Gear Reviews

Gear Review: SPRO CJ Smasher


SPRO CJ Smasher Worm


Rewind back to the Bassmaster Northern Open at 1000 Islands in 2021. Both Chris and Cory Johnston notched a Top 10 using a top-secret prototype SPRO soft plastic that they couldn’t even show off yet. Cory would go on to win the event on this special bait that he and his brother helped design. Almost a year later, the SPRO CJ Smasher Worm is available to the public, right on time for late summer/fall smallmouth fishing. During the homestretch of the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series season, both Chris and Cory relied heavily on the CJ Smasher in smallmouth events to end their years on a high note.


At first glance, the CJ Smasher Worm obviously looks like a drop-shot bait, and while it is definitely that, it can also serve as a great option for a Ned-style head or even on a minnow-style head to fish vertically. Made from an Amino Bite infused Dura Tuff Material, the CJ Smasher is incredibly durable. This material also makes the bait extremely buoyant which provides excellent action. Coming in at 3 inches long, the CJ Smasher Worm features a tapered body that perfectly mimics a small baitfish. This makes the Smasher the ultimate finesse presentation. Available in 10 different colors.





I had the privilege of covering the 2021 Open event at 1000 Islands where Chris and Cory were being super secretive over this new prototype bait that the smallmouth just couldn’t resist. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to see the bait and test it out on the water, I understand why they wanted to keep it under wraps.

When it comes to smallmouth fishing or finesse fishing in general, it’s good to have a go-to bait that can be effective when rigged multiple ways. This is exactly what the CJ Smasher allows. All 10 of the colors match the hatch for a variety of different forages – shad, crawfish, goby and even a couple of bright colors that are dynamite on bedding bass. Another thing that I believe makes the CJ Smasher such an effective bait is SPRO’s Amino Bite scent. Over the last few years, we’ve seen scent make a huge comeback in soft plastics, and the CJ Smasher has the scent that draws in fish that may not bite otherwise.