Basic Tips for New Tackle

Daniel L. Nielsen   Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:25 AM

Most fisherman I know love to get new tackle. Something seriously exciting in going to your local tackle store and stocking up on old favorites or new lures. Anticipation kicks in and soon we are heading off for the nearest lake to try them out.

But it is at this point that many of us go astray. Most fishermen believe that the lures they buy are going to be perfect right out of the package or box, and I hate to tell you, but it aint so.

Crankbaits for example have a habit of either running off to one side or the other. In most cases this is a bad thing, but fortunately in an era of mass production, easily fixable. Simply bend the eyelet carefully to the side the lure is tracking to get it to run true. Don't overbend or the eyelet will break. Trial and error will help you find that right position to get the lure tracking correctly.

However, don't get to overzealous on correcting every crank that runs crooked. Time and experience have shown me that there is a place for a crank that runs slightly to one side or the other. Tight crevices, dam walls, or nooks and cranny's lend themselves well to off kilter cranks. Simply by tossing the lure into them and retrieving them will send the crank bashing into either one side or the other and often produce devastating strikes.

One way to keep track of these special cranks is with a black magic marker. Simply put an "L" or and "R" on the the lures bill to indicate which way it runs. makes them extremely easy to find when you have a whole tray of the exact size and color lure.

Spinnerbaits usually run true but they can be modified or tinkered with to adjust their rate of fall simply by bending the spinner arm either forward to catch more water or back towards the body of the bait to sink faster. Going to a slightly larger spinner is also an option of getting a spinnerbait to fall slower. The bigger blade catches more water and thus helicopters more slowly as it falls. An even easier fix is the addition of bulky trailers to achieve the fall rate you want. Take your pick; each have their place among an anglers arsenal.

One thing that annoys me is that sometimes the major manufacturers slap on treble hooks that are either too large or too small. If the trebles on a crankbait don't come out about 1/4" on either side of a bait, odds are you are going to miss a few fish. bigger trebles have a habit of fouling the lure or line when they are cast. The only way to remedy these situations is to replace the hooks with ones more suitable for the job.

The independant lure manufacturers are more aware of the nuances and technical aspects of the lures they produce. I have had the oppurtunity to test some wonderful tackle these past two years and it truly amazes me at what they have ingeniously created to help anglers everywhere catch more fish. Hope you all take the time to check out our sponsors products and purchase a few. If my experiences with them are typical, you won't be disappointed in the least.

Which leads me to my next point. If you are trying tackle you are not familiar with, instead of just tying it on and letting it fly, take the time to read the directions. You should actually do this before you buy, otherwise you might buy a size or lure that is not suitable for your fishing style.

For example you aren't going to use a #13 Rapala on an ultralight setup are you? That would be defeating the purpose, not to mention seriously affect the dynamics and balance of your outfit. odds are you won't catch very many fish with that setup. Ultralights are meant for smaller lures and offerings, not larger baits that appeal to oversized fish.

Matching lure sizes to your specific rods action and capabilities is important but is perhaps the most overlooked thing most fishermen do. When is the last time you looked to see what lures or weight your rod was best suited for?

You might be buying the right lures for your rod, but what about that reel? You checked that? Placing the wrong reel on a good rod just about kills everthing that rod was capable of. If the reel is too heavy, then the simple act of casting becomes a chore by the end of a long day. Too light and it might not last very long performance wise before its shot. Everything must be balanced. Rod, reel, line, and lure, to achieve the best your setup can offer.

Of course, everyonce in a while, you'll luck into that one lure out of that last bunch you bought that has something different in it. A subtlety you can't quite put your finger on but drives fish wild. Buddies and family can be throwing the same thing in the same area, but your bait will produce more strikes.

If this happens, mark it or set it aside. This is a "go to" bait. Basically, a confidence lure that can be counted on to produce in situations that demand it. You can never have too many of them. Odds are, you won't, given common manufacturing practices among the mass produced baits. The factors that made this bait stand out are rare and you can count yourself as lucky if you happen to get one of these.

Even among my all time favorites, the #5 and #7 floating Rapala's, there are differences. Run a few in the water beside each other. You'll see what I mean. Its those differences that catch fish wherever you find them. If you can spot them, then you know the fish can too.

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2 Comments

re: Basic Tips for New Tackle
11/17/2006 6:37:57 PM  Jason says,

Great Article!

re: Basic Tips for New Tackle
12/28/2006 6:25:18 PM  Bradly J says,

Thanks for the tips!

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