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Author Topic: What makes for a great lure?  (Read 81 times)

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What makes for a great lure?
« on: July 06, 2018, 10:44:41 PM »
In early spring I went down to my pond and checked out the action of a mini-stick soft plastic lure with a light jig stuck midway wacky-style. The action on the slow drop was no different than a Senko's. A few weeks ago I  figured, why not fuse the bodies of two grubs together, wacky rig them and use them in a few lakes I fish. Man did I catch fish: panfish, bass, a few pickerel and even a catfish! Here is the sequence of lure design evolution:

This 2 1/4" stick came from a mold, but thinner than I liked so I dipped it back into hot plastic to coat it and make it a bit thicker. Perfect Senko-like tip action on the fall! Once the weather and lake warmed a bit into the 50's, it caught fish.

Fusion of two curl tail grub bodies fused together:


Tackle: light action rod, 8# test (2# diam.) braid, 1/32, 1/24 or 1/16 oz ball head jig

At first I fused the tails of the grubs together and figured it mattered for a better lure action (note the narrow waist mid section):

The thin midsection allowed the plump tail to wobble back & forth, generating strikes.

I figured, why not fuse the fronts of each grub together (as are seen in the after-fusion picture)? It worked just a well wacky rigged seeing as how the arms quivered fast, but why since the profile was the same? Presentation was the answer - one that causes a crazy, rapid, body twitch when the rod tip is shaken fast, similar to a worm getting electrocuted. In fact fish just under the surface from 5' away took notice first time I tried it and kept attacking until I cast someplace else where a bass then got hooked immediately.

So why does this presentation / lure design combo work so well. Here are a few ideas:
When you think about it, billed crankbaits, spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, curl tail grubs, Heddon's Sonic Blade bait, ChatterBaits and buzzbaits, are all robotic in action, exhibiting an uninterrupted cadence when used with a steady retrieve. Problem is that they must be moved at a certain rate of speed horizontally, near objects that might hold fish, thereby not able to spend much time in a spot that may hold fish in the surrounding area nor fish crazy about chasing or ambushing a lure as it swims past at a certain rate of speed.

The term strike zone has been used which I define as being an area of lure effectiveness vs time in the zone; the longer in the zone on certain days the more chances of getting strikes; the effective larger the area, the more fish are apt to see and feel the lure.

 The lures in this post are not ambush type lures like spinnerbaits, swimbaits, curl tail or shad tail grubs and Chatterbaits that must be moved at a certain speed to produce the designed in actions of each. But what is interesting is the almost robotic-mechanical and unnatural actions of all the lures mentioned. Blade baits and buoyant billed crankbaits vibrate at a certain speed when retrieved; Senkos on the fall have a rhythmic action more similar to a falling leaf than a worm. But all have their moments when fish must kill the object or die trying.

But getting back to the fused grub bodies: the grub plastic is medium soft, not hard nor supersoft. When twitched fast, the sides (arms) aren't the focus of attention nor the provocation - it's the crazy, robotic super-fast twitching of the entire lure that wakes fish up and makes it focus on the object longer and the longer in the visual area, the greater the chances of a fish's sense overload, where hunger may or may not be the reason (though what difference does it make as long as the lure gets struck?).

Some have convinced themselves that fish contemplate what a lure looks like to a fish before striking. In the example above as well as so many others, fish see, feel and react - or not. Exactly what they feel and see is unique to every lure design and more so with different presentations. You just have to take note of what that might be.


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