Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lure patterns

As the title states, lure patterns, whats it all about? When I say patterns I mean the colours and finishes of them. I have been a "plugger" for 15 years and I still act on instinct everytime I have to choose which colour and size to put on. I tend to chose natural looking fish, and very rarely use bright and gordy looking plugs. Now I know some very good bass anglers that will only use the brightest of plugs in all conditions, and I also know as many that swear only by natural silver/black colours.

So which is right? Both I recon, because we all know that "Confidence is nine tenths of the lure", meaning if you think it will catch fish, it will.

Its not only colours though, its the finish too. There are plain painted lures, clear plastic, reflective lures and holographic lures to mention a few. Now a couple of years ago I was convinced the best lures were clear bellied or clear sided.

I would always pick them out in my lure box and they just seemed to do the trick on days when I was struggling. I still do use them, and I am still very confident with them. But somedays when the water is a bit murky I find the fuller coloured lures work better, and I then go for painted lures with a high gloss finish with maybe a two tone look about them. A stripe of orange or red along the underneath can help alot too.

When you combine these two things you end up with a lure that is fantastic in low vis water, and when you add a little rattle!! Rattles are a chapter all on their own so I won't get into it right now! The paintwork I find best is like I say a high gloss finish like this one.

When it comes to surface lures I still think there are not enough made with black undersides. I wish some companies would make some, and I will get on their cases about doing it. If you think about what fish see when they look up its got to be mainly a silloette, so surely a black belly will stand out better than anything else.

As there are not many available I tend to use either clear bellied (on sunny days), silver bellied on normal days and red bellied on murky days. I must get a can of black spray paint and alter some of my favourites, just to see.

Of all the colours and patterns I love at the moment, holographic must be my favourite, and I think it will become more and more available on many lures. It just seems to work in all conditions, it absorbs the smallest ammounts of light and throws it back, but not too much. This is not reflective tape that I am on about here, its different, more subtle. Reflective tape looks fantastic, and yes it catches fish, but I find it catches more anglers than fish. Look at the difference, this is reflective strip, great but I think it is better in tropical waters.

I heard that some french anglers rub their reflective lures down with wet and dry paper, just to take the shine off them. That is a choice, and probably good advice, but a few lures out there now have slightly more mellow reflective strip like this

When it is combined with some pattern covering up the bling of reflective, it really starts to come to life, and it's starting to get my attention too

This is the way forward for UK bass fishing I am sure. Holographic (holo) finish is the next step though.

Check out what I mean by holo finish, see how it isn't so uniform, and will look like light shining off something underwater.

This is now what I look for, can you see why? It is starting to come out in more and more lures these days, and with different back colours. The white as shown here is a modern classis now, made famous by Graham Hill and Henry Gilbey with their exploits in Wexford with the Maria Chase BW Holo White. A great lure that really catches fish, but I have always found they don't cast great.

On white it looks amazing, check it out what it looks like on red merging into black on the Tide Minnow Hellfire, it's sick, it just has to catch fish.

Of course this is just a personal choice, and alot of the fun in lure fishing is sussing things out. But with modern lures becoming more and more expensive I think making the right decissions in the tackle shops is becoming more important. Years ago I wouldn't think twice about picking up 10 plugs on a trip to the tackle shop, being under a tenner each it wasn't the end of the world. I have found though that rather than carrying 50 £10 plugs that you are not 100% sure about, you are better carrying 10 plugs that you are 100% confident with, even if they cost £20 each.

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