Hammer, there are plenty of less expensive ChatterBait options that feature high quality components and name-brand hooks and have won plenty of money on tour: the ChatterBait Elite, Project Z ChatterBait, TackleWarehouse ChatterBait Custom, and Bass Pro XPS ChatterBait Pro. We're even equipping the new Original ChatterBaits with the new style quick-clip, and to-date, we haven't heard of a single failure on this style clip!
Our goal all along has been to provide anglers with the best tools possible at a variety of price points, and the goal with the Jack Hammer is no different. We're really excited about this product launch and are glad to see that several others here are too! Please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions!