Lure Essentials for the Spinning Reel Fisherman

I’ve thought about this one for so long and finally it’s here. Lure Fishing is a sport where precision, finesse and a hell of a lot of patience bond together to create a truly unique experience. Of course in a fisherman’s eye; that’s only true if you’re actually catching fish. Which can be very difficult, frustrating and demoralising at times.

These days the lure fishing industry is huge and sometimes it can be extremely difficult to choose. Some are cheap, some are downright ridiculously priced, some work well and some really don’t. I think most of us have been caught out buying the wrong lures and now that or those lures just sit around collecting dust.

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More than you’ll ever need. But we’re addicted!

So that you don’t make that mistake, I’ve gathered some of the most versatile, cost-effective and quality lures and jammed them into this one big pic-heavy blog so you don’t have to do the experimenting yourself and know what to choose even before you arrive at the tackle store. Of course you can thank me later by commenting or following my blog down below ‘wink wink’. Here it goes.

 

Metal Slices (Twisties): 

To start off we have possibly got the most versatile lure ever created. Metal Slices have been around for donkeys now and they haven’t disappointed. Out catching even the most expensive of lures, metal slices are cheap, extremely hardy, easy to use and so versatile; I’m yet to encounter a predatory fish that wouldn’t resist this slice of metal as it rushes through the water. They come in almost every size you could ever wish for so your target species can range from the Whiting through to 300lb Tuna.

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I cannot praise these types of lures enough as they simply are a go to choice for so many different species and they catch fish on almost every occasion. One thing that really makes a difference when using Metals is to ensure that a swivel is attached to either the leader or the top of the lure. Slices tend to twist and spin around themselves imitating a flashing bait-fish. The only downside of this is line twist which can result in wind knots and other annoying problems. However this negative is eliminated with the use of swivels.

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The 5g, 30g and 40 gram options cover most target species for the spinning reel fisherman.

My personal favourite metal slice is the Halco Twisty 30g Chrome. RRP $5-$9 depending on lure weight. Halco are an Australian company that have been around for ages and their lure quality is ever-increasing. The Halco Twisty range includes the 1.5g, 3g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 30g, 40g, 55 g and 70g lure weights so you can be sure that there is a lure there for any of your intended target species. They also come in a variety of different colours with the main metal being either Chrome or Gold.

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Poppers: 

Possibly one of the most entertaining types of lure fishing, poppers offer a way of having sight of your lure 99%. That 1% is from when a fish wallops your lure on the surface and drags it towards the depths. Poppers offer the experience of surface strikes better than any other lure on the market. They are very easy to use; a wind in at a constant speed or a wind followed by a pull of the rod to imitate that famous ‘pop’.

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A 1m Queenfish caught in the North-West of Western Australia.

Not only do poppers look good top-water, they actually catch a variety of pelagic fish and are very reliable especially if targeting species from the humble herring through to the Giant Trevally. The cost isn’t great however this is a lure where you get what you pay for and that’s generally justified by the weight and quality of action of the lure. There are different types of poppers. Some are referred to as plugs and have a more ‘simple’ and straight forward action without a pop. They essentially just bounce on-top of the water to create a splash. Often these are the cheaper of the two options and in my opinion don’t work as well in a variety of situations compared to Poppers.

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The aftermath of that Queenfish. No damage to any functional parts and I personally like the ‘battle scars’ look

When it comes to choosing; I recommend the Halco Roosta Popper. They come in various sizes, have a great action that is rivalled to lures twice or three times the price. Even the beginner fisherman will find that they will be able to use this lure with ease without being afraid of loosing them as they are fairly cheap at an RRP of $10-$15 depending on lure size.

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Another Halco Roosta Popper in the Pilchard colour.

 

 

Weighted Minnows (Divers): 

On the occasions when fish just don’t seem to be biting when using Poppers or Metal Slices, my best option would be a weighted minnow as they generally attract fish that are more timid or may not be feeding. These are experts on imitating the action of fish and are the most realistic lure that should be an essential in every lure box.

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A mix of Rapala X Raps, a Dr Hook School bully and a So-Run Heavy Minnow

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Minnows are most likely the lure that have the most variety inside a tackle store. There just seems to be too many options and too little of them actually work 100%. This is where most people take little care and buy the best looking or most expensive lure hoping that it will full fill the needs of the angler in every situation. When it comes down to a great diving minnow, it essentially comes down to the following things:

Weight: Generally speaking, the more weight; the further the cast. This is also somewhat directly proportional to the quality of the lure. I’ve found that cheap lures lack in casting distance compared to more expensive lures due to the single most important fact that cheaper lures have no added weight inside the body to allow a further cast. More expensive minnows will consist of better craftsmanship and quality hence why these lures have added weight inside them to maximise casting distance. Sadly, but truthfully this is one of the types of lures where you do get what you pay for to a certain extent. To a certain extent; meaning a $10 diving lure (cheaper version) will cast maybe %50 as far as a $20 diver. But a $20 diver will cast almost as far as a $50 diving lure. The only real difference from then on is quality and possibly looks or action.

Quality: Craftsmanship and dressings (split rings and hooks) play a major role in both longevity and the ability to land fish under pressure. Generally speaking the more you pay the better the quality. However there are a couple of exceptions. The few exceptions are bargains in the weighted minnow category which I will mention down below. These lures are very good quality and don’t fit the ‘you get what you pay for’ category which is quite an eye opener as you don’t need to pay a great deal of cash to get a lure that’ll last forever and catch fish over and over.

Now onto my 3 most recommended weighted diving minnows:

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DR.HOOK School Bully 40 Grams

The exception to the ‘you get what you pay for’ goes to the Dr.Hook School Bully. These weighted divers exceed every expectation of your typical minnow. Coming in at just shy of $15 dollars, this lure is fitted with VMC Inline Stainless Steel Singles and quality split rings. Possibly the best go-to-bargain in any tackle store if you’re looking at a diving minnow in my opinion. They are everything that quality asks for in my opinion. It has great action and at 40 grams, it casts a mile! This very popular Australian Salmon lure will also catch a variety of other fish that hunt just below the surface of the water.

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Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow 110mm, 42 Grams

Arguably the best lure action I’ve ever witnessed from a diving lure, the So Run Heavy Minnow has caught more fish than any other lure in my tackle box. They designs that Storm make are simply brilliant, sparkly, fish-like and extremely visible underwater. There is no doubt that their action and appearance are second to none in my opinion. Nevertheless this is where my praise ends. So-Runs’ are definitely an example of ‘you don’t always get what you pay for’ in terms of quality.  As I’ve previously mentioned and warned about in my 2017 Salmon Season blog, the quality of the lure dressings in particular let the whole product down in a way. The split rings, trebles are very weak and couldn’t even pull in a tailor before the metal on the split rings and hooks pull straight. This results in you having to change the split rings and trebles which puts a hefty price change onto the lure which retails for about $18 dollars already. The bib is also an area of weakness as it seems to break at the touch of a finger. Kidding of course but a couple of touches on rocks or reef will break the bib and render the lure useless. Still the So-Run is still an essential if you can afford to change the split rings and hooks each time.

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Rapala X Rap Long Cast 14cm (50g) / 12cm (38g)

Only recently acquired by me, mainly because of the extreme cost of the Rapala X Rap Long Cast, this lure doesn’t disappoint in any aspect apart from cost. The action is very good, they cast crazy distances when the right rod and line are used and they certainly catch fish. If you’ve got some money, get your hands on these bad boys because they are simply amazing. The only problem that you’ll have when using it is when you cast, you will always be reminded that $24 dollars are continuously being cast out into sea and you may lose it eventually. That’s $24 dollars for the 12 cm model and $26 dollars for the 14 cm model. Nevertheless, if you’ve got the money, you won’t be disappointed.

Still can’t decide on which weighted minnow to get? Maybe this will help.

Dr.Hook School Bully: 

  • Cost: Low
  • Aesthetic Appearance: Low – Medium
  • Quality of dressings (split rings, hooks): High
  • Action: Medium
  • Value for price: High

 

Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow: 

  • Cost: Medium
  • Aesthetic Appearance: Very High
  • Quality of dressings (split rings, hooks): Low
  • Action: Very High
  • Value for price: Medium

 

Rapala X Rap Long Cast 

  • Cost: High
  • Aesthetic Appearance: High
  • Quality of dressings (split rings, hooks): High
  • Action: High
  • Value: Medium (High if price does not concern.)

 

 

I could go on forever but I think that covers the basics. There is just so much to discuss in the lure fishing world. I’ve only just scratched the surface by covering a bit about lures designed for spinning reels. I’m sure I’ll write another blog just like this in future, discussing some more ridiculously priced lures when I’ve hit another collection just short of proper clinically proven fishing addiction. In the mean time, hope you enjoyed this weeks blog. Thank you for stopping by. Please don’t forget to like and follow this blog for weekly updates. Ciao

 

Tight lines – Josh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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